How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?

Cats are known to be quite independent creatures, which is a wonderful trait. Cats are often very low-key pets to own. However, you could have an erroneous idea about how frequently to take cats to the vet if you’re a first-time cat parent or have only had occasional outdoor cats.

How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?

By seeing the veterinarian regularly, you may help your cat live a long and fulfilling life by providing preventative care. You might think about taking your cat to the vet more than once a year depending on a few different conditions, but at the very least, once a year is required.
How frequently do you take your cat to the veterinarian? Read on to learn more about recommended frequency ranges based on your cat’s life stage, typical veterinary visits, and how to get your cat ready for the next one.

Cat Annual checkups are essential

As a general rule, take your cat to the vet for a checkup once a year. You might be allowed to take your indoor cat for a checkup every other year if it’s between the ages of 2 and 8 years old. Before making this choice, consult your veterinarian first because what they advise is what’s best for your cat.
Because you are the one who knows your cat best, you will be able to spot any changes in behavior or general health. Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you suspect an issue with your cat.
Seeing your vet often is crucial, especially as your cat gets older. This is so that your veterinarian can perform a thorough physical examination.We want to discuss a few common reasons of weight loss, increased vomiting, larger urine clumps, and increased thirst in your cat, all of which are symptoms of diseases that are common in older cats and include diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, and chronic renal failure.
DVM, DACVECC, DABT, Dr. Justine Lee
According on the period of life your cat is in, let’s break down what is normally advised for vet appointments.

When to take kittens to the vet

A young kitten’s first few months will be occupied by trips to the veterinarian. This is so that they can be dewormed, tested, immunized, and spayed or neutered before they reach the age of six months. Your cat will be healthier and you will feel more assured about their health the sooner you take care of all of these things.
Kitty kittens should start their first round of immunizations around 6 to 8 weeks old (according to a timetable) and begin deworming treatments (based on the results of a stool sample). Additionally, they will be examined for the feline leukemia virus, or FIV/FeLV.
Kittens should have their next round of vaccines between 9 and 12 weeks old. The rabies shot may be included with this, or your veterinarian Wait to administer that shot until 16 weeks.
Although cats can be fixed at any age, kittens should be repaired before the age of five months in the first year to avoid early pregnancy. Many veterinarians will spay or neuter a baby as young as two months old.
You may help your kitten succeed by keeping up with their doctor checkups from an early age. They will adapt more readily to going to the vet later in life because you will have established a routine for taking care of them.

When to take adult cats to the vet

A yearly visit to the vet is recommended for healthy adult cats. (Cats that are indoor-only and between the ages of 2 and 8 may be permitted to go every other year, but see your veterinarian first.)
You can talk to your veterinarian during this yearly exam about any changes in your pet’s everyday life, including changes in their diet or behavior. By consulting your doctor and gaining their advice, you may develop a strategy to enhance the quality of life for your cat as they get older.
Veterinarians are an excellent source of information since they can determine when specific care is necessary or can be beneficial in extending and enhancing your cat’s life.
Expect the following from your cat’s annual checkups with the vet:
They will get more vaccinations. one to three years.
After the age of five, your veterinarian may advise performing lab testing (such as blood work) once a year to check their levels and keep an eye out for emerging health problems.
If your adult cat suffers from a chronic illness like diabetes or kidney disease, you might be required to take them to the vet more frequently than once a year at their request.

When to take senior cats to the vet

After age 10, your vet might advise having your senior cat in for a checkup twice a year. The vet can track your kitty friend’s blood tests during this visit and record any changes. In the event that a senior cat has a problem, it is important to consult your veterinarian.
At this point, routine pet health exams are critical. Don’t assume that your senior cat’s diminished energy or mobility is entirely normal just because you’ve noticed it. Your cat can have untreated arthritis or other conditions. It is recommended to have your veterinarian examine it.
Additionally, occasionally or twice a year, your veterinarian will want to perform lab testing to examine your cat’s kidney and liver function, blood count, urine health, and more. This might entail a urinalysis, blood test, and other procedures.
Even for elderly cats, it is legal to keep your cat’s rabies vaccination booster up to date.

Reasons to take your cat to the vet

There are a number of causes for which you might be tempted to take your cat to the veterinarian. After discussing how frequently to take a cat to the vet, let’s examine some of the most typical conditions that cause cats of all ages to visit the vet.

health examinations

As part of your cat’s annual appointment with the veterinarian, wellness checks may involve things like vaccine boosters, physical examinations, flea/tick treatments, and more. If you observe your cat acting differently than usual or exhibiting signs that anything may be wrong, don’t be afraid to schedule a wellness check more frequently than once a year.
These examinations cover the fundamentals to help the veterinarian comprehend how your cat is working.It can be helpful in identifying anomalies or determining what kind of additional tests can be carried out to benefit your cat.
The full body examination should also keep an eye out for any potential oral illnesses. Dental care is a component of pet care. In addition to at-home care, your veterinarian could advise getting your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned.
These routine examinations are also excellent for soothing your thoughts and reducing any worry you may have regarding your cat’s health.

