A good relationship with your vet is essential for the wellbeing of your cat. He isn’t there just to see your cat when he is sick, but he also should be used to check the overall wellbeing of your cat so that problems can be picked up early.
Whenever you obtain a new cat or kitten it is prudent to take him to your own veterinarian for an examination to make sure everything is okay. If your kitten hasn’t already been vaccinated and microchipped, this will also need to be done. Kitten vaccinations should be given as follows:
|F3 (1st shot)||8 weeks|
|F3 (2nd shot)||12 weeks|
|F3 (3rd shot)||16 weeks|
|F3 (booster shot)||12 months|
|Rabies *||12 weeks|
|Rabies *(booster)||12 months|
Then every 1-3 years or as recommended by your veterinarian.
* Where applicable.
If your cat hasn’t been spayed or neutered, this will need to be performed from between 10-24 weeks. Generally the earlier, the better.
Once your cat has settled in, had all his vaccinations, been desexed and microchipped then it is just a case of seeing the vet when your cat is sick and/or once a year for a check-up. Previously, it was recommended that boosters should be given every 12 months, but the majority of vets now recommend every 3 years for low-risk cats.
A part of the yearly booster visit was also to check the overall health of your cat. This will include listening to the heart, checking the teeth, weight, skin, and coat as well as answering any questions you may have about your cat’s health and nutrition. While we can’t say that 1 human year is the equivalent of 6 cat years, it is a long time between visits considering the average cat lives for 12-15 years. Cats over 8 years of age should have a health check up every six months. Bloodwork is strongly recommended at least once a year to pick up common diseases to affect senior cats.
Your veterinarian may choose to perform some routine blood tests on your cat. Even if he is well, it is a good idea to have these tests to see an overall picture of your cat’s health. Plus it enables your veterinarian to go back on previous tests to help pinpoint when a problem may have occurred.
The most common tests include complete blood count, biochemical profile and urinalysis. These tests check the blood cell count as well as evaluate the organs and detect inflammation and infection.
When your cat is sick:
See a veterinarian if you notice any of the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting more than once or twice in a day
- Drinking more
- Difficulty going to the toilet
- Blood in the urine
- Recent trauma
- Lumps or bumps
- Unable to bear weight on a leg
- Wound more than 1 cm long
- Any type of burn