Meet the Vet: Your Kitten’s First Health Check-Up
Find the vet your new kitten deserves
When adopting a new kitten into your family, one of the most important things you can do is find an excellent veterinary practice.
Shelters and rescue organisations will often provide a medical check-up as part of the adoption process, but regardless it’s important to find a vet that you can rely on in the years to come.
Ideally, you should take your kitten for a veterinary exam within the first 24 to 72 hours after adopting them. If you already have other cats, it's recommended to get a check-up before bringing the new kitten into your home.
Choosing the right vet for you
When choosing your vet, do a bit of research first:
These considerations can help you to find a vet that’s a great fit for you and your kitten.
Vets are not just for sick pets
Vet visits aren’t only for times when your pet is sick or injured. It’s important to take your kitten in for regular health checks, especially in the first few months of their life.
This ensures that any problems can be spotted before they have a chance to escalate. It also helps your kitten to get used to the idea of going to the vet in non-emergency situations, which can help to make the process less stressful.
What about pet insurance?
If your kitten is unwell, the last thing you need is the additional stress of worrying about the cost of medical care. That's why many people choose to take out health insurance for their pets.
Do some research beforehand, to compare policies and prices. You can also ask your vet if there is any specific insurance plan they would recommend.
Remember that pet insurance may not cover routine healthcare and it’s essential to read all the “fine print” before you sign anything.
Preparing for the first vet visit
It's natural to be nervous before your kitten's first visit to the vet, but a little preparation will help make it a positive and reassuring experience. Here are some tips to make the process smoother and easier.
What to expect during the appointment
Once your kitten meets the vet, they will get a full physical examination. Your vet will gently check your kitten’s:
For a slightly older kitten, the first vet visit will also include a vaccination. The first vaccination for your kitten is due between 9 and 12 weeks old. Ask your vet when you should schedule the next vaccination or booster appointment for your kitten.
While examining your kitten, the vet will most likely ask some routine questions, and you can ask any questions you may have too. This will help the vet get to know your kitten, establishing a trusting relationship that could last your cat's lifetime.
You might also talk about your kitten's feeding habits and nutritional needs. Research shows the right food is vital to your kitten's healthy development, so be sure to get the vet’s recommendation.
Before you leave, collect your kitten's new medical records and any food or medication that the vet may have prescribed. Secure your kitten in the carrier for the journey home. Afterwards, it’s time for a treat and extra cuddles!