We always want our cats to stay healthy and strong all the time no doubt, so the question is “how often should you take your cat to the vet?”. There’s been rumors here and there that cats don’t have to be checked up on as often as dogs do, but that’s a myth.
People have this misconception because they think that indoor cats are far healthier compared to cats who strictly reside outdoors. While this may be true to some extent, however, we mustn’t ignore the fact that our indoor feline companions need to have their regular doses of vaccines and other treatments.
Without further ado, this blog is here to answer the question on “how often should you bring your cat to the vet”, along with other questions like “why do some owners not take their cats to the vet”, “why should you take your cat to the vet”, “what are the specific medical issues of indoor cats”, and “other concerns as to why you should bring your cat to the vet”.
Here’s How Often You Should Bring Your Cat To The Vet:
It depends on the age and needs of the cat, refer to the list below:
- Kitten Care. A kitten less than 4 months old should have monthly visits to the vet.
- Adult Care. Take your adult cat to the vet at least once a year for their annual check-ups, dental and vaccine care.
- Elder Care. For cats aged seven and up, they need at least two visits to the vet in a year.
We’ll have a more in-depth discussion regarding this list as you read along.
Why Do Some Owners Not Take Their Cats to the Vet?
You may not believe this, but some cat owners think twice before sending their beloved cats to the vet and here’s why:
It can be difficult and overwhelming for some to allot a budget for the vet care of their cats because we are all well aware that these can be pricey. However, it’s actually better to take your cat to the vet as often as needed. Why? Because as soon as you get the preventive care for your cats, the cheaper it’s going to be compared to treating an illness or disease that’s already there.
It’s far less costly to catch and treat a disease at an early stage rather than its advanced stage.
Indoor Only Cats
This has got to be the most common reason as to why cat owners don’t bring their cats to the vet at all. Some owners argue that their cats mainly reside indoors so there’s no way they can get sick or injured. Compared to cats that live in the streets, indoor cats are less likely to be exposed to illnesses and parasites.
This may be true but only to an extent because you still need to take your cat to the vet for their vaccinations and treatments that prevent parasites from infesting on them.
No Signs of Illnesses or Injuries
Owners don’t think they should take their cats to the vet because first of all, they don’t see anything physically wrong with their cat and they’re not seeing signs of any illness or injury. Big cats in the wild that get sick are prone to being easy targets for other predators, so that’s why they hide any signs of being sick and weak.
So therefore, cats have evolved into this habit of not showing any signs of being sick. This is all the more reason as to why you should have your cat regularly checked-up at the vet as much as needed.
Too Difficult to Transport
Cats aren’t a big fan of car rides. A lot of owners struggle to even put their cats inside carriers and that stresses both the owner and the cat out. Not to mention the car ride itself. Then there’s the problem where your fur baby will ignore you for a week right after you bring him home.
Not Due for Vaccines
Vaccinations are now being scheduled every three years or less. That makes cat owners lenient when it comes to taking their companions to the vet. Sadly, this results in only taking the cat to the vet every three years.
Why Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet?
With the numerous reasons mentioned above, here are some “motivations” for you cat owners as to why you should bring your feline companions to the vet:
Weight Evaluation and Nutrition Advice
Indoor cats have the tendency to become overweight. This may lead to various health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, and problems with the joints. Not every cat owner is aware of how much to feed their cats, how to properly exercise them, or to determine if their cat is already overweight.
So a visit to the vet will surely do you and your cat some good since the veterinarians are able to identify the signs that dictate whether your cat is overweight or not and they’ll also give you counseling as well.
Unless you consult professional help from your vet, then it’s very difficult for you to know if your cat has problems in regards to their dental health. Some common problems in this category are gingivitis, plaque, tartar, loose teeth, stomatitis, mouth ulcers, and abscesses. As I’ve said, cats don’t show any signs of illness or injury, so they may be suffering from these without your knowledge.
So if you want this figured out, take your cat to the vet. The veterinarians will check your cat’s gums and teeth during the check-up and advise you on how you can care for your cat’s dental health.
Veterinarians believe that giving your cats vaccines are important for your indoor cats. While indoor cats may not need that much vaccinations compared to cats who primarily live outdoors, it’s still recommended that they get their “core” vaccines. A vaccine for rabies is required annually.
Then there’s the FVRCP which is a vaccine that protects your cat against viruses and distemper which is also an annual medication. These are the necessary vaccines your cat needs in order to stay healthy and happy.
Indoor cats aren’t spared from parasites such as ticks, fleas, roundworms, and heartworms. The reason why they end up in your feline companion’s skin is because it may have come from an insect, a dog, or from human shoes and clothes. Most often than not, these parasites don’t show any signs of illnesses in the cat itself.
Moreover, some parasites are zoonotic which means they can be transferred to humans. For example, if roundworms end up on a person, that would ultimately lead to blindness. So take this seriously and have your cat checked-up at the vet.
Behavioral Analysis and Help
If your cat starts to show signs of behavioral issues such as scratching furniture or urinating everywhere, it’s high time to pay your vet a visit. These issues are two of the most common reasons as to why cats end up in shelters, so take your cat to the vet and ask for advice. The vet will give you advise on how to treat behaviors like these.
