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How Often Should Cats Go To The Vet – Timeline & Chart

How Often Should Cats Go To The Vet – Timeline & Chart

As cats are very good at hiding their illness or physical discomfort, it’s your responsibility to regularly take care of your cat’s health. If you want your feline partner to be active, healthy, and happy all the time, you cannot escape regular visits to your vet to make sure everything is okay with your cuddly friend. So, how often should cats go to the vet?

Cats should go to the vet once a year. Kittens may require additional visits in accordance with vaccination schedules and regular checkups. Older cats should go to the vet twice per year.

In this article, we will discuss how often you should take your cat to the vet. We will also give you some necessary information to know for your cat to have a smooth journey to the vet’s chamber.

How Often Should Indoor Cats Go To The Vet

As indoor cats live much longer than outdoor or stray cats, it’s necessary to regularly take them to the vet for a comprehensive health check-up.

The average life span of an indoor cat is around 14 – 15 years, whereas an outdoor cat generally has a shorter lifespan as they encounter many threats and dangers in the outside world.

Moreover, your indoor cats get your constant love and care that makes them healthy, disease-free, and active.

So as a cat owner, you should take your feline partner to the vet at least once every six months to one year. However, your cat’s visit to the vet may depend on its age and physical condition.

Kittens (3 weeks to 1 year)

You must take your adorable kitten to the vet at least once a month until it reaches around four months of age. During this time, your vet will give your kitten the necessary vaccinations to protect itself from life-threatening diseases.

However, your kitten’s stool samples will be checked by the vet during each visit to make sure your kitten is healthy and free from any gastrointestinal parasites. Then, when your kitten reaches the age of six months, you can take it to the vet for the spaying or neutering procedure.

Adult Cats (1–10 years)

Your adult indoor cat needs to visit the vet every six months to one year for a comprehensive health examination and stool check-up. During this visit, your vet will also update your cat’s vaccinations.

It is to mention that cats are considered adults when they are above one year old. So, when your cat becomes an adult, you must take it to the vet at least once a year, even if your cat looks perfectly healthy and active. As cats are experts at hiding their discomfort, they need to check to avoid any unexpected health issues regularly.

Older & Senior Cats

Your indoor older cat should visit the vet twice a year to make sure it does not have any disease. It is to mention that your indoor cat is considered mature and older when it is between 7–10 years of age.

And your cat becomes senior when it is over ten years of age. A senior cat must be taken to the vet every three months for health check-ups. In most cases, when your cat becomes older or senior, it falls victim to several diseases, including diabetes, chronic renal disease, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, cancer, etc.

Vaccination And Other Issues

Your indoor cat must go to the vet once a year for vaccinations and health exams. Generally, Rabies and Flu vaccinations are needed annually. However, your vet will tell you about the required vaccinations for your feline partner after conducting a comprehensive health check-up.

Again, if you see anything unusual in your cat’s behavior, such as loss of appetite, continuous shaking or trembling, physical discomfort or pain, you should consult the vet without any delay.

Do Cats Need To See A Vet Every Year

Your cat needs to see a vet at least once a year to make sure it’s not having any health issues. Moreover, your cat needs to take the annual vaccinations to be free from infectious and life-threatening diseases. That’s why your cat needs to see a vet every year, even if it looks healthy, active, and having no health-related issues.

When Should I Take My Cat To The Vet For The First Time

There is no specific age for your cat to take to the vet for the first time. But when you bring a new kitten home, it must get checked by the vet as early as possible.

And if you have more cats or other pets in your household, you should take your newly adopted kitten to the vet even before bringing it to the home. It’s necessary to make sure your kitten is in good health and free from any infectious and deadly diseases.

Cat Vaccination Schedule

Cat vaccination is crucial to keep your cat safe from dangerous and life-threatening diseases like Cat flu, Feline infectious enteritis, Feline leukemia virus, Rabies, etc. As a responsible cat owner, you must take your feline partner to the vet at the right time to get your cat vaccinated.

Kittens should have their first set of vaccinations between six and nine weeks. In the first quarter of a kitten’s life, they should receive the second shot which will make a huge difference in the effectiveness of their immune system.

Kittens and cats usually need booster vaccinations once per year after the initial shot. Below is a cat vaccination schedule that may help you.

Cat’s AgeCore Vaccines RequiredNoncore Vaccines
6 – 8 weeksFVRCPFeLV
10 – 12 weeksFVRCPFeLV
14 – 16 weeksFVRCP
AnnuallyFVRCP (Booster)
Rabies (Booster)
FeLV (Booster)
Chlamydia felis

It is to mention that FVRCP is a combination of three vaccines; Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus/Herpesvirus 1 (FVR/FHV-1), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPV). And FeLV vaccine is highly recommended for kittens.

After a comprehensive health check-up, your vet will advise which vaccinations your cat or kitten needs to help protect them from infectious and life-threatening diseases.