litter box issues

In addition to health checkups, litter box issues are one of the most frequent reasons to visit your cat to the doctor. Get help if your cat has any of the following issues: constipation, many trips to the litter box without using it, urinating outside the litter box, and more. go to your doctor!
A WiFi-enabled, self-cleaning litter box like Litter-Robot can help you keep an eye on your cat’s usage patterns! You may view your cat’s litter box usage frequency in the Whisker app and compare it to recent usage trends. Additionally, you can keep tabs on your cat’s weight with Litter-Robot 4.

nausea or diarrhea

The majority of pet owners are unaware that cat vomiting is abnormal. Consult your veterinarian if your cat vomits more frequently than once or twice a month to be sure a medical condition isn’t to blame. Additionally, since cats are more prone to become dehydrated if your cat vomits frequently, pay attention to how much water they are consuming. The same applies toDiarrhea: Consult your veterinarian if (slowly) switching your cat to a new kind of cat food doesn’t help.

Losing weight or not eating

It doesn’t matter if you shed a few pounds here and there. However, you should take your cat to the vet if it drops a pound. There are several potential reasons why your cat is losing weight, some of which are simple to resolve. some less so. Quickly visit your veterinarian because early diagnosis enables prompt treatment. Similar to this, attempt to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible if you discover your cat hasn’t eaten in a few days. That’s because cats can only go a short time without feeding before their livers begin to convert to a fatty state. This is known as hepatic lipidosis, and untreated cases can be fatal.


Unfortunately, domestic cat obesity is widespread. Your cat might be overweight or obese if you can’t easily feel its ribs, you can see a definite waistline from above, or you can see a visible stomach tuck from the side. Obese cats are more likely to acquire diabetes by 4.5 times, musculoskeletal issues by 7 times, and early mortality by 2 times. Obese cats also have a higher risk of dying at a younger age. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on regaining your cat’s healthy weight.

drinking more and having an extreme thirst

If your cat is circling the water bowl, consuming an excessive amount of water while still appearing thirsty, or leaving massive clumps of urine in the litter box, you should take your pet to the veterinarian. These could be symptoms of hyperthyroidism, kidney illness, or feline lower urinary tract disease. It’s better to resolve this right away to prevent the situation from getting worse.

reduced activity or changes in mobility

As we previously indicated, osteoarthritis is frequently misdiagnosed in elderly cats. Even your adult cat, who is not a senior, may be experiencing this problem. Keep an eye out for changes in mobility, a change in stride, a longer reaction time when jumping, acting stiff, and a general decrease in activity.

Behavior problems

There are times when more than just physical symptoms call for a checkup. If your cat suddenly exhibits signs of increased aggression, fear, or isseeking guidance from your veterinarian if they are acting out in any way. This might be due to a new family member, whether two- or four-legged, an existing medical issue, or other factors. The objective is to quickly resolve the problem so that you can ensure your cat is at ease and content.

Lumpy surfaces

You might want to call your vet if you ever get an atypical bulge or lump when petting your cat. Finding the source of the issue quickly is crucial, whether it’s simple swelling from bumping into something or something more serious like cancer growth. Your cat’s condition might require surgery, a biopsy, or medication from your veterinarian.

Why does my cat not like the vet?

Most cats find going to the vet to be unpleasant, if not outright traumatic. Can you blame them given the car ride in their carrier, the exposure to unfamiliar barking dogs and weeping cats, and the veterinarian’s prodding and prodding? Dr. Justine Lee, a veterinarian, offers the following advice on how to get your cat ready for a visit to the doctor:
Set their carrier out a week or two before the appointment with the vet to help them become used to it. Once a day, add some catnip and treats to the carrier to encourage your cat to enter on its own. Give them medications to lessen their stress, of course! Feliway is a natural cat-soothing pheromone that Dr. Lee adores. You can also ask your veterinarian to prescribe the secure drug gabapentin.


Do cats need to see a vet every year?

As a general rule, take your cat to the vet for a checkup once a year. However, annual vet visits might not be necessary depending on the age, way of life, and health habits of your cat. What is best for your cat should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Are hairballs a problem?

Sometimes cats will cough up a hairball. Typically, once or twice a month is regarded normal; however, if it happens more frequently than that, it would be wise to visit the veterinarian. Cats with longer hair tend to cough up hairballs more frequently.

Does pet insurance cover vet checkups?

Your choice of pet insurance will determine the kind of coverage you receive for checkups at the veterinarian; some policies only cover emergencies, while others cover preventative treatments like vaccinations and wellness exams. When your cat is young, it’s usually less expensive to buy pet insurance than when it’s older, when its chance of cancer, kidney failure, thyroid issues, heart disease, and other conditions is increased.

Can you negotiate vet bills?

Vet bills are not usually subject to negotiation. Your veterinarian might be able to give you a payment plan or waive some service fees in the event of extremely exceptional circumstances. Be aware that owning a pet can be very expensive, particularly if any health issues arise. Just be sure to keep your preparedness in mind.

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