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Kittens keep dying!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have a MAJOR issue right now. I have just had to bury TWO kittens. They died within a week of eachother. No warning signs, they just died. One of them died back under a utility trailer, the other one I found by a drain pipe at the edge of the woods. Now, all I have is one left, a nice male tabby that I'm fixing to get snipped. One kitten was a nice little female with a great attitude, the other was a male and was always kind of flighty. But both of them acted fine, then I didn't see them for a day or two and like I said, found them both dead. They were about 4 months old and looked healhty, ate good, so on and so forth. I don't understand why they died. Their mom always had healhty litters and I always found homes for them (which is why I never had her fixed). I just don't get it. I'm wondering is it possible for a kitten to die by getting bit by a black widow? I live out in the woods, and I've seen about 30 black widows around the outside of my house, garage in the past 5 years. I keep the place treated, but living by the woods just attracts the little critters. I've seen at least 5 on that utility trailer and a few around that drain pipe (black widows love dark, wet places) and am wondering if anybody else has had this problem. The kittens weren't chewed so I don't think they got in a tussle with any racoons or possums (also frequent the area, but usually co-exist OK). These cats also loive playing with dobson flies (maybe flying-helgramites), beetles, and pretty much anything that crawls. Please gimme any advise you have. Also, what is a good hard food that'll help boost a cat's immune system? These are outside cats and have always eaten 9 lives, Friskies, so on and so forth, but recently only eat small portions. I used to fill their food bowl up and they'd eat it all in a matter of 5-10 minutes. Now, they eat for a minute or so, take a drink of water and thats it. Brownie (my final cat) is getting ready to have his shots and get fixed, so I'll have him checked out, but nay other advice would be GREATLY appreciated! THANKS!
post #2 of 19
Maybe I'm grasping at straws, but you say they suddenly aren't eating well. That could be the clue you're looking for; cats are excellent at hiding illness until they are very sick, then tend to go downhill very fast. This is especially true of kittens.
post #3 of 19
That's what I would say, too. It sounds like they had something that you didn't know about. If they hadn't had their shots, it could have been anything. I am so sorry about you losing these 2 kittens!!! Hopefully the vet can let you know what's going on when you take Brownie. I would go ahead and take him pretty quick, so nothing happens to him. Good luck!
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info y'all. NEW DEVELOPMENT: I just found some brownish gue in Brownie's ear. I'm gonna take him to the vet tomorrow to find out why he's become so sickly. I'll post results ASAP. Thanks again!
post #5 of 19
That might be ear mites in his ear.
post #6 of 19
Could be ear mites, or another infection. This COULD be an indication that your problem is a parasite, either way too many fleas, or worms, or whatever.
post #7 of 19
The biggest problem with outside cats is that you have no control as to where they go or what they get into. Its so many things these kittens could have gotten into. Poison, spider/snake bites, FELV, etc. - too many to list.

I really would make this last kitten an indoor kitten or at least you should supervise him when he's outside part time. And by letting the female cats keep having litters, you wear them out and then they don't have the health they need to produce healthy kittens. I'd have mom spayed too. How many outside cats are you feeding? And why are they all outside?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies y'allz. I got Brownie back today. He's worn out, but he had these problems: EAR MITES, FOOD POISONING (unknown source??), and FLEAS. Basically, they told me he was just an unhealthy cat that needed to eat better and they gave me some meds for his condtions. Strange enough, after the momma cat (Goldie) went missing about three weeks ago, all these health problems started (Brownie, two dead kittens, etc.) I'm really peeved over this deal. I'd HATE to lose Brownie. I can't figure out what's caused this decline in health. What FOOD do you cat-lovers suggest? I think I read before that most of you won't even utter the words "9-Lives." I'm looking for some good hard food. I know if I get him to eat more and better, his health should improve. THANKS!
post #9 of 19
It's possible that someone has rat posion or something similar out somewhere where the kittens are hanging out. Maybe there's some radiator fluid around somewhere - it looks like water, so cats drink it and die.

They could have been bitten - if there's a particular place they hang out, there could definitely be black widows who also inhabit the same area.

Best way to keep them safe is to keep them inside! You REALLY also need to get the mother cat fixed - just because you can find the kittens a home isn't enough reason to keep letting her breed. Having regular litters is not good for her health, and there are already enough kittens in the world.

