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Just brought home my kittens and I am already worried.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I just brought home my kittens a few hours ago and I am already worried about them.

We let them out of the carrier into the bedroom and they immediately hid under the dresser (which is basically the only place to hide in the room). We waited patiently and eventually they began to explore. While they were exploring, we noticed that the little boy was sneezing a little. I thought maybe he had a bit of dust or carpet fiber in his nose.

As the evening went on, though, he has been sneezing more and I have noticed that his eyes are a bit red around the edges, and his right eye is a little bit swollen. There is just a tiny bit of crusty eye booger next to his right eye, and they seem a bit more damp than they ought to be. He was sniffing various parts of the room a lot (which I expected) and now when he breathes, he makes little somewhat wheezy sounds. I am worried!

When she breathes, even when she is sleeping, she breathes very, very quickly - about 60 breaths per minute. It makes her whole little head shake along with her breath. I am worried about this too.

We have laid out dry food and water (the food that the breeder was feeding them) and they have used the litterbox, but only to urinate. We have seen both of them drink.

We played with them both with Da Bird for a while (which they loved, although they still run away from us when we try to touch them) and afterwords offered them some wet food. Bamf (the boy) mowed down quite a lot of it, but she wouldn't touch it. A little bit ago, she ate a few of the kibbles.

So there is my situation so far. There are a few vets in town that are open on Saturdays. Should I see if I can get them in tomorrow? I know that if they are sick, they are guaranteed free of disease at the time of sale, and since symptoms started showing up right away, the breeder would probably be liable. But they seemed fine at the breeder's home!

I thought maybe they were allergic to something, maybe a cleaning agent? But Bamf's symptoms seem like a mild URI.

I DON'T KNOW! I just want them to be happy and healthy. Thanks.
post #2 of 25
I would call the Vet. The Wheezing could be Asthma also. How old are they and where did you get them from.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
They are 12 weeks old, and I purchased them from a Siamese cat breeder that lives about an hour away. I am e-mailing the breeder right now also. I am thinking that I am going to at least call the Vet in the morning, and if I do not hear back from the breeder in the morning I will call her also. I would like to know if they saw any of these symptoms before (and if they did, why didn't they do anything?)

But I did want to know what everyone else thought, also.

Sad if my kitties have asthma. Thank you for your reply.
post #4 of 25
That is very odd they seem sick, and the breederdidn't know? Sounds like a respirtory infection maybe, with all the sneezing. Some antibiotics will fix that. Food wise, they are probably too scared right now to be hungry much, but if a cat is sick they dont like to eat cause they cant smell it. You're probably ok to wait until Monday to see the vet, but I don't understand how they weren't sick with the breeder, and now they might be? Sounds kinda suspicious. i'm sure everything will be ok and they'll warm up to you quick
post #5 of 25
I have a 16 year old Cat with Asthma and she is half Siamese. Seems strange they didnt tell you they were sick.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yeah, you would think that they would notice! Little Pixel sneezed a bit a few minutes ago, and then decided she liked me and climbed into my lap to purrrrr! Then she attacked my braid and shiny necklace.

One of the vets I have picked out has normal hours on Saturday from 8-5, so I think I will just call at 8:00 and see if they have any appointment times and I can take the kittens in.

I e-mailed the breeder already, and I will call tomorrow. My contract says that they are guaranteed free of diseases when they are sold, so if they have a respiratory infection, then I think the breeder is liable? But if they were sick, they shouldn't have let me take them home anyway! They do seem really nice, but also this seems strange. Little Bamf has a bit of mucous on his nose now and I can tell he doesn't feel good. I may take him into the bathroom and run a hot shower for him to steam him up a bit.

Thanks everyone.
post #7 of 25
A call in to the vet is always a good idea when in doubt.

Sometimes, when little ones first go to their new home, they do develop a little URI in response to the new things in the home ... dust, carpet, the like. Most of the time, it passes on it's own as the kitten's immunity to these new things kicks in. However, sometimes, it turns into a bacterial infection that must be addressed with antibiotics. Your vet can assist you in knowing when that time comes, if it comes.

