How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?

“If I could talk to the animals, just imagine it… What a neat achievement it would be.” Paws for thought!

The lyrics made famous by the fictional character Dr. Doolittle help focus the mind on some of the key obligations of a pet owner. Cats have their own special needs and can’t tell us when they’re sick or suffering. 

They rely on us to keep them protected from disease and cared for by experts. Whether you have a kitten or a grown-up tom, read on to find out when you should take your cat to see the vet.  

Keeping Your New Kitten Fit and Healthy

You’ve bought the toys, you’ve become an expert in cat diets, and you’ve created an environment that’s 100 percent kitten-friendly. It’s a great start, but there are some key health responsibilities to take care of too. These include:

  • Finding a vet for your kitten 
  • Ensuring your kitten has their necessary vaccinations
  • Deworming 
  • Considerations related to neutering your kitten

Vaccinating your kitten is going to help protect them from serious infectious diseases. It will also stop them from passing on harmful bugs to other animals. Kittens typically need two sets of vaccines, one at around nine weeks old and a booster at three months.

Your vet will be able to advise you further, but these injections will help stop them from getting diseases like these:

  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Cat flu (feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus)
  • Feline infectious enteritis

Once you bring your kitten home, speak to your vet about a health care plan for your pet.  These can reimburse your out-of-pocket veterinary expenses.

Spaying or Neutering Your Kitten

To prevent pregnancy, a female cat will have a simple operation called ‘spaying.’ This generally happens around 6 months old.

If your kitten is male, he will need to undergo a neutering operation. You can get this done any time after his vaccination course. This reduces territorial roaming behavior as well as reducing the chance of spraying unpleasant-smelling urine in your home. 

Many cats are less aggressive towards other cats after the operation. That means fewer fights and less chance of injuries that might result in a visit to the vet. Your new kitten will also be less likely to wander off. 

Fighting is a major mode of transmission of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is similar to HIV in humans (although important to note that they are not transferable between cats and humans). Thus, less fighting with other cats also reduces your cat’s chance of getting this dangerous virus.

How Often Do You Take a Kitten to the Vet?

You might want to consider getting your new kitten microchipped. Implanting a microchip is a simple procedure that’s relatively low in cost and will give you peace of mind. You’ll have a better chance of finding your cat if they go missing or are in an accident. 

By the time they are a year old, your kitten will have become an adult cat. You may decide you’d like to give your kitten an initial health check. All being well, you’re likely to visit the vet 4 or 5 times before they turn 12 months old. 

How Often Do You Take an Adult Cat to the Vet?

After your cat’s a year old, you’ll need to take them to the vet at least once a year for a vaccination booster. The focus of these visits will also be on the prevention of disease and maintaining your cat’s optimum wellbeing. 

You might need to take them more regularly if they are struggling with fleas. Your vet will be able to advise of all the latest and most effective treatments available.

How Often Do You Take a Senior Cat to the Vet?

Once a cat is nine years old, they’re well into middle age. Like humans, they can develop age-related issues that might need extra treatment. It’s best to increase your trips to the vet to once every 6 to 12 months.

A vet familiar with your cat’s history will be able to advise you of exactly how often to visit them. Sometimes older cats need blood tests, X-rays, and medication to help keep them living a long, productive life.

Visiting the Vet in an Emergency

You know your cat best. If your cat displays any unusual behavior that’s bothering you, you should take your pet to see the vet straight away. 

Here are some of the most common signs that there’s an urgent need to go to the vet:

  • Your cat’s slipping in and out of consciousness or has collapsed
  • Your cat’s losing weight rapidly or seems weak and unsteady
  • Your cat’s experiencing breathing difficulties 
  • You suspect your cat has a broken bone
  • Your cat has a severe open wound

Join a Growing Band of Cat Lovers Benefiting From Extra Care

We understand that your pet is part of the family and that you sometimes need extra support to care for them.

A video consultation with one of Cooper Pet Care’s qualified veterinarians is only a few clicks away. Fast, simple, and secure – get the answers you need.

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