How to Acclimate Your Kitten to Being Handled during Vet Appointments

Posted on: 29 October 2015


If you have recently adopted a kitten, you can help your cat get used to being handled. Physical assessments are the best way to catch ailments and issues that you might want to bring up with your veterinarian. Here are three things you should start doing today to get your kitten used to being handled at future vet appointments.

1. Pick up for Weigh-Ins

Holding your kitten so that it gets used to being picked up is important. Your kitten will let you know what is comfortable for it, but most of the time cats like to have their feet secured with their legs scooped under your arm. As your cat gets bigger, it might feel stable resting on your chest or shoulder. Holding is a good way to get a cat used to weigh-ins between vet visits since sudden weight loss or gain and be an indication that something is wrong. Weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding your cat and subtract the difference.

2. Have Others Handle Your Cat

It is great to work on gaining your kitten's trust, but bolstering your kitten's socialization at a young age will make it less fearful of new people, including the vet. Your pet's comfort level will help your vet get a true physical assessment of your cat. If your cat isn't social around humans, it might hide in its carrier and act out at the vet's office out of fear. If your kitten gets a chance to meet lots of people when it is younger, the vet won't be as scary.

3. Rubbing Faces and Paws

Faces and paws can be ultra sensitive on cats. If kittens don't get used to having these areas assessed from a young age, these might be off-limits when your cat grows up. Try to get your kitten comfortable with petting and grooming that includes these areas. Rubbing a cat's gums and cheeks will enable you to notice any dental or gum pain or inflammation quickly as your cat gets older. Handling paws and nails will enable you to clip your cat's nails when needed and will help you diagnose problems if your cat is limping. These concerns can then be brought to your vet if you notice something is wrong.

Cats are notorious for hiding ailments, so try to start your kitten out early with strategic handling as the norm. Getting your cat to the emergency vet if you notice any changes is important. If you can get your kitten used to certain types of handling, you will be more likely to catch ailments quickly as your cat gets older.