If you own kittens, then you must be worried about their health. Cats can have serious illnesses that can eventually lead to their death. You do not want that to happen. For you to be prepared, you need to know the most common cat ailment like digestive problems and how to prevent and treat them.
What to Do About Kitten Constipation
Kitten constipation is pretty common, especially among hand-reared kittens and premature kittens. The reason is because mother cats stimulate the anal region of their kittens frequently. If something happened to the mother cat soon after her kittens were born, then this is something you will have to start doing. If you allow feces to build up inside the kittens’ anuses, it can turn toxic and kill them.
Premature kittens often have constipation because their organs and bodies are not fully developed. They need to be fed every hour or two with diluted kitten formula. Premature kittens, like other kittens, should have a bowel movement at least once every two days. They especially need to have their anus stimulated often to avoid kitten constipation.
To stimulate your kitten’s anus, you can try a warm wet cotton ball first, although it may be too rough for some kittens’ bottoms, especially the premature ones. The best way to stimulate your kitten’s bottom is with your index finger. Trim your nails and then start running warm water at the sink. When it’s the right temperature, put the kitten’s bottom in the stream and gently stimulate her anus. You’ll know you’re not doing it right if the kitten doesn’t have a bowel movement after you do it.
So how do you know if kitten constipation is a problem?
Normal kitten feces is easily passed and looked similar to brown toothpaste. If the feces are small, hard lumps, then your kitten is starting to get constipated. You’ll also know your kitten is constipated if he strains to have a bowel movement. Constipated kittens also tend to have a hard abdomen that’s distended and may be tender to the touch.
If your kitten has not had a bowel movement for more than two days, then try a small dose of liquid paraffin or another feline laxative. Use only about a half milliliter of paraffin with each feeding for one to two days. Avoid paraffin if the kitten is especially young. Instead, rub some white petroleum jelly into the kitten’s anus. Be sure to warm it up in the microwave a tiny bit before you rub it in.
One important factor in keeping kitten constipation away is how much exercise your kittens get. Keeping them in a box or cage will prevent them from getting the exercise they need to help their digestive system function properly. Be sure you let them out plenty of times per day to play, romp, and work those digestive muscles.
Another thing to watch is how much water your kittens drink. We all think cats and kittens drink milk all the time, but it’s important not to forget the water. Water keeps the kitten’s bowels hydrated and helps them pass stool more easily.
If the kitten constipation keeps coming back or never seems to go away, then it could be a symptom of a more serious problem. You should seek the advice of a veterinarian if you can’t seem to get rid of your kitten’s constipation.
Is Kitten Diarrhea Dangerous?
It may be difficult to know how serious kitten diarrhea really is. While you don’t want to panic, you certainly don’t want to let a problem escalate out of control. Taking action though will prevent it from getting any worse than it already is. Important nutrients that the body does need are lost when diarrhea is present. Do what you can to keep that loss to a minimum.
Food for a kitten with diarrhea?
It makes sense not to give your kitten food to fuel the diarrhea so that it doesn’t continue. There are some items you can offer though what may help to reduce it. Yogurt is a great food product that can kill bacteria in the body. You need to use plain yogurt though, a type that has fruit or various flavors added to it.
Cottage cheese is a good option for kitten diarrhea too. This isn’t something you want to give very much of though. A tablespoon at a time to see how our kitten reacts to it is a good idea. You can mix it up with some cooked beef too if you want to encourage your kitten to consume it.
Cooked rice is filling so your kitten won’t be as hungry. It can help to absorb additional water that is in the body when those loose stools are being created. Rice is very good for kittens too as it contains large amounts of vitamins and nutrients that they need. It is never a good idea to deprive your kitten of all food while you wait for the diarrhea to pass.
What you do offer should be given in very small portions. You can offer it several times a day to give the body time to properly digest it. If your kitten doesn’t want to it you may need to fit it out of your hand and gently coax him or her to swallow it.
If kitten diarrhea doesn’t go away within 48 hours then it is time to kick it up a notch. Contact your vet so that they can examine your pet. Fecal testing can be done to find out if there are parasites or other factors present that can be causing it to continue. They can also do blood work to find out if there is any other type of health concern that needs to be explored in further detail.
