Generally speaking, kittens are cared for exclusively and extremely well by their mother in their first six weeks and are protected from infections by antibodies in her milk. Should a kitten nevertheless fall ill, a quick trip to the vet is always advisable, since young cats in particular have little resistance, vital functions quickly malfunction and they can soon give in to severe illnesses.
The First Visit to the Vet
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From the second week, deworming should take place every two weeks, since young cats can be infected by endoparasites in the mother's milk, which could result in severe damage to the intestinal epithelium and diarrhoea too.
The first examination
If you have given a home to a young kitten – ideally not below the age of 10 weeks – you should take it to a vet for examination soon after it has overcome the stress of the move and being separated from its litter mates. You can generally combine this appointment for the initial examination with the basic immunisations due in the ninth or twelfth week.
As part of the first clinical examination, the vet checks the condition of the little cat's fur and general nutrition. In addition, the mucous membranes, teeth and ears (parasites) are examined and the vet auscultates the heart and lungs. They measure the body temperature and if required, give any due vaccinations or carry out a leucosis test in order to then be able to administer the vaccine. You should take with you for analysis a faecal sample from several days in a sealed vessel. In any case, you should consistently deworm your cat until the twelfth week.
Getting to know one another
However, this initial visit and the following ones don't just look at the health aspect, but also helps the vet should your cat fall ill in future by giving a first indication of its general condition. In addition, your cat becomes accustomed to the veterinary practice, the waiting room, strange smells and the examination procedure too. By doing so, this helps to prevent vehement rejection at a later stage by getting your cat used to the environment early on. Furthermore, the vet will discuss future nutrition, the growth period, the onset of puberty and the time when sterilisation/castration will become necessary. It's therefore important to visit the vet when your cat is at a young age not just for healthcare provision, but also to prevent potential problems from emerging later on in serious cases should your cat fall ill.
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