3-week old kitten lethargic/no appetite


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This topic contains 16 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of  Anonymous 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #46341
    Avatar of amberfosters
    amberfosters
    Participant

    Hello, I found this site trying to learn more about fostering – this is our first time! We are fostering two three-week old kittens who were found with a six-week old friend wandering around on Friday. They are bottle feeding, and we haven’t had too many problems until today. We feed them every few hours, and usually they act like they’ll never see food again, attacking the bottle like nobody’s business. At their 11pm feeding, everything was fine. At 3am, my boyfriend mentions that Ginny wasn’t hungry, and didn’t eat anything. At 5:30am (worried, of course), I went to check on them and try to feed her, but she wasn’t having it. I tried to feed her for two hours, tried with the bottle, tried warming to a little over room temp, tried putting the formula on my finger, tried the Royal Canin mousse her sister is starting on, tried stimulating her to see if she was constipated, and none of it got her to take even a little bit of formula. I’m really worried! She’s also acting lethargic – she’ll get a little burst of energy and scrabble at me for a few seconds, and then she’ll stop and lay her head down. She can’t seem to keep her head up for more than a couple seconds, and a couple of times seemed to collapse.

    I hope someone can help – I want these little ones to get stronger! They are both underweight, about 8 ounces, and were found with fleas (which we’ve since gotten rid of, hopefully). I’m sorry if this is too much information, I’m not sure what the problem is so I’m not sure what information will help. Thanks for taking the time to read this =/

    #676181
    Avatar of jcat
    jcat
    Participant

    Vet. Right away. At three weeks old they are very fragile and kittens can crash very quickly. Being lethargic and not eating are real danger signs. I wouldn’t waste any time — just take them straight to the vet, get an emergency appointment or if you can’t, just rush them straight in to somewhere, they will always see them in an emergency. It may be nothing serious but better safe than sorry. You should take both, just in case.

    #676182
    Avatar of amberfosters
    amberfosters
    Participant

    Thanks so much for the quick response. I just tried again with no luck, and she’s got even less energy. She barely opened her eyes when I took her out of her carrier. Luckily the vet opens early. Thanks for the advice.

    #676183
    Avatar of jcat
    jcat
    Participant

    You’re very welcome, please let us know how she gets on. We will worry about her.

    #676184
    Avatar of Jeankit
    Jeankit
    Participant

    Welcome AF with little newbies. You can also click pink tags on upper right for more iformation & helpful chats.

    #676185
    Avatar of taylormg
    TaylorMG
    Participant

    My kitten did the same thing, we took him to the vet, and they saved his life. He was three weeks old at the time that happened, he’s now five weeks old, and he’s doing great. Please let us know how she’s doing.

    #676186
    Avatar of amberfosters
    amberfosters
    Participant

    Thanks for the concern! At the last feeding, Ginny (the one who formerly was not eating) drank 10 mL! Since both kittens seem to only be able to drink about 15 mL maximum, that’s real progress. However, she seems really weak – she doesn’t seem to be able to walk, she stumbles and collapses on her side. Now Iago, the other kitten, is eating far less (about 5 mL per feeding), and is not as energetic as she was yesterday and the other days since I’ve had her. She ate some Royal Canin mousse yesterday, but today she won’t touch it. They have both been sleeping all day except for when I wake them up to eat and try to get them to play/cuddle with me.

    #676187
    Avatar of CheetahBoysmommy
    CheetahBoysmommy
    Participant

    Kittens won’t feed if they are weak, cold or can’t smell. Make sure they aren’t too cold (put a heating pad on low on only one side of their bed), too weak (smear a little bit of light Karo syrup on their gums to give them an high-sugar boost), and make sure they don’t have the sniffles. Their food should be room temperature or a little bit higher to increase the smell.

    #676188
    Avatar of jcat
    jcat
    Participant

    Did you take them both to the vet? Often if one kitten starts to crash, the others in the litter follow on. I’m really glad that Ginny’s started to eat again but the lethargy is still a danger sign. Not trying to frighten you but a vet visit is still your best bet.

    #676189
    Avatar of jcat
    jcat
    Participant

    If they won’t eat, you need to keep their fluids up with Pedialyte/rehydrating salts, which you can make at home:

    Home-made Pedialyte Recipe (sourced from World Health Organization)… there are no preservatives in this so it has a short life-span

    * 1 cup water (boiled then cooled)

    * 2 tsp sugar

    * 1/8 tsp salt

    * 1/8 tsp baking soda

    * (this Pedialyte formula gives needed electrolytes & some sugar for energy)

    Combine all ingredients and warm slightly.

