Kitten's First Vet Visit Checklist

Getting a new kitten is exciting, but it's important to ensure their lifelong health. To assist you in getting ready, our White House vets share some information about what to expect at your kitten's first vet visit.

When you bring a new kitten home, it's important to take it to the vet for their first check-up. This is important not just for your kitten's health but also to guarantee that it does not share any communicable infections. If the kitten shows any signs of being sick, like watery eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, or inability to eat, it should be seen as soon as possible.

Should I Bring Anything To My Kitten's First Vet Visit?

Some things are nice to have ready before the initial check-up, whether you go immediately to the doctor after picking up your new kitten or after a day or two at home. 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

When you're bringing your new kitten to the vet for the first time, remember to bring any adoption papers. Let your vet know about the treatments and shots your kitten has received. If you can't remember, jot down what you were told when you adopted your kitten. 

What Should I Expect During Their First Physical Exam?

The staff and veterinarian will talk to you about the kitten's history and do a physical examination. 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 you have any underlying health issues.

For the best health and socialization, it's best to adopt kittens at 8 to 10 weeks old. If your kitten is young, especially if it is 6 weeks or under, the vet will need to examine the kitten's nutrition and hydration status and offer any necessary supplementation.

Will the Vet Perform Any Tests During This First Visit?

Your kitten will probably need both a fecal check and a blood test. 

Fecal Exam: Your vet might ask you to bring a small sample of your kitten's fecal 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: T It's a good idea to get a blood test for your new kitten, no matter how old they are. This test looks for two diseases called  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 Typical Cost of a Kitten's First Vet Visit?

The first vet visit, as well as 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 Are Some Important Questions To Ask During Kitten's First Visit?

Here is a list of questions you can ask your vet during the first visit. Of course, there is 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 have a new kitten that needs its first visit to the vet? Contact our White House vets today to get them on track for a healthy life.