What to Expect During a Visit to Your Cat’s Veterinarian
Did you know that over 40% of cats in Canada didn’t visit the vet last year1?
Just like dogs, cats need regular checkups to ensure they stay happy and healthy. Unlike dogs, cats don’t usually let us know when something is wrong, which makes these regular visits even more important.
To help your cat get the preventive care they need, our friends at Cat Healthy developed a set of guidelines for feline preventive care. Your veterinarian’s recommendations may be slightly different, but understanding the guidelines can help you know what to expect the next time you bring your kitty to the clinic.
Read on to learn about and download the protocols.
Kittens – A Big First Year
Cats are considered kittens for their first year of life. Ideally, they should be examined at least twice during their first six months of life though they will need to visit the veterinarian’s office more frequently than that. At those visits, they will receive their vaccinations and parasite control, retrovirus test, and will be spayed or neutered.
Your veterinarian can show you how to trim your new kitten’s nails, advise you on nutrition and weight management, and help you decide on a form of identification – a microchip, tattoo or a collar and tag.
Your kitten should also be neutered or spayed as early as possible. This procedure can be performed as early as six weeks of age but is usually done around 16 weeks of age.
You can download the Kitten Protocols here.
Adult Cats – See the Vet Once a Year
Cats between the ages of one and eight years old should visit the veterinarian once a year for a routine examination.
This visit is an opportunity for your veterinarian to assess your cat’s general health, including their weight, dental health, and if they are experiencing any pain. At this visit, bloodwork or other lab tests may be performed, and your cat’s vaccinations and parasite treatments will be brought up to date.
As with any visit, bring your questions! Your veterinarian will be happy to help you figure out any behavioural issues, litter box woes, or other problems you might be experiencing with your feline friend.
You can download the Adult Cat Protocols here.
Senior Cats – More Frequent Visits For Aging Felines
As your cat enters their senior years after their eighth birthday, it’s time to start seeing your veterinarian more often.
Regular, twice-yearly visits are important to help you stay ahead of any issues that might crop up as your cat ages. Senior cats commonly develop arthritis, kidney disease, dental disease, and other conditions. If detected early, problems can be minimized, and health optimized.
You can download the Senior Cat Protocols here.
Make Your Veterinarian Your Cat’s Preventive Healthcare BFF
No matter how old your cat is, preventive healthcare is an important part of ensuring they live healthier, happier lives. Preventing and detecting problems before they become serious can improve your cat’s quality of life and give you more years with them.
To download a general overview of the preventive healthcare protocols, click here.