One thing that people tend to not realize about when getting, a pet is the monthly preventative care that they need. The next thing people don’t realize is how often their cat should be seen by a vet. It is so important to keep on top of your cats monthly prevention care and their veterinary care, to make sure your cat is as healthy as can be.
The Importance of Preventative Care for Cats
Now you might think that some of the preventative care for cats is silly, you might think that it is a waste of time. You might tell yourself that your cat is an inside only cat so they don’t need the same preventative care as a cat who is outside. I am letting you know now, that that thought process will make life with having a cat not only stressful on you and your cat, but also more costly.
Preventative Care needed for Cats
If you are one that struggles with keeping on top of everything because life is crazy busy, be sure to print out the monthly cat care printable. It will help you with remembering everything you need to do monthly for your cat. If you have kids, you might want to check out the Kids Cat Responsibility printable, that will help your kids learn to be responsible cat owners.
Flea and Tick treatment.
Indoor and outdoor cats need to have flea and tick treatment. Fleas and ticks can affect your indoor just as much as they do your outside cats. If you are unsure about the best way to keep fleas and ticks away, be sure to check out our post on Flea and Tick Treatment for Cats. We personally use Catego® For Cats, for our preventative flea and tick treatments.
Keeping Cats Happy.
Your cats’ mental health is just as important as their physical health. Sometimes they need a little extra boost in being able to happy. Be sure to check out, How to have happy cats for ways that work in our house to keep our cats happy.
Cat Cleanliness care.
I am not talking about your cat being clean here, I am talking about keeping their items clean. Their food bowls, the water bowl, the litter box, their bedding and toys is what I am talking about. I know it sounds a bit odd that these things would be included in preventative care for your cat but let me explain it a little bit.
Keeping the litter box clean, and actually cleaning it (not just scooping and changing litter) is important because a dirty litter box can cause a cat to not use the litter box. (If you are having issues with your cat peeing outside of the litter box, be sure to read How to stop your cat from peeing outside of the litter box). A cat not using the litter box if it is dirty will mean that it will find another place to go to the bathroom. This can have your cat going potty in places that are not safe for them. It will also make it very difficult to be aware of anything medically wrong with your cat. There is also the bacteria growth that comes from not cleaning up where your cat goes to the bathroom.
Keeping water and food bowls clean is important in making sure that your cat only has fresh food and water. Bacteria grows super quick in cat water bowls and food bowls, which can make your cat sick.
When it comes to cat bedding and toys, they need to be kept clean as well. You might not think about it, but your cat walks thru your home with the same feet that it walks into the litter box. They step in their bed and play with their toys with the same feet that also step in the litter box. While the litter box could be kept perfectly clean, there is always going to be litter that comes along with them. Washing their bedding and their toys and keeping them clean stops the spreading of the bacteria that can follow them out of the litter box.
Cat Grooming Care.
Making sure their fur is clean and not matted is important. Matted cat fur is uncomfortable for cats. Yes, cats clean themselves but some cats can’t always clean themselves properly if they are a very furry cat. Cats at times will need to have their nails clipped even if they have a scratching post. If you are having issues with your cat scratching your furniture, first check their nails and make sure they are not to long. If they are not long and your cat is still scratching furniture then be sure to check out how to get your cat to stop scratching furniture.
How Often do Cats Need to go to the Vet?
You may be shocked to know just how often your cat needs to go to the vet. Skipping taking your cat to the vet might sound like an ok idea, however I can tell you from experience that routine vet visits are very important for your cats. You might think that is a bit much for how often you need to take a cat to the vet, but I can tell you that it is very important to do so, from my own experience.
Veterinary Care for Young Cats
When you get a kitten, they will need to make a visit once a month for the first 4 months or so of their lives to get their preventative care started. This includes their shots and checking for illness. Once they reach roughly 6 months old, if you are going to to get them spayed or neutered they will go to the vet then. Then the next time they will need to go to the vet is at 1 year of age. (If you are getting a kitten for the first time, I recommend reading how to prep for getting a kitten.).
Veterinary care for Older Cats
Once a cat hits 1 year old they need to make a visit to the vet every 6 months. As your cat hits the senior ages (10+ years) you may want to look at taking them to the vet every 3-4 months.
The Importance of Veterinary Care for Cats
There are quite a few different reasons that vet care is so important. Aside from the medical reasons, going to the vet regularly means your vet will know your pet well and that can help greatly as your cat ages and any medical treatment they might need.
