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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9967
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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We had a mother cat and 6 kittens in our backyard. We

Customer Question

We had a mother cat and 6 kittens in our backyard. We thought they were feral but they are not. The kittens are between 8 to 10 weeks old. When we first the trapped them all but two were over 2 lbs.We trapped 4 kittens on Fri. Oct. 9th and we had to give them flea baths and Revolution because they were covered with Fleas on Sun. Oct 11. One or two of them were throwing up food and then became clear and frothy but it stopped four days later. 3 out of the 4 have gained weight but one has lost about 4 oz. We then trapped the remaining 2 kittens on Wed., Oct 14 and they were given flea baths and Revolution on Thurs. Oct. 15th. These two kittens got sick and just started eating today. These two have lost 2 to 4 oz. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm glad that you've taken these kittens under your wing, so to speak, since I don't even want to think what might happen to them if you hadn't.

I do have a few additional questions to ask first if you don't mind:

1. Just to clarify, there are only two out of the 6 who have lost weight or is it 3?

2. And they are now eating and not vomiting, correct?

3. Stools are normal?

4. Are they energetic?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
3 out of the 6 have lost weight. One of them from the first 4 we trapped and she doesn't appear to be lethargic, but is stressed and wanting to hide all the time. The final 2 are the more recent ones we trapped and are more lethargic and not that interested in playing. They are all now eating and no vomiting (second day of no vomiting). The stools appear to be normal, but with this many kittens it's hard to tell who's doing what and if they are using the litter box.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information.

Hopefully, you're only dealing with a temporary set back for the two who are a little more lethargic such as possibly a drug reaction to the Revolution or possibly from anemia from all the fleas that were feeding on them.

The fact that all are now eating and not vomiting is a very good thing, as you no doubt know.

I probably wouldn't be too concerned about their weight loss at this point since there's been so much change in their lives in such a short period of time. But if it continues and/or the two remain lethargic and/or other symptoms develop, then there may be other, potentially, more serious issues going on with them.

Feline Leukemia and Feline Infectious Peritonitis are viral diseases which are frequently seen in kittens this age and for which there are no effective treatments.

Feline Infectious Anemia could have been transmitted by the fleas they had. Unfortunately, antibiotics would be needed to treat them; there aren't any over the counter options.

If significant diarrhea develops and/or they start to vomit again, then Panleukopenia may be the problem. Kittens can survive this disease but aggressive treatment is needed for them to do so.

1. At this point, I'd separate those not gaining weight if at all possible. I know this may not be practical but at least you'll be able to more closely monitor who's doing what in terms of the litterbox and eating.

2. You've already wormed them for roundworms with the Revolution but should you see "sphagetti-like" worms in their stool, I'd worm everyone with Pyrantal Paomate which is readily available at most pet or grain stores. I dose every two weeks for three doses.

3. Continue to remove as many fleas as you can from them if they're still present.

4. I don't know if you're feeding free choice kibble or canned food but I'd probably offer both and make sure there's always food available for them.

Stressed cats/kittens often won't eat so if the food is there for them when you're not around, the shyer one(s) may eat it when they feel safe.

5. Continue to weigh them at the same time every day. Unless you have a really accurate digital scale, there can be daily fluctuations or slightly inaccurate reading; weighing them at the same time may help to minimize this.

In the absence of any blood tests or physical exams, the best you can do for them is to provide adequate nutrition and prevent further harm from internal and external parasites.

I hope this helps and that they will do well under your care. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I've been thinking about the kittens you rescued and wondering how they were doing, especially the ones that you were concerned about. How are they making out? Deb

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