Why are Annual Veterinary Visits Necessary?

Often we associate a trip to the veterinarian as something only required when your cat becomes unwell, however, is also important to remember that visiting your cat on an annual basis is equally important for your cat’s well-being and longevity.

There is much debate over the necessity of annual booster shots. Some veterinarians still recommend it, some don’t believe it is necessary to vaccinate that often. Owners who choose to vaccinate less frequently may forget the importance of still taking their cat to the vet once a year.

During your visit, your veterinarian will look at and discuss:

  • Dental examination
  • Weight
  • Skin and coat, general condition and lumps and bumps
  • Ears and eyes
  • Parasite control
  • Heart
  • Musculoskeletal exam

Your veterinarian will ask if you have any questions, this is a good time to discuss any concerns you have or ask questions on health, diet, parasite control and general cat care.

Senior cats

Cats 7 years and older require a veterinary examination at least once a year, twice a year is even better. With regular visits to the veterinarian, any age-related conditions can be picked up early and treated. Many diseases afflicting older cats can’t be cured but they can be managed and the earlier they are picked up, the better.

Some tests your veterinarian may wish to perform, (especially on older cats) include:

These tests will provide your veterinarian with a good profile of your cat’s overall health and can help to diagnose age-related diseases early. More specific tests may be required if the above tests show any abnormalities.

Between visits

It is just as important that pet owners pay attention to their cat between visits which can help to pick up medical issues early.

Prompt veterinary attention should be sought if you notice any of the above symptoms.

Preventive care at home

There are certainly ways to ensure your cat stays in peak condition for as long as possible. These include:

  • Feeding a good quality, nutritious diet.
  • Dental care, either with regular brushing or feeding raw chicken necks two to three times a week.
  • Maintaining proper flea and worm control.
  • Keep a close eye on your cat’s general wellbeing and seek veterinary advice as soon as you notice changes. Not only would these include obvious signs of sickness such as injury etc., but also indicators such as a change in eating or litter box habit, unkempt coat, general lethargy, change in behaviour.
  • Be aware of your cat’s weight.

It cannot be emphasised enough how important it is to remember regular check-ups with the veterinarian, even if your cat appears well. Many vets offer a reminder service, which is something you can discuss with them.

Frequently asked questions

How much does an annual veterinary visit cost?

This can vary from vet to vet, but a basic health check ranges from $70 to $100. There are additional costs for bloodwork.

Do indoor cats still need an annual wellness check?

Yes, all cats should see a veterinarian at least once a year. Even indoor cats can develop common cat diseases including cancer, arthritis, dental problems, hyperthyroidism and diabetes.


  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio

    View all posts