As for food, some good brands are Wellness, Natural Balance, Innova EVO, Drs Foster and Smith, Nutro, Taste of the Wild, Wysong and Felidae. I'm sure others will come and add to the list - that's just a few off the top of my head. These are premium foods, but if you can afford to buy them in bulk they end up pretty cost effective.

You also want to give the cats regular Advantage flea treatment so stop them from getting fleas and therefore worms.

Good luck!
post #10 of 19
Fleas in tiny kittens can cause anemia, as well as worms, so maybe that has had an impact on their health. I do hope he can pull through.
post #11 of 19
The mother cat could also have FELV or FIP and passing to to the kittens and they are dying now.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobs454 View Post
I'm really peeved over this deal. I'd HATE to lose Brownie. I can't figure out what's caused this decline in health.

" I'm looking for some good hard food. I know if I get him to eat more and better, his health should improve. THANKS!
I understand what you are going through and am so sorry your cats are sick. The vet said the cause was poison as you mentioned. Fleas will cause them to be weak because they feed on blood. A good food will give them the nutrition they need, but will not improve the problem with poision and parasites.

My parents live on 100 acres and they have gone through the same thing with all their animals. They will roam and the only way to stop that and keep them from getting in poison and many other problems is to get them in a safe area. If they can't be inside and you take them out supervised, can you build them an enclosure. They make pre-built ones. Some people use a covered dog run.

I wish them a speedy recovery and hope you can get the others to the vet. When one has earmites they all may have them too. Hang in there. You can get them all better soon.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobs454 View Post
Thanks for the replies y'allz. I got Brownie back today. He's worn out, but he had these problems: EAR MITES, FOOD POISONING (unknown source??), and FLEAS. Basically, they told me he was just an unhealthy cat that needed to eat better and they gave me some meds for his condtions. Strange enough, after the momma cat (Goldie) went missing about three weeks ago, all these health problems started (Brownie, two dead kittens, etc.) I'm really peeved over this deal. I'd HATE to lose Brownie. I can't figure out what's caused this decline in health. What FOOD do you cat-lovers suggest? I think I read before that most of you won't even utter the words "9-Lives." I'm looking for some good hard food. I know if I get him to eat more and better, his health should improve. THANKS!
I dont know where your located but we feed

http://www.blueseal.com/dogandcat/lifestagesCat.php

HTH
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmyfurbabys View Post
I dont know where your located but we feed

http://www.blueseal.com/dogandcat/lifestagesCat.php

HTH
Someone usually comes after I post this link to say that a cat needs 40% min of protein ... we also feed the wet of this same brand which brings us past the 40% marker.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thankye...I got bad news: Goldie (who went missing) WAS the mother cat. She might have had some kind of illness sure enough. I keep the antifreeze and other garage stuff off-limits and out of the way, and we live acres away from any other residence where there'd be rat poison, but that is a good point nonetheless. Naw, I think the kittens did get spider-bitten. I was outside moving an old car out of the barn and saw a black widow in the wheel-well, and one crawling across the floor. This WAS one of the two kittens' favorite hangouts. Brownie doesn't hang out in there, so he's probably alright. At any rate, I'm gonna spray all around the house, garages, etc. and keep Brownie inside for a few weeks,then get him all fattened up before I stick his butt back outside to get back to MICE-DUTY!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Also, nobody around me sells that Blue Seal stuff. The nearest feed-lots and Tractor Supplies only sell Iams. Is Iams good stuff or just hype? Will the cat really like it? I'd rather stay with the hard food. Its easer to handle and costs less, two elements I like to stick with.
post #17 of 19
Iams is ok food - it USED to be a lot better.

And I do hope you are spaying and neutering your barn cats. No reason for them to be breeding. You never did answer that question if they were.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK, once Brownie is good to go (doing GREAT today - HALLELUJAH!) I'm gonna get him fixed. I'm also going to go to the animal shelter and adopt a nice female and get her fixed too. So no, no more litters. BTW, its a SAD site at the animal shelter looking at all those kittens that are fixning to be put under.
post #19 of 19
If you choose to make them part outside cats, I suggest you train to a harness/leash or build/buy a cat enclosure instead of allowing them to roam free with no supervision.

And many shelters require you to keep them inside too.
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