How Often Should Young Cats Have Vet Visits?

ak0402September 3, 2009

I have a 17-1/2 year old cat that I take to the vet every six months for his senior-cat exam without fail. However, I also have two young cats, about 1-1/2 years old. All are strictly indoor cats. I received an email from my vet that the two young ones are due for an annual exam. But I don't know what these exams would be for, as my young cats are, well, young, and don't have anything wrong with them. My vet does not believe in annual shots, and said my cats are not scheduled for FVRCP booster until 2011. So is there any reason to go for an annual exam now for these two young cats? I am financially strapped due to the economy, and would prefer not to spend the money, but of course, if it means the health of my cats, I will. But I am not sure I am seeing a justification. Any input from you guys would be appreciated.

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My cat is strictly indoor (no other pets). The only time he has ever been to the vet was for his initial shots and neuter.

I have no plans to take him to the vet for any kind of "check-up". He absolutely hates the car and strangers too for that matter. The stress would not be worth it if he is not exhibiting a problem.

I am not sure I believe in a yearly visit under these circumstances. Many people don't even go to the doctor every year for no reason let alone cats. It might be worth calling and asking exactly what you would be paying for.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 6:26PM
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Many times, there isn't anything wrong with a young, outwardly healthy cat.

But I often detect heart murmurs, dental disease, internal masses, orthopedic problems (luxating patellas are not uncommon, arthritis also), enlarged lymph nodes, ear infections, skin problems, and other issues that the owner never notices. Things that can be addressed before the cat is anorexic, in pain, or dying. Most indoor only cats are overweight, and I can help come up with a diet that works for the cat's lifestyle and preferences.

In most if not all states, rabies vaccines are required by law even for indoor cats. The safest rabies vaccine is the one year non-adjuvented PureVax vaccine. So you probably have to see the vet once a year anyway for that.

Of course, it's always the owner's choice how often to seek wellness care for their pets.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 8:38PM
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I've usually taken mine once a year for vaccinations - but if I had financial constraints I would sometimes go longer - until they had something wrong - or my finances changed. My cats are indoors too but I still like to get rabies shots in case they were to catch a mouse. My house isn't teeming with rodents but I live in the woods in an older house and mice in the basement are a definite possibility.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 11:47PM
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Our cats are also indoor only and we've always taken them to the vet for yearly check-ups. It's kind of like the yearly physical exam that people are supposed to get (though most don't, including me, LOL). I have stretched the year out a few times, going in around 18 months if times were tough. I feel like I know my cats pretty well and would pick up on something if they were sick, but at the same time, I like to get a "professional opinion" just to make sure.

On a side note, I think one of our cats knows I'm talking (thinking and typing anyway) about the vet because she's glaring at me!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 12:12AM
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