Care > Sick Kitten
Identifying and Caring for a Sick Kitten
Do you enjoy being sick? Of course not! It is easy to
being a sick kitten is no fun. And as an owner seeing your small
helpless kitty undergo sickness can be quite upsetting. What can you as
the owner do to make your little kitten feel better? You can start by
calling your Vet or if the matter isn't urgent, ask our Vet a question
and we will answer it for free here.
Note that some circumstances are perfectly normal. For
example. kitten ears and eyes remain closed until 3 to 16 days after
birth. Eyes that appear off center (Divergent strabismus) is normal
until age 8 weeks.
As the owner, and the human in charge - you are responsible
sure your kitty is well cared for and nurtured back to good health. If
you know what kitten illness your kitty is suffering from - kitten care
is a bit easier. It is also important to understand the difference
between a sick kitten and one that is simply tired.
Has Your Kitten Lost Her Kitten Health or is She
Just like us, kittens can get sick for any number of reasons.
your kitten has recently undergone surgery and isn't quite healed yet.
Maybe your kitten just has a mild Upper Respiratory infection or cold,
or perhaps she has kitten fleas.
Your adventurous little missy may have injured herself while climbing
or jumping. The signs your kitty displays should help you find out what
is wrong with her. Kittens that are just born do not have any natural
immunity until they start feeding on the mothers milk. In the short
period between birth and feeding they are exposed to bacteria and other
pathogens that could cause illness.
Tell-Tale Signs Your Kitten Is Sick
diarrhea (sign of a problem that needs immediate care)
Lack of activity
Coughing and other
upper respiratory problems
Upper respiratory issues in particular are common in kittens.
Nasal congestion can keep the kitten from nursing. Failure to nurse can
cause problems such as the formation of bacteria in the bloodstream
which in turn can cause a condition called sepsis conjunctivitis and
In this case a veterinarian will show you how to carefully pry apart
the eyelids as soon as lid separation occurs. The eye is then cleaned
with saline solution. Antibiotics are applied every 2 to 4 hours. A
humidifier can help with the nasal congestion
while fluids provided by a line placed just under the skin that contain
nutrition will help combat the bacterial infection.
Diagnosis of Kitten Health
To diagnose a sick kitten, a veterinarian will take a blood
test to check blood glucose levels, white blood counts and levels of
urea (nitrogen levels in the blood). The blood test can determine if
problems such as low blood sugar exist (hypoglycemia). Hypoglycemia in
kittens is caused by higher than normal metabolism, nursing problems,
hypothermia (low body temperature), and bacteria in the bloodstream
Urine tests, umbilical discharge, diarrhea, and discharge from
the nose can all be examined for signs of infection.
Signs Your Kitten May Be Just Fatigued
It can be easy for an inexperienced kitten owner to mistake
kitty for a sick kitten. Kittens are growing a lot during their first
year of life, so a lot of sleep is normal. Sleep helps build your
kittens immune system, and helps her to develop into a healthy full
grown adult cat.
It is perfectly normal for your kitty to be fatigued after
any of these
New medications (dewormers or anti-flea).
Stress (vet visit or moving house).
A kitten may display fatigue if she is suffering from fading
kitten syndrome. Fading kitten syndrome refers to kittens that were
born looking normal, but fail to thrive and grow normally after several
weeks. This could be the result of kittens that are smaller in size or
that are not nursing normally. It is thought that the condition may be
caused by exposure to a virus such as FIP or FeLV, genetics, a
nutritional deficiency, toxins, or poor care from the mother.
If your kitty is sleeping a lot but still has a
healthy appetite and good co-ordination she is more than likely just
Caring for a Sick Kitten
There are things you can do to make your ill kitty feel
These include making a safe kitten haven, helping your kitty keep clean
and just being there for him or her.
Your kitty might not
feel like eating, but
eating will help your kitten to regain her strength faster. Try to make
sure they eat something, even if it is just a little bit. If your
kitten flat out refuses to eat - take them to the vet.
Create a safe private
kitty haven. Make this an
area where you kitty feel safe and comforted. Make sure she has her
favorite blankets, fresh food and water. Encourage the family members
to leave her in peace, but make sure to check in on your kitten from
time to time to ensure she hasn't gotten worse.
Felines are very clean
and fastidious. Ensure
your sick kitty is able to stay clean and tidy, even if she is not up
to much grooming herself. Use a warm moist cloth to wipe away sleep
from the corner of her eyes and wipe her nose. Particularly for long
haired cats - fur can become quite a mess. Gently brush your kittens
fur to keep it tidy.
Remember that a sick kitten relies on you to help nurse them
their illness. Take care of them, keeping a watchful eye out in case
your kittens sickness develops into something worse. If you notice your
feline is not getting better - take her to your veterinarian.
In the sad case that a kitten passes away, a veterinarian may want to
determine the cause in order to avoid the problem sin other kittens in
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