Yearly checkups don't consist of much, unless you're getting vaccinations, and many people don't. When a cat gets older, a yearly checkup would be a good idea. However if you want to err on the side of caution and money isn't an issue, yearly would be the way to go.
I personally haven't taken one of my cats to the vet since he was neutered as a kitten and got his first shots. That was 17 years ago. He's been indoor his whole life (except a few trips outside the last year or so) and never exposed to anything. He is an absolute wreck anywhere foreign, terrified of strangers, and just putting him in a cage causes him to pee in it from fright. I think the trip would do more damage than good in his case, as he seems otherwise healthy. My aunt's cat died of a heart attack at the vets... now the cat was of course old and failing, but that was not a nice way to go.
My other cat is indoor/outdoor, so she goes more often, a few times for medical conditions due to outdoor life too; abscesses and stuff. But she bizarrely takes going to the vets like a great adventure. Walks out of her cage, tail high, greets the vet. Strangest thing ever, since at home she totally ignores strangers.
So depends on you, your cat, and what you want to do. Some places require yearly vaccinations, but as was discussed in another thread not long ago, it's not like people are going door to door to make sure.
Last edited by Carmel; 11-15-2012 at 04:18 PM.