Here is what you need to know!
You got a new kitten! Now what? Congratulations on your adorable new companion!
Your veterinarian is your partner in making sure your kitten gets the best start possible, as these early months of life are extraordinarily important in determining the health, behavior, and well-being of the adult cat your kitten will become.
Below is information on what you can expect when you bring your pet in for her initial kitten exams
- Overall health: The veterinarian will check for congenital issues, soundness of body, and signs of infectious issues.
- Feeding/Nutrition: Your vet can help you choose the best kitten and cat food for your new friend.
- Housebreaking: Cats are naturally clean animals, and, as a result, housebreaking is usually a relatively simple procedure. If your kitten is having problems, your vet can give you tips for teaching her where to go.
- Appropriate behavior/Socialization: Help your kitten learn that new people are not scary by taking things slowly, and at her own pace. It’s important to keep early experiences positive!
- Environment: Kittens have a lot of energy, and sometimes they can be over exuberant. Don’t use your hands or feet during play—always use toys or wands with something they can chase, like feathers. And always allow the kitten to “catch” the toy a few times so she won’t get frustrated.
- Bathing/Grooming: Is regular brushing enough or do cats ever need baths? What about nail trims? Your vet can tell you what your kitten needs now and when she’s grown up to keep her healthy and happy.
- Immunizations based on risk factors: While all kittens need an initial series of core vaccinations, there are some that may be optional depending upon environment and other factors.
- Parasite Prevention: You’ll have a discussion on both external (fleas and ticks) and internal (intestinal worms and heartworm) parasites. You can also talk to your veterinarian about other types of parasite prevention based on your cat’s lifestyle and environment.
- Pet Health Insurance: Now is the time to sign your cat up for veterinary insurance! This coverage is significantly less expensive if you obtain it early in your kitten’s life and will help cover many major veterinary expenses that occur when they’re older.
SECOND EXAM (11- 13 WEEKS)
- Health assessment: The vet can determine if your cat’s growth and development is on track and if any future health issues are developing.
- Feeding/Nutrition: Your pet’s nutritional needs may change during this important growth period, and your pet’s calorie intake make need adjustment depending upon activity level.
- Appropriate behavior/Socialization: How is your kitten reacting to new situations, people, and other animals? Are you noticing any unusual behaviors?
- Immunizations: Your kitten will receive her second set of core vaccinations at this visit.
- Parasite Prevention: Your kitten will need a second round of deworming for intestinal parasites at this visit. Flea and tick prevention can begin around this age as well, and your veterinarian can
discuss the various options with you.
THIRD EXAM (15 – 17 WEEKS)
- Health assessment: Checking for appropriate growth and development.
- Behavior/Socialization: : This visit is a good time to address any behavior concerns with your veterinarian.
- Immunizations: The third set of core vaccinations will be administered, and your kitten will get her first rabies vaccination.
- Parasite Prevention: Flea and tick prevention can be started if not already being given.
- Preparation for spay/neuter: Sterilization is your responsibility as a pet owner, and it has many health benefits for your cat as well. Males and females can be altered as soon as they are healthy and weigh enough to safely undergo anesthesia. Your vet will advise you as to recovery times, post-surgical activity level and possible complications.
- Microchipping: This small transmitter is your pet’s ticket home if she becomes lost. Insertion usually causes very little pain; however, many pet parents opt to have this done while their pet is anesthetized for spay/neuter surgery.