We all love cats for their playful ways and mysterious behavior, right? But you know what? They need us to take care of them too.

One of the most important things we can do for our furry friends is to take them to the vet regularly. Yep, just like we go for check-ups, cats need them too. It’s how we keep them healthy and catch any problems early on.

So let’s make sure our cats have long and happy lives by making those vet visits a priority!

Why Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet?

Taking your cat to the vet is an essential aspect of responsible pet ownership. Regular vet visits ensure that your feline friend receives routine health check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care. These appointments help in:

  • Detecting potential health issues early on.
  • Administering necessary vaccinations to protect against diseases.
  • Providing guidance on diet, behavior, and overall well-being.

How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?

Kittens require vet visits every month until 4 months old. Adult cats should have an annual check-up, while senior cats benefit from bi-annual visits. Always consult a vet for any noticeable health changes.

Read more below to get much more detailed information about how to care for your cat.

How to Ensure Your Cat Gets the Right Vet Care

  1. Start Early with Kittens

    When you adopt or purchase a kitten, schedule their first vet visit within the first week. This initial check-up will help ensure they’re free from congenital issues and will set the stage for future vaccinations and health assessments.

  2. Set a Regular Schedule

    Adult cats, especially those between one and ten years of age, should ideally have a yearly check-up. However, if your cat has health issues or is an outdoor cat, more frequent visits might be necessary.

  3. Prioritize Vaccinations

    Vaccinations are a cat’s first line of defense against many common diseases. Ensure your cat gets their core vaccinations, and discuss any additional recommended shots based on their lifestyle and environment.

  4. Monitor Your Cat’s Behavior

    Any sudden changes in behavior, eating habits, or litter box usage can be signs of health issues. If you notice anything unusual, don’t wait for the next scheduled visit – consult your vet immediately.

  5. Prepare for the Vet Visit

    Before heading to the vet, make a list of any concerns or observations. This will ensure you don’t forget to mention anything important during the consultation.

  6. Make the Trip Stress-Free

    Many cats find traveling in a car or being in a new environment stressful. Use a comfortable cat carrier, and consider calming sprays or toys to make the journey smoother for your feline friend.

  7. Discuss Diet and Lifestyle

    During the visit, talk to your vet about your cat’s diet, activity levels, and any behavioral concerns. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations tailored to your cat’s needs.

  8. Keep Up with Check-Ups

    Regularly deworming your cat and ensuring they’re protected against fleas and ticks is crucial. Discuss the best preventive care routines with your vet and stick to the recommended schedule.

  9. Get to Know Your Vet

    Consistency can make vet visits less stressful for your cat. Try to visit the same clinic and, if possible, the same veterinarian each time. This familiarity can make a significant difference in your cat’s comfort level.

Let’s dive deeper 👇

First of All, Meet Hanisha, our Maine Coon!

Hanisha - Our Maine Coon
Hanisha, our Maine Coon, guarding the baby!

When we first got Hanisha, I couldn’t believe how big and fluffy she was! Maine Coons are big cats, and Hanisha sure lived up to that. She’s got these cool tufted ears and a super long tail.

She’s super playful, super friendly, and sometimes acts more like a dog than a cat. The size helps to be honest :-). She loves playing with her toys, watching (aka “remote hunting”) pigeons from the window of our apartment, and snuggling up next to me when I go to bed. Just to make it clear, it’s the only time she snuggles up to me haha.

Hanisha with trimmed hair
Hanisha with trimmed hair. We know, we know.

Taking care of a Maine Coon means a bit more work. Her long fur needs brushing (almost every day) so it doesn’t get all tangled. We even had to cut all of her hair at one point, from the sheer amount of tangles she had (even though we brushed it quite regularly). We had a laugh, the vet had a laugh. The only one not laughing was her 😁.

Because she’s very active, she needs lots of toys and playtime. But every moment with her is special. It’s all about getting to know her and making sure she’s happy and healthy.

We’ve had many cats in the past 20 years, but Hanisha has taught me that every cat is different. They all have their own personalities and things they like or don’t like. And it’s our job to figure that out and make sure they have the best life possible.

Extended Guide on Cat Check-ups: How Often and Why

The frequency with which you should take your cat to the vet depends on the cat’s age, health, and specific needs. Here’s a general guideline.

Kittens (0-1 year)

First visit is usually around 8 weeks of age.

Follow-up visits every 3-4 weeks until about 16 weeks of age. During these visits, kittens typically receive a series of vaccines, deworming treatments, and general health check-ups.

Spaying/neutering is usually recommended between 4-6 months of age, but this can vary.

Adult Cats (1-7 years)

Annual Check-ups. Once a year is typical for a routine wellness exam. This visit will often include vaccinations, a physical examination, and possibly bloodwork or other diagnostic tests.

Dental Check-ups. Depending on the cat’s dental health, they might need dental cleanings at the vet, which could be less frequent than annual check-ups.

