Bringing a new kitten into your life is a thrilling experience, but with it comes the responsibility of ensuring their wellbeing. To help you give your furry friend the best start in life, our veterinary team at Pittsboro has put together some valuable information about what to expect at your kitten's first vet appointment.
As a proud new kitten parent, it's crucial to prioritize your furry friend's health from the get-go. Scheduling a visit to the veterinarian is a must, not only to ensure your kitten is in tip-top shape, but also to prevent the spread of any potential infections.
Should you notice any concerning symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, breathing difficulties, or a loss of appetite, it's imperative to seek medical attention promptly.
Should I Bring Anything To My Kitten's First Vet Visit?
To ensure a smooth initial checkup for your new kitten, preparing certain items beforehand is a good idea. Whether you visit the vet right after bringing your furry friend home or wait a day or two, having the following items on hand can make the experience more comfortable for both you and your kitten:
- 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 that have already been administered to the kitten. If it is not possible, write down what you were told at the adoption so you don't forget.
What Should I Expect During Their First Physical Exam?
At our clinic, our staff and veterinarian will take the time to get to know your furry friend. We will ask about your kitten's history during your appointment and conduct a thorough physical examination. This includes a close examination of the eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and overall body, as well as a check for any parasites such as fleas and mites. Our vet will also use a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs and may take a stool sample to ensure your kitten is in optimal health.
For the best start in life, it's recommended that kittens be adopted between the ages of 8 to 10 weeks. If your kitten is particularly young, such as under 6 weeks, our veterinarian will closely monitor their nutrition and hydration levels to ensure they are getting the support they need to thrive.
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 most likely be requested to bring a fecal sample from your kitten to your veterinarian for testing for parasites like intestinal worms, giardia, and other potential issues. Because not all intestinal parasites show up on fecal tests and a substantial percentage of kittens have them, your vet may give your kitten a deworming medicine at each appointment. Many parasites can be transmitted to humans, thus it is critical to remove them from your cat.
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 it is 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.
What is the Typical Cost of a Kitten's First Vet Visit?
Your furry friend's initial trip to the veterinarian, as well as follow-up routine checkups, may differ in cost depending on various factors such as the veterinarian, the type of pet, and even the specific animal.
To get a precise estimate of expenses, reach out to your trusted vet for further information.
What Are Some Important Questions To Ask During Kitten's First Visit?
As a responsible cat owner, it's important to have a well-informed conversation with your vet during the first visit. To help get you started, we've compiled a list of essential questions to ask:
- 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.