You've just welcomed a precious fur ball into your home. It's crucial to prioritize your kitten's health and wellness by scheduling their first veterinary appointment and routine check-ups. Our team of skilled veterinarians across Grants Pass has a comprehensive guide on what to expect during your kitten's first vet visit.
Whenever you bring a kitten home, you must consult with a veterinarian. This is important for the health of your kitten and to ensure that it does not share any communicable infections. If the kitten shows signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, or inability to eat, it should be seen by a veterinarian right away.
Do I need to bring anything?
Some things are nice to have ready before the initial checkup, 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
Bring any adoption documentation with you if you're taking your kitten to the vet for the first time. Your veterinarian should also know all treatments and immunizations already administered to the kitten. If it is impossible, write down what you were told at the adoption, so you remember.
What happens during the physical exam?
When you and your adorable fur baby walk into the vet's office, the veterinary staff will warmly welcome your kitten and ask about their health history. Then, get ready for a thorough physical examination of your little one, which includes checking for pesky parasites like fleas and mites.
The vet will leave no stone unturned, examining your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and entire body. They'll even give your kitten's tummy a little poke to feel the organs and listen to their heart and lungs with a stethoscope.
In addition to the physical exam, the vet may also need a sample of your kitten's stool to check for any underlying health issues. Remember, it's better to be proactive than reactive regarding your kitten's health.
Did you know kittens should be adopted between 8 and 10 weeks old for optimal health, weaning time, and socialization? Suppose your furry bundle of joy is younger, especially 6 weeks or under. The vet must examine their nutrition and hydration status and supplement them.
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 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, 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 kitten first vet visit cost?
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 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 vet during the first visit. Of course, there are a myriad of others you can ask, and we encourage you to do so, but these should start you on the road 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.