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How Often Should You Take Your Cat To The Vet?

Vet cat

(Image from Deposit Photos)

Most cat owners know that they should take their pet to the vet once a year for an annual check-up. But do you know how often you should bring your furry friend in for routine care? Here are some guidelines on how often you should visit the veterinarian based on what's going on with your cat.

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Age and health

The frequency of a cat's vet visits depends on their age and health. Some cats will need more frequent check-ups, while others can go longer between visits. The seasoned practitioners offering veterinary services in Mt Pleasant, SC suggest that kittens should be seen at least twice a year until they are about two years old to make sure that they stay healthy. Older cats may need more frequent visits because they are more likely to develop chronic health conditions. Adult cats with chronic conditions might require weekly or even daily vet visits to maintain the best quality of life for them. 


Cats with certain medical conditions may require more frequent visits to the veterinarian. Some diseases like diabetes or kidney disease, for example, can be managed by a special diet and regular injections of insulin that only a trained vet should do. Cats who are sick might need daily care until they get better. On the other hand, cats that are healthy and don't have any medical conditions or chronic diseases may only need to see the vet once a year for an annual check-up. When you bring your cat in, be sure to tell them if anything has been going on with your pet recently.

When to bring your cat in for a check-up

Kittens should have their first vet visit within one month of being brought home. As much as possible, a new kitten should be taken to the veterinarian within 10 days of adoption. This is to ensure that the kitten is healthy and to start getting it used to go to the vet. 

Annual checkups

It is recommended that you take all cats to the veterinarian at least once a year so they can be screened for any health issues and vaccinated against dangerous diseases. Cats should also visit the vet at least once a year for an annual checkup because this is when their blood work and other diagnostics will be done. If you notice any potential health problems, such as lethargy or a change in appetite, then take your cat to the vet immediately. If there are changes in your pet's behavior, appearance, or litter box habits that persist for more than two weeks it is also important to contact the veterinarian immediately.

  • What happens during an annual check-up?

An annual visit includes a check of weight and body condition, a scorecard for behavior wellness, discussion of the cat's diet, physical exam including a check for heartworms or fleas, vaccine booster if needed, a blood test to check organ function and screen for common feline diseases. All of these are necessary for maintaining your cat's health and well-being. Rest assured that there is nothing to be worried about if your cat has not been seen by the vet in a long time. But going forward, your cat should see their veterinarian at least once every two years for an annual check-up and twice-yearly routine care. This ensures that they stay healthy, happy, and feeling fine.

  • What happens during a wellness check visit?

A wellness visit includes all the components of an annual appointment with some added extras that are designed to keep your pet in peak condition. A wellness visit includes weight and body condition assessment, a discussion of the diet your cat is on, as well as physical examination including heartworm test or flea prevention treatment as needed. Your cat can also acquire a vaccine booster if still due for one because there's no harm in getting an extra dose, urine/blood tests to screen organ function and check for common feline disease, discussion of all new medications currently being offered for your cat and their effects, and a dental exam to check teeth. All of these are done for a quick and easy checkup that will keep your cat feeling its best.

If your cat has any of these symptoms

Cats are not always good at telling you when they're sick or in pain so it's up to you as their owner to be aware of potential health problems and catch them early on before they become too serious. Behavioral changes may be an indication that something is not right with your cat and it's best to check out exactly what is going on before making any assumptions about their behavior. Cats do not like loud noises such as those made by a car engine therefore make sure to keep the comfort of your cat in mind when you take them to see a veterinarian. 

What should you do if there is an emergency?

If at any time your pet requires immediate care, such as during accidents or illnesses, then take them to the nearest vet immediately. You can also get in touch with your local emergency vets and ask them for advice if you're unsure of what to do. There are certain signs and symptoms you should look out for which can indicate a visit to the vet might be necessary soon. These include changes in eating habits such as not wanting food, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, weight loss despite an increase in appetite, changes in litter box habits such as not using the litter box or urinating outside of it. If your cat is acting restless and does not want to be held for prolonged periods then take them to see their veterinarian immediately. The sooner you can get these issues checked out, the better.

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Cats are known for being aloof and independent, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need their person to look out for them. If you have a cat in your life, there is no better way to show it love than by bringing them to the vet every year or two for an annual checkup. Older cats may also benefit from more frequent visits if they develop chronic health conditions such as diabetes or arthritis. And remember, never hesitate to bring in your kitty any time he shows signs of illness or injury.