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What to Expect at my Kitten's First Vet Visit

Once you've introduced your kitten to the family and have them settled, you should schedule an appointment with a vet. Here, our emergency vets in Lacey discuss what to expect at your kitten's first vet visit, including what to bring and questions to ask.

When to Take a Kitten to the Vet

When you get a new kitten, the first thing you should do is schedule a vet visit. This is important for your kitten's health and to ensure it does not share any communicable infections. If the kitten shows signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or an inability to eat, it should be examined as soon as possible.

What to Bring to Your Kitten's First Vet Visit

There are a few things that will make the vet visit go smoothly. 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

You should always bring adoption paperwork to the first veterinary appointment. You should also inform the veterinarian about the kitten's previous treatments or vaccinations. If you cannot do this, remember what they told you at the adoption to avoid forgetting.

What happens during your kitten's examination?

During your kitten's first vet visit, the staff and veterinarian will interview you and physically examine your kitten. They will also search for other parasites, such as fleas and mites. The veterinarian will examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and entire body. The healthcare provider palpates the abdomen to feel the organs and listens to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope. We may also collect a stool sample to determine your underlying health problems.

For optimal health, weaning time, and socialization, kittens should be adopted at eight to ten weeks. If your kitten is young, especially six weeks or under, the vet must examine the kitten's nutrition and hydration status and offer any necessary supplementation.

What diagnostic tests will your kitten need?

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

Fecal Exam: Your veterinarian will almost certainly ask you to bring a fecal sample from your kitten for testing for parasites such as intestinal worms, giardia, and other possible issues. Your vet may administer deworming medication at each appointment because not all fecal tests detect all intestinal parasites, and a significant percentage of kittens have them. Humans can contract many parasites, so removing them from your cat is crucial.

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.

What is the cost of new kitten checkups?

A kitten's first vet visit can vary in cost depending on several factors. These can include the breed and age of your new furry friend, the expertise of the veterinary professional and what they have done during the visit.

Questions to Ask the First Time You Bring Your Kitten For a Vet Visit

You may have many questions during your kitten's visit. This list is not exhaustive, and you are welcome to ask any questions that are not on it. 

Here are some questions that veterinarians are commonly asked:

  • 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.

The Role of Routine Checkups for Kittens

Bringing your new kitten to the vet is crucial to help prevent and address potential illnesses and diseases. As mentioned above, this is done with physical exams, vaccinations, preventive care and diagnostic tests. If an issue does occur, routine care allows for it to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Even so, emergencies can arise at any time. If your new kitten is showing any signs of medical distress like vomiting, difficulty breathing or obvious signs of trauma, you should bring them straight to our emergency veterinary hospital in Lacey. Our emergency vets are trained to manage all types of emergencies and offer on-site diagnostics to help us diagnose and treat your kitten's condition quickly.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.

Is your kitten showing signs of an emergency? Contact our emergency veterinary hospital in Lacey right away. We are here to help.

Walk-in Patients Welcome

At Olympia Pet Emergency, you can always access our full complement of emergency services without an appointment. We treat both walk-in patients and referrals for urgent veterinary care.

Contact Us

Contact (360) 455-5155