« Back to Kittens

52–55 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Kitten

Four Reasons Your Cat Should Have an Annual Checkup :: A Guide to Cat Beds :: What to Expect From the Next Few Years of Your Cat's Life :: How to Introduce a New Cat to Your Resident Feline

Four Reasons Your Cat Should Have an Annual Checkup

According to recent statistics, there are 81 million cats and 72 million dogs in American households. But the average cat visits the vet less than half as often as the average dog. There's plenty of speculation on the causes for this disparity, but the truth is that yearly checkups are just as important for cats as they are for dogs — and here's why.

  1. Yearly physical exams allow your vet to detect early warning signs for health problems such as a heart murmur, diabetes, dental disease, or hyperthyroidism.

  2. Your vet administers vaccinations that can prevent death from diseases such as rabies, distemper, or leukemia. Your vet will work with you to tailor a vaccine plan to your cat's unique lifestyle.

  3. Your vet will get to know you and your kitten. Your vet can learn a lot about your cat's health by having a consistent record of her weight, and getting to know her coat condition and personality. This knowledge will be crucial if you have to bring your cat in because she's “just not acting right.” By getting to know you, your vet will be able to work more closely with you in maintaining your cat's health throughout her life.

  4. You'll be able to feel comfortable with your vet. It can be very stressful if a pet is ill, and this stress could lead you to doubt yourself or your vet. Build a trust in your veterinarian when your cat is happy and healthy and it will go a long way toward helping you cope if she ever needs critical or emergency care.

Advice from Other Cat Owners 

When to Vaccinate Your Kitten

Kittens need their combo vaccine (FVRCPC) starting at 6 or 8 weeks and it is a series of 3 shots, with 2 or 4 week intervals in between. This is essential for building a healthy immune system, so no you cannot delay them or what would be the point of vaccinating?

Rabies would not be necessary for an indoor only cat, nor feline leukemia. I do not vaccinate for these if indoor-only because of the unnecessary risk of side effects. But this does mean your cat must remain indoor only. Definitely do de-worming and stool tests for parasites.

Vaccines are -not- expensive. If you have to ask about cost concerns on here, then definitely do not get two cats. If you have to ask about whether or not you can delay vaccinations or not give them at all, please consider not getting a cat. A FVRCPC shot or a vet visit cost about the same amount as a high quality bag of cat food, so if you can't afford that, please don't get a cat and then give it mediocre care.

~Chrysee H., owner of Ragdoll

Add Your Own Advice 

Comment headline
Your comment
Submitted by
Owner of