Cats are surely considered the independent creatures & the majority of cat owners think that as long as their precious little mates are fed regularly, they are completely maintenance-free. But, here I would like to mention that if cat owners keep a close eye on the cat’s health, it is always better to take him/her to an experienced vet for an annual health and wellness checkup. No doubt, having cats at home is all about fun and enjoyment but it also demands a lot of efforts including taking the cats to the vet. Because sometimes it only takes professional help to notice subtle changes in the cat’s health.
Moreover, even though it might seem unreasonable to visit the vet especially when the cats appear to be healthy, visiting the vet is not only something people have to do when the pet is sick. In short, the responsible and caring cat owners should arrange regular vet examinations in order to catch health problems. As mentioned earlier, the biannual or yearly vet examination is mandatory for a cat’s overall health.
When it comes to taking your cat for vet care, first of all, you should prepare your mind for the fact that every cat is unique and it might seem not possible to answer all the questions related to his/her health.
Moreover, even if you are able to provide answers for most of your cat’s health concerns, there are some things that only a certified vet can properly answer. This is also true when it comes to the decision about how often you have to take your cat to the vet.
Since felines cannot speak, the cat lovers do not always notice that the cats have health issues. Therefore, regular medical examinations will definitely help save the cats from unforeseen health problems while providing valid information on how pet parents can prevent health issues in the future. Keeping the above discussion in mind, this article is going to share some useful information concerning how often people should take their cats to the vet.
Importance of Veterinary Care
To begin with, the experts emphasize that taking the cat to the vet is a crucial health issue.
The most important reason behind it is that cats are the furry creatures and they cannot express how they feel; or they might not show any symptoms when they are ill or struggling with some internal issues.
Therefore, even if they have small health issues in their body, sometimes people fail to notice them. And on these occasions, these small issues can become more serious problems for the cats. In another way, once you visit the vet, you will get some valuable information about how often you should take your cat to the vet’s office.
It is a well-known fact that vet care is extremely important in order to keep your pets in the best of health. People can get expert advice to make their pet’s life much better while managing behavioral issues and solving bothersome problems. Always remember that regular veterinary examinations should be started from the pet’s earliest age. But the frequency depends upon the breed type, lifestyle, age, & medical history. Furthermore, if you bought a new cat then, a vet wellness examination will surely help ensure that cat is healthy and this is very important because some breeders do not monitor the well-being & health of cats.
What are the Top Reasons behind Visiting a Veterinarian?
Keep in mind that with the passage of time, a cat owner will come across a wide range of problems which may require pet owners to take their cats to the vet. But, your cat might have an underlying health problem or some chronic health issues which come with few symptoms. These types of health issues include skin diseases, ear mites, dental problems, eye problems etc. To mention a few here are some compelling reasons behind taking your cat to the vet:
For instance, it is not always possible to catch all the health issues that an older cat has. Health and wellness examinations are highly important for pet owners so that they can keep their pets healthy & safe.
As a cat lover, it is necessary to monitor the feline in the below-mentioned areas:
Well, it can be a bit difficult to motivate the little mate to exercise. Though, exercise is necessary when it comes to preventing weight loss issues including obesity. People can help their cats maintain a healthy & active lifestyle by simply selecting suitable interactive toys, climbing toys, toys that can easily be used by both cats and their owners.
The older the cats get, they will be more prone to lose or gain weight usually depending upon the health condition and breed type. Thus, it is important to feed them properly. If cat owners have any kind of doubts about the cat’s health, then it is advised to seek help from a veterinarian.
The majority of cat owners are simply unaware that their precious felines may be suffering from serious dental disease. But, regular vet care will certainly help catch & treat the dental issues before they turn into something serious or untreatable.
Cat litter pattern
Apart from the above-mentioned reasons, routine checkups from a skilled vet will help people find out if the cats have worms & other parasites while educating people about the importance of proper treatments for removing them safely.
For keeping the cats up-to-date regarding the proper vaccinations to ensure healthy life, regular vet care is mandatory.
If your cat’s environment has changed recently then, people may also need vet’s advice. It is recommended to consult the doctor if the cats are facing issues due to environmental changes such as:
- A long trip or flight
- Meeting a new cat or new family member
- Shifting to new house
- Access to nature
What are the Major Signs of Needed Vet Attention?
Mostly, any noticeable change in cat’s behavior should be considered as the 1st sign of concern. Some major signs are as follows:
- Runny nose or eyes
- Sneeze or frequent cough
- Repeated diarrhea or vomiting
- Unusual thirst
- Abnormal wart or lump
- A feline that continuously returns to the litter box & does nothing expect few drops
- The cat always remain dirty
- Any kind of abnormal vaginal discharge
- Weight loss & bad breath
Every symptom can have different causes ranging from neurological issues to infection to anxiety & parasites. The vet will try to find out the reasons behind these issues while offering the best treatment. It is advised to be ready for a thorough survey about different yet sudden changes in the cat’s environment, diet, behavior, & living conditions. In case, the doctor observes symptoms for a couple of days then, it is always better to record all those changes as this will help him to make the right diagnosis.
So How Often Do Cat Owners Should Take the Cats to the Vet?
As caring pet parents, people probably know the importance of arranging regular veterinary appointments. However, what does the term “regular” mean? According to the American Animal Hospital Association, all cat owners should see a vet at least annually, maybe more if the cat or dog has certain health needs.
