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Kitten's First Vet Visit Checklist

You've just brought home a new kitten. The next item on your to-do list is to check that they're healthy so they can live a long, happy life. To help you prepare, our veterinary team in Dallas shares some information about when to take a kitten to the vet, and what to expect at your kitten's first vet visit. 

Once you bring your kitten home, it will be time to bring it to a veterinarian for an exam. Checkups and routine exams are important not just for your kitten's health, but also to guarantee that it does not share any communicable infections. If the kitten shows any signs of illness, such as sneezing, breathing problems, watery eyes, or an inability to eat, your vet should see them as soon as possible. 

What should I bring to my kitten's first vet visit?

Whether you head to the vet for your new kitten's initial checkup immediately after picking them up or wait a day or two for your appointment, it's nice to have some things ready before your visit. These include: 

  • Any information or paperwork provided by the breeder or shelter 
  • Notes of any concerns you have about the kitten 
  • Stool sample 
  • Cat carrier 
  • Cat treats 

If you're bringing your kitten to the vet for the first time, bring any adoption paperwork with you. Your veterinarian should also know about any immunizations or treatments that have already been administered to your kitten. If this is not possible, write down what you were told during the adoption process so you don't forget. 

What should I expect during the first physical exam? 

The staff and veterinarian at the animal hospital will ask you about your kitten's health and medical history and conduct a physical exam. They will also check for parasites such as fleas and mites. The vet will examine your kitten's eyes, ears, skin, coat, lips, and entire body. This includes using a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs and palpating the abdomen to feel the organs. A stool sample may also be taken to see whether your kitten has any underlying health issues. 

Kittens should be adopted when they are between 8 and 10 weeks old to allow enough time for socialization, weaning time and development before they leave their mothers. If your kitten is young, your vet will need to closely assess the kitten's nutrition and hydration status (especially if your new pet is six weeks old or younger) and offer any necessary supplementation. 

Will the vet perform any tests during this first visit? 

Yes, your kitten will likely need both a blood test and a fecal exam. 

Blood Test - The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that all newly adopted cats, regardless of age, be tested for FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). If your kitten is less than nine weeks old, your veterinarian may recommend delaying testing until they are at least at the nine-week mark. If you have other cats living in your house with your kitten, keep them separated until they have tested negative in case your new kitten has a transmittable disease. 

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.

What is the Typical Cost of a Kitten's First Vet Visit?

The first vet visit, as well as subsequent routine exams, can vary from vet to vet, cat to cat, and pet to pet. For an accurate estimate of the cost of your kitten's vet visit, please contact your veterinary clinic or animal hospital directly.

What Are Some Important Questions To Ask During Kitten's First Visit?

When you take your new kitten to the vet for the first time, you may find it helpful to keep a checklist of questions on hand to cover during your appointment. While there are many questions you can ask, here are a few to 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.

Is it time for your new kitten's first veterinary exam? Contact our Dallas vets today to make sure they're on track to live a healthy, happy life.

New Patients Welcome, New Hope Animal Hospital, Dallas

New Patients Welcome

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

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