Skip to content

The best practice is to take your cat in for a wellness exam at the veterinarian at least every six months. This may seem frequent, especially if your cat is apparently healthy. But cats age more quickly than humans, and your cat’s health can change rapidly in six months. So it’s important not to wait an entire year between vet visits. Kittens and cats with health conditions will need more frequent check-ups. Of course, anytime you think your cat may be sick or injured you should bring them to the veterinarian as needed between routine wellness checks.


Kittens less than 8 weeks may see a veterinarian for multiple reasons and may need fairly frequent veterinary checkups, especially during the first year.

Adult Cats

Even if your adult cat seems perfectly healthy, it’s important to keep up with twice yearly wellness checks because your vet can identify minor health issues before they become more serious problems. Your vet will conduct a thorough physical exam to look for changes or signs of illness. Routine vet visits are also a great opportunity to ask your veterinarian about any behavioral concerns or changes, or questions you may have about their diet and nutrition.

Senior Cats

Cats are generally considered to be “senior” at age eleven and older. You should be taking your senior cat to the vet at least twice a year for wellness checks, which can significantly improve their quality of life. As senior cats age they are more likely to develop a chronic health condition, including oral health issues, kidney and thyroid disease..Your veterinarian can detect these diseases with simple blood tests. The sooner these diseases are diagnosed, the easier they may be to treat..

Cats with Health Concerns

Cats of any age with a congenital disease or chronic health condition need regular veterinary care, and your vet will let you know how often to schedule visits. If your cat has been diagnosed with an injury or illness, you will also need to bring them in for more visits until the issue is resolved (in addition to regular wellness checks).

Cats Who Spend Time Outdoors

If your cat regularly spends time outdoors they’ll likely need more frequent checkups at the vet. Outdoor cats are exposed to more parasites and infectious diseases, and have a higher risk of injury from cars, other cats and animals. You should also make sure your cat has an up to date ID tag and microchip before letting them outside.

Why Routine Vet Visits Are So Important

You may be wondering what your veterinarian can offer your seemingly healthy cat. Here are three things cat parents commonly miss that a veterinary visit will detect: 

Dental Problems 

Most cats will have some form of dental disease by the time they are 2 years of age1. Unfortunately, our cats will rarely tell us they are in pain – in fact they will try not to show it. Your veterinarian will do a thorough oral examination and suggest a treatment plan for any oral health issues. The earlier dental disease is detected, the easier it is to treat. Untreated dental disease can lead to problems in other organs such as the heart and kidneys. Learn more about keeping your cat’s teeth clean.

Weight Gain/Loss 

Changes in your cat’s weight can happen so gradually that you may not notice. Even the most cat- obsessed parents can miss this. Weight loss can be a sign of serious underlying disease. More commonly, cats gain weight as they get older. Weight gain is usually caused bylack of exercise or too many calories. Extra fat can cause inflammation and put strain on your cat’s joints. This can increase your cat’s risk of injury and lead to earlier onset of arthritis.

Lumps & Bumps

Your veterinarian will examine your cat from nose to tail. They will be looking for anything from a tick to a tumor. While many lumps are benign, the earlier the cancerous tumors are found, the higher the chance of a successful treatment.  

When Your Cat Should See the Vet Between Checkups

While I recommend wellness visits twice a year for most cats, there are a few other times when it’s important to see your veterinarian:

Your veterinarian is a great addition to the daily care you are providing for your cat and can help guide your efforts to foster health and happiness for your kitty. Learn more about cat wellness and how to choose the right veterinarian for your cat.

More Like This