Tips for your cat’s first visit to the vet

Bringing a new cat into the home is always an important and exciting decision. Sometimes that arrival is something anticipated and highly anticipated, at other times it may be a spontaneous adoption or rescue.

In any case, in addition to buying everything your new cat requires, such as food, dishes and litter boxes, you should find time for the veterinarian, with the collaboration  of the veterinary assistant, to carry out a first check-up of your cat’s health. .

The first visit to the vet can show us underlying problems that can affect him, your family and other pets. Some illnesses can suddenly become serious, so it’s best to know right away if your cat needs special treatments.

For the good of the health of everyone in your household, including that of the new cat, it is important that you do not put off this first veterinary visit.

Next, I will indicate the recommended period for making this visit, and some guidelines to follow so that it is satisfactory and the least stressful for your cat.

When should you make the first visit to the vet with your cat?

The new cat should visit a vet as soon as possible to have its health checked. There is no set time for the first visit to the vet, although it is recommended to do it within 24 to 72 hours after the arrival of the cat . If you already have cats in your house, it is better to go to the vet before taking the new cat home, it may be carrying a disease that is not obvious to you.

In the case of a shelter cat or other urgent adoption they can make a pre-adoption vet visit impossible. In this situation, keep the newcomer isolated in a bathroom or similar space where they are separated from family and other pets.

The new cat should have its own litter box, food bowl and water bowl to prevent disease or parasites from spreading in its new home.


Preparing for your cat’s first visit to the vet

Even if your cat is very calm, he can be stressed by visiting the vet: the carrier, the car ride, loud noises, unfamiliar smells, can increase the stress level of your feline. For this reason, I offer you some guidelines so that you can prepare your first visit to the vet,  and in this way the experience is less stressful for everyone:

  • Gather all your pet’s documentation, if it has it. Your vet will need to review your pet’s health records, including vaccination history, to establish a plan for future care.
  • If it has been with you for a long time, it is advisable that you have accustomed them to being touched and held. Keep in mind that the veterinarian with the  clinic assistant will manipulate him to perform the physical examination that is required.
  • Acclimate your cat to the carrier. It may help to leave it, a few days before, in a place where your cat can sniff and examine it. The more familiar you are with the carrier, the less stressed you will be placed inside it. Placing one of your favorite blankets inside can also help reduce your anxiety.
  • If your cat is nervous when travelingby car or has never traveled, you can try a few test laps with the car and the cat in the carrier.

What will your cat do during the vet visit

When you arrive at the clinic, generally the veterinary assistant will  register your cat with all the information you provide.

Some clinics have holding areas to separate dogs from cats, which can help reduce stress for cats that are not used to being around dogs. Keep your cat in its carrier until you get to the exam room.

During this initial visit, the vet will perform the following checks on your cat:

  • Checking the inside of the mouth: the baby teeth, tongue and roof of the mouth will be examined.
  • Taking the temperature: if it is too high or too low, it may be an indication of a problem.
  • Palpate the cat’s abdomen: the belly will be palpated to notice anything abnormal.
  • Auscultate the heart and lungs:A cat should have a normal rhythm of its heartbeat. The lungs must be clear with only air flowing through them.
  • Muscle and Joint Mobility Test– will check the mobility of your legs, especially your knees It will ensure that the cat has a normal gait when walking.
  • Eyeexamination: An ophthalmoscope can be used to examine the cat’s eyes.
  • Check the ears for mites.
  • He will watch your cat’s hair for fleas– Fleas love cats of all ages.

In this first visit, a dewormer is usually applied and the dates will be established to begin with the administration of the vaccines.

At the end of the examination of your feline, a medical history will be opened and the  veterinary assistant  will give you a control card of the preventive measures that have been applied.

Questions to ask during your cat’s veterinary visit

The first visit to the vet is a good time for you to share information about your cat. The vet will ask you about their health history, vaccination records, and home environment. What you contribute will help the vet complete a picture of your pet’s health.

Establishing a  normal line of behavior  for your cat will serve to highlight any unusual or misplaced events (such as lethargy, irritability or loss of appetite) that could be a symptom of a health problem that may arise in the future.

The initial visit is also the time to ask your vet any questions you may have about caring for your cat. The relationship you establish with your veterinarian will help your cat receive the best possible care.

After the first visit to the vet

When you return home you should try to do it smoothly. Don’t forget that your visit could have been very stressful.

Your cat will have been infused with unfamiliar smells while in the clinic. These smells can cause anxiety and rejection if you have other cats at home. Make sure that the cat “catches” the smell of your home, and if necessary you can keep it separated from the rest of the pets until it is accepted.

You should make sure to follow the instructions or recommendations that your vet has given you. This may include administration of flea and tick, heartworm or deworming medications, a meal schedule, and care tips.

Remember to schedule your cat’s next visit at 3-4 weeks after the first. Getting your cat the right preventive care can help it live a longer, healthier life.

On what other occasions should you take your cat to the vet?

You know that that first visit to the vet is necessary, but you should also go to a veterinary clinic if you observe abnormal symptoms in your cat  . Sometimes your cat will have a medical problem that should not wait when you observe the following symptoms:

  • Any radical change in eating, drinking, urinating, or defecation habits.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting for more than 24 hours.
  • Lethargy or lack of energy.
  • Suspicion that he has been poisoned.
  • Sudden behavior changes and aggressiveness.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Urinate outside of the litter box.
  • Seizures
  • Sudden blindness (bumping into furniture, etc.)
  • If your cat is trying to urinate and can’t, she may have a blocked urethra.
  • Excess meowing and vocalization.




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