Routine Veterinary Examinations for Your Kitten
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Vaccinating kittenFew things are more important than getting your kitten off to a happy and healthy start. We strongly encourage you to make regular veterinary visits during this important part of your kitten's life. Optimally, the first appointment should be the day you are bringing your new kitten home. Some people think these visits are just for 'shots,' but as you can see in the description of the visits below, these office visits cover a lot more than vaccinations.

We suggest you take this checklist with you when you go to your appointments. Be sure to write down any specific questions you have prior to the exam. Most veterinarians allow extra time for 'kitten visits,' but you may still want to inform the receptionist when you make the appointment that extra time may be needed.

First visit

Second visit

  • General physical exam including weighing your kitten

  • Discuss any health concerns

  • Have your kitten checked for internal and external parasites, including a fecal exam (again, you may want to bring a fresh stool sample with you)

  • Have your kitten 'dewormed'*

  • Discuss vaccinations and have the proper ones given

  • Discuss any problems or changes in feeding your kitten

  • Discuss any grooming, oral hygiene, or other concerns

  • Review normal behavior and discuss any behavior problems

Third and subsequent visits

  • General physical exam including weighing your kitten

  • Discuss any health concerns

  • Discuss spaying or neutering your kitten

  • Have your kitten checked for internal and external parasites, including a fecal exam (you may want to bring a fresh stool sample with you)

  • Have your kitten 'dewormed'*

  • Discuss the need to adjust the dosage of heartworm preventive according to your kitten's new weight

  • Discuss vaccinations and have the proper ones given

  • Discuss any problems or changes in feeding your kitten

  • Discuss any grooming, oral hygiene, or other concerns

  • Review normal behavior and discuss any behavior problems

  • Discuss traveling with your kitten, or other concerns

* Even though a fecal exam may be negative, regular deworming is recommended to kill immature forms of the worms. Your heartworm preventive may contain a wormer; discuss this with your veterinarian.

We recommend that as your kitten grows into an adult, she should have an annual exam. Again, these appointments are not just for vaccinations but to evaluate the overall health of your pet and identify any potential problems early in their course.

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Reprinted from PetEducation.com.