Preparing for your Kitten's First Visit to the Veterinarian

Keep your new kitten quarantined from your other cats and their personal items until she’s fully examined by a veterinarian, ideally within 24 to 72 hours of bringing her home for optimal kitten care.

What should you ask your veterinarian about kitten care?


If you don’t already have a veterinarian, you can reach out to family and friends for local referrals. It’s important you find a professional you are comfortable with to see your new kitten, ideally within the first 72 hours.
  • Make sure the office and emergency hours fit your needs.
  • Ask about vaccinations, purpose, and associated cost.
  • Ask what else you can expect during your kitten’s first visit and how much it will cost.
During your visit, you may want to ask your veterinarian about specific kitten care issues like:

  • Which food to use, how often to feed, and portion sizes
  • Options for controlling parasites
  • Signs of illness
  • Timing for boosters or vaccinations needed
  • Spaying, neutering and declawing

What should you bring to your kitten’s first veterinarian visit?

It’s important to place your kitten in a carrier crate secured to the seat or floor of your vehicle. Don’t forget to bring these items:

  • Any previous health or vaccination records
  • A stool sample
  • A list of questions

During the exam:

Your kitten’s first veterinarian visit will include several tests as well as a thorough physical exam.

Physical will likely include:

  • Taking her temperature
  • Listening to her heart
  • Palpating her organs
  • Testing her muscles and joints for mobility
  • Checking the condition of her coat and combing for fleas
  • Checking her ears for infection and ear mites
  • Checking her eyes
The doctor will likely check her baby teeth and mouth to help confirm her age and to rule out any tartar or gum concerns.

Lab work

  • Your kitten’s stool sample will be put through a fecal float to detect hookworms, roundworms and/or tapeworms. Kittens from shelters often have worms, which can be treated with an injected or oral medication.
  • Your veterinarian may test for Giardia or Haemobartonella.
  • At 9 weeks or sometimes earlier, your veterinarian will test for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

Vaccinations

  • If your kitten is 9 weeks or older, she will get the FRCP (3-way) vaccine for feline calicivirus, herpesvirus and feline panleukopenia.
  • Your kitten may get a Rabies vaccine, depending on her age.
Your kitten’s first visit to the veterinarian can be less stressful if you know what to expect before you go. When you get home, reward her with extra playtime for being brave during her first phase of proper kitten care. Then your next trip will be even easier.

TIPS TO TAKE AWAY

  1. Bring your kitten to the veterinarian within 24-72 hours of bringing her home. 
  2. Be sure to bring your kitten to the veterinarian in a secured crate. 
  3. When you get home, reward her with extra playtime for being brave during her first phase of proper kitten care.