One of the first things that you should do when you get a new kitten is book them in for a cat or dog wellness exam with your Turlock vet. This step will give your new friend a strong and healthy start in life.
What to Bring to Your Kitten's Vet Visit
Some things are nice to have ready before the initial cat wellness exam, 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
You should also be sure to bring any paperwork of documentation with you to the appointment. Your veterinarian should also be aware of all treatments and immunizations that have already been administered to the kitten. If it is not possible, write down what you were told at the adoption so you don't forget.
What to Expect During the Appointment
The staff and veterinarian will ask you about your kitten's history and do a physical examination. They will also search for other parasites like fleas and mites. The vet will examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and entire body. This includes palpating the abdomen to feel the organs and using a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs. A stool sample may also be taken to see whether your kitty has any underlying health issues.
For optimal health, weaning time, and socialization, kittens should be adopted at the age of 8 to 10 weeks. If your kitten is young, especially if it is 6 weeks or under, the vet will need to examine the kitten's nutrition and hydration status and offer any necessary supplementation.
What if my kitten needs further diagnostic testing?
While bloodwork and a fecal exam are common parts of your kitten's appointment, there may be other tests that your vet chooses to perform. Here's what you can expect with both fecals and blood tests:
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.
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 it is 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 will my kitten's vet visit cost?
The first vet visit, as well as subsequent routine pet wellness exams, can vary from vet to vet, cat to cat, and pet to pet. If you would like to learn more about how much your kitten's visit will cost, speak with your Turlock vet today.
What are some questions that I should ask the vet during the visit?
When you bring your kitten to their first vet visit there is likely a few questions that you will want to ask the vet. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. Of course, there are a myriad of others you can ask, and we encourage you to do so, but these should 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.