Senior Cats (7+ years)

Bi-annual Check-ups. Older cats are more prone to health issues, so it’s a good idea to have them checked every 6 months.

These visits might include bloodwork, urine tests, and other diagnostics to monitor for common senior cat health issues like kidney disease or hyperthyroidism.

Additional Visits

If your cat shows signs of illness or injury, it’s essential to schedule a vet visit promptly. Signs might include changes in behavior, eating or drinking habits, litter box usage, or visible signs of distress or injury.

If your cat has a chronic health condition, your vet might recommend more frequent check-ups or monitoring.


After the initial kitten vaccinations, cats typically need booster shots either annually or every three years, depending on the type of vaccine and the cat’s lifestyle (e.g., indoor vs. outdoor). We talk more about vaccines below.

Parasite Prevention

Depending on where you live and whether your cat goes outdoors, they might need regular treatments for parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms. Your vet can provide guidance on the best prevention strategy.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Cat to the Vet

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Cat to the Vet
Photo by Yerlin Matu on Unsplash

1. Early Detection of Health Issues

Regular vet visits allow for the early detection of potential health problems. From dental issues to more severe conditions like diabetes or kidney disease, catching these early can make treatment more effective and less costly.

2. Vaccination and Preventive Care

Vaccinations are crucial in protecting your cat from various diseases. Regular vet visits ensure that your cat’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Additionally, preventive treatments for parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms can be administered.

3. Nutritional Guidance

Cats have specific dietary needs that can change with age or health conditions. A vet can provide guidance on the best diet for your feline friend, ensuring they get all the necessary nutrients.

4. Behavioral Insights

Changes in a cat’s behavior can sometimes be linked to medical issues. For instance, a cat that suddenly becomes aggressive might be in pain. Regular check-ups can help identify the root cause of behavioral changes and provide solutions.

5. Peace of Mind

Knowing that a professional has examined your cat and given them a clean bill of health provides peace of mind. It’s reassuring to know that you’re doing everything you can to ensure your cat’s well-being.

Caring for Your Cat

When it comes to our feline friends, vet visits are just one piece of the puzzle. Ensuring their overall well-being requires a holistic approach that goes beyond the clinic’s doors.

Understanding Your Cat’s Unique Needs

Every cat is different. Some might be energetic and playful, while others prefer lounging around. Pay attention to their habits and preferences. This understanding will help you cater to their specific needs, whether it’s providing interactive toys or setting up cozy resting spots.

Diet Matters

Cat eating: diet
Photo by Piotr Musioł on Unsplash

What your cat eats plays a significant role in their health. Ensure they’re on a balanced diet suitable for their age, weight, and activity level. Don’t forget to provide fresh water at all times and monitor their weight.

Mental Stimulation is Key

Cats are curious creatures. Providing them with toys, puzzle feeders, and interactive play sessions can keep their minds sharp and active. It’s not just about physical health; mental well-being is equally important.

Safe Outdoor Access

Catio - Outdoor playground for your cat
cat enclosure” by arievergreen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If your cat enjoys the outdoors, consider setting up a secure cat enclosure or “catio”. This way, they can experience the outside world safely, without the risks associated with free roaming.

Regular Grooming

While cats are known for their self-grooming habits, they can benefit from occasional brushing. This not only helps reduce hairballs but also gives you a chance to check for any skin issues or external parasites.

Surprising Cat Care Tips

Think you’ve got cat care down to a science? Think again! Here are some lesser-known insights that will take your feline care game to the next level:

Crack the code of cat communication

Ever wished your cat could just tell you what they want? Cats may not speak our language, but they’ve got their own secret code. Learning to understand their tail flicks and meows will bring you closer to your feline friend and help meet their needs.

Cat talking buttons with different commands
Image by Technomeow.

If you’re feeling adventurous, with cat talking buttons, they kind of can talk to you! These buzzers are simple buttons that, when pressed, play a recorded message like “food” or “play.” With a bit of training, cats can learn to press the buzzer that corresponds to their need or desire.

It’s a fun and innovative way to bridge the communication gap between felines and their owners. While it might not be full-blown conversations, it’s a step closer to understanding our furry friends’ wants and needs.

Where to Buy Cat Communication Buttons (Recordable Talking Sets)

Cat Talking Buttons

So we’re looking for a cool way to chat with our cat furry friend. These nifty communication buttons for cats (and dogs alike if you have an extra doggy goodest boy or girl) are easy to use, and each set comes with a handy waterproof mat, soundboard, and stickers to jazz things up. Great for both pet newbies and seasoned fur-parents!

Check out our recommendation here:

Transform your cat’s world

Want a happy cat? Create a cat wonderland! Vertical spaces, hiding spots, and a variety of toys will keep your indoor furball mentally and physically stimulated.

Ditch the punishments, address the root cause

No need to get rough with your misbehaving kitty. Instead, play detective and figure out what’s causing the scratching, aggression, or litter box issues. It could be a medical or behavioral problem, so consult the professionals if needed.

