10 day old kittens constipated with bloody poo

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Yolande 6 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have finally joined the Daily kitten, as I am exhausted, frustrated and heartbroken.

    I am currenlty fostering 2 kittens who’s mother left them at birth not intentionally – The mother is a stray cat who gave birth in a workshop of a very busy factory in the early hours of the morning, when the workday started the large amount of workers and noise scared her and she ran away, by lunch time my partner discovered them, they were alive, very cold, umbilical cords still attached not even cleaned properly, I would guess they never even had a taste of mommy’s milk. He placed them in a box full of rags, hoping that the mother would return but she never showed up.
    So he brought them home, I tried introducing them to my motger cat, her kittens already 5 weeks old, she accepted them but they were too week to even drink. So I stepped in and gave them some goat milk. They were getting stronger and made it through the night. By the second day the older kittens were too rough and tried to play with them, my mother cat was starting to loose interest in them, so I removed them and started with kitty formula.
    Initially there were 3, but the 3rd night I lost one kitten after pulling an all nighter. I was devastated.

    Currently the other 2 kittens are 10 days old. I am confused as one day the one refuses to drink, his stomach is upset and he gets weaker, then the next day its reversed, the one kitten who was fine is weaker and thr other one stronger again.

    Some days they only one has a runny stomach the next day he is very constipated. I mixed the formula as prescribed and diluted it a bit. I always make sure to mix it the same way. I do stimulate them before and after each feeding. They are fed every 2-3 hours, kept warm during all hours of the day.

    At the moment the one kitten who had diarrhea is noe very constipated, his little belly is so swollen, when he does poop its hard and looks painfull, but now when he poops there is blood in it. He is still drinking but not that much. I have watched all possible videos but I still cant seem to know what could be causing this. I have been reading every possible link on this forum but I still don’t know what I am doing wrong

    I really can’t afford a vet at the moment, and I am so scared that he will die after I have taken him to a vet.

    What can I do? I really cant loose them, I fell inlove with these 2 babies and I really don’t want to loose them.

    I am so exhausted at the moment. Please please help



    Yolande, I hear the frustration and exhaustion in your voice. You are doing nothing wrong, and if it wasn’t for you and the one who saved them, they would have had no chance at life at all. Now they know what it’s like to be loved, cared for, full tummies, and to be warm. Many humans have lived and died never knowing any of these.

    Remember, these little kittens didn’t get the best start in life and you don’t know about the mommy, and she probably didn’t have the best nutrition living on the streets, not to mention any diseases she may have had.

    I would alternate the goat’s milk with the formula, which should help relieve them of their constipation. I know that you don’t have the money for a vet, but they will need to see one. The bloody poop could be because they have worms or some other type of parasite that the vet can treat effectively. Over the counter medications are not reliable and can sometimes be life threatening.

    I’ll post a couple of links for you, but you sound like you are doing everything that needs to be done for now. Keeping them warm and fed is the biggest thing since they are so tiny. If they are constipated, add a few drops of olive oil to the formula to help soften and loosen things up.

    Chaos’ Guide to Constipation

    Bottle Babies




    Hi Kittyzee,

    Thank you for your kind words and advice,

    We got through last night quite well. Tiger and Pooh are what I decided to name my two little kittens. Pooh is obviously the one whose poo was a struggle from day one and Tiger is very feisty when he gets hungry.

    So little Pooh was still very bloated, but as I massaged his belly for a while he eventually had a big poo without any traces of blood – I think perhaps the blood was not in the feces but rather from the very hard poo he struggled to get out. He drank very well after that. I also noticed this morning that he and his brother Tiger made quite a mess in their little nest, so I am glad that both of them were able to poo during the night.

    I am a little concerned about their milk intake, as I have read a 10 day old kitten should be drinking 10-12ml formula every 10 hours, but they still only drink about 6-8 ml every 3 hours. I don’t know if it maybe because they suffered a great deal of discomfort while not being able to poo that much?

    I am a little worried about Tiger as well, he starts drinking very eagerly and the just spits the bottle out, but immediately after that starts crying and searching, when I try to give him some milk again he does the same. His poo was also a bit hard this morning and the last push was very soft and splurting.

