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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21421
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My kitten will be 19 weeks tomorrow, and he's only 2.2lbs.

Customer Question

My kitten will be 19 weeks tomorrow, and he's only 2.2lbs. He has grown as far as his limbs and his build, but he's just skin and bones. He had loose stool, and it seems to be firming up a little bit since I started him on a round of general antibiotics given to me by my vet. He's very lethargic, he seems weak and he's uninteresting in playing, the stool sample the vet got came back negative for any parasites, but my kitten just doesn't seem right. He's wobbly when he walks, and his eyes are always closing like he's about to fall asleep. I'm not sure what else I can do... My vet told me to come back Monday if he hasn't gotten any better, but I'm not sure I can sit around and wait if I don't know what's happening.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
Hello, and welcome!
My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to help you and Theodore today.
I'm so sorry to hear he's exhibiting these worrisome symptoms.
How long have you had him and where did you get him from?
How long has he been wobbly and not gaining weight?
Did the vet do any blood work or urinalysis on him?
If he was part of a litter, do you know how his siblings are doing?
Thanks for all your additional information and after you reply, please allow me some time to go through it, then compose and send your detailed answer.
Warmest wishes,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We've had him since he was 11 weeks, when we got him he was 1.9lbs, he got his rabies shot 2 weeks ago and was 2.4lbs and he's been fluctuating between 2.1 and 2.4 depending on the scale that's being used. He's always kind of been a little wobbly (like kitten wobbly) but now he just seems a little wobbly and weak. Not bloodwork or urinalysis yet, he wants to wait until Monday to see if he's gotten worse. He was a litter of one and we got him from a breeder. I asked her about the mom, she's had other litters of 1 and she just had another litter of 2, and it wasn't that the others just didn't survive, he was just the only one in there.
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks so much for your very helpful reply.
There's no doubt that he's quite underweight and your description does sound almost like 'wobbly kitten syndrome' or 'fading kitten syndrome,' due to the failure to thrive and gain weight normally, wobbling when he walks, lethargy and weakness. What color are his gums? If they are very pale, almost white, and sticky, he may be anemic and also, dehydrated. He may have external parasites like fleas or mites (even if you don't see them) and he is losing blood due to the feeding of these parasites and/or he may be exhibiting a strong allergy to their saliva.
If he was not exhibiting these symptoms before the rabies shot, he may have had an adverse reaction to it; however, he may have been born with a birth defect that is causing his symptoms and blood work is definitely required to help make a diagnosis. Sometimes, when a fecal sample is tested, it may not show intestinal parasites if there are none (including eggs and larvae) in the particular sample tested. He should have been wormed, as all kittens typically have worms, and this may be contributing to his weakened condition, loose stools and lack of appetite. Worms are not the only kind of intestinal parasites; there are single celled, protozoan parasites like coccidia and giardia, which need to be tested for and the treatment is different than for worms.
It's possible that the mom cat (Queen) was unhealthy and the breeder wasn't forthcoming with you and Theodore was the only one in there because he was the only one that survived, but this is something we will never know.
I would not advise waiting until Monday. It sounds like Theodore is not doing well and he needs a very thorough examination and lab work so a definite diagnosis can be made and then he can be treated. I would bring him to an ER vet center because they have veterinary specialists on staff there and very experienced vets who will know what tests to perform and try to figure out why Theodore is not thriving.
I hope you're able to do this asap, and once the cause of his troubles are determined, he will be treated and start doing better!
For the moment, you can try offering him some KMR, kitten formula milk replacer or Cat Sure, which is like Ensure for humans who are not eating well/getting enough calories or nutrients. If he won't lap it up, you can dropper feed it from the side of his mouth.
Please let me know what an ER or other vet tells you and I hope all will be well with Theodore!
Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback so I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you.
Rating will not cut off our communication and you can click 'Reply' at any time to keep in touch with me or ask for any clarification or additional information.
Warmest regards,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The thing is he hasnt lost his appetite he's always eating he LOVES food it's really the only thing he perks up for
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply.
So, he's eating, just not gaining weight normally. I'm glad he perks up for the food; that's a good sign!
There is a variety of reasons cats can be eating normally or even seem ravenous, yet lose weight. One condition in which this is a typical symptom is hyperthyroidism, but this usually affects older cats; however, only a blood test, including a thyroid panel, will reveal if there is a thyroid problem and/or other problems. Here is more information about hyperthyroidism:
Warmest wishes,
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Theodore. How is everything going?