Socializing cats for world domination

Cute Kitten hiding behind a Pillow
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels

Okay, maybe not world domination, but socializing your cat is key! Introduce them to different things, people, and even other pets from a young age. It’ll make them more adaptable and less stressed in new situations.

Playtime: Not Just for Kittens

Who says play is just for the young ones? Even adult cats need playtime too! It’s a fantastic way to bond with your feline companion, keep them mentally sharp, and help them stay in tip-top shape.

Frequently Asked Questions: Cat Care 101

How often should indoor and outdoor cats be scheduled for vet check-ups?

Indoor cats, due to their limited exposure to external threats, typically require a yearly check-up. This annual visit ensures they remain free from internal health issues, such as dental problems or heart conditions.

On the other hand, outdoor cats face a variety of risks, from fights with other animals to potential exposure to diseases. As a result, it’s advisable for them to see the vet every six months. These more frequent visits can catch any issues early, ensuring the cat remains in optimal health.

Which vaccinations are crucial for cats and at what intervals are they given?

Vaccinations play a pivotal role in protecting cats from various diseases. Core vaccinations include:

  • Feline Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper) – Protects against severe and often fatal viral disease.
  • Feline Calicivirus and Feline Herpesvirus – Both guard against upper respiratory infections. Kittens usually start their vaccination schedule at around 6-8 weeks of age, with boosters given every 3-4 weeks until they’re about 16 weeks old. After the initial kitten series, cats typically receive booster shots annually. However, the exact frequency can vary based on the cat’s health, lifestyle, and specific vaccine guidelines.

Always consult a vet and give your cat the best treatment they need.

Is it essential for exclusively indoor cats to undergo regular vet examinations?

Absolutely. While indoor cats are shielded from many external threats, they’re not immune to health issues. Common concerns for indoor cats include obesity, dental disease, and age-related conditions like arthritis or kidney disease.

Regular vet examinations provide an opportunity to catch and address these issues early. Additionally, vets can offer guidance on diet, exercise, and other preventive measures to ensure the cat’s long-term well-being.

For how long can cats be left alone, and how frequently should they be visited?

Cats are known for their independent nature, but they still have needs that must be met daily. Ideally, cats shouldn’t be left alone for more than 24 hours.

If you’re planning to be away for a day or two, ensure they have access to ample food and water, and that their litter box is clean.

For longer absences, it’s crucial to have someone check on the cat daily. This person can replenish food and water, clean the litter box, and provide some interaction, which can be comforting for the cat.

Do cats feel separation anxiety or distress when their owners are not around?

Indeed, while cats are often perceived as solitary creatures, many form strong bonds with their owners and can experience separation anxiety.

This anxiety can manifest in various ways, such as excessive meowing, destructive behavior, over-grooming, or changes in eating and litter box habits.

To help alleviate this anxiety, owners can:

  • Leave Familiar Items – items with the owner’s scent, like worn clothing, can provide comfort.
  • Provide Toys and Entertainment – interactive toys or puzzle feeders can keep the cat occupied.
  • Consider a Companion – in some cases, having another pet can help reduce feelings of loneliness.

Why might cats find vet visits stressful and vocalize during the journey?

A cat looking out a car window
Photo by Jacob Thorson on Unsplash

Vet visits can be a whirlwind of unfamiliar experiences for cats. The journey involves being placed in a carrier, traveling in a car, and then being in an unfamiliar environment with new smells and sounds.

Vocalizing or meowing loudly can be their way of expressing discomfort, fear, or anxiety. To make the experience less stressful:

  • Familiarize with the Carrier: Let your cat spend time in their carrier at home, making it a positive space with treats or toys.
  • Use Calming Aids: Calming sprays or pheromone diffusers can help soothe anxious cats.
  • Choose a Cat-Friendly Clinic: Some vet clinics are designed with cats in mind, offering separate waiting areas or specialized handling techniques.

What are the pros and cons of keeping cats strictly as indoor pets?

Keeping cats indoors has both advantages and disadvantages.

👍 Pros

  • Safety: Indoor cats are protected from various threats like traffic, predators, and potential fights with other animals.
  • Health: Reduced exposure to diseases or parasites from other animals.
  • Longevity: On average, indoor cats tend to live longer than their outdoor counterparts.

👎 Cons

  • Lack of Stimulation: Without the natural stimuli of the outdoors, indoor cats can become bored or develop behavioral issues.
  • Obesity Risk: Limited activity can lead to weight gain, making regular play and exercise crucial.
  • Missed Natural Behaviors: Cats have natural instincts like hunting, which they might not fully express indoors.

To strike a balance, some owners opt for supervised outdoor time or build cat enclosures, allowing their cats to experience the outdoors safely.

Last thing from me: take care of your cat, and it will take care of you…

Neah, I kid. Our cats have staff to take care of things. We’re it.

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