FunNature & AnimalHow often should I take the cat to the...

How often should I take the cat to the vet?

It is true that, depending on the countries and cities where they live, cats have more or less access to the outdoors. It is also true that cats that have access to the outside are more likely to have accidents and to catch diseases. But that does not mean that the body of the indoor cat does not follow its natural aging.

House cats, just like cats with access to the outside, have an evolution of their organs towards aging, as we humans have, with the exception that in cats it is much faster.

But this aging does not have to mean disease. In fact, aging, as much as it weighs on us all, is the natural evolution of the human and feline body.

So, if aging is something natural, why should we take the cat for regular check-ups?

Cats are masters at hiding all their symptoms. A cat with joint pain, for example, will avoid moving. It’s not that he’s getting older and doesn’t want to play as much, on the contrary, he would love to be able to keep running, playing and climbing to high places for life. Let’s not forget that by nature they are hunters, and to hunt you have to move. If it doesn’t move, it doesn’t hunt, and if it doesn’t hunt, it starves. So we must avoid thinking that because he is getting older he will move less.

In fact, it is estimated that 40% of cats show signs of osteoarthritis and that more than 90% of cats older than 12 years show signs on x-rays . For this reason, it is essential to carry out an early evaluation in order to detect osteoarthritis and the pain it produces, at its inception.

But joint problems are not the only ones that occur without us noticing. One in 3 cats over the age of 3 have dental problems , and unless we open their mouths and look we will not be able to realize it. There are even diseases that we are not going to be able to see simply by opening our mouths, because they affect the internal area of the tooth and in many cases the roots of the teeth. We could liken it to an iceberg, that the part that we see on the surface is much smaller than what is hidden inside the gums.

These are two examples of signs that most of the time, unless we look actively, will go unnoticed.

For this reason, visits to the vet should be regular. The frequency will depend on the age of our cat, if it does not have any pathology or the check-ups that the specific disease requires. Broadly speaking, the international associations dedicated to the study and control of feline medicine recommend that regular preventive visits in cats under 7 years of age be annual and from that age every 6 months.

What can I observe at home to prevent possible illnesses?

These signs can help you and give a clue that something may be wrong with your cat.

  • is quieter than usual
  • hides more
  • He changes his behavior with you. If he is normally affectionate, he stops being affectionate and vice versa.
  • Water intake has increased. If you have doubts or several cats at home there are drinkers that control the amount of water they drink thanks to the microchip
  • His weight has decreased. The best way to find out is by weighing him. If you don’t have a scale for him, he can weigh you with it and subtract your weight. If you do it on a regular basis, you will watch if it increases or decreases.
  • Eats less or makes head and mouth movements when eating
  • It bothers him that you caress him or brush him when he used to like it
  • Pees out of the litter box or meows a lot when doing so

Here are some examples of signs you can look for. In any case, in addition to carrying out regular check-ups, tell your veterinarian about any changes in their behavior or habits.


Bellows, J., et al 2019. 2019 AAHA dental care guidelines for dogs and cats. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 55(2), 49-69.
Lascelles BD, et al.: Cross-sectional study of the prevalence of radiographic degenerative joint disease in domesticated cats. Vet Surg 2010; 39: 535- 44
Benito J et al. Owner-assessed indices of quality of life in cats and the relationship to the presence of degenerative joint disease. J Feline Med Surg. 2012;14(12): 863-870.
Khare, D. S., et al 2018. Feline hyperthyroidism: An overview. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies, 418-423.
Fleeman, L., et al 2020. Updates in Feline Diabetes Mellitus and Hypersomatotropism. Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 50(5), 1085-1105.

Why am I afraid of dogs?

Have you ever wondered why there are people who are afraid of dogs even though they have never had a bad experience with a dog?

Find out if you are more of a dog or a cat

Are there really differences between people who prefer dogs to cats? Find out.

Teach your puppy not to bite your hands in a simple and practical way

We all have assumed that a puppy will chew furniture and shoes. But when those needle-like teeth stick into our skin, it's not so much fun. It can be avoided?

I am going to be a mother and I have a dog. How do...

It is usually a very common question: What can we do when we have a dog and a baby is coming home?

Can a dog help me with depression?

My dog arrived at the time I needed it most. Have you ever heard this phrase? In this article we explore whether living with a dog can help us get out of depression and improve our mood.