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When Should I Take My Kitten's to their First Veterinary Visits?

Congratulations on bringing home your little bundle of joy! Now, make sure to schedule your first veterinary appointment and plan for routine exams in the future. To assist you in preparing, our veterinarians at Lancaster will discuss what you can expect at your kitten's initial appointment.

When you bring home a kitten, it must be examined by a veterinarian. This is important not only for your kitten's health but also to ensure that it does not share any communicable infections. If the kitten shows signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or inability to eat, it should be examined as soon as possible.

Do I need to bring anything?

Make sure to have certain things ready before your initial checkup, whether you visit the doctor immediately after getting your new kitten or a day or two later. These essentials 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

Remember to bring any adoption documentation when taking your kitten to the vet for the first time. Also, ensure your veterinarian knows about any previous treatments or immunizations the kitten has received. If bringing documentation isn't feasible, jot down the details you were provided at the adoption to avoid forgetting.

What happens during the physical exam?

The staff and veterinarian will interview you and physically examine your kitten. They will also inspect for other parasites, such as fleas and mites. The veterinarian will examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and entire body.

This examination includes palpating the abdomen to feel the organs and listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope. Additionally, the veterinarian may collect a stool sample to determine any underlying health problems.

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

Will my kitten need any lab tests?

Your kitten will likely need a fecal exam and a blood test.

Fecal Exam: You will likely need to bring a fecal sample from your kitten to your veterinarian for testing for parasites such as intestinal worms, giardia, and other potential issues. Since fecal tests may not detect all intestinal parasites and a considerable number of kittens may have them, your vet may administer deworming medication during each appointment. Removing these parasites from your cat is crucial, as many can be transmitted to humans.

Blood Test: The American Association of Feline Practitioners advises testing all newly adopted cats for FeLV and FIV regardless of age. If your kitten is under nine weeks old, your veterinarian may suggest postponing the test until it reaches at least nine weeks. If you have other cats in the household with your kitten, it's recommended to keep them separated until they test negative to prevent the potential transmission of any diseases your new kitten may have.

How much will the first vet visit cost?

The first vet visit and 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 questions should I ask at my kitten's first vet visit?

Here is a list of questions you can ask your veterinarian during your initial visit. Of course, there are many more questions you can ask, and we encourage you to do so, but these should get you started 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.

Do you need to schedule your kitten's first veterinary appointment? Contact our vets in Lancaster today to ensure your new family member gets the best possible start in life.

Welcome New Patients

Sears Veterinary Hospital is now welcoming new cat and dog patients! We have a talented veterinary team that is passionate about providing the pets of Lancaster with the best care possible. Contact our office to book your cat or dog's first appointment today.

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(661) 948-5911