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Kitten's First Vet Visit: What to Expect

Congratulations on bringing home your new kitten! To ensure the health and well-being of your furry friend, you must schedule their first veterinary appointment, as well as routine exams going forward. To help you prepare, our vets in Ypsilanti have provided a guide on what to expect during your kitten's first appointment.

If you are bringing a kitten home, it is crucial to have it examined by a veterinarian. This examination is not only essential for the kitten's well-being but also to ensure that it does not carry any contagious diseases. In case you notice any indications of sickness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, breathing difficulties, or inability to eat, it is highly recommended to take the kitten to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Do I need to bring anything?

It is recommended to have certain things ready before taking your new kitten to the vet for an initial checkup, whether you go immediately after picking them up or wait a day or two at home. These items 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 you take your kitten to the vet for the first time, it is important to bring all the adoption documentation with you. This will help your veterinarian understand the kitten's background and be aware of any previous treatments or immunizations given to the kitten. In case you cannot bring the documentation, make sure to write down all the information you were told during the adoption process to avoid forgetting it.

What happens during the physical exam?

When you take your kitten to the vet, they will ask you questions about the kitten's health and perform a physical examination to ensure there are no health issues, such as fleas and mites. The veterinarian will carefully inspect the kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and body during the physical examination. They will also feel the organs in the abdomen and use a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs. Additionally, the vet may collect a stool sample to check for any underlying health problems.

It is recommended that kittens be adopted between 8 to 10 weeks of age to ensure optimal health, proper weaning, and socialization. If your kitten is younger than 6 weeks, the vet will also 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: Your veterinarian will likely ask you to bring a fecal sample from your kitten for testing. The test aims to identify parasites such as intestinal worms, giardia, and other possible issues. However, it is important to note that not all intestinal parasites are detected by fecal tests, and a significant percentage of kittens may have them. Therefore, your vet may administer deworming medication at each appointment. It is crucial to remove parasites from your cat as many of them can also be transmitted to humans.

Blood Test: The American Association of Feline Practitioners suggests that all newly adopted cats, no matter their age, should undergo testing for FeLV and FIV. If your kitten is less than nine weeks old, your veterinarian may suggest postponing the test until it turns nine weeks old. In case your new kitten has a transmissible disease, it is advisable to keep it separated from other cats in the house until they have tested negative.

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 contact your veterinarian directly.

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

Here is a helpful list of questions that you can ask your veterinarian during your first visit. While there are many more questions you can ask, these should help you get started on the journey to becoming a responsible cat owner:

  • 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 veterinarians in Ypsilanti today to ensure your new family member gets the best possible start in life.

Caring for Pets in Ypsilanti

Michigan Avenue Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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