KITTENS FIRST VET VISIT IS SO MUCH FUN
A kittens first vet visit is an exciting one for all members of the family. A new member of the family is plopped down on the exam table for the first medical exam, usually by an excited little boy or girl. There are millions of questions during a kittens first vet visit and I usually takes all the time in the world to answer them. If they have questions while at home, write them down and I will discuss them on the next vaccination visit.
I am always fascinated on how a person or family acquired the kitten. Cats just have a habit of showing up in a neighborhood, school or other places people gather. Sooner or later someone takes the meowing kitten home! Kittens are found from traditional sources such as the humane society or pet stores but a lot of kittens are just “there”! I asked people: “How did you acquire this kitten”? The usual answer went like: “I don’t know….it just showed up…..” Again, cats work their magic!
During the kittens first vet visit, a fecal sample is taken from the kitten or one brought in from the litter box. This is used to determine if the kitten is infected with intestinal parasites. The most common ones in the cat are: roundworms, coccidia and tapeworms. A more detailed discussion of these can be found under Cat Parasites. The kitten is than examined completely. The coat condition is noted and checked for external parasites. The most common in kittens are fleas and ear mites. The heart and lung are listened to, the abdomen is palpated, the clarity of the eyes are noted. A while later the pet has been examined from the nose to the tip of the tail.
If purchased from the humane society or a pet store, make sure you bring to the kittens first vet visit all medical records given to you upon purchase of the kitten. This will aid the veterinarian in deciding when the kitten is due for its next set of vaccinations. Not only when, but which vaccinations are needed for complete health.
I recommend that the kitten, when neutered, be micro-chipped. This is crucial as it has all the pertinent information about the owner embedded on a thin sliver of metal between the shoulder blades. This relatively new technology eliminates the need for collars. Do not put on a non-elastic collar on any cat. Cats love to jump and they are true gymnasts when you think about it. They can get hung on a door knob or any other protruding lever. I have heard of cats in my practice that died because of said collars getting hung up on door knobs and the like. If you want to employ a collar, use only a feline break away collar.
Depending on the age of the kitten, veterinarians will put kittens on an appropriate flea and tick control product that is usually administered topically between the shoulder blades every month. One of the best products on the market for all cats is Revolution®. This drug also takes care of common intestinal parasites as well as ear mites and heartworms. I have also used it to treat sarcoptic mange in cats.