You have recently brought a cute furry kitten to your home. It is essential to prioritize your kitten's health and well-being by scheduling their first veterinary appointment and regular check-ups. Our vets in Vancouver have created a comprehensive guide to help you understand what to expect during your kitten's first visit to the vet.

When you adopt a kitten, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian. This ensures the kitten's health and prevents it from spreading any contagious diseases. If the kitten displays any signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or refusal to eat, it should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

Do I need to bring anything?

Some things are nice to have ready before the initial check-up, whether you go immediately to the doctor after picking up your new kitten or after a day or two at home. 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

When taking your kitten to the vet for the first time, it is important to bring along all adoption documentation. This will help the veterinarian understand the kitten's health history and ensure they receive the appropriate care.

Additionally, if any treatments or immunizations have already been administered to the kitten, it is important to inform the veterinarian.

In case you don't have the documentation, make sure to write down all the information that you were provided during the adoption process, so that you can remember and provide accurate details to the vet.

What happens during the physical exam?

When you take your cute furry friend to the veterinarian's office, the veterinary staff will give you a warm welcome and ask about your kitten's health history. Then, prepare for a thorough physical examination of your little one, including checking for irritating parasites like fleas and mites.

The vet will leave no stone unturned, examining every part of your kitten's body, including their eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and overall physical condition. They will also check your kitten's organs by feeling their tummy and listening to their heart and lungs with a stethoscope.

Apart from the physical exam, the vet may also need a sample of your kitten's stool to check for any underlying health issues. It's always better to be proactive than reactive concerning your kitten's health.

Did you know kittens should be adopted between 8 and 10 weeks old for optimal health, weaning time, and socialization? If your furry bundle of joy is younger, especially 6 weeks or under, the vet must examine their nutrition and hydration status and provide them with necessary supplements.

Will my kitten need any lab tests?

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

Fecal Exam: It is highly likely that your veterinarian will ask you to provide a fecal sample from your kitten for testing for parasites such as intestinal worms, giardia, and other potential issues. It is important to note that not all intestinal parasites can be detected through fecal tests, and a significant percentage of kittens may have them. Therefore, your veterinarian may administer a deworming medicine to your kitten during each visit. It is crucial to remove parasites from your cat as many of them can be transmitted to humans.

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.

How much will the kitten's 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 get in touch with your veterinarian directly.

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

Below is a list of questions you can ask your vet during your cat's first visit. While there are many other questions that you may want to ask, we hope that these questions will help you become 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.
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.

Do you need to schedule your kitten's first veterinary appointment? Contact our Vancouver vets today to ensure your new family member gets the best possible start to life.