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Kittens in box - taking them to the vets for the first time
Kittens in box - taking them to the vets for the first time

A Kitten’s First Vet Trip

Your kitten’s first trip to the vets can be a milestone in itself. But how can you ensure it will run smoothly? If this is your first feline member of the family, you may not know what to expect, but KatKin is on hand to ease your worry. Learn how to prepare and keep your kitten calm for their first vet trip, so there are no hidden surprises waiting.

When should a kitten have its first vet trip?

Within the first few days of bringing your new kitten home, you will want to try and make an appointment with your local vets. Having an appointment this early will help:

  • Check the overall health of your kitten

  • Check vaccination status

  • Make your kitten familiar with visiting the local vet surgery

Try not to put this initial vet appointment off as you never know what health issues may be present. More often than not, finding things early may increase chances of recovery, which is what we all want. In some circumstances your kitten may have already visited a vet before for vaccinations, but it is still important to build a relationship with your local vet. Book that first vet appointment now and for any more advice you can read our ultimate kitten guide to help in your journey to becoming a hardcore cat parent.

How to prepare your kitten for the vets

Preparation for the first vet appointment can make all the difference. Having a brief understanding of your kitten's behaviour can help when preparing them for the journey. Although there is not a set age in which to take your kitten for their first vet appointment, the earlier you can go, the better. Our top 3 tips for preparing your kitten for their first vet trip include:

  • Booking a vet appointment as early in the morning as possible - there may be less people in the surgery early in the morning which may keep your kitten calm and not get as overwhelmed.

  • Get a cat carrier - you may already have one when getting your kitten, but if for some reason you don’t have a cat carrier, you will need one. These allow for safe travel between your home and the vets. It is important to get your kitten used to travelling in a cat carrier as it will make future journeys less difficult.

  • Write down your questions - we’ve all been there, as soon as you're put on the spot your mind goes blank and you forget anything you wanted to ask. Writing down your questions will help you to focus on the things you want to know. Remember, no question is too silly! Your vet is most likely to have heard them all before and can reassure you if you have any doubts.

What you may need to take with you to your first vet appointment

As well as bringing along your kitten (that's obvious!) The most important thing you can bring to your first vet appointment is any healthcare paperwork for your kitten that you may have. This can include vaccination certificates, which will help when filling out any new paperwork your vet will give you. Being organised and ensuring you have this information ready will help the appointment run smoothly.

What may happen at the 1st vet appointment for your kitten

When you first arrive for your vet appointment, you will need to be prepared for filling out paperwork. While this can be a lengthy process, the more details you can provide will help your vet when performing a full veterinary physical exam.

Once the paperwork is complete, your vet will take your kitten for a full veterinary physical exam. Within this process, your vet will check:

  • Your kitten’s eyes, ears & teeth for any abnormalities

  • Review the skin for any fleas, ticks or changes

  • The kitten’s joints for flexibility

  • The abdomen for any abnormalities or painful areas

  • Your kitten’s heart and lungs to detect any murmurs, irregular rhythms or harsh sounds

Your vet may also want to take a stool sample from your kitten to check for any intestinal parasites. Bringing a recent sample with you may be helpful, but you can always check when making your kitten’s first vet appointment.

Questions your vet may ask on the first visit

As with any routine appointment, your vet may ask you a number of questions in order to get a better understanding of your kitten. The questions they may ask you include:

  • How long have you had your kitten?

  • Where did you get your kitten? (shelter / private breeder etc)

  • Has your kitten had any vaccinations?

  • Has your kitten been treated for fleas and worms? If they have been treated for these, when was it and what product was used.

5 Tips to keeping your kitten calm before their vet appointment

Allowing your kitten to meet their new vet in a non emergency situation is always nicer than the other way round. But how do you keep them calm before the appointment? Being expert hardcore cat parents ourselves, we have come to learn of a few tips which may come in handy when visiting the vets. Whether it is the first visit or the 100th, these tips may help your kitten relax for their trip.

  • Keep calm yourself - Our top tip is to keep yourself calm. This may sound obvious but when you're anxious or panicking, your kitten may pick up on those emotions and worry themselves.

  • Allow your kitten to become familiar with their cat carrier - The cat carrier should not be something your kitten fears. Having the carrier on display and open for the kitten to see at all times can help to reduce the anxiety they may feel when first using it. You can try playing with them while they are in their carrier, so they can understand it’s a safe environment for them.

  • Try and get the kitten used to travelling by car - Once you have mastered the cat carrier, getting them used to travelling by car or public transport is next. Your kitten may not be used to the travelling motion, but taking them for short drives and building up the time slowly can help to reduce any worry they may be feeling.

  • Travel carefully - When you do have your kitten in the car with you, it may be wise to travel more carefully to start with. This may mean reducing your speed or avoiding a particular road with a lot of potholes.

  • Avoid feeding before travelling - Our final tip is to try and avoid feeding your cat about 6 hours before a journey. If you feed them, the motion may cause travel sickness, which is never nice for anyone.