    Make new after 24 hours.

    #676190
    Avatar of amberfosters
    amberfosters
    Participant

    I took them to the vet, and it seems the problem was minor. See, when we got them on Friday, they were starving. Severely underweight, dying. For the first couple of days they were ravenous, and – since we’ve never fostered before – we thought that was normal. So when they stopped eating every two hours, stopped drinking half of the bottle in one gulp, and stopped acting excited (or even waking up for that matter) for feedings, we were extremely worried. Add to that the sad fact that Ginny and Iago are fickle, and I was not yet adept at force-feeding, and all of a sudden we have a disaster. They were getting weaker because they weren’t eating, but I didn’t know some kittens need to be forced. Thank goodness for the vet, otherwise I wouldn’t have known. They still don’t take easily to the bottle, but I’m managing to keep their little bellies full. They were wandering around here as though there was never a scary moment in their young lives (and I hope there won’t be moving forward).

    Thanks for your help. I feel really stupid for not knowing how to handle the situation from the get-go. I’m just glad they’re okay.

    #676191
    Avatar of jcat
    jcat
    Participant

    Oh, thank goodness. That’s wonderful news. Don’t feel stupid, raising bottle-fed babies is actually really really hard and you are doing a magnificent job — as shown by the fact you obviously saved their lives and just in time! I’m so pleased for you and them!

    If you want to do some background reading, these sites we recommend are really good for raising orphans and if you click on the pink tag orphans (top right hand corner), you can read loads of previous threads from people about their experiences with some good advice from experienced foster kitty mums.

    Links to good kitten-raising sites:

    http://feral-kitten-rescue.blogspot.com/2008/10/feral-kitten-how-to-story.html

    http://www.messybeast.com/handrear.htm

    http://www.kittenrescue.org/pages.php?pageid=15

    http://www.fanciers.com/cat-faqs/orphans.shtml

    http://www.feralcat.com/raising.html

    Please keep in touch and let us know how they’re doing (and we love pix, by the way!) Welcome to TDK!

    #676192
    Avatar of amberfosters
    amberfosters
    Participant

    Of course! The fur underneath their necks is a little matted (they just ate when I took the pictures, and they’re messy!), but here are my cuties!

    This is Ginny! She’s very adventurous, and is definitely a kamikaze kitten! She tries to walk right off the couch all the time, and her favorite spot to hang out seems to be the back of my neck with her claws in my hair. She’s a weird kitten, but I love her so much!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/61660593@N06/5932756321/in/photostream/

    And this is her littler sister, Iago. My boyfriend named her, because when we got her she reminded him of the anxious parrot in Aladdin (she was so hungry she didn’t shy away from biting us to let us know)! As the days go by, she is proving to actually be the calmer and brighter of the two. She is most content napping in the crooks of our elbows or laying on her back in the palms of our hands.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/61660593@N06/5932756919/in/photostream/

    I thought having two would be hard – I thought I’d definitely favor one over the other, but I can’t help but love them both! They’re so sweet!

    #676193
    Avatar of jcat
    jcat
    Participant

    OMG, squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    I love them when they’re this tiny! (Well, I love them all, at all stages, but this is definitely cuteness personified!) They are just gorgeous. Gosh, you can see how skinny Ginny is, she’s just a wee dot! They are very lucky kitties to have found you! Has the six-week-old found a foster home?

    #676194

    Where was the COA warning?

    *Picks self off floor and starts drooling* here kitty, kitty, kitty come for cuddles ……

    #676195
    Avatar of amberfosters
    amberfosters
    Participant

    I’m not too sure about the six-week old. The shelter I was visiting posted an ad on Craig’s List that a litter of bottle feeders would be euthanized if someone didn’t come foster them by 6 pm that day. So I rushed there, and the original litter had been fostered, but they hadn’t even bothered to post an ad for Ginny and Iago, and they were in a cardboard box in the office waiting for the procedure when I arrived. Very close call for these little ones – they are both so fiercely alive! As much as I don’t agree with the methods of the shelter, I’m glad they brought us together. :)

    #676196
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    THANK YOU for saving these sweet babies.

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