I hope this is just a little bout from getting used to the new environment and doesn't blow up into something more serious. But chances are good that if after speaking to your vet, you just let it run it's course (unless it becomes bacterial), they will be stronger and better able to develop their immunity naturally.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
A call in to the vet is always a good idea when in doubt.

Sometimes, when little ones first go to their new home, they do develop a little URI in response to the new things in the home ... dust, carpet, the like. Most of the time, it passes on it's own as the kitten's immunity to these new things kicks in. However, sometimes, it turns into a bacterial infection that must be addressed with antibiotics. Your vet can assist you in knowing when that time comes, if it comes.

I hope this is just a little bout from getting used to the new environment and doesn't blow up into something more serious. But chances are good that if after speaking to your vet, you just let it run it's course (unless it becomes bacterial), they will be stronger and better able to develop their immunity naturally.
Thank you for the reassurance Gayef. I do appreciate it. I am a little paranoid because we adopted a kitten in February who had Panleukopenia and she died suddenly and very tragically. She was a very affectionate kitten and she got so ill, it broke my heart.

So, I am checking on the babies all the time and worrying over every little thing.

I think I will still call the vets in the morning! If they ask me to come in with the kittens, I will. The office fee is only $15!
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorana_dragonky View Post
Thank you for the reassurance Gayef. I do appreciate it. I am a little paranoid because we adopted a kitten in February who had Panleukopenia and she died suddenly and very tragically. She was a very affectionate kitten and she got so ill, it broke my heart.

So, I am checking on the babies all the time and worrying over every little thing.

I think I will still call the vets in the morning! If they ask me to come in with the kittens, I will. The office fee is only $15!
I am very sorry to hear of your tragic loss. Panleukopenia is a hideous illness for cats and it hurts my heart to know your baby suffered with it. It must have been absolutely horrible for you.

Check on the babies as often as you like, I strongly encourage you! *smile* Kittens are naturally curious (and Siamese are annoyingly curious - you just wait, you won't be able to do ~anything~ without little pointed paws running to assist you!!) and if you just sit quietly ignoring them, they won't be able to resist you for long. Worrying is normal, I think, when new members of the family come to their home for the first time. They are so small and everything is new to them ... it is easy to be a bit overprotective of them.

I guarantee you that life as you knew it BS (Before Siamese) is over. *grin* You'll have all sorts of new amusements like:

Great Wild Beasts of the Sarengeti running through your home at alarming rates of velocity.

Death From Above when they pounce on each other from heights. (Siamese love to be up high ... mine gave me chest pain on more than one occasion!)

Destruct-O Feet when they run across your sleeping body at Oh-God-Thirty AM and draw blood. (My personal fav ... over the course of time I was breeding, I received 33 stitches from kitten claws. I wear the scars like Badges of Honor. LOL I also learned to close my bedroom door until they grew mature enough to sleep through the night!)
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
I am very sorry to hear of your tragic loss. Panleukopenia is a hideous illness for cats and it hurts my heart to know your baby suffered with it. It must have been absolutely horrible for you.

Check on the babies as often as you like, I strongly encourage you! *smile* Kittens are naturally curious (and Siamese are annoyingly curious - you just wait, you won't be able to do ~anything~ without little pointed paws running to assist you!!) and if you just sit quietly ignoring them, they won't be able to resist you for long. Worrying is normal, I think, when new members of the family come to their home for the first time. They are so small and everything is new to them ... it is easy to be a bit overprotective of them.

I guarantee you that life as you knew it BS (Before Siamese) is over. *grin* You'll have all sorts of new amusements like:

Great Wild Beasts of the Sarengeti running through your home at alarming rates of velocity.

Death From Above when they pounce on each other from heights. (Siamese love to be up high ... mine gave me chest pain on more than one occasion!)

