You've just welcomed a new bundle of joy into your home—congratulations! Schedule your kitten's first veterinary appointment and keep up with routine exams. Our vets in Brodheadsville will now walk you through what you can anticipate during your kitten's initial check-up.
When you bring home a kitten, a veterinarian should examine it. This helps ensure your kitten's health and prevents the spread of infections. If the kitten displays signs of illness like watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or inability to eat, schedule an examination promptly.
Do I need to bring anything?
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
Please bring any adoption documentation when you take your kitten to the vet for the first time. Also, inform your veterinarian about any previous treatments or immunizations the kitten has received. If it's not possible to bring the documentation, jot down the information you were provided during the adoption to prevent forgetting.
What happens during the physical exam?
The staff and veterinarian will interview you and physically examine your kitten. They will also check for other parasites like fleas and mites. The veterinarian will examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and entire body. This examination will include feeling the organs in the abdomen and listening to the heart and lungs using a stethoscope. Additionally, they may collect a stool sample to check for any underlying health issues.
Ideally, Kittens should be adopted between 8 to 10 weeks of age to ensure optimal health, proper weaning, and socialization. If your kitten is quite young, especially if it's 6 weeks or under, the vet will assess the kitten's nutrition and hydration status and provide any necessary supplementation.
Will my kitten need any lab tests?
Yes, your kitten will likely need both a fecal exam and a blood test.
Fecal Exam: You will almost certainly be asked to bring a fecal sample from your kitten to your veterinarian for testing for parasites such as intestinal worms, giardia, and other possible issues. Because not all intestinal parasites are detected by fecal tests and a significant percentage of kittens have them, your vet may administer deworming medication at each appointment. Many parasites can be transmitted to humans, so removing them from your cat is critical.
Blood Test: The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that all newly adopted cats, regardless of age, be tested for FeLV and FIV. If your kitten is less than nine weeks old, your veterinarian may advise you to delay testing until at least nine weeks. If you have other cats in the house with your kitten, keep them separated until they have tested negative in case your new kitten has a transmissible disease.
How much will the first vet visit cost?
The first vet visit and subsequent routine exams can vary from vet to vet, cat to cat, and pet to pet. For an accurate estimate of the cost, please contact your veterinarian directly.
What questions should I ask at my kitten's first vet visit?
Here is a list of questions you can ask your veterinarian during your initial visit. Of course, there are many more questions you can ask, and we encourage you to do so, but these should get you started on the path to responsible cat ownership:
- Is my cat a healthy weight?
- 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?
- 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.