You've brought an adorable little fur ball into your home. Making sure your kitten stays healthy is super important. Start by scheduling their first vet visit and checkup. Our vets in San Mateo have compiled a helpful guide to walk you through what to expect during your visit.
Make sure to consult a veterinarian when you bring a new kitten home. This helps keep your kitten healthy and prevents the spread of infections. If your kitten displays symptoms like watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or problems eating, seek immediate veterinary care.
Do I need to bring anything?
Before your first checkup with the doctor for your new kitten, it's a good idea to prepare certain things. These things apply whether you visit the doctor right after getting your kitten or a day or two later at home. They consist of :
- 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
Bring any adoption documentation with you if you're taking your kitten to the vet for the first time. Your veterinarian should also know all treatments and immunizations already administered to the kitten. If it is impossible, write down what you were told at the adoption so you remember.
What happens during the physical exam?
When you and your cute furry companion visit the vet's office, the vet's team will warmly greet your kitten and ask about its health history. Prepare for a thorough checkup, including looking for bothersome bugs like fleas and mites.
The vet will carefully examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, fur, and whole body. They'll gently touch your kitten's belly to feel its organs and use a stethoscope to listen to its heart and lungs.
Alongside the checkup, the vet might need a small sample of your kittens' stool to check for any hidden health problems. Remember, being proactive about your kitten's health is better than reacting later.
Did you know it's best to adapt kittens between 8 to 10 weeks old for their health, weaning, and socializing? If your little bundle of fur is younger, especially 6 weeks or below, the vet needs to assess its nutrition and hydration and provide extra support.
Will my kitten need any lab tests?
Yes, your kitten will likely need both a fecal exam and a blood test.
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, removing them from your cat is critical.
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 kitten 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 contact your veterinarian directly.
What questions should I ask at my kitten's first vet visit?
During your cat's first vet visit, we've prepared a list of questions you can ask. While there are many more you can inquire about, these will help you begin your journey toward being 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.
Do you need to schedule your kitten's first veterinary appointment? Contact our San Mateo vets today to make sure your new family member gets the best possible start to life.