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Kitten First Vet Visit - What to Expect & What it Will Cost

If you've recently welcomed a lovely new kitten into your life, congratulations! It's important to schedule your kitten's first veterinary appointment and plan for routine exams in the future. To assist you in preparing, our Charlotte vets will discuss what you can expect at your kitten's initial appointment.

Why is it important to take your kitten to the vet?

Our team at Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital understands how exciting it is to welcome a new kitten into your family. While you're busy getting to know each other, it's important not to overlook your kitten's essential healthcare needs to ensure they start off healthy. 

It's essential to have your new kitten checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible. This will help ensure that your kitten is healthy and doesn't have any contagious parasites or infections that could be passed on to other pets or people. Especially if you notice any signs of illness, such as scratching, watery eyes, difficulty breathing, or loss of appetite, seek veterinary care promptly if you notice any concerning symptoms.

When should I take my kitten for its first vet visit?

It's a good idea to take your new kitten to the vet for a checkup as soon as possible. This will allow your veterinarian to check for any parasites or signs of viruses that could be transmitted to other pets or even people in your home.

Most kittens leave their mothers and go to their new forever homes at about eight weeks of age, so this is the ideal time to take them for their first vet visit.

If you find a newborn kitten without a mother, their first vet visit should occur immediately. Contact your vet right away. Your veterinarian will provide you with essential guidance on how to care for your tiny new family member.

New Kitten Vet Visit Checklist - What To Bring

When it's time for your kitten's first vet visit there are a few things you may want to take along, 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

If you're taking your kitten to the vet for the first time, make sure to bring any adoption documentation with you. 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 happens during your kitten's first vet visit?

The veterinary team will ask you about your kitten's history and do a physical examination. During your kitten's first checkup, your vet will look for signs of parasites, such as 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 eight to ten weeks. If your kitten is young, especially if it is six weeks or under, the vet will need to examine the kitten's nutrition and hydration status and offer any necessary supplementation.

Typically your kitten will receive their first round of core vaccinations at their first vet checkup. These vaccines will help protect your kitten against potentially serious feline health conditions, specifically Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia, and Chlamydia. It is important to note, however, that your kitten is not fully protected against these conditions until they have received all of the required rounds of their vaccines. Be sure to speak to your vet about when your new kitty will be fully protected.

Your vet will also discuss the optimal timing for booking your feline friend's spay or neuter procedure and why this is an important step for your kitty's health.

Would a lab test be needed for the kitten?

Your vet will likely perform a physical examination, a fecal exam, and a blood test on your kitten.

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 is the cost of a kitten's first vet visit? 

The first vet visit, as well as subsequent routine exams, can vary in price from vet to vet, cat to cat, and pet to pet. To get an accurate estimate of the cost of your kitten's first appointment, please contact your veterinary clinic directly.

Questions To Ask Your Kitten's Veterinarian

Here is a list of questions you can ask your vet during the first visit. 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.

Do you need to schedule your kitten's first veterinary appointment? Contact our Charlotte vets today to make sure your new family member gets the best possible start in life.

New Patients Welcome

Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Charlotte companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Book Online (704) 278-8000