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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9614
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Deb, I found a kitten this morning. I popped in to my vet's

Customer Question

Hi Deb, I found a kitten this morning. I popped in to my vet's office and she aged her at 7 weeks old (no appt so did not get an exam yet). She is semi-feral but after only 5 hours is letting me pet her without hissing. Her temp is 102.6. Her belly feels round and somewhat swollen. I a worried because she will not eat. We have tried reg wet food, baby food, milk replacer (in bottle and bowl) and the only thing she has had is a few drips from the bottle in 6 hours!! She also has not gone poop or pee in this time. Have no idea how long she was w/o mama bc there was no mom or other kittens to be found. Please help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb. Thanks for requesting me although I'm sorry I was off my computer when you did so.
How fortunate that you found this kitten since I hate to think what might have happened to her if you hadn't!
It wouldn't necessarily concern me that she hasn't urinated or defecated but it does worry me that her abdomen is distended and that she won't eat.
I have several thoughts as to what might be causing her symptoms:
1. Her temperature wouldn't necessarily reflect a fever but it's a little on the high side for a kitten this age.
If she truly is experiencing an elevated temp, then my concern is that she may have a viral or bacterial infection. I always worry when a young kitten has a fever and has a distended abdomen since FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) is high on the list of possibilities. Fluid can accumulate in the abdomen which causes the distension which is often present with this condition.
And, if you've had experience with cats, then you know that this is not a good disease to have so I hope that I'm completely wrong about this possibility!
2. Another possibility is that she's constipated which is a fairly commonly seen problem in young kittens. This condition wouldn't cause her temp to be elevated but it certainly could cause a distended abdomen and disinterest in food.
I'm a little reluctant to advise oral laxatives without knowing the extent of the problem but you could give her a warm water enema which will be safe.
If you have a small syringe, you can fill it with warm water, lubricate the end of it with K/Y or Vaseline and gently insert it into her anal opening. Then gently squirt the water into her.
It may take several enemas to loosen up any hard stool which might be present.
I would also have someone help you since this is going to be extremely difficult to do on your own.
3. I've seen kittens this age with round worms such that their bellies are quite round and distended but these kittens are usually still eating. I suppose if she had a huge burden of them, they might make her a little lethargic but I'd still expect her to eat.
Pyrantal Paomate is an over the counter, very effective wormer which can be given every two weeks for three doses if you think this might be her problem...or contributing to it.
If the enemas are unsuccessful and/or she continues to have no interest in eating, then I hope your vet will be able to see her sooner rather than later.
I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Cheri Baby. How is she doing? Deb