Knowing When to Take Kitty to the Vet
You should always take your new kitty to the vet as soon as possible after you bring it home. This acquaints you with the veterinary clinic you’ll be using and the procedures for getting an appointment there, and also let you meet the veterinary, and the veterinary meet your kitten! It also means that your kitten can have an initial examination and get treatment for any kitty ailments that it might have – if you’ve bought the kitten from a pet store or farm then it’s possible it may have worms or ear mites that can be easily treated. Depending on the age of you kitten it may also be time for any shots that haven’t already been administered before you took over ownership of the kitten. One of the basic things that the veterinary will tell you at this visit is whether your kitty is a boy or girl – don’t automatically assume the original owner got it right, it’s not always easy to tell and it is easy to get it wrong! Knowing when to take your kitty to the vet outside of a normal annual examination however is trickier. Rather like when you are sick but unsure whether you are sick “enough” to warrant a doctor’s time, it’s hard to ascertain if your kitten is sick enough to warrant a veterinary’s time – not to mention the expense! A good rule of thumb is to remember one very important fact – a kitten’s health can deteriorate rapidly – within a few hours even – so making a decision to “think about it” can’t mean putting off for a couple of days, you are looking at 24 hours maximum, and if things don’t improve with kitty’s health then you make an appointment and tell the reception how old he is, how long he’s been sick and what the symptoms are. If he gets worse before 24 hours are up, contact the veterinary clinic immediately and talk to the reception staff that may be able to connect you through to either the veterinary or clinic nurse who can discuss whether or not it sounds dangerous enough to require immediate veterinary help.
Knowing your kitty is part way to knowing when he’s feeling off-color. By performing a regular informal examination of his movement, eyes, ears, mouth, and general appearance you can see when he’s not “himself”. It may be that he’s limping or scratching himself more than usual – or it could be that a usually active cat is sleeping more than he normally does. These are all signs that something is amiss and need you to start paying attention. A kitten that is sleeping all of the time, or has a temperature should always go straight to the veterinary, as he should if you notice he has problems or blood with his urine.
For the most part, cats are quite healthy pets and by learning your kitty’s “normal” appearance and traits, you can soon pick up on when he’s not feeling well, and a quick phone call to the veterinary clinic can reassure you that he’s almost certainly going to be ok to monitor for the next day or so, or whether you should bring him into the clinic that day.
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