The addition of a new kitten into your family is always a joy whether it's a pre-planned or spontaneous event. But with this addition comes much responsibility and usually one of the first orders of business is taking that kitten to the vet. Typically, the first question that needs answering is "At what age should I take my new kitten to the vet?" In addition to dishes, food, litter boxes, and toys, make sure that you need to know when to take the kitten to the vet for its first checkup.
There really isn't a hard and fast rule established for the age at which the first visit to the vet should occur, although it is often recommended that you make an appointment within 24 to 72 hours of bringing the kitten home. Sometimes, taking the kitten to the vet when you are initially heading home with the kitten is a preference. A lot of the planning will relate to the circumstances behind bringing that kitten home.
For instance, in the case of kitten rescues or an urgent adoption, it may not be possible to take the kitten to the vet immediately. However, you should make every effort to get the cat to the vet in timely fashion. Should this be the case, you should take steps to quarantine the kitten from the other cats in the house (if there are others). Typically, the bathroom is the ideal candidate for kitten quarantine headquarters. Make sure that the kitten has food and water, as well as their own litter box as well.
The purpose of the quarantine is obvious - it reduces the chances of spreading disease or parasites to the other cats in the house. All too often, kittens are made available for adoption too early in their little lives. If it is possible, and you know that the kitten is still with the mother in the nursing stage, wait to adopt until they are about 9 to 10 weeks of age. This allows for three important aspects to occur:
· optimal health benefits (from the nursing stage)
· socialization process (giving the kitten time to adjust to its surroundings)
· weaning time (psychological effects on both mother cat and kitten)
So, for the purposes of health, socialization, and weaning, a kitten that is 9 to 10 weeks old benefits the most. If you notice that your kitten is sneezing or apparently having other health issues, remember that their first vaccination may have to wait until he or she is healthy. Additionally, it is suggested that you take a fecal sample to the vet with you as well.
The general rule of thumb with new kittens is that they should receive their first vaccinations between the ages of 8 and 10 weeks. If the mother cat has a healthy track record and has been receiving the proper veterinary care, then the kitten has a better chance of following suit. Again, circumstances will mandate how this is handled. In certain situations, kittens won't have the luxury of the time factor if they are placed in the adoptive home. However, if the kitten is 6 weeks old or younger, take the kitten to the vet at your earliest convenience.
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