Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
Hi I have four 6 mo. old kittens I adopted. Their mom was a feral cat who adopted my son. One of the kittens seems to be sad, sleeping all the time (as of today, and not cat napping). He is not himself: He’s not playing or eating (but he’s still drinking water). He is suddenly not social. I haven’t been able to catch him going potty yet, so I do not know if anything has changed in that regard.
He has no other symptoms such as runny nose, eyes, cough etc. When he does get up he moves slowly and I have seen him wobble a little. For the most part all he has done today is sleep.
Siouxsie: Lisa, it’s very important that you get this kitten to a vet as soon as you can.
Thomas: When a kitten suddenly has a behavior change — and especially if he’s not eating — it is often a sign that he is sick. A kitten that young should never lose his appetite.
Dahlia: Lethargy (sleepiness, not playing, not being social with littermates) is also a sign of illness. The wobbliness you mention is also of concern.
Siouxsie: Since these kittens were born stray, you have no way of knowing what kind of illnesses they were exposed to before they came to you. You didn’t mention whether or not you’ve taken these kittens to the vet before, so we don’t know whether or not they’ve been checked for parasites or serious illnesses such as feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
Thomas: FeLV and FIV are quite prevalent among stray cat populations, mostly because stray cats don’t have access to health care and because of the fighting that naturally occurs in un-neutered cats.
Dahlia: Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is another illness that’s common in unvaccinated cats. But you won’t know what’s going on with your kitten until you get him to a vet for a checkup and blood test.
Siouxsie: Parasites such as intestinal worms, can cause lethargy and fatigue because they eat up all the nutrients the cat gets from its food before the cat itself can get any. A serious flea infestation can cause anemia in kittens, too.
Thomas: So, Lisa, what you need to do is get the sick kitten to your vet and have him checked over. If he has worms or fleas, you’re going to have to treat all the kittens for the parasites so that they don’t get reinfected.
Dahlia: If a blood test reveals that your kitten has the antibodies for FeLV or FIV, this is kind of a bad news-good news situation. The bad news is that these diseases are not curable. They will carry the FIV or FeLV virus for the rest of their lives, and they will need to be taken care of very carefully. They should never go outdoors and they should not be exposed to FeLV- or FIV-negative cats.
Siouxsie: FeLV and FIV weaken a cat’s immune system and make him unable to fight off germs that other cats’ bodies can take care of with ease. But if you keep your kittens safe and indoors, they should be able to live good-quality lives. If your kittens are FeLV- or FIV-positive, you need to call your vet if they so much as sneeze, because a little cold can be a killer in a cat with limited immune function.
Thomas: If your cats don’t have these illnesses, your vet may recommend vaccinating against FeLV — particularly if they’re indoor/outdoor cats. There is a vaccine for FIV, but a lot of vets question its safety and effectiveness.
Dahlia: In addition, all cats in the US should be vaccinated against rabies — it’s actually required by law — and most vets will recommend vaccinating against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calcivirus and panleukopenia as well. This vaccine is often referred to as FVRCP or HCP by veterinarians and is sometimes called a “distemper” shot.
Siouxsie: There have been a lot of new developments in terms of vaccination schedules, and you should discuss this with your veterinarian. Our veterinarian prefers to use only the “core” vaccines (rabies and HCP on indoor-only cats; rabies, HCP and FeLV on indoor/outdoor cats) in order to avoid potential complications such as vaccine reactions.
Thomas: Probably your vet won’t to vaccinate your kitten while he’s sick. We know our vet doesn’t vaccinate sick animals. But once he’s feeling better, you’ll want to make sure he gets his shots.
Dahlia: We hope you get good news from your vet and that your kitten’s illness is easily treatable. Please let us know how things turn out.
I have the best cat in the entire world, he is sweet, playful and loves to cuddle and to keep me company. I am concerned for him – he is very sleepy – I have noticed that his nose has run a little bit and he wakes up sneezing sometimes. Peanut is my ‘baby’ and I love him so much. Do you think I should take him to the vet? He is the greatest cat in the world! He has all of his shots, is nuerted and has been given a very healthy report at the vet when he had his last visit. Also I am concerned beause my parents have a cat that has had all of his shots but when I take Peanut over there Stumpy is mean to him, Peanut has a tendanamy, and stumpy doesnt. I am concerned that Stumpy is straching my Peanut…..also Im concerned about Peanut because he is a people cat and I am the only person in his life – do you think that he needs another cat so that he wont be so lonley? He is the greatest kitty and I dont know what I would do if anything were to happen to him….
Hi., My cat is about 7 – 8 months and she had kittens 2days ago they all died because she wouldnt go next to them or feed them..! So i tried my best to save them by keeping them warm and feeding them kitten milk powder which the vets sold to me to feed them with, but now when all the kittens are gone my cat wont eat much, play or go outside for a toilet she just wants to be alone, she goes upstais and goes to sleep all day she doesnt even come down when she wakes up.! shes never been like this before., can someone please tell me what is wrong and what i should do.?
My 3 month old kitten did the same thing. When he started wobbling, I knew something was wrong. Turns out his blood sugar was low. I took him to the vet and they said it is common for kittens blood sugar to drop for example they start playing so much and they forget to eat. Two weeks later my kitten did it again. He went limp and his blood sugar dropped again. The vet is at a loss and do not know what is wrong with him. They have some ideas. Possibly the liver. I am still lost and broken hearted. I am afraid I wil be away from home and I wont be there to take him to the vet. Lost dawn
hi my name is jesse i have a cat named blue we got him at a human station about a year ago there was littil to no imformation about him exept a tag that said he had all his shots and his name was blue he was always a litil anti social but latly more then usual he sleeps alot during the day and when he is up he spends his time looking out the window he is very easy to starTle and when he dose get scard he will hide for a long time we dont know what breed he is but best we can guess is a bangle tabby mix that what the adoption people said and he is about 6 to 7 years old he always looks sad when by a window i think he wants to go out side can anyone pleas tell me why my cat is like this thank you
He’s an outdoor cat. He knows the wonders out there and longs to be what he calls home. I know this is really old but I would have let him out. What good is it if he’s safe but not happy. My only other suggestion would have been to get another one he could bond with.
Good evening I just got a 7 week kitten took him to the vet they gave me vitamin drops to add to his kitty milk he was jumy yesterday BUT today all he wants to do is sleep his tummy was a little bloated he threw up I read it could be of over feeding I have been giving him water he also has pooped and his I don’t know what else to do o don’t understand what has happened can someone help