When you first get a new cat, the last thing most people want to do is go for that first vet visit. It is usually uncomfortable in a number of ways, as many people are uncertain as to what is really needed. This leads to financial stress, frustration and stress upon the owner and the cat. What if you could go in to the local vet and know ahead of time what is needed? Wouldn’t that make things a bit more relaxed at that first vet visit?
Most vets are cognizant of the fact that not everyone can afford the more expensive vet procedures. As such, they usually offer some kind of starter package. Inquire about this when you call around to find your cat’s vet.
First and foremost, you need to figure on the cat getting a complete physical exam. This is vital to your cat’s health moving forward, as well as to your other pets. When a cat is feral, part of a multi-cat environment like a shelter, or simply a cat from a friend, it can be at high risk for several problems. These problems could include ringworm, fleas, respiratory problems and even life threatening diseases for your cat.
Expect tests for Feline Leukemia virus (FELV) and Feline Immunodefeciency virus (FIV) at a minimum. It is important to know your cat is starting from a good baseline of health and to identify problems early on. This is a necessity regardless of the cat’s age, though six months of age is required for the FIV test. Also expect a regular fecal matter test, including one on the first visit.
Needless to say neutering your cat is a good idea at the youngest age possible. This will prevent a surprise down the road, as well as plenty of behavioral problems as the cat ages and matures.
Vaccines are a vital part of your cat’s first vet visit, but only you and your vet can determine the right ones for your cat. Age, history, risk and various other factors will determine what your cat should get in the area of vaccines.
Microchips are another step that some can afford and some can not. Most people can at this point, as the cost of adding it has come down a good bit. The advantages of adding a microchip are numerous, and can make all the difference when you are hunting for a lost cat. It is optional but many consider it incredibly silly to not go ahead and do it if you can.
These are certainly not the only things you can spend money on at the vet on the first visit, but they are the most important. All of the things on this list are considered the minimum to do for your cat at their first visit. If you are told otherwise by a vet, perhaps you should get a second opinion to ensure that you are getting good advice.
“Your Cat’s First Vet Visit”, Catnews.org