I found an orphaned kitten yesterday, I should say it was dropped off at my home by my sister in law. I think it may be at least 6 weeks or more and is very thin. It has been extremely hot here. He is in my cooler bathroom with a bowl of spring water and some friskies turkey and giblets which I give to my older cats who have a bit of a problem chewing the dry food at times. He is separate from the other pet cats. Can he have cows milk at all? I tried 2nd step and he does not seem to like that. His bottom seems to be soar. Is friskies too rich? He is comfortable but am not sure I am doing the right thing.thank you!!!!!Karla
Type of Animal: kitten
Age: 6-8 weeks
Name of Cat: no name yet
2nd step, spring water and friskies turkey and giblets.
Thank you for your question.You have done right to keep him separate from the other cats.You mentioned that his bottom appear sore, is he passing any diarrhea?Has you sister wormed him before dropping him off?How is otherwise?
She had just found him in a drainage ditch by the side of the road, the. poor thing, alone
Hello again,I assume that since you didn't mention the consistency of his stools that this must be normal. And that your sister hasn't wormed him yet.
To answer your first question, there is no reason for a kitten to be fed cow’s milk. That is often too rich for them and the lactose can cause diarrhea in kittens. Therefore, they don't need it and its more potential trouble then it is worth.
Now in regards XXXXX XXXXX a kitten, you don’t want to be feeding adult cat food to him regularly. Instead, he should be on a complete commercial kitten diet. Kitten food is higher in protein to support their rapid growth, which adult food would not be able to support adequately. It will depend on the kitten diet that you choose but at this age we tend to feed them small meals four times a day to make sure they have a steady energy input. If this isn’t possible, the dry should be left down for them to graze.
In regards XXXXX XXXXX thinness, this can arise for a number of reasons. That said, since we don’t know his history it is possible that it has arisen through struggles to feed, living rough, and likely having a significant GI worm burden.
The first step in regards XXXXX XXXXX his thinness is to have him wormed now. The most common cause of weight loss in an otherwise healthy kitten is gastrointestinal worms. This gastrointestinal worm burden in kittens comes from mum (since the worms capitalize on her drop in immune system strength during the stress of birth to spread through her feces to her kittens). Therefore, all kittens are carrying these worms from a young age.
If your sister hasn’t wormed the kitten yet then he should be wormed now. Ideally, we want to worm these wee ones initially (as early as 4 weeks of age) and then again monthly until they are six months of age. There are a range of products on the market but a very good broad spectrum wormer that we use in young kittens is Panacur. It is available as a paste, liquid, or even granules that they eat mixed in their food. This will be available through your vet or pet store. Do have an idea of his weight before you go (so you know how much you need) and before any future doses (since he will be growing and need a bit more each time).
If he does have diarrhea or doesn't start putting on weight after you have wormed him and got him on the right kitten diet, then do consider having a fecal sample checked to rule out grumbling bacterial disease or protozoa infestation (ie coccidia, tritrichomonas, giardia, etc).
As well, if you are going to keep this kitten and want to introduce it into your household, you do want to wait 7-14 days to see if it is brewing any illnesses. Also, it would be prudent to have tested for FIV and Feline Leukemia Virus at your vets, since these are fatal viruses that you don't want to be introducing to your other cats.
Otherwise, congratulations on your new addition.
I hope this information is helpful. Please do let me know if you have any further questions. If you have no further questions, feedback is always appreciated.
All the best,
I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.