Welcoming a new kitten into your home can be a thrilling experience, but ensuring their lifelong health and well-being is crucial. To help you get started, our team of veterinarians at Los Angeles County has put together some valuable insights on what you can anticipate during your furry friend's first visit to the vet.
Bringing a new kitten home is an exciting time, but it's important to prioritize their health and well-being. To ensure your furry friend gets off to a healthy start, it's vital to take them for an examination with a veterinarian. Not only does this step help to maintain the kitten's physical health, but it also helps to prevent any contagious diseases from spreading to other pets in the household.
Be sure to keep a watchful eye on your new companion and take note of any signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or reluctance to eat. If any of these symptoms arise, it's crucial to bring your kitten to the vet promptly for necessary medical attention. Remember, early detection and treatment can make all the difference in ensuring your kitten lives a long and healthy life.
Should I Bring Anything To My Kitten's First Vet Visit?
Preparing for your new kitten's initial checkup can be a breeze if you have a few essential items on hand. Whether you're heading straight to the vet's office after adopting your furry friend or waiting a day or two, there are some things that you'll want to have at the ready. These must-haves 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 taking your kitten to the vet for the first time, it's crucial to bring along any adoption documentation to ensure that your veterinarian is aware of the kitten's medical history. Additionally, it's important to inform your vet of any prior treatments or immunizations the kitten may have received.
What Should I Expect During Their First Physical Exam?
Ensuring your kitten's optimal health is of paramount importance. Upon your visit to the veterinary clinic, the staff and veterinarian will inquire about your kitten's history before conducting a thorough physical examination. This comprehensive evaluation will include a search for parasites such as fleas and mites, as well as an examination of your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and entire body.
The vet will also palpate the abdomen to assess the organs and use a stethoscope to check the heart and lungs. A stool sample may be taken to screen for any underlying health concerns if needed. To ensure your kitten's best start in life, it is recommended to adopt them between the ages of 8 to 10 weeks for optimal health, weaning time, and socialization.
If your kitten is younger, especially if it is 6 weeks or under, the veterinarian will carefully examine its nutritional and hydration status and provide any necessary supplementation.
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?
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 get in touch with your veterinarian directly.
What Are Some Important Questions To Ask During Kitten's First 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.
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.vet.