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Strange kitten behavior

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
This will be a longer thread, but I don't want to leave anything out.
I fostered 3 orphaned kittens and their surrogate mother. 2 of the kittens were adopted and then mom and the "runt" were adopted together separately. The runt was just returned to me after a few weeks because she was really going after the dog and just wouldn't leave her alone - being really hostile. Mom is unphased by the dog and doing well with these people.
I want to begin at the beginning though. When these kittens and the mother came to me, they were underweight (mom severely so), and packed with worms and ear mites. They were all treated and put on weight. The runt took a turn for the worse though just as she appeared to be getting better. The foster coordinator for the shelter I volunteer with thought it might by toxydia (sp?) and advised me to get her into the vet right away. When the vet went to take her temp, it wasn't pretty. Watery muck came pouring out of her, and she was still so tiny - only around 2 1/2 months old. He examined what he could under the microscope and did not find toxydia. He told me that it was mostly mucous that had come out of her. He said what he thought was going on was that she had a raging gastrointestinal infection and the reason she was sick and the others weren't was because she probably didn't get the antibodies she needed within the first few days of life, being the runt and all, so her immune system was at risk. He told me she had a 50/50 chance of survival and sent me on my way with antibiotics and instructions. So I spent two days locked in the bedroom with her, force-feeding her and just giving her love. She came back strong and everything was just peachy. When I took her in to the shelter vet a few days later for a recheck, it was also discovered, with the poop sample I brought in, that some, if not all of them had tapeworms too (they had previously had, and been treated for, roundworms). They were all treated for that and everything was good. Now by this time I had had all of these kittens with me for around a month or so and during that time I noticed something I wasn't sure was peculiar or not about the runt, but her siblings did not have the same strange thing going on. I noticed that always when I picked her up and cradled her, just a tad of soft poop would be protruding from her rectum. I attributed it to the worms/diarrhea, but also wondered why the other kittens didn't have this. The foster coordinator and I discussed this and she suggested that perhaps once she was on mostly dry food things may firm up more, but also said it could just well be that that was just "her thing". Well, she poops normally - firm poops, however still I see the soft poo protruding from time to time. It happens when she just wakes up from a nap, or when I pick her up and hold her, or when she's rolling around on the floor. It happens all the time! But her rear end also looks normal most of the time. I know what a prolapsed rectum looks like and she does not have one. She cleans her rear end just fine, and most of the time it is clean, but I am stymied as to what may be happening here. The vet gave her the all clear before I even realized this was even going to be an issue. She's completely healthy otherwise, it appears. So that's the first issue. The other thing that's weird (and actually kind of funny, imo) is that she passes gas when she gets upset about something. It's been pretty stinky in my bedroom lately and I'll tell you why. Before she left for those two weeks (was adopted), she was the sweetest, most seemingly well-adjusted kitten around. She had met my resident cats and although she wasn't really charmed by them she did alright - just little hisses. However, when she came back, she just about had a seizure when she caught sight of them. Yowling and snarling and she even boxed me in the face. So I've had her in my bedroom but even when she senses one of the cats is outside the door you should hear her! It's like she's possessed. So I'm keeping the door closed but feel bad for her in there all alone. She is extremely loving with me and always has been. It's her reaction to the other cats that I'm wondering about. And there is one last thing. Maybe it's nothing. When she's on her back, she claws or rubs the side of her face with her hind paw. She doesn't hurt herself, but it almost seems like a neurotic behavior. She doesn't look like she's playing or anything, but who knows. I don't know if she's emotionally maladjusted from the move and then moving back, or if she's just "different", or if she could just be mentally off. It seems like such a huge shift in her personality and I want her to be happy. The passing gas thing I never noticed before when all the kittens and mom were still here, because it always smelled like a litterbox in the master bath anyway.
I've fostered lots of times and have always been lucky to have physically and emotionally well-adjusted cats, so this litter was a new experience for me. This little girl - the runt - has got me worried though. Again, she's healthy otherwise, or appears to be. She's eating and growing and her pooh looks normal. She plays and purrs and is just a love. If anyone could offer any advice or explanation/s on her behaviors I would really appreciate it. Thanks! ~Carol
post #2 of 3
As far as the poo thing goes, my cat has the same problem. I'm not exactly sure what causes it, but I know it started after a very bad sedation that led to very likely brain damage (not confirmed because she has no ataxia, but she's just not the same cat). The vet recommended getting a second litter box for her because she might not like to pee and poop in the same box. I haven't had a chance to do this yet, though, so I'm not sure if it will work. Best of luck!
post #3 of 3
As her vet knows her history well, I'd really not wait any longer to ask him about this as it could be easily and quickly solved, or if not, you need to know, but prolonging and possibly aggravating whatever it is won't help anything (or save you money).
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