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Kitten's First Vet Visit Checklist

Kitten's First Vet Visit Checklist

It's an exciting time when you bring home your new furry friend, but as fun as it is you also need to remember that they will need some special care during their first year. To help you prepare, our Orange vets discuss what to expect at your kitten's first appointment and share some of the questions that you may want to ask during the visit.

When you bring home any new pet, the first thing you should do is schedule them for a cat or dog wellness exam with your Orange vet. This will help to ensure that they are in tiptop health and that you provide them with a strong start to their life in this world.

What should I bring to my kitten's appointment?

Some things are nice to have ready before the initial cat wellness exam, 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

If you're taking your kitten for their first vet exam, make sure to bring any documents that you were provided when you picked up your new kitten. 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 will happen during my kitten's first physical exam?

The staff and veterinarian will ask you about your kitten's history and do a physical examination. They will also search for other parasites like fleas and mites. The vet will examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and entire body. This includes palpating the abdomen to feel the organs and using a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs. A stool sample may also be taken to see whether your kitty has any underlying health issues.

For optimal health, weaning time, and socialization, kittens should be adopted at the age of 8 to 10 weeks. If your kitten is young, especially if it is 6 weeks or under, the vet will need to examine the kitten's nutrition and hydration status and offer any necessary supplementation.

What can I expect if my new kitten needs diagnostic testing?

During your new kitten's initial wellness exam, your new feline friend will likely need to have both a fecal exam and blood work done.

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 are the costs associated with a kitten's first vet visit?

The first vet visit, as well as subsequent routine pet wellness exams, can vary from vet to vet, cat to cat, and pet to pet. For an accurate estimate of the cost of cat and dog wellness exams in Orange, please contact your veterinarian directly.

Are there any common questions that I should ask my veterinarian?

Here is a list of questions you can ask your vet during the first visit as well as during any other pet annual exam. 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.

Do you need to schedule your new kitten's first veterinary exam? Contact our Orange vets today to book your new feline friend in for routine preventive care and their initial examination.

Now Welcoming New Patients

If you are looking for a veterinarian in Orange contact us at Vet4HealthyPet Animal Hospital today, to schedule your cat or dog's first appointment! Our vets are passionate about what they do and always provide the best possible veterinary care.

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