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Kitten's First Vet Visit: What to Expect

So you've made the leap and brought home a new fuzzy feline friend. What now? The first thing you should do is schedule a wellness exam. Here, our vets discuss what to expect at your kitten's first vet visit in Brooklyn and share a checklist for what to bring and questions to ask.

When should you take your new kitten to their first vet visit?

Scheduling a veterinary visit should be one of the very first things you do after bringing home a new kitten. This is important not only for your kitten's health but also to ensure that it does not share any communicable infections. If the kitten shows signs of illness, such as watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or inability to eat, it should be examined as soon as possible.

What should I bring to my kitten's vet visit?

There are a few things that will make the vet visit go smoothly. 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 always bring any adoption paperwork with you to the first veterinary appointment. You should also inform your veterinarian about any previous treatments or immunizations given to the kitten. If you cannot do this, write down what they told you at the adoption to avoid forgetting.

What will happen during my kitten's physical exam?

The staff and veterinarian will interview you and conduct a physical examination on your kitten. They will also search for other parasites such as fleas and mites. The veterinarian will examine your kitten's eyes, ears, lips, skin, coat, and entire body. The healthcare provider palpates the abdomen to feel the organs and listens to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope. We may also collect a stool sample to determine whether you have any underlying health problems.

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.

What lab tests might my new kitten need?

Yes, your kitten will likely need both a fecal exam and a blood test.

Fecal Exam: Your veterinarian will almost certainly ask you to bring a fecal sample from your kitten for testing for parasites such as intestinal worms, giardia, and other possible issues. Your vet may administer deworming medication at each appointment because not all fecal tests detect all intestinal parasites and a significant percentage of kittens have them. Humans can contract many parasites, so it is crucial 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 in Brooklyn?

A kitten's (or puppy's) first vet visit in Brooklyn can vary in cost depending on several factors. These can include the breed and age of your new furry friend, the expertise of the veterinary professional and what they have done during the visit.

What are some questions to ask your vet during this first vet visit?

There are many questions that you may want to consider asking during your kitten's visit. This list is not exhaustive and you are welcome to ask any questions that you may have that are not on this list. 

Here are some questions that we are commonly asked:

  • 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. Please make an appointment with your vet to diagnose your pet's condition accurately.

Do you need to book a checkup for your new furry friend? Ask our veterinary team about scheduling puppy or kitten care at our clinic in Brooklyn.

New Patients Welcome

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

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