Congratulations on your new kitten!
We love the friendship and joy a new kitten brings!
Congratulations! All of us at Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic are eager to meet the newest member of your family. We just love kittens; there is nothing cuter than watching a kitten experience a new toy, make its first leap or peak out from a blanket. Watching your kitten grow and change over the first year is a wonderful experience.
Having a kitten can bring a lot of good experiences into your life, but it also requires a lot of giving of time, energy, and money for proper veterinary care. As a pet parent, you now have the responsibility for making sure your kitten’s most basic needs are met. We are here to partner with you throughout your kitten’s healthy life!
Your Kitten’s First Visit with Us
Please bring your kitten in for a check-up as soon as possible to establish a relationship with a veterinarian. A kitten exam is important to establish the health of your kitten. Very young kittens may suffer more from medical issues as their immune system is not yet mature, and certain types of breeds and pets are more susceptible to certain medical problems. Kittens that have not had adequate medical care prior to adoption may have pre-existing conditions that need to be addressed. The kitten exam will ensure your canine companion will be on the way to growing up healthy and strong.
Please bring your kitten in a closed carrier, and all veterinary records or other paperwork you have pertaining to your kitten’s care. Also, please bring a fresh stool sample (ideally less than 12 hours old).
Your kitten’s first exam will include:
- A comprehensive physical exam
- Screening for viruses specific to felines, such as Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
- Intestinal parasite screening
- Intestinal parasite deworming if necessary
- Development of an immunization program based on your kitten’s current age and expected lifestyle. Rabies vaccine is required by state law for all kittens.
- Heartworm prevention recommendations
- Recommendations for controlling and preventing external parasites such as fleas
- Behavior and housetraining recommendations
- Nutritional counseling
Pre-kitten planning is important. It is best to purchase supplies (for example, food and water bowls, toys, litter box, bedding, collar, identification tag) before you bring your kitten home. Pre-kitten shopping allows you to order from wholesale catalogs or shop for supplies without the pressure of the kitten needing it immediately.
Kittens are inveterate snoops and their favorite toys might be harmful to them, things like electric cords, cords on blinds or plants to nibble. You may have to kitten-proofing the area where he or she will spend most of his or her time the first few months. Ask us for kitten-proofing ideas. Once you think you’ve completely kitten-proofed, lie on the floor and look around once more to get a kitten’s-eye view. If you have children, please remind them not to overwhelm the kitten the first day.
When you pick up your kitten, remember to ask what and when he or she was fed. Replicate that schedule until your first kitten visit with us. We will discuss your kitten’s breed, anticipated lifestyle and nutritional needs with you during your first kitten visit. If you do not think you can purchase the same type of food the kitten was eating, please give us a call.
Please also be alert to the following symptoms, as they are signs that your kitten needs immediate care:
- Any respiratory problems, such as coughing, trouble breathing
- Any signs of pain: panting, labored breathing, increased body temperature, lethargy, restlessness or loss of appetite
- Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- Any wound or laceration that’s open and bleeding, or any animal bite
- Allergic reactions, such as swelling around the face, or hives, most easily seen on the belly
- Any eye injury, no matter how mild
- Seizure, fainting, or collapse
- Thermal Stress, either too cold or too hot, even if the cat seems to have recovered
- Trauma received from any incident, even if the cat does not appear to have been physically harmed
- Any suspected poisoning, including ingestion of antifreeze, rodent or snail bait, or human medication
The entire staff at Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic is here to help you and your kitten through every life stage. Please contact us to schedule your kitten’s first wellness exam and with any questions you have about your kitten’s healthcare.