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Poorly kittens - any ideas??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

hope someone can help me out here. My OH's mother is a fosterer for the RSPCA. However, each time she fosters the kittens they always end up with the runs. She feeds them their food as directed by the RSPCA - Whiskers kitten food suitable for 1month to 1 yr mushed up with lactol.
This time she has 4kittens and the mum and all of them have the runs. The mum and kittens are being fed the same food but the kittens is again mushed down with Lactol. The mother also has a small bowl of Lactol to drink.
So does anyone have any idea as to why they keep getting the runs? This is the fourth lot of kittens that this has happened to?
Please, any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
it;s whiskers suitable for 1month to 1yr, supplied by the RSPCA.
Could anyone tell me the exact amount they should be getting and how many times a day? I can then compare this to what the RSPCA told her. The kittens are roughly 5 weeks old and still suckiling from mum. Mum is only a baby herself at 6months.

PS: just to say that the mother also has the runs this time
Also, if anyone can point me in the direction of some useful sites I would appreciate it.

PPS: They have already been to the vets and she doesn't seem to have any idea as to why this keeps happening. They've all been given medication so hopefully they will be ok. It's just weird that all the kittens usually get this. This is also the first time she's had a mother and kittens, usually it's just the kits on thier own. But they showed interest in the food straight away as they kept trying to eat mum's food!
Oh, one other thing that might be worth mentioning is that all the kittens she has had have been ferral or part ferral.
post #2 of 14
Please excuse my ignorance - what is Lactol? Is it Kitten Milk Replacement ? I know that TCS members in the US buy KMR for kittens - I used goats' milk for mine that I rescued as kittens. But I am sure an expert will be along soon who will know.
post #3 of 14
Hmm...does the Lactol come in powdered form? If so, could it be from the water it is mixed with? It sounds like it is not mixed with water, though. Has she been using the same Lactol product all this time? Could it be expired?

Is the temperature okay where they are kept?

Also, does she make sure to wash all the beddings and stuff associated with fostering the kittens after each set of kittens? Perhaps there's some parasite in the bedding. Also make sure she washes her hands after coming back from the RSPCA, as there could be lingering germs from other cats there. It's important to not transfer possible illnesses between cats.

Maybe a complete changeup in all the stuff she uses, just to eliminate any possible sources - new bedding, new lactol, new food just in case the stuff is old. Worth a shot.

That's all I can think of, others will no doubt have ideas. Good luck.
post #4 of 14
maybe its due to the change of diet as this isnt what they would have been used to before? either that or germs in the house causing the problem.

does she wash/sterilise everything between litters?
post #5 of 14
I personally would not feed Whiskas to kittens. I would go with IAMS or Science Diet or ProPlan for kittens. I am unsure what Lactol even is-
post #6 of 14
I think this poster is from the UK; a cursory Google revealed lactol to be a recommended milk replacement or supplement from the RSPCA, which is the Brit equivalent of our ASPCA. That same search also turned up svegad's m.i.l.'s earlier problems, if I'm not mistaken. Is this your Nov. post, svegad?

BTW, svegad, my thoughts are with your countrymen today, and I'm so sorry for the attacks in London. :-(
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies. Lactol is a milk replacement and is in powdered form and mixed with water. It's definately not out of date though as that was checked. Also she is very careful to sterilise everything and does a complete clean down after the kittens leave.
Hissy - why would you not feed Whiskas?
post #8 of 14
I have to say I have yet to foster kittens that didn't have loose stool at some point, it's very strange when you start enjoying firm kitten poo. Usually they just get medication for parasites/worms, etc.

I agree that Whiskas is probably not the best food. Usually kittens should get several (3-5) small meals during the day is how I understand it.
post #9 of 14
I'm curious, svegad - is Whiskas what they were eating in the shelter? Any time there's a diet change, the risk of diarrhea is present. Even though the RSPCA recommended that diet, it may not be exactly what they were eating previously. Perhaps that's worth a check.
post #10 of 14
I just don't believe that for kittens it is considered quality food. I suppose the shelters feed it because it is relatively inexpensive. But forming systems require special foods, that is why I would lean towards Royal Canin dry, and other quality canned kitten food. Here in the United States, Whiskas does not put out kitten food at all, only for adult and senior cats.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
the Whiskas they are being fed is specially for kittens and young cats. One thing, I have read in several places that dry food is not a good idea as research shows that cats that start off with dry food have more health problems later in life - how tru this is tho I don't know and I am only saying what I read in a few places so please don't shout at me!
This lot of kittens were rescued from a factory as the mum was ferral and living in this factory. However, all the other kittens that she has looked after have all been sent with the food that they have been fed with at the RSPCA.
Also Scavenger, yes that was my old post and thank you for thinking of my country it's been a horrible day, but then I'm sure you all from America know how that feels, I can remember how bad I felt for all those in America that awful day.
post #12 of 14
I did a little research, svegad, and here's a site which may have some new ideas for you re: diarrhea in both the mom and the kittens. Scroll down to the kitten part - it mentions upping the fiber in the diet. This probably won't help much though because your kittens are not weaned yet.

Also, it's been said that rice water or a chicken and rice mush will help to bind diarrhea. This might not help the kittens, but will help the mom. Perhaps you can nurse the kittens a bit with rice water? I'd make sure with my vet first though.
post #13 of 14
When i fed my cat Whiskas kitten her fur and skin got all dull and flaky. if you look at the ingriedents its all colours and junk and no real meat.

Pets At Home do a good dry food and for a wet I fed mine Hi-life (its made with pure meat) or Hills Science wet. There not a lot of good wet foods for kittens where i am

Other good dry foods you can get around here are Royal Canin and James Wellbeloved. Pets At Home stock both.
post #14 of 14
CP also recommend Whiskas Kitten food, especially as we dont have a large petshop in the area (nearest one is at least a half hour drive, if not a bit longer), so the only kitten food we can get is Whiskas. If that is what it is provided, you dont really get a choice in the matter. I would actually stop mixing it with Lactol though, to see if that stops the problem, i have a friend who mainly deals with ferals and she would only use it if they needed to put weight on.
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