Adopting a new kitten into your family can be so rewarding. It is fun to watch them play, let them snuggle up with you, and observe their growth over time. If you want your kitten to grow up healthy and strong, then you need to take good care of them, and that includes taking them to the vet for regular checkups and well visits. The most intimidating of these visits is bound to be the first one, since you do not know quite what to expect. Here is a look at what your vet will do during this first appointment.

Take the kitten's vital signs. 

Your vet will begin by taking your kitten's temperature, pulse, and respiration rate. This can tell your vet whether your kitten is in good overall health. A high temperature may, for example, indicate an infection. A high pulse can indicate a heart condition, and rapid, shallow breathing may indicate that something is amiss with the respiratory system.

Feel the kitten's abdomen.

Your vet will gently palpate your kitten's abdomen to make sure the organs are all properly in place and are not swollen. They will especially focus on the liver, since a tender and enlarged liver can indicate any number of illnesses.

Check the joints and muscles.

Your vet will gently bend and flex the kitten's joints to ensure he or she does not have any deformities, muscle diseases, or painful joints. Most kittens are pretty active, so your vet may simply observe your kitten moving around as a part of this check.

Look for fleas and mites.

Fleas and mites are more common than you might think. Once they infest your kitten, they're tough to get rid of. Your vet will look inside your kitten's ears for ear mites, and they'll comb through the fur to check for fleas. If your kitten is old enough, the vet will prescribe a flea and tick preventative medication that you can apply to the back of the neck once a month.

Give the first vaccines.

Your kitten will likely not be old enough for their rabies shot at their first appointment. (They can't have that until they're about four months old). However, they will likely be vaccinated for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, two contagious diseases that spread rapidly among cats.

This is a basic overview of what the first appointment will entail. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your veterinarian directly.