Cat Vet Checkup – What To Expect

Ever thought about the intricacies of a cat vet checkup? As cat owners, it's more than just a routine—it's a commitment to our feline friend's well-being.

While the annual visits might seem straightforward, they are filled with nuances that can greatly impact our cat's health and longevity.

Each checkup offers insights, surprises, and invaluable information about our beloved pets. Intrigued?

Read on to understand the importance of these visits, what to anticipate, and how they shape the journey of your cat's life.

Why Do We Even Need An Annual Cat Vet Checkup?

You may wonder why you should shell out good money on a cat that seems to be absolutely healthy. If that wasn't enough, for most cats, a vet visit can be stressful.

Some cats freak out as soon as you place them in the cat carrier, so why put them through the ordeal?

A veterinarian examines a gray cat. Scottish fold cat at a reception in a veterinary clinic.

Spotting Early Signs Of Disease

The problem is cats that seem to be healthy may not be. An annual checkup gives your vet a chance to find early symptoms of the disease that you may not be able to spot yourself.

A proper veterinary examination of your cat can reveal early indications of internal disease, such as a heart murmur or abnormal blood test results.

With most medical issues, early detection is key. Some diseases, such as diabetes, involve a slow and persistent process that gradually causes irrevocable damage to internal organs.

With others, like certain types of tumors, early detection could mean the difference between an effective removal and cancer that has metastasized all over the body.

Managing Stress And Building A Vet Relationship

The older the cat, the more important these annual checkups become - but they are invaluable at any age.

They may actually save you money in the long term - and they could save Kitty's life.

While they are stressful, in the overall risk management for cats, that amount of stress is an acceptable price to pay.

If your cat is extremely agitated by visiting the clinic, talk to your veterinarian about it.

He or she may offer a light sedative you can give Kitty before leaving home, or may even give a house call. As always, your vet should be your ally.

An open line of communication about the meaning of your cat's annual vet checkups, including helping you to assess the best, cheapest, and least stressful way to conduct them.

If you're not comfortable discussing these with your veterinarian, you should read this article: How To Talk To Your Vet.

If that doesn't help, it could be time to switch to a different veterinarian. Don't forget to read our article on the topic: How To Choose The Best Veterinarian For My Cat.

So, what should you expect when you bring a (hopefully) healthy cat in for a checkup?


Annual Checkup For Cats

Even if you believe your cat to be in perfect health, an annual veterinary checkup is just part of good cat care.

Examination of an adult cat by a veterinarian with a stethoscope in a clinic

Depending on your vaccination routine and schedule, this checkup may be combined with giving those annual booster shots.

Your vet is likely to discuss the cat's condition with you, and this is the time for you to bring up any health-related or behavioral issues that may indicate a change in the cat's overall condition.

The vet will feel your cat all over, looking for suspicious lumps and any changes to the cat's physique. He or she will check the cat's eyes, ears, and teeth as well as look for external parasites.

The vet will also listen to the heart and lungs using a stethoscope.

The results of the initial checkup may lead your vet to suggest further tests, including a blood panel, a fecal examination, and urinalysis.

Annual Checkups For The Senior Cat

Once your cat reaches his or her golden years, you should double the frequency of regular checkups.

Cat check up at veterinarian office

A full veterinary checkup twice a year is necessary to keep full tabs on your cat's medical condition.

The exam is likely to be more thorough. Senior blood panels are likely to be performed at least once a year, as well as fecal and urine tests.

The results of these tests can provide your vet with the necessary warning signs of internal health issues, long before any actual symptoms appear.

Hopefully, this can help prevent disease through pre-emptive medicine and dietary changes.

First-Time Checkup For A New Cat

Special attention is needed when the checkup involves a new cat. If you have other cats at home, do not introduce the new cat before he or she has the all-clear from your vet.

Fatty spotted cat in animal hospital

Your vet will perform the basic checkup described above and look into some other issues.

If at all possible, try and obtain the cat's previous medical records, indicating existing medical issues, past procedures, and vaccination status.

If you have no valid medical history of the cat, the initial checkup will likely include tests for FeLV and FIV.

The vet will probably check more thoroughly for external parasites, and a fecal sample should be taken to test for internal parasites such as worms.

Wrapping Up Your Cat's Health Journey

As we conclude, it's evident that knowledge empowers us.

Understanding the intricacies of a cat vet checkup not only ensures the well-being of our feline companions but also enriches our journey as responsible cat owners.

Every visit is an opportunity for learning, growth, and a deeper bond with our beloved pets.

Let's embrace this knowledge and continue to prioritize our cats' health, ensuring they lead fulfilling, vibrant lives by our side.


Remember, our cat health forum is always here for any further queries on Kitty's health. Let's ensure every cat gets the care they deserve.

If you know someone questioning the necessity of these checkups, don't hesitate to share this resource with them on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. You can pin the image below for free!

What to expect from your annual cat vet checkup

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One comment on “Cat Vet Checkup – What To Expect

crazy4strays October 8, 2015
Remember to have the vet scan your cat's microchip to make sure that it is still working properly and hasn't migrated.

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