Bringing your new kitten to the vet for the first time can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. You want to ensure your little one is healthy and happy, but you may not know what to expect. To help prepare you for this important visit, here’s a guide on what you can expect during your kitten’s first trip to the veterinarian.
First, it’s important to remember that it’s normal for kittens and cats to feel nervous at the vet. Even if they seem calm, they could be feeling scared. That’s why it’s important to handle them gently and provide plenty of reassurance throughout their visit.
When to Bring Your New Kitten to the Vet
When you bring a new kitten home, it is important to take them to the vet for a checkup as soon as possible. This will give the vet an opportunity to assess their overall health and make sure they have all of their necessary vaccinations. It is also a good time to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your new pet.
Ideally, you should bring your kitten to the vet within the first 48 hours of bringing them home. This helps ensure that any health issues are caught early on, and can be addressed quickly. Additionally, bringing your kitten in sooner rather than later ensures that they can become accustomed to visiting the vet, which will help make future visits less stressful for both of you.
How to Prepare For the First Vet Visit
- Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork
Gather up any documents that your cat breeder has given you, including their vaccination records, adoption papers and microchip information (if applicable). It’s also helpful to have a list of any medications they may be taking or any issues they’ve had since coming home with you.
- Schedule an appointment in advance
If possible, book the appointment at least a week ahead of time so that you can get familiar with the clinic and its staff. Understandably, this may not always be possible, but for cat owners who are getting their new kitten from a cat breeder, there should be plenty of time. Also take a moment to ask if there is anything else that you’ll need to do, such as having the kitten fast in the hours before the vet visit, or any stool/urine samples that need to be collected for evaluation.
- Make sure your kitten is up-to-date on vaccinations prior to the visit
Kittens from a breeder should have some vaccinations already completed. These vaccinations will help protect them from diseases while they’re visiting the clinic, though you should avoid letting your kitten walk on the floor or interact with other animals.
- Complete any forms in advance
Most veterinarian clinics will have downloadable forms for you to fill out so that you don’t have to bother with paperwork once you get to the clinic. This not only saves you some time, but also some stress since you’ll be able to focus on keeping your kitten calm and relaxed instead of having to fiddle with a paper, pen and your kitten at the same time.
What Happens During Your Kitten’s First Vet Visit?
Your vet will begin by assessing your kitten’s weight and overall health. They will also look at their ears and eyes, check their fur for any lice or fleas, perform a physical exam, inspect their teeth, and likely take a faecal sample to test for parasites including worms. Your vet may also recommend additional tests such as blood work or urine analysis if they detect any signs of illness or infection.
Your veterinarian may also administer vaccinations depending on how old your kitten is and whether or not they are up-to-date with their shots. Common vaccines include feline distemper (or FVRCP), feline leukaemia (FeLV) and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Depending on where you live, other vaccines such as a rabies shot may be recommended as well.
If your kitten has been spayed or neutered already, then your vet will likely ask about its post-operative care instructions such as exercise limitations or diet restrictions. Otherwise, your vet may suggest spaying or neutering as part of preventative care before discussing any other treatments that might be necessary based on the results of the exam.
Additionally, your veterinarian will discuss preventative measures like parasite prevention (flea/tick control) and heartworm treatment options depending on where you live and the lifestyle of your pet. They may also recommend microchipping in case of an emergency situation where you cannot be located quickly enough due to travel or other reasons.
Finally, before leaving the office, make sure you understand all instructions from the doctor regarding follow-up visits or additional treatments that might be needed in keeping with preventive healthcare guidelines for cats in general. Don’t hesitate to ask questions! Most veterinarians are very accommodating when it comes to helping owners understand more about proper cat care so they can provide their pets with a long and healthy life full of love.