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8–11 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Kitten

How to Help Your Kitten Make the Transition into Her New Home :: What to Expect at Your Kitten's First Vet Visit :: A Primer on Kitten Vaccinations :: Five Household Hazards for Your Kitten

What to Expect at Your Kitten's First Vet Visit

If you've never had a cat before, that first vet visit can be just as anxiety-provoking for you as it is for your kitten. But if you know what to expect before you get there, you'll feel better and your relaxed state will have a positive effect on your kitten, too.

So be sure to:

  • Call the vet's office and find out what the fees for various procedures are so you won't be surprised when you're presented with the bill.

  • Bring a fecal sample with you so your vet can examine it for worms.

  • Be sure to arrive on time for your appointment because many vets' offices are quite busy, and make sure your kitten is in a secure carrier.

  • If you adopted your kitten from a shelter or a breeder, you will have health and vaccination records. Bring these with you. When you arrive at the vet's office, check in with the receptionist and give her these records. This document will be the beginning of your kitten's health file, and it will ensure that your kitten doesn't get shots or tests he doesn't need.

You and your kitten will be shown to an examination room, where you can let him out of her carrier and allow him to explore if he wishes to do so. If your cat needs vaccinations, the vet tech will prepare them. The veterinarian will arrive shortly and introduce herself. She'll give your kitten some petting and do her best to make your pet feel comfortable and then begin the physical examination. She'll check his pulse and respiration with a stethoscope; palpate (touch and press) his abdominal organs; look at his ears, eyes and teeth; and run through his fur with a fine-toothed flea comb.

If your kitten hasn't had any vaccinations, your vet will administer his first shots. And if your kitten hasn't been tested for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia (FeLV), she'll draw some blood for testing. These tests are done in the vet's office and typically take five to 10 minutes to produce results.

While she examines your cat, the vet will explain what she's doing and ask you questions about your kitten's temperament, eating habits and litter box use. After the exam is finished and the blood tests and fecal analysis are done, the vet will explain the results. If your cat has worms or fleas, she will recommend treatment options. If your kitten's blood test came back positive for FIV or FeLV, she'll tell you what that means.

Before you leave, you'll need to pay the bill and make another appointment in a few weeks for your kitten's booster shots. And when you get back home with your kitten, make sure to give him extra love and tell him how good and brave he was – even if he wasn't!

Advice from Other Cat Owners 

One More Thing

As a breeder, I am surprised that 'taking the kittens temperature' is not on the list. This is an important part of any kitten visit to the Vet.

~Barbara J., owner of Bo and Serena

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