It is also important to stick with the same vet as best as you can. I totally understand that at times things happen like a move where you need to find a new vet, or you find out that your vet isn’t as well mannered as you would like so you need to find a new vet. But it is important to keep familiarity when it comes to your cats medical care because they will be more comfortable when they recognize the person who is checking them out versus having a stranger. I mean, I really can’t say I blame them on that, vet visits for a cat involves some rather personal interactions from the vet.
Preventative Vet Care for Cats
From the time your cat is a kitten thru adulthood they are going to need vaccines. If they are an indoor cat they are going to need them just as much as if they were an adult cat. You might not realize how important they are but, I can tell you that they are.
We adopted my uncle’s cat Skippy (aka Muffin) when he passed away in 2013, we did not know that the cat was sick. The shelter who took care of him until we got there to pick him up a few days after he was found in my uncle’s home didn’t do any checks on him. We took him to the vet as soon as we could when we got him home, but learned that he was fighting off something we thought was a cold. About a year later, we were moving into our current house and all of a sudden the cat collapsed on the floor. After rushing Skippy to the vet the diagnosis was a collapsed lung caused by FIV. Luckily Tucker and Jazmin had been given their proper vaccines and had the vaccine for FIV that we didn’t have to worry that Skippy passed FIV on to them.
Prevention of Sickness in Cats
Veterinarians know what to look for in a cat. They know how their bodies are supposed to functioning properly. They also know what to look for that might cause an issue later on down the road. Knowing ahead of time that something could be an issue down the road is important in your cats health.
Being aware of Cats medical needs
When Tucker was roughly 5 months old we woke up one night to him howling in our living room. We ended up taking him to the veterinary emergency room and we found out that he had crystals. He was totally blocked and needed emergency surgery. This happened with routine care going on and just hit with no warning.
After surgery he was seen by our normal vet, who put him on a prescription diet food. The vet then monitored his care and a few months later we tried going off the special diet food. Within a few weeks we noticed that Tucker was struggling to go to the bathroom again. This time though I was able to get him to the normal vet who was able to take care of him. The vet was well aware of his medical situation, unlike an emergency room and so they were able to treat him and get him better and then continue to monitor him much easier. In turn that made getting better easier and less stressful for Tucker. Plus the costs of a normal vet bill are much cheaper then an emergency room visit, even if you are having to go a few times a week for a checkup.
Vet Illness care for Cats
Cats just like us get sick at times. Sometimes their illness is a cold that can be treated and cured and other times their sickness is one that can not be cured but needs to be treated.
Catching Cat Illness Early
We got Katie and Khloe about a year ago, their first vet appointment everything was fine or so I thought from looking at them. However once getting them checked out we soon learned both of them had upper respiratory infections and needed to have antibiotics. Being sick also meant they could not get the vaccinations that they needed, however an upper respiratory infection can be very dangerous for a kitten but it is not always noticeable.
Reduction of Pain and Disease
A little known fact about cats is that they do NOT show when they are sick or when they are in pain. If your cat has gotten to the point where you can see them not well or in pain then it has been going on for a bit of time. This is a protective thing for them, natural instinct is to not give off any weakness. Going to the vet regularly, the vet knows what to look for, even if your cat is an expert sickness hider.
Doing what is best for Cats when they are sick
Having a vet that knows your family and your pets can make a big difference when they are caring for your cats when they are sick. When Tucker was diagnosed with cancer it was a rough time. The vet we had been taking him to missed it completely (which is why you also need to make sure you are going to a well educated vet), and we ended up the the veterinary emergency room.
Thankfully the vet we went to for all of his care after that, was very well attentive, asked us a lot of questions and got to know us very well very quickly. Understanding Tucker and his behavior we were able to make the call that having him live life until the end as long as he was not in any pain was a good plan. He was a cat that didn’t care if he needed an IV for fluid or take a pill, he just did it. So keeping him comfortable, pain free and happy while myself and the vet could visibly see that he wasn’t ready to go yet was an easy choice.
When Jazmin was diagnosed with cancer a few months later, we knew that it would be much different for her final care. The vet had gotten to know her, and knew that she was one that would fight us every step of the way with anything. She wouldn’t even let anyone clip her nails and it took 2-3 vet assistants anytime we needed to do so. Being that she was rather feisty and the vet know that, they knew what the right suggestion was when it came down to making a choice that would be best for her both medically and emotionally.
I know that in our busy lives, it can seem as if preventative care and veterinary care for cats may seem like it is a bit much, especially when you are going to the vet every few weeks when they are kittens. However I can tell you that proper preventative care and proper veterinary care are extremely important for the health of your cat. Your cat will live a much longer, happy and healthier life if you are making their care a priority. Plus in the long run, you will end up saving a ton of money by being informed versus taking many trips the vet ER when your cat gets sick.