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Kitten's First Vet Visit: What to Expect

Veterinary checkups are a vital part of caring for your new furry friend. But what can you expect during their first appointment? Here, our vets in Nashua share the ins and outs of your kitten's first vet visit, including what to bring, questions to ask and when to bring them in.

Why are early veterinary visits important for kittens?

At Animal Hospital of Nashua, we understand how exciting it is to welcome a new kitten into your family. Of course, you are smitten with your kitten, but while you are having fun getting to know each other, it's important not to forget about the essential healthcare your feline friend needs to start life as healthy as possible.

It's likely not something you want to think about, but kittens often carry a variety of highly contagious parasites and infections. Having your adorable kitty examined by a veterinarian right away sets your kitten on a path to optimal health while protecting other pets and people from any communicable diseases your kitten may be carrying.

We highly recommend booking your kitten's first vet appointment right away, especially if it is exhibiting troubling symptoms such as persistent scratching, watery eyes, labored breathing, or poor appetite.

When is a good time to take a newborn kitten to their first vet visit?

Scheduling a veterinary visit should be one of the first things you do after bringing home a new kitten. This is to ensure their physical health and check for any diseases that can be transmitted to other pets and people. 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 should I bring to my kitten's veterinary appointment?

There are a few items that you should bring with you to the vet to make for a smooth experience, including:

  • 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 your 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 does a physical exam consist of?

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.

Will any diagnostic tests be performed?

Yes. Our vets routinely perform a fecal exam and blood test on all newly adopted pets.

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 a kitten's first vet visit?

When you bring your kitten for their first vet visit, the cost can vary 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.

What questions should I ask the vet?

You likely have several things that you want to ask the vet during your kitten's visit. Remember that you are welcome to ask any questions you may have that are not on this list. 

Some questions that our team is commonly asked during a kitten's first vet visit include:

  • 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 diagnose your pet's condition accurately.

Does your new furry friend need a checkup? Contact Animal Hospital of Nashua to request an appointment for your new puppy or kitten at our veterinary hospital.

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Contact (603) 880-3034