As soon as your new kitten sets paw in her new home for the first time she's relying on you to take good care of her. So register her with the vet as soon as you can! It’s also a good idea to keep a file with all her health documents in one place. You can keep the vet's phone number here too, so it’s easy to find if you need it.
If you can afford it, think about taking out pet insurance as treatment after accidents can often turn out pricey. You're very unlikely to need it, but where your little one's concerned safe is always better than sorry.
Her first appointment
Your kitten can't tell you what's wrong, so if she's acting up or seems to be a bit down in the dumps, it's important that you take her to the vet, just to be on the safe side.
Kittens are often afraid when taken to the vet for the first time. If they haven’t been in the car before, all the new sounds and smells can be a little much. To make the journey much more pleasant for your little one, we’d recommend a cat carrier with a secure lock. It’s all too easy to escape from an ordinary cardboard box, or from your arms. She'll feel much more comfortable if you turn the carrier into a home away from home by putting something with her smell on it inside. The blanket from her basket is perfect. You could even do a trial run by letting her use her carrier as a bed or hiding place for a few days before the journey.
At the vet’s
Once you've arrived at the vet’s, keep your kitten inside her carrier. She'll feel safer inside, particularly if there are lots of loud, barking dogs and other cats around. You can help create a friendly, fun environment for her inside the carrier by giving her a toy to play with, as well as a few treats. When it’s her turn to be seen by the vet, stay with her. She'll associate your voice with nice things like feeding time and play, so stroking and talking to her will help her feel more secure, and the vet will be thankful for your help. Remember, if her first visit is a success, it's even more likely that future visits will be too!
At the first appointment, your vet will tell you everything you need to know to be sure your kitten stays in great physical and mental shape. The vet will also mention any health risks that you should be aware of.
Over to you
While the vet's role is important, the real centre of your kitten’s universe is you, and her wellbeing depends on your knowledge and attention. That's why you should start checking her mouth and teeth as early as possible. It'll be much easier to clean her teeth properly if you're really familiar with her little fangs.
It’s especially important to check her front teeth and incisors for tartar. If you notice red, swollen gums, take her to the vet and she'll soon be right as rain. Aim to have her teeth checked at least once a year, maybe along with her annual vaccinations.
However much she miaows in complaint, it's important that the two of you get into a good grooming, worming and de-fleaing routine, along with regular check-ups and all necessary booster vaccinations. Shower her with love and she'll soon forget to complain.