Cats hide any signs of injury and illness, so that puts you, the owner, in a difficult situation. I advise that you don’t wait for the moment wherein your cat’s illness is already in its advanced stage and is beyond difficult to cure.
A trip to the vet gives you a chance to know what illness your cat may be suffering from before it gets out of hand.
If you regularly pay your vet a visit then that will be good for both you and your cat. Your lovely feline companion gets to be examined for any signs of illness and such and then get treated and that makes it less costly for you in the long run.
How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?
Here’s how often you should actually be taking your cat to the vet:
Kittens are required to be taken to the vet every month and during this stage, it’s a great time to ask your vet some questions in regards on how to take care of a young kitten (especially if you’re new in the whole owning-a-cat thing). By the time the kitten reaches 4 months of age is when they’re about to get their vaccinations and check-ups for any illnesses.
Then when they’re finally 6 months of age, that’s when they can be spayed or neutered. Once they’re 1 year old, they’re now classified as adult cats, which means you need to take them to the vet again for check-ups.
An adult indoor cat is advised to be taken to the vet every 6 months to a year. Remember, your cat may appear to be healthy but there’s also a chance that there is an underlying problem in regards to their health. So a regular check-up and evaluation will help keep your feline healthy and happy.
Moreover, this is where your cat will have its teeth cleaned, receive updates on vaccines, and have its overall well being checked.
Cats who belong to the age group of 7 to 10 years old are considered mature cats. At this age, it’s common for them to develop illnesses already, so it’s advised that you take your cat to the vet twice in a year. Cats aged 10 and above are already senior cats and now you have to bring them to the vet every 3 months.
During your visit to the vet, the veterinarian will pay close attention to your cat’s digestion, respiratory system, and cardiac system.
There will always be instances wherein your cat won’t stay healthy throughout its lifetime, so some of these signs may occur in your cat:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in stool or urine
- Increased vocalization
- Limping or doing strange movements
- Showing an increase in avoidance of people
What are the Specific Medical Issues of Indoor Cats?
Boredom in cats are actually considered a major issue that indoor cats typically face and these may lead to numerous problems such as the following:
Bored cats do have the tendency to overeat and this will lead to obesity and eventually diabetes.
This is the opposite of the one mentioned above and some other cats don’t have the appetite when they’re bored.
Sleep is normal for cats of course and they’re known for sleeping long hours, but a bored cat tends to go beyond that and do it more frequently.
Another thing that cats are known for is grooming themselves, which happens most of the time because they’re the type of animals that love to keep themselves clean. However, bored cats have the tendency to groom themselves too much and this can be a problem that leads to hairballs.
Normally, a cat is expected to throw up a hairball at least once or twice a year, if the number is more than that, then that can pose a threat to your cat. A large clump of hairball can block a cat’s intestinal tract and will cause serious problems.
Boredom leads to a lot of problems and two of the most common is hair loss and scratching of furniture and other things. So if your cat is suffering from too much shedding then they may be bored. If your cats are not stimulated, then there’s a high possibility for them to scratch and destroy your furniture and tapestry.
Other Concerns as to Why You Should Bring Your Cat to the Vet
If you can’t tell if your cat is pregnant or not then it’s best to bring her to the vet and have her checked. Once it’s been determined that your cat is indeed pregnant ,the veterinarian will advise you on what to feed the momma cat.
The vet team will also advise you on how to be prepared for the big day and if the cat is going to have an at–home delivery, then they’ll tell you all you need to know. After your cat has given birth, take her and the kittens to the vet again for post-natal check-up within 24-48 hours.
FAQ’s: How Often Do You Take A Cat To The Vet?
Do cats really need to go to the vet?
Cats who are aged 7 years must be brought to the vet more often, specifically twice in a year. While those who are aged 10 and up must be brought thrice in a year. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, they must take their vaccines regularly.
How often do cats need check-ups?
A veterinarian named Brian Collins advises that cats be brought to the vet at least once a year. He further states, “I like to check them every 6 months if possible”.
How much does it cost to take your cat to the vet?
Usually, the average cost for yearly visits to the vet is between $90 to $200 for cats. For unsuspected accidents, ailments, or injuries, these would be considered more costly.
When should I take my cat to the vet?
Repetitive vomiting is a sign that something is wrong with your feline companion. If your cat continues to do its normal routine like eating, drinking, and using the litter box, then contact the vet and discuss his symptoms. However, if your cat does none of those, then bring your cat to the vet for a case of medical emergency.
Is it bad not to take your cat to the vet?
If you don’t bring your cat to the vet, they may develop AIDS, rabies, distemper, infections, and get parasites. You may also be unaware that your cat already has ailments like diabetes, gum disease, obesity, and others. Cats are vulnerable to these illnesses since they don’t show any signs of being sick in the first place.
We have now answered the question on “how often should you bring your cat to the vet”, along with other questions like “why do some owners not take their cats to the vet”, “why should you take your cat to the vet”, “what are the specific medical issues of indoor cats”, and “other concerns as to why you should bring your cat to the vet”.
Any owner who truly loves their cat will absolutely not think twice about bringing their cats to the vet. Consider the consequences if you don’t bring your cats to the vet. So please do consult your vet as often as possible so your cat stays happy and healthy all throughout his life spent with you.