According to data from the ASPCA, about two million shelter cats are adopted annually. Are you one of the millions of families who’ve adopted a new kitten this year?
If you are, there are many things you have to do to prepare for your first kitten vet visit. This guide will provide tips to help you navigate this process with ease. Continue reading to learn what you’ll need to do.
Gather Important Paperwork
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in kitten adoption. You’ll need all of those records for your first vet visit.
Ensure you gather all the health and vaccination records the animal shelter gave you after the adoption. While many shelter pets might not have the most comprehensive records, any available information can help your vet develop a new care plan for your kitten.
Shelter pets can have various health conditions when they come in, so it’s essential to prepare for the first vet visit as soon as possible.
Choose the Right Pet Insurance
It’s vital to start your search for pet insurance long before choosing a cat to bring home. You’ll need to have good insurance for your kitten before their first vet visit, as vet bills can pile up quickly.
The type of pet insurance you choose will depend on your kitten’s specific needs. A healthy kitten would do well with a plan covering routine visits and grooming.
You might consider a plan with more comprehensive coverage if your kitten has any health conditions. The best plans include those with high reimbursements on vet bills and accident coverage.
Socialize Your Kitten Early On
When bringing home a cat, you’ll need to start socializing them right away. You want to limit the stress your new kitten feels when going to the vet. You can do this by bringing them around more people.
The physical exam is an important part of the vet visit, so you’ll need to get your kitten accustomed to being touched and picked up. This will help them have an easier time being handled by the vet staff.
Introduce Them to the Cat Carrier
You’ll need to use a cat carrier when you bring your kitten to the vet. Staying in an enclosed place can cause a lot of stress for a young kitten.
You can introduce the carrier to your kitten early to help them become more accustomed to it. Leave the cat carrier out and open it somewhere they can reach it. This will give them plenty of time to explore it before they have to be placed in it.
You can also put your kitten’s favorite toy or blanket in the carrier to help them relax on the day of the visit.
Practice Riding in the Car
Some pets struggle with riding in the car. You can help reduce your kitten’s stress and make the vet visit go smoothly by going on some practice rides.
You need to get your kitten used to riding in the carrier in your car so they feel less anxious about it. You can start by driving a few blocks around your neighborhood.
You can also take them on rides to the pet store to pick out a toy or treat. This will help your kitten associate a car ride with something enjoyable.
Prepare a List of Questions for Your Vet
Educating yourself on kitten care and your kitten’s health is the most important thing you can do when adopting a new furry friend. You want to provide the best life for your new pet, and that starts with taking care of their health.
Sharing health records with your vet is important, but you should also be sharing any unusual behavioral patterns you notice. This could indicate certain health conditions.
Make a list of questions to ask your vet so you don’t forget during that first visit. This is when you can ask about spaying or neutering, preventatives needed for fleas and heartworms, dental health, and diet.
Preparing for the Physical Examination
During the vet visit you’ll have to sit in the waiting room with other pet owners and their animals. Since you’ve been practicing socialization with your kitten, this shouldn’t cause them any unwanted stress.
The vet staff will weigh your kitten before bringing them to the examination room. Your vet will then do the physical exam including checking their eyes, ears, and teeth. Your vet will also check your kitten’s joints and belly.
Knowing this information can also help you feel less stressed about the first visit.
Common Procedures to Expect
Here are a few tests your vet might want to run during your kitten’s first visit. The staff might draw some blood to rest for feline leukemia and heartworm. A complete blood count will examine your kitten’s general health.
Your vet will also conduct tests to look for ear mites and fleas on your cat’s body. Taking a stool sample will help your vet determine whether your cat has any parasites.
Your kitten will also receive the required vaccinations for their age. These can include vaccines for rabies and Bordetella.
Follow These Guidelines for Your First Kitten Vet Visit
All of the tips listed in this guide will help you prepare for your first kitten vet visit. Knowing what to expect and what questions to ask will help you keep your new kitten happy and healthy. Getting the right pet insurance will make taking care of your kitten more affordable.
You should check out our website if you’re looking for more pet care tips or other health blogs.