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What happens during my cat's veterinary exam?

May 03, 2018 2 min read

We take our cats to the vet when they get sick, of course. But what about keeping our pets healthy and happy all year long? Regular veterinary care plays a critical role in preventing the effects of illness in our furry friends.

Your kitten's first vet visit typically involves more injections and observations than later ones. Once a cat reaches adulthood, the parts of a physical typically look like this:

1. Your cat and the vet make friends. It’s important that our pets feel comfortable during the examination process.

2. The veterinary staff weigh the cat. Fluctuations in weight may single health problems. If you think your cat has recently gained or lost weight with no clear explanation about why, be sure to mention it.

3. Eye check-up. The vet will look for any abnormalities in your cat’s eyes, including signs of glaucoma or cataracts.

4. Ear check-up. You cat could show signs of mites, mange, or infections.

5.The vet takes a look at your cat’s teeth. Did you know untreated dental disease directly affects kidney disease? Feline dental care is critical to overall health.

6. Using a stethoscope, the vet listens to your pet’s heart and lungs.

7. Cat-friendly vets usually take several breaks so the cat doesn’t get stressed.

8. The vet will rub your cat’s  limbs and body, feeling for lumps, bumps, inflammation, or breast cancer. Female cats have many breasts, so mammary cancers are not uncommon. Before wrapping up, the vet will also look at your cat’s butt and do a dermatological exam.

9. Most vet visits finish up with a stool exam to check for intestinal parasites and possibly a blood test.

10. Don’t be surprised if the vet includes a question time about the cat’s behavior. Be prepared to talk about any odd behaviors, litter box problems, or unexpected weight changes.

How often should indoor cats go to the vet?
House cats should get the same level of veterinary care that pet dogs do. According to the American Humane Society, though, the average cat goes to the vet only half as often as the average dog. One in ten cats never goes, and 27% of cats only go when they’re sick.  

It shouldn’t be that way. Instead, most adult cats should visit the vet once every 6-12 months. Kittens should see the vet monthly until they are four months old and go back again to be spayed or neutered at six months. Senior cats - those with ten years or more of life behind them - should see the vet once every three months.

Regular vet visits can help your cat feel less stressed about the experience, get regular booster vaccinations, and reveal early warning symptoms of serious feline illnesses.   

Final thoughts.
Regular vet visits are critical to keeping your cat healthy and happy. If you haven’t yet chosen a vet, take a look at some of Catster’s ideas for selecting a cat-friendly professional to help prevent or eliminate your cat’s pain or illnesses.

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