How Often Should You Take Your Cat in For A Checkup
There are plenty of fun aspects to being a cat owner. The cuteness, cuddles and camaraderie go a long way. Plus, you can watch your pet’s quirky personality play out in real-time instead of spending hours scrolling through cat memes online.
However, not everything about cat companionship is something to purr about. One part of pet ownership that does not make the fun list is the dreaded vet visit. Whether your cat takes off running at the first mention of the vet or angrily meows the entire way to the office, trips to the vet can be a hassle for both you and your pet. Still, they are vital to supporting cat health and being a good fur parent.
No matter how self-sufficient Mr. Whiskers wants you to think he is, he still needs your help in the cat health department. The best way to promote cat health is to commit to preventative cat care, and regular vet visits are essential to taking care of your cat.
Read on to find out how often you should take your cat for a checkup and tips on making the vet trip easier for you both.
Vet Visit Guidelines
In most cases, it’s recommended that people have a checkup with their primary doctor once a year. Does the same rule apply to our feline friends? One of the most important factors in determining how often to take your cat to the vet is their age. The optimal frequency of checkups varies depending on your fur baby’s life stage. Here are some vet visit guidelines based on what age range your cat is in:
- Kittens — Just like human babies, baby cats require frequent medical visits to ensure they’re as healthy as possible. When you first bring your kitten home, you should schedule an initial wellness check with the veterinarian of your choice. Even if your new fur baby appears perfect to your eyes, this is an excellent way for your vet to check for common illnesses in kittens. It will also allow you to meet and get to know your vet, so you’ll have someone to rely on whenever a health question pops up as your kitten grows. You can expect to visit the vet with your kitten at least five or six times during their first six months of life. This includes regular appointments to get your cat all the vaccinations it will need. Your vet might discuss options like spaying or neutering your cat, or having them microchipped, which would require additional appointments.
- Junior Cats — Cats don’t go straight from kittenhood to being full-fledged adults. There’s another period between ages referred to as the junior cat stage of life. The junior cat period covers ages seven months to two years. Your cat is still developing and undergoing many important changes during this time. As a result, vets usually recommend checkups every six months for junior cats. Some critical areas of cat health to pay attention to in this life stage include your cat’s weight, diet, oral health and continuing to ensure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations.
- Adult Cats — Once your cat reaches three years old, they’re officially considered an adult cat. At this point, most of the essential development has finished, and you won’t have to worry about visiting the vet as frequently (as long as your cat seems healthy). Typically, cats will only need an annual checkup during adulthood. More frequent visits might be in order if your cat is managing a long-term health condition. You can schedule additional visits if you notice any behavioral changes or concerning symptoms.
- Senior Cats — Once your cat hits double digits, more frequent checkups are recommended to help maintain cat health. Senior cats are more likely to suffer from various cat health conditions, including diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and thyroid issues. Staying on top of symptoms is necessary to recognize the first sign of cat health issues and prevent them from worsening. For this reason, senior cats should have at least two checkups each year. If your feline friend is dealing with a cat health condition, your vet may schedule more frequent visits to review symptoms, manage medications and monitor your pet’s overall wellbeing.
Tips to Make Vet Trips Easier
Vet visits are an unavoidable part of supporting cat health. That’s why it should be a priority to do everything you can to make them a positive experience for your pet. Here are some tips to make vet trips easier:
- Promote Relaxation — Your mood can influence your cat’s feelings about going to the vet. A great way to reduce your cat’s stress level is to model a calm and relaxed mood yourself. If you notice your cat getting anxious or upset, try to make it a point to talk to them in a soft, soothing voice. Give them a gentle pet and make sure they feel supported. If you’re calm, they’ll feel safer and be more likely to relax.
- Pack Comfort Items — One of the most stressful parts about getting a cat health checkup at the vet is that it requires traveling to an unfamiliar environment. The best way to keep your cat from feeling out of place is to bring reminders of home with you. If your pet has a favorite toy, consider placing it in its carrier and bringing it into the exam room. Other options for comfort items include your cat’s bed, a beloved blanket or even a clothing item that smells like you.
- Support Cat Health at Home — The best way to make vet visits less stressful is to keep your cat as healthy as possible. There are many easy ways to support cat health at home. Feed your cat a quality diet and provide plenty of water. Beat boredom and promote your cat’s mental health by regularly playing with your pet and spending time together. And, give your cat’s hygiene a boost with Skoon cat litter! Skoon proudly offers you and your cat an all-natural alternative to cat litter. Your cat’s health is your number one priority, which is why no harsh chemicals or substances are added to Skoon during production, making it dust-free and safe for use by cats of all ages, shapes and sizes.
Try Skoon today to promote cat health and hygiene!