Young, healthy cats should visit the veterinarian 1-2 times yearly. Cats over 8 years of age (senior cats) should visit at least twice a year. Obviously these visits cost money and it’s good to have an idea of veterinary costs before your cat visits the vet. Some veterinarians offer payment plans but many don’t so it’s good to plan your budget ahead of time.
Veterinary visits start with a physical examination. During this examination your veterinarian should check your cat’s weight, temperature, respirations and heart rate. Your veterinarian should also listen to your cat’s heart and lungs as well as examine your cat’s eyes, ears, mouth, and more, basically a head-to-tail examination. These examinations are important and can help your vet find problems early. Your vet should also take this time to talk with you about diet, exercise, behavior and answer any questions you may have. A physical examination can run anywhere from $40 to $100 on average.
Vaccines are important and commonly given at a veterinary visit. You can learn more here about which vaccinations are important for cats. Vaccinations can run as little as $25 and as high as $100. These costs can vary depending on the veterinary office. Again, vaccines are important, but you do not want to over vaccinate either. If you want a more in–depth read about which vaccines are recommended for cats you can click here.
Next comes diagnostic testing. All cats regardless of age should have a yearly blood panel drawn. A blood panel include liver values, kidney values, thyroid values (normally checked on senior cats), anemia level, blood sugar level, red and white blood cell counts. Blood panels again, can help your vet diagnose problems early before they become serious. A blood panel can also point out a more serious problem that may need attention immediately. Blood testing normally runs $100 – $200 on average.
Other tests your veterinarian may recommend and their costs are listed below :
Stool Testing – $10 – $50
Heartworm Testing – $50 to $100 (In cats an antibody and antigen test should be run)
Blood Pressure – $25 – $50
Glaucoma Testing – $25 – $50
Urine Testing – $40 (very basic) – $150 (more advanced)
Chest or Abdominal X-Rays – $100 – $200 (normally recommended if your veterinarian suspects a problem or in the case of chest x-rays can be recommended as a senior screening)
Ultrasound – $300 – $600 – (again normally an ultrasound is only recommended if your cat is ill. There can be exceptions however, if you have a specific breed of cat that is pre-disposed to heart disease for example, an ultrasound of the heart may be recommended at an early age for screening purposes)
Remember all tests have reasons they should be done. If you are unsure about these reasons, go ahead and ask your vet or vet assistant. They should be able to explain.
Make sure to keep some funds set aside each year for your cat’s veterinary visits. Taking your cat to the vet will help keep your cat healthy and can save you some money in the long run.
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