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How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet? A New Owner's Guide

By Bridget Reed


Every pet parent knows that regular trips to the vet are an important way to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. But how “regular” should those trips be? And what are other signs that your feline could use a trip to the veterinarian? 

This article will closely examine how often you should bring your cat to the vet at different stages in their life as well as other common signs that your cat may need medical attention.

How Often Should You Take Your Kitten to the Vet?

If you bring a newborn kitten home from the shelter or find a baby cat in the wild, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Just like infants, kittens are vulnerable to different diseases and benefit greatly from the watchful eye of a vet. 

Generally speaking, if your kitten is four months old or younger, you should bring them to see a veterinarian once or twice a month.

What Should You Expect During Visits to the Vet With Your Kitten?

During these initial visits, your veterinarian will assess your kitten’s overall health and administer important vaccinations. These vaccinations will protect them against dangerous diseases. Your vet will likely also work with you to determine a vaccine schedule for your furry friend, whether they are outdoor or indoor cats. 

Young cats are also highly prone to gastrointestinal parasites, so your vet may request that you bring stool samples to those early visits. Kittens frequently have to be dewormed, which makes bringing small samples to the vet even more important.

You can expect your veterinarian to do a full and thorough head-to-toe examination of your kitten at these early visits. They will check your furry friend’s vision and hearings as well as their heart, lungs, mouth, skin, and abnormalities. During these checks, your vet will be closely checking for any abnormalities or signs of disease. 

Why Is It Important To Take Your Kitten to the Vet So Frequently?

Alongside bodily checks, your vet will likely also talk with you about different lifestyle choices you have to make for your feline. For example, they may discuss the importance of socialization with both humans and other felines. 

They may also talk with you about how to properly use a litterbox, train your kitten to discourage bad behavior, and signs to look for that they are maturing properly. They may also discuss the prospect of spaying or neutering, which usually occurs between six and 12 months of age.

As well as providing you with information, these visits are also a time for you to get accustomed to being a pet parent to a feline. Write down any questions you have for your veterinarian regarding your kitten’s health or behavior. 

Ask your vet about the kibble you are giving your kitten to ensure they get the nutrients they need at this important stage of development. The frequency of early vet visits can be stressful for you and your feline. 

However, they are incredibly beneficial for your cat’s long-term health and can significantly affect their quality of life. If your cat can establish a strong relationship with the veterinarian, then it will be easier to have them seen throughout their life. 

How Often Should You Take Your Adult Cat to the Vet?

Unlike kittens, which require ample medical attention, adult cats need far fewer trips to the veterinarian. Much like adult humans, once your furry friend is between the ages of one to 10 years old, they only need to see the vet once or twice a year for a check-up. 

Depending on your cat’s overall health and pre-existing medical conditions, they may be cleared to see the vet once annually, or they may require a little more attention.

What Should You Expect During Visits to the Vet With Your Adult Cat?

During vet visits with your adult cat, the veterinarian will update your feline’s vaccinations, check their stool for parasites, and perform a head-to-tail physical examination. Usually, you only need to update your cat’s vaccines every three years. 

Although it is a good idea to keep track of your cat’s vaccination history, a good vet will always have a comprehensive vaccine record you can reference when in doubt.

What Is the Main Cause of Health Concern for Adult Cats?

At your furry friend’s annual visit, your vet will pay special attention to their weight. Obesity can lead to several concerning cat health issues, so your veterinarian will pay close attention to your feline’s body weight. 

If they appear overweight, your vet will suggest different dietary and lifestyle changes. They may suggest you switch to a healthier dry food specifically designed for weight loss or incorporate more exercise into your four-legged friend’s routine.

Why Would an Adult Cat Need To Go to the Vet More Frequently?

If your adult cat can go indoors and outdoors, you may need to take them to the vet more frequently so that they can get heartworm, flea, and tick prevention. Also, if your cat regularly takes medication, you may have to bring them to get their blood tested more than once a year.

How Often Should You Take Your Senior Cat to the Vet?

Once your cat is over ten years old, it is advisable to take them to the veterinarian at least twice a year for a full physical examination. Just like humans, elderly cats are more susceptible to disease, so getting them checked out more frequently is a good idea. 

Unlike dogs, felines tend to hide their pain or discomfort, so it is always a good idea to take your senior cat to the vet, even if they appear to be pain-free.

How Can You Prepare for a Visit to the Vet for Your Senior Cat?

You should always pay close attention to your furry friend before you bring them to the vet. That is especially true for your senior cat. 

Pay close attention to how easy or difficult it is for your cat to move around the house, jump, climb, and stand up. These factors will help your veterinarian assess your cat’s overall health.

What Should You Expect at a Vet Visit for Your Senior Cat?

When you bring your senior cat to the veterinarian, they will continue with any necessary vaccinations, check your cat’s weight, and may clean your feline’s teeth if they are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Your vet will pay special attention to signs of obesity, kidney issues, liver problems, and arthritis. 


Bringing your furry friend to the veterinarian is a simple, easy way to ensure that your feline stays as happy and healthy as possible. Kittens and senior cats require the most medical attention, whereas your adult cat only needs one or two annual checkups. 

However, every cat has different medical needs, so make sure you talk with your doctor about how often they think your furry friend should be brought in for a check-up.

Remember that when you bring your feline to the vet, you also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about being a pet parent. Observe your four-legged friend carefully before you bring them to the vet so that you can get the most out of your visit.


Gastrointestinal Parasites of Cats | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Study shows hope for cats and humans with chronic kidney disease | AAHA

Original research: Retrospective study of the relative frequency of feline hepatobiliary disease in New Zealand based on 10 years of hepatic biopsy samples | NIH 

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