Diarrhea in kittens can be a symptom of serious health problems
There are some serious health problems where kitten diarrhea is a common symptom. In addition to parasites it could be an indicator of leukemia, consuming poison, or a type of bacteria that has found its way into the body. This is part of the reason why it is so important for them to get vaccinations on schedule.
Most of the time kitten diarrhea isn’t anything serious to worry about. Yet there are times when a kitten can become dehydrated because of it. Make sure you continue to get your kitten to drink some water during the day when this is all going on. If they won’t drink on their own then they use of a dropper may be necessary.
Kittens tend to become dehydrated as a result of diarrhea faster than dogs do. They can end up dying if you don’t take swift action to offset it. Sometimes kitten diarrhea is chronic which means the cat is continually suffering from it. This is often an indication that you need to make dietary changes for your kitten.
They may have an allergy to various types of ingredients found in cheap cat food. Canned food tends to create a problem less often than dry cat food. Look for foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Kittens may experience vomiting for a number of reasons, but some kitten vomiting may be the result of a more serious condition. Knowing the facts about the signs and symptoms of your kitten’s vomiting problem can help you make a more informed decision about treatment.
There are many reasons that may cause a kitten to vomit. Digestive upset is very often the cause of vomiting in cats and may be the result of hairballs, changes in diet, food sensitivity or allergies. Even something as simple as stress can result in occasional vomiting.
Serious causes of kitten vomiting
More serious causes of vomiting may include intestinal parasites, nervous system problems, peritonitis, poisons, kidney or liver disease, chronic renal failure, acute metritis or uterus problems, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, bowel or intestinal obstructions and skin diseases.
The key to determining if your kitten’s vomiting is caused by a simple problem or a more serious condition requiring treatment is know your kitten’s overall health habits and note any changes accordingly. This will allow you to notice extreme changes in your kitten.
Occasional vomiting may occur with healthy cats. Look for changes such as persistent vomiting or vomiting over long periods of time. Other warning signs include blood or feces in the vomit, projectile vomiting or parasites that can be seen in the vomit. The composition of the kitten’s vomit may provide clues to its cause.
Blood in vomit may indicate stomach problems or bleeding, mucus may mean a problem with the upper intestines; food may indicate poisons or digestive upset and vomit containing bile may mean a bowel problem. With persistent vomiting it is also wise to keep track of your kitten’s overall appearance.
Your kitten’s behavior can tell you a lot about their health
Look for other warning signs that can accompany serious problems such as diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, and weight loss. If your kitten is vomiting repeatedly or has anything abnormal about their vomit and their general demeanor is different, then a trip to the vet’s office is probably warranted.
To determine the cause of your kitten’s vomiting, your vet will most likely run diagnostic tests and procedures. They may perform a blood chemistry test, blood cell counts, x-rays, urinalysis or ultrasounds to check for signs of injury or disease. Once a proper diagnosis is obtained, you and your vet can discuss treatment options.
Intravenous fluids, medications or even surgery may be needed to cure serious health problems. Treatment at home for simple kitten vomiting problems means keeping a close watch to prevent dehydration, which can be extremely serious for young cats.
How to avoid kitten vomiting
You can help avoid kitten vomiting by keeping your pet up to date on vaccinations to prevent serious diseases and keeping him free of worms and fleas. Worming for kittens should be done three times during the kitten’s early life, every two weeks.
Then your kitten should be wormed every two months for the first six months after that. Once this stage is reached a kitten or cat will only need to be wormed every three to six months on a regular schedule. Keeping your cats skin healthy will prevent hairball and skin conditions that cause licking and hair ingestion.
Provide your kitten with a healthy and nutritious diet, and avoid sudden changes in diet that may cause stomach upset. Change your kitten’s food over a period of time and in small doses. Always feed fresh food, don’t refrigerate older food to serve again as it may grow bacteria in it.
Don’t give your kitten cow’s milk as it often causes stomach upset. Groom your kitten regularly to prevent the ingestion of hair. If hairballs are a consistent problem, you may wish to discuss medications or over the counter treatments for hairballs with your vet.
Like humans, kittens may occasionally vomit to rid their bodies of unwanted or harmful substances. By knowing your kitten’s behavior and overall health, you will be able to determine if vomiting is occurring too much or if you kitten is showing signs of more serious problems.