One of the best ways to love your kitty is to get regular veterinary care. But how often is “regular?”
Unfortunately, there’s a belief that cats don’t need vet care as much as dogs. But as a loving cat parent, it is crucial to take your cat for a vet visit at least annually, or more if it has other health needs.
However, there’s no hard-and-fast rule for how often your feline should see the vet. It depends on the cat’s health needs, age, or lifestyle. The bottom line, regular vet visits prevent your fur baby from developing serious health concerns.
Kitten Vet Care
New cat parents should schedule an appointment with a vet soon after adoption. It’ll provide an opportunity for you and your chosen vet to discuss the necessary schedule for your kitten’s first year. By so doing, the vet will be able to start observing and tracking your kitten’s well-being from the onset of his life.
The first round of vaccines will begin at 6-8 weeks. It’ll probably need monthly visits throughout until it’s 4 months old.
The initial vet trips in a cat’s life include a physical examination and discussion about preventing pests. At around 6 months, your kitten will be spayed if it’s from a breeder because cats from shelters undergo the procedure before anyone adopts it.
Kitten vet care is crucial as it gives you a platform to seek advice about training or any behavior to expect.
Adult Cats Vet Care
After the kitten stage, your cat will require annual dental cleanings and rabies vaccinations regardless of whether it’s an indoor-only or indoor-outdoor cat. Your vet will rely on your adult cat’s lifestyle to treat your cat and vaccinate it against feline leukemia, a disease that spreads among cats.
These treatments can last in the system for up to 3 years. Therefore, a vet can check your kitty’s immunity level and overall health to ensure it’s safe.
Elder Cats Vet Care
Senior cat vet visits start when your cat reaches 8-10 years. Your cat needs biannual visits at this stage and can increase to as many as three times a year if it clocks ten years and more.
It is vital to maintain close interaction with your vet and hold discussions on behavior changes much more than before during your cat’s elder years. The reason is senior cats are more likely to endure kidney problems, obesity, diabetes, and liver issues.
6 Signs That a Cat Needs to See a Vet
1. Change in Appetite
Cats are good at hiding their agony, but one way to see their pain is if a kitty suddenly stops eating almost everything. However, it might not always be the case because some conditions may heighten a cat’s appetite.
Also, beware if your cat starts being overly thirsty and drink a lot of water. It could be a sign of underlying kidney disease or diabetes.
2. Excessive Fatigue
Although most cats have low energy, it should concern you if your kitty suddenly becomes overwhelmingly lethargic. It manifests in cases like if it does not excite over things it usually enjoys, sleeping more than usual, and lacking interest in socialization.
3. Changes in Your Cat’s Urine and Stool Output
Unsurprisingly, most owners attribute a kitty’s undesirable toilet habits to behavioral problems. However, if a good toilet trained cat starts avoiding urinating in the litter box, it could be suffering from a urinary infection. Also, check for straining to urinate or poop, blood in the stool or urine, or change in smell.
4. Abnormal Walking Style
If your cat is dragging, avoiding putting weight on a leg, or appears to be struggling to walk, it might be having arthritis, an injury, or a fracture. It would be best if you got your kitty medical attention as soon as possible.
5. After a Major Trauma
Check-in with your vet if your cat fought with another animal, if you moved houses, or its favorite friend dies. Apart from that, signs of distress such as staring, crying, and hiding require a vet’s opinion.
6. A Lump or Unusual Growth
Some bumps may appear harmless, especially if the cat seems just fine. However, it is impossible to tell if the lump is benign and can result in more severe complications without an examination.
Although cats hate veterinary check-ups, it is your responsibility to ensure the visits are as regular, calm, and stress-free as much as possible. And while you organize vet visits, ensure you disclose every concern your pet raises to their health caregiver.
Pets are family, and you should treat them so. This means your fur baby’s healthcare is as important as yours. Hopefully, these frequent check-ups throughout your kitty’s life will save it from stressful future visits when it’s senior stages of life.
Featured Image Credit: Andrey_Kuzmin, Shutterstock