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Kitten's First Vet Visit: What to Expect

There are many things to learn when you get a new pet. One way of getting the information you need is by scheduling the first visit with your vet. In this article, our Corpus Christi vets discuss what to expect at your kitten's first vet visit.

Why Your Pet's First Vet Visit is Important

When you bring a kitten home, you must get it examined by a veterinarian. This is important to maintain your kitten's health and to check that it does not share any major infections. If the kitten exhibits any signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, or inability to eat, it should be seen as soon as possible. Your kitten's first vet visit is also important to start planning your kitten's spay or neutering appointment and also discuss possible vaccinations your cat may need.

Don't wait until your pet gets sick to take them to the vet. Contact our Corpus Christi vets to book your pet's first vet appointment. 

How much does the first vet visit cost?

Having a pet can be expensive. Some of the highest costs of having a pet are a result of food costs and vet costs. For an accurate estimate of the cost, contact your veterinarian directly. You can also search this team on Google, "Puppy hospital near me prices". The cost of your first vet visit and your pet's routine exams can vary from vet to vet, cat to cat, and pet to pet. Some pet owners can get pet insurance which can help to cover some of the costs associated with vet bills.

Do I need to bring anything?

There are a few things that pet owners should have prepared for the initial checkup. Whether you go immediately to the vet after picking up your new kitten or after a day or two at home. The things you bring with you to your first vet visit 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 going to your kitten's vet for the first time, bring any adoption documentation with you. Your veterinarian should also be aware of all treatments and immunizations administered to the kitten. If not possible, write down what you were told at the adoption so you don't forget.

What happens during the physical exam?

During the physical exam, the staff and veterinarian will ask you questions about your cat's health. While examining your kitten, they will search for other parasites like fleas and mites. The vet will also examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and 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.

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 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 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 cat insurance worth it and if so, who do you recommend?
  • 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?
  • How is my cat’s dental health?
  • 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?
  • 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. 

Did you get a new cat? Contact our Corpus Christi vets today to schedule your kitten's first vet visit.

New Patients Welcome

Everhart Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Corpus Christi companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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