A preventive care examination or check-up should occur at least once a year for all cats, and more frequently for senior cats with chronic medical conditions. These visits are important to your cat's healthcare plan. During this visit, your veterinarian will assess your cat's nutrition, lifestyle, environmental enrichment, disease and parasite prevention, and behavior.

Why are annual visits so important?

  • Cats age more rapidly than we do, so a preventive care examination is a crucial part of ensuring a healthy lifestyle for your cat.

  • The information you provide your veterinarian along with the findings of the thorough physical examination will help your vet determine an individualized plan to help your pet remain healthy.
  • During the physical examination, a veterinarian can often detect conditions that may affect a cat's health long before they become significant, so they can be managed or cured before they become painful or more costly.

What your vet examines during a check-up:

  • Abdomen and Body Condition
  • Muscle Tone and Weight
  • Coat, Fur, Skin
  • Eyes and Ears
  • Mouth, Teeth and Gums
  • Heart and Lungs
  • Joints and Spine
  • Lymph Nodes 
  • Under the Tail
  • Exam may include blood and/or urine tests


As a member of the family, your cat deserves the best possible care. Together, you and your veterinarian can best decide how to accomplish that by meeting at least annually to talk about your cat and any changes that have taken place in their life. With the information you bring and a good physical examination, a plan will be created that meets the needs of your cat and the family.

Contributed by:  American Association of Feline Practitioners