    I also gave them a bath this morning as they smell terrible even if I stimulate them with a wet wipe (Organic wipes – fragrance and alcohol-free)
    that seemed to ease their discomfort.
    I do change their bed sheets 3 or 4 times a day, and the get a bath every day.
    Do any of you have any advice for cleaning their bedding to get rid of the smell more effectively? Or what else I can do to make them smell better?

    Other than that I guess I am just overly tired and get a little paranoid to quickly.

    I will be taking them to the vet in this week. I would like to keep their formula the way I am giving it to them now as I don’t want to upset their stomachs further, but I will definitely try the olive oil.

    Thank you for the advice, I will keep you guys updated



    If they are pooping with no problems, don’t worry about the olive oil. It’s meant as a very mild stool softener and it doesn’t sound like they need it. Just be patient. The massaging helped your kitten. You are doing everything right–keeping them warm and fed and clean is your biggest priority. I know how tired you must be. Raising kittens is a daunting task and one not to undertake thinking it will be a breeze. 🙄

    I am wondering if they may have some parasites going on because their poo is so smelly. This is something that the you can discuss with your vet. You can ask him to take a stool sample and test for coccidia, which is different from regular worms and that medication, because it does make their poo smell bad.

    I would keep feeding them the way you are now, it’s working and that’s what’s best for them. Don’t worry about a few mil’s here and there, those guidelines are just that–guidelines and an average of what kittens intake at a particular age–some more or some less. It’s when they stop eating altogether and become lethargic that the warning sign is there. If that happens, rub some honey or syrup on their gums and tongue to perk up their blood sugar. Kittens cannot go long without food. Then once they perk up, get food into them any way you can if it’s by syringe, spoon, fingers, whatever. But you don’t have that problem…just advice in case you should need it.



    Hi Everyone,

    It is very sad for me to inform you that my little Pooh did not make it. He died Tuesday afternoon a while after I took both of them to the vet. I was devastated. It felt like I lost a child. He was fine on Tuesday morning, but by lunchtime, his symptoms took a turn for the worst. He was very weak and refused to drink. The vet gave both of them an enema, after that he had a little more energy, I gave him some syrup to boost him before trying to feed him, but the enema and the shock were just too much for him. I was devastated and I did blame myself, but in the end, it was probably bound to happen as he was the smallest kitten of the litter.

    The good news is Tiger is doing very well, growing bigger by the day, I will be deworming him tomorrow when he is 2 weeks old. After he had his enema it seems that there is no problem for him to poop. The vet advised me that he should poop before or after every meal, he explained that if there is no poop coming out there is no space for milk to come in so he will slowly starve to death. He also gave me Laxapet – but he advised me to use it only if he does not poop for more than 12 hours as this ‘laxative’ can sometimes give them diarrhea. I haven’t given him of the meds yet, at times it looks like he is struggling but towards the end, it is soft poo that comes out, so I am not too worried.

    I am however worried about the amount I am feeding him, after a lot of online research I came across a diagram which stated how much you should give a kitten depending on his age. Tiger is now 13 days old and according to that diagram he should be drinking 10ml – 12.5ml every 3 hours, but my vet said that it seems like that is just too much. I asked him how much I should give then, but he couldn’t find any guidelines and he worked with a puppy feeding chart and said about 5ml every 2 hours. Now to me, he didn’t seem too sure about it.

    I followed this chart from the beginning and by 4-7 days old they were supposed to drink 5ml 10-12 times a day, and they were happily drinking it until they had enough and spit the bottle out. So I am torn at the moment, unsure of what to do.

    I start with stimulating him, then I feed him 3ml, after that if he didn’t poop I will try stimulating again, then I will give another 3ml, stimulate again and sometimes he still cries, or search when I put him in his basket so then I give him about 1.5ml again while he is in the basket and leave him to suck the bottle (while empty) until he falls asleep. I am just a bit worried that I am underfeeding him, or that if I start following the diagram again that I will be overfeeding him and he will end up being constipated again.

    How much would you guys suggest I would need to feed him, please keep in mind that I don’t have anything to weigh him.

    Thank you for all the support and advice,
    I will keep you updated.

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