Bringing a new kitten into your home can be really exciting! But it's also important to ensure your kitten stays healthy and happy. To prepare for this adventure, our vets in Mooresville have compiled a checklist for your kitten's first trip to the vet!
When you bring a new kitten into your home, make sure to take it to the vet. This will help keep your kitten healthy and make sure it doesn't have any illnesses that could spread.
If you see your kitten with watery eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, or not wanting to eat, get them to the vet right away.
Should I Bring Anything To My Kitten's First Vet Visit?
Some things are nice to have ready before the initial check-up, whether you go immediately to the doctor after picking up your new kitten or after a day or two at home. These include:
- Any information and paperwork provided by the shelter or breeder
- Notes of any concerns you have about the kitten
- Stool sample
- Cat carrier
- Cat Treats
When you take your kitten to the vet for the first time, remember to bring any adoption papers with you. Let your vet know about all the treatments and shots your kitten has received. If you can't remember, jot down what you were told when you adopted your kitten so you don't forget.
What Should I Expect During Their First Physical Exam?
The staff and veterinarian will talk to you about your kitten's history and give your kitten a check-up. They will also look for other bugs like fleas and mites. The vet will look at your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, fur, and whole body. This means they will press on the tummy to feel the organs and use a special tool to listen to the heart and lungs. They might also take a small piece of poop to check for any hidden health problems.
Bringing your kitten home when they are between 8 and 10 weeks old is best to keep them healthy and happy. If your kitten is really young, especially if they are 6 weeks or younger, the vet will make sure they are eating and drinking well and may give them some extra stuff if needed.
Will the Vet Perform Any Tests During This First Visit?
Yes, your kitten will likely need both a fecal exam and a blood test. Here are some details about both:
Your vet might request a poop sample from your kitten to check for things like worms and giardia, which are common tummy troubles. Some parasites can't be spotted in poop, so your vet may give your kitten deworming medicine whenever you visit. This helps keep your cat and your family safe from sharing these pesky parasites.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners suggests that all newly adopted cats should get tested for FeLV (feline leukemia virus) and FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), regardless of age.
If your kitten is less than nine weeks old, your vet might recommend waiting until it's at least nine weeks old before doing the tests. And if you already have other cats at home, it's a good idea to keep them apart until they have been tested and the results show that they are not affected by any contagious diseases, just in case your new kitten has one.
What is the Typical Cost of a Kitten's First Vet Visit?
The first visit to the vet, along with later check-ups, may differ depending on your vet, your cat's needs, and your pet's unique situation. To get an idea of how much it will cost, it's best to reach out to your vet directly.
What Are Some Important Questions To Ask During Kitten's First Visit?
Here are some important questions you should ask your veterinarian when you take your kitten for their first visit. Although there are many other things you might want to know, these will get you started on your path to becoming a responsible cat owner:
- Is my cat a healthy weight?
- Do you have any grooming recommendations for my cat?
- Are there any vaccinations my cat needs?
- Where are the nearby emergency services for off-hours or holidays?
- What do you recommend for flea and tick prevention?
- How is my cat's dental health?
- Any cat food label questions, such as how to read them, what to look for, etc.
- Are they eating the right food and getting proper nutrition?
- Are they sleeping too much or too little?
- What resources are available at this vet clinic? (ex. X-rays, labs, etc.)
- Are there any common parasites or pests in the area? How can I prevent them?
- Is cat insurance worth it, and if so, who do you recommend?
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.