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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My cat had 4 kittens on monday but unfortunately one was dead on arrival,one died after a

Customer Question

my cat had 4 kittens on monday but unfortunately one was dead on arrival,one died after a few hours,one died early this morning and the last one died this morning,she seems to be heavy breathing why would this be? And what happens with her milk?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
Oh, I am so very sad to hear this. First, with regard to her milk, she will dry up over the next 7-14 days. No worries. She may, however, be depressed over the lack of kittens and important to pay attention to her during this time. If she seems ill (not eating, vomit/diarrhea, respiratory issues) then I must recommend have her examined by her veterinarian. Continue the excellent care of her but please be cautious feeding her milk as most adult cats are lactose intolerant which means this could lead to profound diarrhea. Instead, feeding a high quality canned cat food would be ideal.
As far as cause of death in the kittens, there are many possible causes. The only way to know for certain, if you are planning to continue breeding or worried about other kittens, would be to have your veterinarian perform a necropsy (autopsy) on one of the kittens or send the kitten to be examined by a pathologist. As far as surmising what could have caused this at the top of my list would be sepsis which is bacterial infection (from pathogens like E. coli or Strep canis) or blood type incompatibility with the mother (isoerythrolysis). Other possible causes might include low birth weights, congenital defects, and the list continues.
Let me reassure you that this is nothing that you did. This happens, unfortunately, sometimes.
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