2 week old – Diarrhea

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    Hello everyone (:

    On April 1st my fiancée and I rescued a kitten that a stray had left in our attic. Neither of us have experience hand-raising kittens. With help from a couple websites we guessed that he was about one week old, making him just over two weeks now.

    That first day, he didn’t have much energy, and didn’t want to eat. We managed to get only a few drops of PetAg kitten replacement milk into him (we originally bought the liquid kind, until reading that the powder kind is better, and switched right away). He didn’t seem too interested in it. But that changed in just a day, so we assume that was him transitioning to his new home as well as new food.

    After that brief transition, Calcifer found his appetite, and grew stronger. He had been active from the start but this increased, as well as his affection towards us. He ate every 2-3 hours. And he peed regularly, but we couldn’t get him to poop. But was neither lethargic or showing any other symptoms to indicate that something was wrong.

    After 2 days we took him in to the vet. The vet assured us Calcifer didn’t feel constipated, and he should go potty in 2-3 days. When he didn’t, we took Calcifer in again. After a warm water enema he actually went potty on my shirt on the way home with barely any stimulation other than me rubbing his back. Late that same night, he went potty a little bit in his bed. And again early the next morning, also in his bed. Those first two were healthy color and consistency but that third was partially too soft.

    That 2nd vet visit was on Friday. Since then he has maintained his healthy appetite, and frequent cuddles, although he seems to have mellowed out a bit. He is a very happy baby. He only complains when we try to stimulate his rectum.

    Yesterday, no bowel movement whatsoever. But this morning when I woke him up to feed him there was a small piece of potty in his bed, as well as a wet spot that looked like it may have been watery potty. It was while we cleaned him up with a warm wet wash cloth that he had diarrhea. We don’t have pedialyte at the moment so his first meal today was diluted 50/50 with water. We have become insanely attached to this baby and I don’t think either of us could bear to spend a day without him now so the knowledge of something like “Fading kitten syndrome” terrifies me.

    It has been an hour since the diarrhea and he is still his happy self. Some websites said to take him in immediately, others said only if the diarrhea continues more than 24 hours. The truth is that the vet is expensive and both times we visited, the vet seemed rushed and I don’t feel as if he really spent time talking with us about our kitten. Only answering the immediate question before dismissing himself. So, in addition to seriously considering finding a new vet, I am turning to the cat people for help. 90% of the research I’ve done so far whenever I have any concerns has lead me here and I finally decided to join and make my own post. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this and I apologize for the length of it, or if there are typos, I’ve been a worried mess since this morning. We just want our baby to be okay.

    Do you think this could just be overfeeding? Can someone please confirm just how much a 2-week old needs a day? he’s about 7.5 ounces now. One website said 40mL, one said 56mL, I’ve also seen 68mL. These past couple days he’s had a daily intake of about 50mL which has led to this diarrhea so we’re not sure what to believe. I suppose it may just differ from kitten to kitten?

    Thank you



    Hi Calcifer, welcome to TDK! There is no better place to come than a place where there is cat people! Sounds like you have been doing a great job with your kitten. I will give some tips on hand rearing kittens, I’ve raised many. There is no guarantee against ‘fading kitten syndrome’ I’m afraid, it happens when you least expect it and it just leaves you devastated. Hopefully, that will not happen your kitten!
    I have found that powdered KMR causes constipation, while the liquid causes diarrhea. I have found it to be true over and over. Then, when I found myself to be a new kitten mom again, a very knowledgeable person on this site (Buttons! 🙂 ) recommended goat’s milk. It is a miracle food in my book. I switched over with my last kitten and it helped calm his tummy, no more diarrhea or constipation. Much cheaper too as around $3 a can. You can get regular goat’s milk in the refrigerated milk section of the grocery, in the baking aisle in cans (it’s condensed so add water 1 to 1) or powdered in the baking section. I like the canned as I can buy a few cans and stick them in the cupboard and open a can, add water and warm it to feed. It’s full of probiotics for his digestive tract and contains no lactose like cow’s milk does.
    Sometimes kittens this young don’t poop everyday. They use up the nutrition and just don’t have poop. And another thing–I have found that a lot of vets do not know much about hand rearing kittens. Unless they or someone close to them has done it, they don’t know much about what to recommend. I am going to post some sites for you to check out–they have been invaluable to me over the years to refer to when in the midst of kitten raising. Also a site for how to ‘poop a kitten’ using the triangle method. Many have found how well it works.
    Don’t forget to come back and tell us how your baby is doing! Good luck!

    Helping a kitten to eliminate

    Chaos’ Guide to Constipation


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