Destruct-O Feet when they run across your sleeping body at Oh-God-Thirty AM and draw blood. (My personal fav ... over the course of time I was breeding, I received 33 stitches from kitten claws. I wear the scars like Badges of Honor. LOL I also learned to close my bedroom door until they grew mature enough to sleep through the night!)
Gaye dear you forgot one :grin: ... the MEOWWWWWWWWWWWW and conversations at high volume oh I miss that ...
post #11 of 25
It does sound like it could be a URI. Sometimes this can be brought on by the stress of going to a new home.
post #12 of 25
I would definitely get them in to see the vet right away. Our shelter requires adopters to go to a vet for a free check up within the first 3 days of ownership, just to be sure. And both the cats we adopted had the URI. A week or 10 days of antibiotics took care of it in both cases.
post #13 of 25
Do you also have the vet record from the breeder when shots were given? It may be that the last shots were done a few days before you picked them up and its a reaction to that.

But having a vet check them out within 3 days of getting them is a wise thing. Also most contracts do state to have your vet look at them within 3 days so they can verify if they are healthy.

Its typical for new kittens not to eat right away - might be a day or two. As long as they are drinking water and playing a little, they are probably fine.
post #14 of 25
My rescue group sees countless kittens and cats and what you're describing is classic URI. I'll try not to repeat too much of what's been said above, but to add to it:

- In addition to antibiotics like Amoxi 2x day it sounds like one or both will also need antibiotic eye cream.

- Cats coming home often incubate URI's and start sneezing shortly after coming home.

- Do not avoid treatment or a vet visit. The rapid breathing isn't a good sign.

- They may benefit from "steam baths" in the bathroom and non-medicated saline nasal spray in each nostril 2-3x a day to open their noses up.

- If their appetite decreases (very possible) you may need to hand feed them. Ask for instructions before attempting this.

- The breeder may take responsibility for the costs of treatment but they may have limitations which may include using a vet of their choice. Contact your breeder and re-read very carefully your written contract with them. If you don't have a written contract then you may be out of luck.

A note on the age old question "Is it allergies or is it a cold?"
To put that in perspective, when "Jim" came back from the Leprosy Sanitarium complaining of numb fingers his problem wasn't "benign numb finger syndrome" his problem was Leprosy. When kittens come home from a breeder, rescue/adoption group or pet store and they start sneezing and getting some combination of goopy/drippy/red eyes, the problem isn't dust bunnies or allergies. It's an URI and in young kittens, it can be serious.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenq View Post
My rescue group sees countless kittens and cats and what you're describing is classic URI. I'll try not to repeat too much of what's been said above, but to add to it:

- In addition to antibiotics like Amoxi 2x day it sounds like one or both will also need antibiotic eye cream.

- Cats coming home often incubate URI's and start sneezing shortly after coming home.

- Do not avoid treatment or a vet visit. The rapid breathing isn't a good sign.

- They may benefit from "steam baths" in the bathroom and non-medicated saline nasal spray in each nostril 2-3x a day to open their noses up.

- If their appetite decreases (very possible) you may need to hand feed them. Ask for instructions before attempting this.

- The breeder may take responsibility for the costs of treatment but they may have limitations which may include using a vet of their choice. Contact your breeder and re-read very carefully your written contract with them. If you don't have a written contract then you may be out of luck.

A note on the age old question "Is it allergies or is it a cold?"
To put that in perspective, when "Jim" came back from the Leprosy Sanitarium complaining of numb fingers his problem wasn't "benign numb finger syndrome" his problem was Leprosy. When kittens come home from a breeder, rescue/adoption group or pet store and they start sneezing and getting some combination of goopy/drippy/red eyes, the problem isn't dust bunnies or allergies. It's an URI and in young kittens, it can be serious.
Stephen, while I agree with you on many of the points you presented, unless it is accurately diagnosed by a vet as a bacterial infection, then it may not be a URI. The use of antibiotics prophylactically in kittens largely reduces their ability to develop natural immunity and if overdone, causes the antibiotics to be useless to that cat in the future. Way too many people are way too quick with giving antibiotics and the long term effect is truly frightening when considered along with the normal life span of a cat.

A little bit of clear or white discharge/sneezing is normal in a kitten when that kitten first goes to it's new home. In kittens with strong immune systems, it normally passes on it's own within a few to several days and should be allowed to do so in order for the kitten to develop immunity to whatever it is that is irritating the upper respiratory system. It is only when that discharge turns yellowish-green that antibiotics are indicated. But in this case, we should allow the OP's trusted veterinarian to make that determination.

