You have your new kitten and are ready to embark on the exciting
journey of cat partnership (you can never really own a cat!) Getting their first Veterinarian visit set up
can be both intimidating and exciting. Don’t worry! As long as you’ve done your research you’ll be ready
for everything that will happen during the first doctor visit for your new baby.
Begin by purchasing a sturdy carrier, if you haven’t already. Prep your kitten for travel
in the carrier by encouraging them to explore it on their own and giving them a treat when they enter it
willingly, and again when you shut the door. Take them on small car rides in their carrier, giving them
treats before and after to make it a pleasant experience.
Make the appointment to see your Vet as soon as you can after receiving your kitten; if
they are a shelter cat or cat with other unknown background, you will have to forego crate training as it
is best to have them examined the same day you receive them so that both they and any animals you have at
home are kept as healthy as possible.
During The Appointment
When you get to the vet, you may be asked to sit in a waiting room until an exam room is freed up. An assistant
will ask for basic information, including the reason for your visit and likely weigh your cat, noting all the
information on the chart. They will leave with your chart and close the door. When the Vet comes, they will
knock on the door before entering so you can make sure you have control of your pet if they are out of their
Chart in hand, your Vet will double check the reason for your visit. They will then
perform a fully hands-on physical exam during which they will:
Check baby teeth and mouth
Take the temperature
Listen to the heart
Test joints and muscles for mobility
Check ears for mites
Comb fur for fleas
They will take the opportunity while doing these to discuss with you the habits your kitten has at home (if
you’ve had them at home) or have displayed, such as temperament, litter box usage and eating habits. After
this, they will most likely pack your kitten up and whisk them back into the treatment area for some tests and
Tests and Vaccines
It is normal for a kitten to receive a fecal exam, both FIV and FeLV blood tests, and vaccines during their
first check-up. A fecal exam, or fecal float, tests the feces for worms. Worm eggs will float to the top of the
sample where they can be picked up by a microscope slide and observed under a microscope. If your cat is
infected, your vet will tell you and suggest a course of treatment. Some vets may recommend preventative
treatments with safe medication until six months regardless of test results.
In-house blood test are recommended by the AAFP, American Association of Feline
Practitioners, to test for FIV and FeLV on all new cats regardless of age. Young kittens may show a false
positive and so your vet may recommend retesting at six months. If these tests are positive, your vet will
discuss what this means and your options with you.
Vaccines are a necessary and important part of pet ownership. There are core and non-core
vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended or required by law and non-core vaccines are administered based on
the situation you have at home and the expected lifestyle of your cat.
After The Appointment
Once the appointment is finished, you will have to pay and will want to set up an appointment to have your cat
spayed or neutered and to receive their boosters. Some vets will offer to declaw during the spay and neuter. Do
not make this decision on the spur of the moment. Thoroughly research this option before making this
You can now take your kitten home and begin on the wonderful experience of owning a cat,
confident that they are healthy and expected to remain so for a long time.
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