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Newborn Kitten's First Vet Visit: What to Expect

Congratulations on bringing home a new kitten! To ensure your pet's well-being, it's important to schedule their first veterinary appointment and routine exams going forward. Our vets in Gilbert are happy to provide information on what to expect during your kitten's initial visit, so you can be prepared.

When you bring a new kitten home, it is crucial to have it examined by a veterinarian. This is not only important for the kitten's health, but also to ensure that it doesn't have any contagious diseases that could spread to other animals or humans in the household. If you notice any signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or loss of appetite, it is essential to take the kitten to the vet as soon as possible.

Do I need to bring anything?

It's helpful to have certain items prepared before taking your new kitten to the doctor for their initial checkup. These items may 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 you take your kitten to the vet for the first time, it's important to bring any documents related to its adoption with you. Your veterinarian should also know about all the treatments and immunizations that your kitten has already received. If you don't have the documents, make sure to write down all the details that you were told at the time of adoption, so that you don't forget anything important.

What happens during the physical exam?

During your visit to the veterinarian with your kitten, both the staff and veterinarian will ask you about your kitten's medical history. They will also conduct a physical examination to check for any parasites such as fleas and mites. The vet will thoroughly examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and the entire body. This includes palpating the abdomen to feel the organs and using a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs. Additionally, a stool sample may be taken to identify any underlying health issues.

It is recommended to adopt kittens when they are between the ages of 8 to 10 weeks as it promotes better health, weaning, and socialization. If your kitten is younger than 6 weeks, it is crucial that you take them to a veterinarian to examine their nutrition and hydration levels and provide any necessary supplementation.

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 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.

How much will the first vet visit cost?

The cost of the first vet visit and subsequent routine exams may vary between vets, cats, and pets. For an accurate estimate, please contact your veterinarian.

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

Here is a list of questions that you can ask your vet during your cat's first visit. Although there are numerous other questions that you may want to ask, these should 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.

Need to schedule your kitten's first vet appointment? Contact our Gilbert vets for the best possible start to life.

We Are Always Accepting New Patients

Contact us today to book your first appointment and find out the difference that caring, compassionate and knowledgeable veterinary service makes in your pet's health and happiness. 

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