To the OP: Lots of good-hearted, well-intentioned people (including me) will give you lots of advice on what to do or how to do it. Your ~first~ line of defense for anything that happens to your kittens or any doubts you may have about their well-being is always your trusted vet.
post #16 of 25
Zorana

Good and knowledgeable people may disagree and sometimes its possible that even when people disagree that both people's opinions may be based on truths. Ultimately you should listen to a vet you respect and make the best informed decisions about *your* cats. In the end, we're all on the sidelines.

Having said all that and while I agree with parts of what Gayef said, I disagree with other parts and would like to clarify my thoughts in response to what she (maybe "he" but i'm going with the odds and say "she" ok)) said.

Yes, URI's are viral, but secondary bacterial infections are so common among cats that all the vets I work with in my part of the country (NYC) proscribe antibiotics prophylacticly because the risk is so high. They don't do this lightly, they know the risk of overuse of antibiotics. Humans consume much more antibiotics than cats do. A cat may have antibiotics proscribed rarely in the course of its entire lifetime and as far as I know, bacterial resistance to antibiotics in cats is much less of a concern than it is with humans.

I agree that if a kitten can get over a URI in a couple of days on its own then that's great, but where I live (NYC) our shelter and rescue group cats rarely do. Watching and waiting on mild symptoms can be fine, but if the symptoms worsen then i believe intervention is needed.

If *any* of the following were to happen: appetite starts to fail, kitten has a temperature, kitten has trouble breathing through the nose (significant congestion) kitten is rapid breathing, kitten is mouth breathing (another sign of significant congestion), or has obviously gooey or runny or crusty eyes, 3d eyelid showing or regular eyelid is partly closed, again any of the above then IMO the time to watch and wait has ended.

Mostly importantly, and gayef and i agree on this 100%, **consult your vet**. WAY too many people use this forum as a substitute for vet care.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
I agree that if a kitten can get over a URI in a couple of days on its own then that's great, but where I live (NYC) our shelter and rescue group cats rarely do. Watching and waiting on mild symptoms can be fine, but if the symptoms worsen then i believe intervention is needed.
Rescue and shelter cats though are in situations where cats come and go, along with their bacteria and viri, whether healthy or no, most all carry something.
In this situation, the animals pretty much have to be treated prophylactically.

These are breeder kits though, from a presumably healthy breeding program/environment, not street moggies and "oops" kittens.

Regardless, if you trust your vet and breeder, go with their advice, and congrats on becoming a slave to two gorgeous Meezers.
post #18 of 25
Thank you Stephen, for clarifying your position. You give good advice. *smile*

Just as an aside, I find it interesting that the vets there nearby you treat viral events with antibiotics as a matter of course. The vets around here nearby me are extremely vocal on the dangers of treating with antibiotics before they are indicated and normally won't do it at all unless they culture the discharge and find bacteria. Since this is the way I am endoctrinated by the vets I use, the whole idea of treating prophylactically makes no sense to me. Antibiotics do not prevent a bacterial event, they can only address the bacteria once it has incubated. They don't make the host system any the less hospitable for bacterial growth either, as was originally thought to be the case. Even human dentists have stopped the common practice of giving prophylatic antibiotics to high-risk patients. *shrug* So, prescribing them to a kitten with a clear or milky white discharge is not something I would even think about doing until and unless that discharge was cultured by my vet and found to contain bacteria. I will have to ask my vet about this next time I have need to be in her office.

Again, thank you for a considerate and respectful post.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
First, he has cleared up a bit this morning. He has sneezed just a little bit, and he isn't wheezing very much. His nose is mostly dry and his eyes are less red. He is playing and running around like a little crazy guy, playing "Kitty Chase" (or "Catch My Sister") and "Kitty Fishin" which involves Da Bird, and "Kitty attack all toys and moveable objects nearby." Also, nap.

Between the two of them, they have finished off about 1/2 a cup of dry food and we gave them about 3oz of wet this morning, which they both ate also. In fact, he pigged out on more of both than she did. They are both drinking, and have both pooped and peed.

They have also decided that my mattress makes a good scratching post.

