Annual Cat Health Checks: Everything You Need to Know

Dr Amelia Bunker, Resident Veterinarian - Knose Pet Insurance

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Dr. Amelia Bunker

Dr. Amelia Bunker (BVSc), our resident veterinarian at Knose, blends her passion for animal care with her expertise in veterinary science. Her journey from mixed practice clinics to insurance expert motivates her dedication to animal welfare, both in her professional role and as a pet owner.

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Most of us know that a cat’s lifespan is very different from a human’s, but what some pet owners may not know is just how a cat’s body responds to time. 

By the time your cat turns two years old, they’re the human equivalent of a 25-year-old. From there, they age about four to five human years every 12 months. 

The older cats get, the more likely they are to need preventative medical care. As pet parents, you want to stay on top of your cat’s preventative healthcare. A customised wellness plan is designed to help cats of all ages get the care they need, from consultations to annual health checks. 

Why Annual Health Checks for Cats Are Important

Setting up annual check-ups for your cat is a proactive way to ensure your cat’s health. It also gives you peace of mind that if a problem arises, the vet will be able to detect it and treat it in no time. 

Here are great reasons why you need to take your cat to the vet every year.


Vaccines have been proven to reduce the health risks for cats in a variety of ways. Vaccinations only prevent certain diseases, but it allows vets to detect other types of diseases early on. 

Your vet will determine the types of vaccinations your cat needs, depending on their age, lifestyle (e.g., indoor or outdoor cat), and breed. The risks of cat vaccinations are very small compared to their life-saving benefits

Emergency Prevention 

Common emergencies, such as severe heart problems, infections, and clots, are entirely preventable if they’re caught early enough. For example, cats with unmanaged diabetes can develop Ketoacidosis, a condition in which their cells breakdown and actively poison the body. 

These conditions are not only serious, but they’re also extraordinarily painful for your cat. An annual cat health check is the key to protecting your cat from unnecessary suffering, so they can live a happy and healthy life. 

Parasite Prevention 

From fleas to ear mites to intestinal worms, parasite prevention is key to your cat’s safety (not to mention your own). And if you’re thinking your indoor cat is safe from parasites, you’ll need to think again. Parasites can travel for quite some time before they find the right host, and some can simultaneously infect both the cat and the owner. 

An annual prevention check gives the vet the chance to spot the parasites before they end up taking over their whole system. The vet will also determine your risk level, so you can remove them before they can infect anyone else in your household.


Few cats look forward to seeing the vet, but the socialisation can be an important part of their well-being. The more they get used to the travel and the environment of the vet’s office, the less stressful they will be for it. 

The best time to start socialisation is when they’re still kittens. Some owners will even take their cat to the vet for a purely social visit — one where all they’re exposed to is petting and treats. 

Average Cost of a Cat Health Check

According to ASIC’s MoneySmart, the average costs of care for a cat are as follows:

  • $273 for vet care 
  • $159 for health-related products
  • $45 for grooming 

The direct costs of an annual health check are more affordable than ever before. Plus, these minimal costs are fractions of what you could spend if your cat becomes seriously ill. 

Preparing Your Cat for the Annual Exam

Getting your cat ready for the exam starts at home. Here are a few tips you can use to help them become more prepared. 

  • Start the examination. The mere act of touching your cat’s ears, legs, and neck can encourage them to be more comfortable at the vet. The more you do this, the more you’ll see exactly where the trouble spots are (so the vet can be forewarned). 
  • Introduce the carrier. Your cat should be spending time in the carrier before you put them in the car. Try enticing your cat with toys or food well before the vet visit, and don’t lock them in at first. Let them become comfortable with it, so they’ll be more likely to get in without a struggle. 
  • Bring comforting items. From a favourite blanket to a soft toy, your cat may feel more comfortable when they have access to familiar objects from home. You should also ask the vet to make the environment as soothing as possible, which may include turning off loud fans or dimming the lights. 

Get the Best Care without the Stress 

Rather than just hoping for the best, get the peace of mind that comes with keeping your furry friend as happy and healthy as possible from year to year. Having a wellness plan in place for your cat takes out the guesswork of pet care. 

We provide individualised pet wellness plans to mitigate certain emergencies. They are tailored by your vet for your pet’s needs and give you some peace of mind.  Ask your vet about Knose Wellness Plans today!  

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