Moreover, there is not any hard & fast rule concerning how often the cats should see the veterinarian as it depends on numerous factors such as lifestyle, age, & where the cat lives. However, the bottom line, forming a healthy working relationship with a vet is extremely important as he/she can give the best ever advice on how often their specific cats need checkups. No doubt, this type of supportive relationship will give fruitful results especially if your cat is more into serious health problems.
With the above reasons in mind, here is a general recommendation for when people should take the cats to the veterinarian.
Kitten Veterinarian Visits
Naïve feline owners are commonly bound by different arguments with the breeders or shelters for taking the kitten to visit a veterinarian immediately after adoption. Well, always remember that this practice will kick off the cat owner’s relationship with the vet & gives a chance for the veterinarian to start tracking and observing the cat’s overall health from her/his early years of life. Furthermore, vaccination will start when the kitten is about 6 to 8 weeks old. Usually it depends upon different factors such as family history, lifestyle, & common health issues where cat owners live.
According to vets, this 1st round will cover shots for panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis. About 3 or 4 weeks later, the kitten will receive the 2nd round of above-mentioned vaccines, recurring after every 3-4 more weeks. Afterwards, rabies vaccines will start once the kitten becomes 3 months old. Those initial visits to the veterinarian will include various physical examinations as well including a detailed discussion about how to prevent pest flea & tick. During this period, cat owners can also seek vet’s advice about different training or behavior questions they might have. Lastly, after six months, the felines will be ready and well-trained to be neutered or spayed.
Adult Feline Veterinarian Visits
It is worth sharing that vaccine boosters should be continued under the vet’s supervision as the cats pass out their kitten stage. The vet will ask about the cat’s lifestyle particularly whether he/she is an indoor only feline or a feline that occasionally ventures into outdoor settings. Indoor-outdoor or outdoor felines face different risks outside such as predators, parasites, and a more serious risk i.e. cat leukemia. The worst thing about this disease is that it spreads from one cat to another. But the good thing is that the vaccine for this disease will be given to the feline as a kitten & recur throughout the cat’s life. Additionally, recurring visits to the vet will allow him to inspect the cat’s teeth & detailed physical examinations. According to the research, regular teeth cleaning is important as it will surely help prevent the issue of bad breath & cat owners should ensure that the cat’s gums & teeth are healthy in order to avoid further health problems. Vaccines including rabies, need to be continued too. The veterinarian will likely suggest them after 1-3 years.
Senior Cat Veterinarian Visits
Cat owners will start visiting the vet number of times in a year once the cat is 7-10 years old. It is considered as the senior stage of a cat’s life. Cat lovers will want to investigate & report behavioral changes to the vet, in spite of the cat’s age but this discussion becomes extremely important when the cats reach his/her elder years. Moreover, if a feline is taking more & more water than she/he normally does, for instance, it could point towards bigger concerns including diabetes, and kidney problems.
In short, a 7 years old feline technically falls under the category of senior cats. It is recommended to arrange 2-3 vet visits in a year in order to check for age related health problems.
What is a Feline Check-up Anyways?
Cat owners should take their precious cats to the vets to check the following things:
- Good digestion
- Vaccination status
- Heart & respiratory rate
- Weight & overall body condition
- Behavior & personality
- Parasite control
This useful checklist will surely be supplemented with the cat owner’s answers to the veterinarian questions. It is important for cat owners to be prepared in order to tackle the following questions:
- What kind of food items do cat eats
- How often do cat owners feed their cats
- What other pets does the feline recently come in contact with
- Have you noticed any changes in cat’s habits
It is important to share that basic vaccinations are highly recommended for all felines. The disease these vaccinations prevent always has a noticeable mortality & morbidity rate. Addressing all those health problems with the right kind of vaccine can give the cats a strong protection to ensure a healthy life. The common vaccines are as follows:
- FPV, Feline panleukopenia
- FCV, Feline calicivirus
- FHV1, Feline herpes virus 1
On the other hand, non-core vaccinations are considered optional. The following comes under the category of non-core vaccinations:
- Bordet Ella Bronchiseptica
- Chlamydia felis
- Virulent FCV
- Feline immunodeficiency virus
- FeLV, Feline leukemia virus
How to Motivate a Cat for a Vet Visit?
A vet visit simply means huge stress and anxiety for few felines, they might desperately resist & sometimes they also scratch & bite. The following recommendation will help make vet visits more comfortable.
- Try to prepare the cat in advance like 2-3 days before visiting the vet. Use of positive reinforcements in the form of treats and toys will serve the best purpose. By doing so, cats will not be associating the carrier with problems.
- Cover the cat’s carrier by simply placing a blanket or towel in order to create a calming or dark space.
- Select a vet that your cat will like. Pet parents can ask for recommendations directly from their friends or relatives.
In the end, it can be concluded that visiting the veterinarian frequently during the feline’s life will definitely make the visits as comfortable, stress-free, and useful as possible. Therefore, it is advised to choose a trustworthy vet. Preventive vat care can greatly improve the cat’s quality of life. By considering the above-mentioned information related to regular checkups, cat owners will ensure that their precious mates remain healthy & well. Likewise, annual health checkups are mandatory for the cat’s health as it allows cat owners to diagnose, track, & treat, & prevent issues before they become serious. So, if pet parents want their pets to remain happy and healthy, then give due attention to routine vet care.