Having a new kitten is exciting, but now you need to make sure they're healthy and will stay that way for the rest of their lives. To get you started, our veterinarians Clarksville give you some information on what to expect on your kitten's first visit to the vet.
When you bring a kitten home, you must have it examined by a veterinarian. This is important for your kitten's health and to ensure that it doesn't have a contagious infection. If the kitten shows signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, breathing difficulties, or an inability to eat, he should be examined as soon as possible.
Should I Bring Anything To My Kitten's First Vet Visit?
It's a good idea to have certain things ready before the first examination, whether you go to the vet immediately 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
If you're taking your kitten to the vet for the first time, make sure to bring any adoption documentation with you. Your veterinarian should also be aware of all treatments and immunizations already administered to the kitten. If it is impossible, write down what you were told at the adoption so you don't forget.
What Should I Expect During Their First Physical Exam?
The staff and veterinarian will ask questions about your kitten's history and perform a physical examination. They will also check for other parasites, such as fleas and mites. The veterinarian will examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat and entire body. They will palpate the abdomen to feel the organs and use a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs. A stool sample may also be taken to check for underlying health problems.
For optimal health, weaning time and socialization, kittens should be adopted at 8 to 10 weeks of age. If your kitten is young, especially if it is 6 weeks old or less, the veterinarian will need to examine its nutritional and hydration status and offer any necessary supplements.
Will the Vet Perform Any Tests During This First Visit?
Yes, your kitten will likely need both a fecal exam and a blood test.
Fecal Exam: You will probably be asked to bring a stool sample from your kitten to your veterinarian to check for parasites such as intestinal worms, giardia, and other potential problems. Since not all intestinal parasites are detected in fecal tests, and a significant percentage of kittens are carriers, your veterinarian may administer a dewormer to your kitten at each appointment. Many parasites can be transmitted to humans, so it's essential to eliminate them from your cat.
Blood Test: The American Association of Feline Practitioners suggests 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 she is at least nine weeks old. If you have other cats in the house with your kitten, separate them until they have tested negative, in case your new kitten has a transmissible disease.
What is the Typical Cost of a Kitten's First Vet Visit?
The first vet visit, as well as 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 Are Some Important Questions To Ask During Kitten's First Visit?
Here's a list of questions you can ask your veterinarian on your first visit. Of course, there are a whole variety of other questions you can ask, and we encourage you to do so, but these questions should set you 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.
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.