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Adopting a Rescue Cat - What To Know


adopting_a_rescue_cat.jpgYou have your new kitten and are ready to embark on the exciting journey of cat partnership (you can never really own a cat!) Getting their first Veterinarian visit set up can be both intimidating and exciting. Don’t worry! As long as you’ve done your research you’ll be ready for everything that will happen during the first doctor visit for your new baby. 

Begin by purchasing a sturdy carrier, if you haven’t already. Prep your kitten for travel in the carrier by encouraging them to explore it on their own and giving them a treat when they enter it willingly, and again when you shut the door. Take them on small car rides in their carrier, giving them treats before and after to make it a pleasant experience. 

Make the appointment to see your Vet as soon as you can after receiving your kitten; if they are a shelter cat or cat with other unknown background, you will have to forego crate training as it is best to have them examined the same day you receive them so that both they and any animals you have at home are kept as healthy as possible.

During The Appointment 

When you get to the vet, you may be asked to sit in a waiting room until an exam room is freed up. An assistant will ask for basic information, including the reason for your visit and likely weigh your cat, noting all the information on the chart. They will leave with your chart and close the door. When the Vet comes, they will knock on the door before entering so you can make sure you have control of your pet if they are out of their carrier.

Chart in hand, your Vet will double check the reason for your visit. They will then perform a fully hands-on physical exam during which they will:

 Check baby teeth and mouth
 Take the temperature
 Palpitate organs
 Listen to the heart
 Test joints and muscles for mobility
 Check eyes
 Check ears for mites
 Comb fur for fleas

They will take the opportunity while doing these to discuss with you the habits your kitten has at home (if you’ve had them at home) or have displayed, such as temperament, litter box usage and eating habits. After this, they will most likely pack your kitten up and whisk them back into the treatment area for some tests and vaccines.

Tests and Vaccines

It is normal for a kitten to receive a fecal exam, both FIV and FeLV blood tests, and vaccines during their first check-up. A fecal exam, or fecal float, tests the feces for worms. Worm eggs will float to the top of the sample where they can be picked up by a microscope slide and observed under a microscope. If your cat is infected, your vet will tell you and suggest a course of treatment. Some vets may recommend preventative treatments with safe medication until six months regardless of test results.

In-house blood test are recommended by the AAFP, American Association of Feline Practitioners, to test for FIV and FeLV on all new cats regardless of age. Young kittens may show a false positive and so your vet may recommend retesting at six months. If these tests are positive, your vet will discuss what this means and your options with you.

Vaccines are a necessary and important part of pet ownership. There are core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended or required by law and non-core vaccines are administered based on the situation you have at home and the expected lifestyle of your cat.

After The Appointment

Once the appointment is finished, you will have to pay and will want to set up an appointment to have your cat spayed or neutered and to receive their boosters. Some vets will offer to declaw during the spay and neuter. Do not make this decision on the spur of the moment. Thoroughly research this option before making this decision.

You can now take your kitten home and begin on the wonderful experience of owning a cat, confident that they are healthy and expected to remain so for a long time.



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