The Importance of Annual Checkups for Your Cat

All cat owners want to take the best care of their cats, and taking your cat to the vet is a big part of that. This is even if your cat does not appear to be sick. This is because annual checkups can help prevent medical issues in cats and catch them early when they occur.

During annual vet exams, vets will often give cats important vaccinations and preventative care. Vets will also give your cat a physical exam. Physical exams are designed to allow vets to screen for common health issues in cats. This way they can treat them as early as possible.

In this article, we will be highlighting the importance of annual vet checkups for cats. We will be explaining why cats can benefit from annual checkups and what vets will do for cats at these yearly visits. Alright, let’s dive right into it.

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Do Cats Really Need Yearly Checkups?

Yes, veterinarians recommend that all cats go to a vet appointment at least once a year. In some cases, vets may even recommend that cats go to the vet more often than this.

These yearly checkups are designed to keep your cat in good health by preventing medical conditions and diseases through vaccinations and other types of preventative care. They are also put in place so that vets can regularly screen your pet for conditions that may be difficult for cat owners to notice on their own.

Do Indoor Cats Need to Have Annual Vet Visits?

Yes, indoor cats do need to go for yearly vet visits just like outside cats do. This is because all cats could potentially get sick or develop a medical condition.

However, it is true that outdoor cats are more susceptible to receiving injuries and getting infections. As a result, it may be a good idea to take cats for regular vet visits more often than just once a year.

What Happens at a Cat’s Yearly Exam?

At a yearly vet exam for your cat, your vet will likely:

  • Weigh your cat
  • Take your cat’s medical history and ask the cat owner questions
  • Give your cat a physical exam
  • Take blood, urine, and/or feces for testing
  • Give your cat vaccinations and other preventative care if they are due

Your vet will do these things to make sure that your cat is in good health and not developing an illness or medical condition. This is because medical conditions and diseases are often much easier to treat in the early stages. Vaccinations and other preventative care help prevent medical problems as well.

Do Cats Get Vaccines at a Yearly Exam?

Oftentimes cats will get their vaccines and booster shots during their routine yearly exam. It is often very easy for vets to just give them their vaccines right then when the cat is feeling well and needs no other procedures done.

Cats will need to get their core vaccines and keep them up to date. Core vaccines that are strongly recommended by vets, and they are often required by places like groomers and boarding facilities. The core vaccines in cats include:

  • The Rabies Vaccine
  • The FVRCP Vaccine
    • Feline rhinotracheitis virus/herpesvirus 1
    • Feline calicivirus
    • Feline panleukopenia

In addition to core vaccines, vets may recommend that your cat get noncore vaccines as well. The most common non-core vaccines in cats include the Bordetella vaccine and the Feline Leukemia vaccine.

How Often do Cats Need Booster Shots? how often do cats need booster shots vaccines los angelas ca

The answer to this depends on the age of your cat and how healthy they are. Kittens will need booster shots around once a month. Their first shots will be given between 6 and 8 weeks of age, the second round between 10 and 12 weeks of age, and the third round will be given between 14 and 16 weeks of age.

Meanwhile, most healthy adult cats will need to get their core vaccine boosters every three years. In some cases, vets will recommend that cat owners get their cats booster shots once a year instead, especially if their cat has a medical condition or is in their senior years.

How Long Can Cats Go Without a Vet Exam?

Cats really should not go without a checkup for more than a year, even if they do not appear to be sick or injured. This is because going longer than one year without a routine vet exam could lead to a cat having an undiagnosed medical issue. Since advanced diseases and medical conditions are usually harder for vets to treat than when they are in the early stages, it is always better to be safe than sorry and just take cats to a vet checkup once a year.

What Preventative Care Do Cats Need?

In addition to vaccines, it is crucial that you give cats heartworm prevention medication regularly as instructed. This is true for both indoor and outdoor cats. This is because heartworm disease is terminal in cats if it occurs. Depending on your situation, you may want to give your cat flea/tick preventative medication as well.

When Should Cats Go to the Vet More Than Once a Year for Checkups?

Most of the time a yearly vet visit is just fine for healthy, adult cats. However, kittens and elderly cats will likely need to visit the vet more often than once a year. Additionally, vets will usually recommend that cat owners bring their cats in for a checkup more often when they have been diagnosed with a medical condition or disease that requires routine vet care.

What Could Happen if You Don’t Take Your Cat to Their Yearly Exams?

If you do not take your cat for their yearly checkups, they could develop a medical condition without you knowing about it until it reaches advanced stages. Unfortunately, this could negatively impact a cat’s prognosis. This is because most diseases and medical conditions are much easier for vets to treat when in the early stages.


Yearly check-ups are recommended for all cats, even if they are healthy. If you have any further questions regarding regular veterinary visits and your cat, Blue Cross Pet Hospital in North Hollywood, CA is here to help! Give us a call at (818) 9801313 to make an appointment today!