I called the vet this morning and described his symptoms (and hers) in detail to them, and they asked several questions. Then they reassured me that often little kittens will get a bit of a cold or cold like symptoms from the stress of moving. They told me that if their eyes get a bit of a yellowish discharge (which they do not have right now), then they have a bacterial infection (URI) and I should bring them in to see the doctor and get some antibiotics. Since they don't, they advised me to keep their appointment for next week for now.

The breeder also called and e-mailed and assured me that she hadn't noticed any symptoms before, and said the same things that the Vet did, about the yellowish discharge and what to watch for. She thanked me for being such a conscientious owner, and said to please let her know right away if they show any signs of getting worse.


So far, they seem like little buttheads. The cutest thing they do is whenever she "disappears" - moves behind something or on top of something where he can't see her, he will meow. It is a particular sounding meow, too, and he will do it until he finds her again. VERY cute.

Thanks everyone. I will keep posted and let you know if they start feeling better.
post #20 of 25
Thank you Gayef for all your carefully reasoned and well articulated points of view. There is truth in what you wrote and I think its important that we all realize that different perspectives, locations, and life experiences can create differing truths.

As another poster pointed out rescue groups and shelters are exposed to a wider range of illness, and the different locations we live in can affect vet advice, treatment protocols and the very nature of illness. As an example, NYC had a Calici strain appear not too long ago that was very serious and even though it was just a URI, resulted in some cats dying. Gayef's experiences may show that URI's are less serious where she is.

The bottom line is that we all have POV's that relate to our own experiences and by showing these differences in a respectful manner allows readers to evaluate their own very specific situations. Belittling or criticizing someone because you disagree with them doesn't make your own argument stronger, in fact I think it tends to weaken it.

And i am *delighted* to hear that the kitten is doing better! :-). I'd rather be wrong 100 times over and have a 100 happy, healthy cats than the reverse.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
He is a little pig, always eating! He has been here since Friday evening and I am sure that he is bigger. His belly certainly is! She seems to be eating fine, but not nearly as much as he is. We see him eat all the time, but while we are in the room, she will nibble a bit and then go play. She eats more when we are not watching, and never uses the litter box when you watch either!

His nose is still stuffy, and he has just a bit of eye crust. The mucous is still clear, but I am watching him closely. He is eating great, and playing well. He still sneezes a bit, and I have noticed him making a "hurking" noise like he might be about to cough, or cough up a hairball, and his shoulders make a little motion. But he only does it once, just "Hurk!" and he is fine. It is almost like a hiccup?

One of the kittens has softer stools, but we aren't sure which one it is because they tend not to poo while we are in the room. Bamf will pee, but they poo when we leave the room. It is not liquid or completely runny, but it is soft. The other kitten has normal poops. I know that it may just be from diet change, as they both seem active and healthy, but I am not sure.

I am going to call the vet again tomorrow and ask if I should bring them in. I just want them to be okay. They have an official appointment shortly, but I am worried about them (like a good mommy I suppose).

Any suggestions? I will let everyone know what the vet says when I call/take them in, etc.

Here is Bamf just a little big ago. You can see the clear mucous on his little nose. His ears are clear and his eyes are not watery anymore, and not red anymore either.




There are some more photos of both of them in the Fur Pics & Videos section.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, I am positive now that it is Bamf with the soft stools. I cleaned his litter box before I went to sleep last night and he had to go in the middle of the cleaning. There was a bit of liquid and then a very large, very soft pile of poo. I scooped it out and put it in a baggie in case the doctor needed a stool sample. Pixel went shortly after, too. Hers was just a little soft, but mostly fine.

He definitely has more mucous now, and it is a very light yellow-green color (bad right?). He is still eating fine, still attentive, still playing, but when he sneezes he slings little droplets of snot and you can hear the snot when he breathes. I wanted to stay with him and get him into the bathroom with the hot steam, but I had to be here at work at 8:00. I called the Vet's office that I had picked and they basically told me that it was a judgement call to bring him in, but it doesn't feel like a judgement call to me. I think he needs to see the doctor, and she should too, just for safety's sake.

