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New kitten checkup: Cat on veterinarian's shoulder

New kitten wellness exam important

Q: We found a tiny kitten on the road. How do we know its sex? It has fleas and black stuff in its ears. Are these ear mites? If so, how do we kill them?

A: To determine your kitten’s gender, look under the tail. A female’s vulva appears as a vertical slit just below the anus. A male kitten has a round penis further down from the anus. Between the anus and penis is the scrotum, where you may see two tiny testicles. 

Once you know your kitten’s sex, decide on a name and take the kitten to a veterinarian. If you can’t figure out your kitty’s gender, the vet will tell you.

Your veterinarian will do a thorough physical and examine the black ear debris under the microscope to determine whether your kitten has mites. Then the vet will advise you about appropriate treatment for fleas, ear mites and any other problems.

Many veterinarians prescribe Revolution or Advantage Multi to kill fleas and ear mites. Each of these remarkable medications also prevents heartworm disease and kills roundworms and hookworms, two intestinal parasites that can infect humans. The product is applied to the kitty’s skin monthly.

Your veterinarian also will vaccinate your kitten, do a simple blood test to ensure that your kitty is free of feline leukemia and immunodeficiency viruses, and answer your questions about your new pet.

Editor's Note: Adopting a new cat can be exciting for a first-time pet owner and family. Be sure to make the most of your cat’s first trip to the veterinarian with these tips.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com.

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