Is It Bad To Not Take Your Cat To The Vet

If you do not take your cat to the vet at least once a year, it cannot be very good for your cat’s overall health condition. As cats are experts at hiding their discomfort, they need to visit the vet at least once a year to get a comprehensive health check-up.

If you ignore a yearly vet visit, your cat can get affected by several diseases, including Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, Renal Diseases, Oral infections, Cat flu, Rabies, Feline infectious enteritis, etc.

So, taking your cat to the vet and get it checked every six months to one year is highly recommended to make your feline partner healthy and active.

How Do I Take My Cat To The Vet

As cats hate to be exposed to a new environment, it can be very tough for you to take your feline partner to the vet’s chamber. That is why you need to be well-prepared for the vet visit.

You can take your cat to the vet for different reasons - health check-ups, vaccinations, spaying, etc. But every time you take your feline partner to the vet, you should keep in mind the following steps.

Pick The Right Cat Carrier For Your Cat

A cat carrier is a must when you take your feline partner to the vet. Choose a strong cat career that fits the size of your cat well. Make sure there is enough space in the cat carrier, and your cat feels comfortable in it.

Train Your Cat To Enter The Carrier

You should train your cat to enter the cat carrier beforehand. That’s why it is recommended to obtain the cat carrier at least one or two weeks before the vet visit. It will give your cat enough time to get used to the cat carrier. Otherwise, your cat may feel uncomfortable and threatened.

Place a few toys inside it so that your cat gets encouraged to enter into the cat carrier. You can also use some food treats to entice your cat to go inside the carrier. Thus, train your cat and give it some time to get accustomed to it.

Put Your Cat’s Bedding In The Carrier

As cats are highly scent-driven animals, you should put your cat’s bedding inside the cat carrier instead of using new clothes.

Cats claim their area by secreting scents by rubbing or licking. So, when your cat finds its bedding in the cat carrier, it becomes comfortable claiming it as its territory. That’s why instead of using new towels or clothes, you should use your cat’s existing bedding inside the cat carrier.

Choose A Cat Friendly, Fear-Free, and Experienced Vet

Choosing a cat-friendly and experienced vet is crucial. Be sure that the vet takes enough time to check your feline friend and treat your cat with love and care. You can see online the list of cat clinics in your area and then choose your vet.

However, you can take suggestions from your friends or relatives who have cats and regularly visit their vets.

Take All The Necessary Items With You

Before starting your journey to the vet, put your cat gently in the cat carrier and make sure that you have all the necessary items with you. These items are all the previous medical records of your cat, some foods, drinking water, your cat’s favorite toys, treats, clean towel, etc.

Make Sure Your Car Has Enough Fuel

Cats don’t like the smell of gas or gasoline. So make sure you have enough fuel in your car that you don’t have to go to the gas station during the visit. Because if you stop during the visit to a gas station, the smell of gasoline may irritate your cat and make it frightened.

Drive Slowly And Gently

Place the cat carrier on the seat and drive slowly and gently while going to the vet clinic. Cats don’t like the car to move fast as it frightens them. So, always drive slowly and gently, especially when you take a turn.

You can take your cat to a short ‘dry-run’ in the neighborhood one or two days before to make your cat get used to the car ride.

Make Sure Your Cat Is Comfortable

While getting your cat out from the car and entering the vet’s chamber, you should be very gentle and calm. Make sure that your cat is feeling comfortable and not frightened by the event.

You can give your cat a toy or its favorite food treats inside the carrier to calm it down.

Never Haste, Always Remain Calm With Your Cat

No matter how your cat reacts, never shout or intimidate your feline partner. If you do so, your cat may lose trust in you. Therefore always offer your cat love and care and make its journey to the vet’s chamber enjoyable and stress-free.

Things To Consider

When it comes to your cat’s visit to the vet, there are some other things you should keep in mind. Keep an eye on your cat’s age and physical condition so that you can take it to the vet at the right time.

To understand your cat well, you need to be more attentive to its daily routine and behavior. The following points can help you determine better when you should take your cat to the vet.

Give Your Cat A Safe And Secure Environment

Give your cat a safe and secure environment in your household. If it is a multi-cat household, make sure each cat is getting enough love and care.

If you have kids in your house, tell them not to bother the cats, especially when they eat, rest, or sleep. Keep an eye on your cat’s regular activities and daily routine.

Get Your Cat Properly Vaccinated

Vaccinations are crucial as it keeps your cat away from deadly diseases. So, you must take your cat to the vet and get it vaccinated. Follow your vet’s advice and vaccinate your cat at the right time.

Consult Your Vet If Anything Unusual Happens With Your Cat

If you see anything unusual in your cat’s behavior, you must consult your vet immediately. As cats cannot express their discomfort as we humans do, you must be concerned when your cat shows an unusual attitude.

Never wait for the disease to disappear automatically. Instead, take your feline partner to the vet to overcome any health-related issues.