So I tried to arrange something, and even though they are open from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm (one of the reasons I picked them), the doctor doesn't do regular appointments on Tuesdays, just surgeries. And he does them during the afternoon. And this afternoon is all booked of course. They said I could drop off the kittens and the doctor would look at them earlier in the afternoon and probably give at least Bamf an antibiotic shot and check their temps, etc, probably send them home with some antibiotic. I could pick them up after work... Well that sounds really convenient, but "convenient" is not what I am looking for. I want to speak to a doctor and ask questions, get the right advice on what to do and watch them examine my kittens. I want to be there to reassure the babies that they are going to be okay, etc. I tried to see if I could bring them in tomorrow morning, and I guess on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, he only does appointments between 11:00 and 1:00. :censor::censor::censor:? Does helping the animals interrupt his golf schedule or something?

I am going to call my second choice - now my first - as soon as they open at 9:30. They are open until 6:00 pm also, and I get off of work at 4:00. I am hoping that I can take sick Bamfy and his sister in to see a vet today. I am very worried about them and I do not want to be blown off. I want to speak to the vet if I am paying for it.

Advice/encouragement heartily accepted, please.
post #23 of 25
Ah, I totally understand how you are feeling. It can be so frustrating when you are worried and you can't seem to get a doctor/vet/whatever to see you. Feel free to vent away here - that is what we are all here for!

Have you looked into vet practices with more than one vet on staff? That is what we did. I wanted to make sure that there was always a vet available for us if we needed it. We have our 'regular' vet, but if he has the day off/busy with surgeries or whatever, and there is a situation that I believe requires immediate attention, there is always someone I can talk to.

I hope the kittens are all healthy! Lots of vibes!
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyr View Post
Ah, I totally understand how you are feeling. It can be so frustrating when you are worried and you can't seem to get a doctor/vet/whatever to see you. Feel free to vent away here - that is what we are all here for!

Have you looked into vet practices with more than one vet on staff? That is what we did. I wanted to make sure that there was always a vet available for us if we needed it. We have our 'regular' vet, but if he has the day off/busy with surgeries or whatever, and there is a situation that I believe requires immediate attention, there is always someone I can talk to.

I hope the kittens are all healthy! Lots of vibes!
Thank you wendyr. I was a little frustrated this morning. It is very nice to have a forum full of understanding people who care about cats as much as I do.

There is one clinic in town that has 3 vets on staff, and almost always has one in the office. It is the clinic that we took our other kitten to when she was ill. They are not bad people, but I have since then heard a lot of mediocre reviews of them, and I felt like they could have communicated with me much better. Most of what I learned about Panleukopenia I learned through research during her illness and after we lost her. The vet told us almost nothing about what it really was and what we could and could not do for her, and I felt like they did not spend a lot of time on me. They are nice people, but I felt like maybe I could do better.

Which is why I did so much research about the different vets in the area, as far as prices, hours, policies, and reviews from friends and family. The second vet I called also does surgeries (spay/neuters) on Tuesdays, but was more than happy to squeeze in an appointment so that I could bring in my kittens. The babies have an appointment at 5:15 at this clinic, and it was recommended by three friends. Two of the friends rescue injured animals and strays and ferals, and this has been their vet for many years. They have tried every vet in town and this vet is their favorite.

I am hoping that I like her and her office and that my babies will be okay.

Thank you for the vibes. Will let everyone know how the appointment goes.
post #25 of 25
the day after i brought shinobi home he came out with severe conjuctivitus. poor little mite, his eyelids would stick together while he slept and i would have to gently soak them apart. he constantly had gunge around his eyes. the vet gave him eye drops which cleared it up after a few weeks.

the vet said it was probably a strain of cat flu bought on by the stress of moving. he also had a raised temperature which meant i had to hold off on his jabs until it went down which took a good four months.

funny thing was that he seemed fine in himself when he was poorly, playing with milo and eating quite well, but it was only when his temp dropped that i realised that he must have been feeling quite ill as he transformed into this forever hungry lunatic!

he has been absolutely fine ever since, and is now bigger than his older brother milo!

sending lots of for your babies. i'm sure that they will be fine but i know how worrying it is for you.
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