How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet
When and how often you take your cat to the vet will depend on their age and their overall health.
To monitor their health, adult cats should visit their vet annually for wellness checkups and semi-annually for middle-aged to senior cats, 8 years or older. If it’s been more than a year since your cat’s last wellness exam or if there’s a sudden change in their weight or behavior, then it is likely they are due for a trip to the vet.
Kittens, on the other hand, will require vet visits more frequently; their first year of life is a busy time for kittens! Over the first four months, kittens will need to get their vaccines every 3-4 weeks. At 2 to 4 months, it is recommended that your kitten be spayed or neutered. If they’re also being treated for any medical conditions, your vet will likely need to adjust their medications or prescription dosages more often as your kitten grows.
When you get a new cat—young or old—you should take them to your vet as soon as possible. If you have newly adopted a kitten, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with your vet within 24-72 hours of taking them home. Establishing a relationship with your vet in a non-emergency situation will be of long-term benefit to both you and your cat.
Tips for Taking Your Cat to the Vet
The experience of taking your cat to the vet can be a challenging one for both you and your cat.
To alleviate any stress and feel prepared for your visit, we’ve put together some tips to make it all easier:
- Take some time to acclimate your cat to its carrier beforehand
- Go on a practice car ride around the neighborhood
- Practice picking up and holding your cat to help them become comfortable with being handled
- Prepare any questions you may have for your vet and fill out any paperwork in advance, if possible
If travel is very stressful for your cat, talk to your vet about medications or supplements that might help. You may even be able to schedule an in-home visit or a telemedicine appointment and save the hassle of trying to travel to the vet!