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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20917
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat just had kittens they are a week old. mama cat has

Customer Question

my cat just had kittens they are a week old. mama cat has had diarrhea since they were born. she is eating well drinking a lot of water and seems to feel fine is there anything I can do for her at home to stop her diarrhea
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Now we can all appreciate that demands that both Lily's recent pregnancy and her lactation will have been significant. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see queens suffer from diarrhea (or other illness) during this time. This can arise for a range of reasons, but usually centres around her immune compromised status from pouring all her resources into the kittens at the cost of keeping herself in peak shape.
Now while we do need to consider other infectious causes (ie bacteria, viruses) here, parasites often play a role here and should be ruled out first. This is because the worms capitalize on her drop in immune system strength during the stress of birth/lactation to spread increase their production of eggs. This often lead to diarrhea for mum and also is the route the parasites use to infect the kittens as well. Since she is eating and drinking (which increased thirst is normal because she is losing fluids in her diarrhea as well as making milk) well, I’d advise that it would be ideal to worm her now so now. One safe wormer for her (and something that you can use on the kittens next week) would be Panacur. This is available OTC at your vets and some pet stores. But do make sure to have an idea of her weight, so you know what dose to give.
Further to this, while we'd often give light diets to cats with diarrhea, I would note that this isn't ideal in a situation where she has so many demands on her body. Therefore, I would suggest supplementing with kitten food (or a critical care diet like Hills A/D) if she is losing any weight with this. That will just have more nutrition per bite to help offset her losses.
On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on her hydration status even if she is drinking well. If possible, you do want to check this now. To check and make sure she is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether she has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. ( use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same. If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have Lily seen by the vet before this gets any further out of control. Of course, if she is adequately hydrated just now, then we’d want to encourage her to drink and maintain that.
Finally, since you mentioned no blood in her diarrhea, I would note that you can consider trying her today with a cat safe anti-diarrheals. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if the diarrhea is being caused by an infectious agent. Still it can slow the diarrhea to aid the body to absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset.
In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ available from your local pharmacy. Or you could also use Protexin Pro-Fiber, Fast Balance, or Propectalin (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. Just to note do avoid using PeptoBismol or Loperamide, as they are not cat friendly. In regards ***** ***** safe options, they all will slow diarrhea and the last few have the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI. So, you can consider trying these as a short term means of trying to reduce her diarrhea for her.
Overall, this is a very common situation to see in the early stages of motherhood for the cat. Therefore, I would advise the above initially for her. If she isn’t settling within 24 hours (since we don't want this to linger), then we do need to consider those other differentials for diarrhea with her. And in that case, since we have kittens that could be at risk of picking up a diarrhea bug from their mum, we'd want to have her vet involved +/- a fecal sample tested. This will help pinpoint the causative agent and ensure you treat it effectively to clear this for Lily and also protect her kittens.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
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