How Often Do I Need to Take my Cat to the Vet?

One of the biggest misconceptions about veterinary care is that it is something your pet only needs when she has had an accident or injury, or if you suspect she is unwell and needs medical attention. The truth is that our veterinarian is your best support in ensuring that your cat remains healthy and lives a long and active life. This is because veterinarians have extensive training and experience in animal anatomy and medicine, giving them the skill needed to spot potential and existing problems and find the best and safest solution to restore your cat’s health.

This is especially important since all animals, including our feline friends, are naturally predisposed to hiding any signs of illness or vulnerability, a trait which harks back to before they became domesticated and threats to their survival became few and far between. In many cases, by the time your pet shows symptoms that might indicate she is unwell, any underlying disease or virus she has will have well and truly taken hold. For this reason, preventative care for our animals should be a priority.

Studies show that cats receive much less veterinary attention than dogs do. There are several reasons believed to be behind this, including:

- The myth that felines are much more self-sufficient than dogs.

- The ability of cats to mask illness, which is generally higher than that of a dog.

- Difficulty in getting your kitty to travel to the vet. Felines are well known for their hatred of travelling.

- The perceived value of cats as pets, which tends to be lower than the value we, as a society, place on dogs.

The truth is that it is just as important for your cat to have regular veterinary check-ups as it is a dog or any other creature.

So, how often should I take my cat to the vet?

The answer to this question lies primarily with the age of your furbaby. If your cat is particularly young or of senior age, she will almost certainly need more veterinary attention.

Veterinary visits for kittens

You should schedule an appointment with our vet as soon as you bring your new kitty home. This will enable our vet to give your kitten a thorough check over to assess her condition and by starting her appointments at this age, you will have a thorough record of her health from a very young age.

At this stage our vet will talk to you about the appropriate vaccination schedule for your furbaby. You will also be advised to get your cat spayed or neutered before she/he reaches 6 months of age. Most cat owners should expect to make around half a dozen visits to their veterinarian during the first year of their pet’s life.

Veterinary visits for adult cats

Unless your cat has an underlying health condition that requires monitoring, most vets will recommend that you take your feline furbaby for at least one check-up each year. This gives our vet an opportunity to thoroughly assess your pet’s general and dental health, as well as provide a professional grade dental clean which is essential for keeping periodontal disease at bay for as long as possible.

Those people who have indoor cats often think that this schedule doesn’t apply to them since their kitty doesn’t venture outside. However, proper preventative care and monitoring is still essential as not all feline disease are spread through contact with other animals.

Veterinary visits for senior pets

Once your kitty reaches around seven years of age, she is considered to be a senior pet and her care should be adjusted accordingly. This is because older animals, including cats, are more likely to suffer from health problems such as diabetes, thyroid problems, arthritis and kidney/liver disorders. Many of these conditions require medication and this will mean that your cat will need monitoring much more closely. They can also come on very quickly, and for this reason, veterinarians generally recommended you take your kitty for check-ups twice per year.

The guidelines stated above are for preventative care. If you suspect that your cat is unwell or has suffered an accident or injury, you should still contact and make an appointment with our veterinary office right away. Failing to do so could dramatically compromise the potential outcome for your pet.