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Malnourished Kitten

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My dad is a mailman and yesterday, on his route, he found a kitten. He thought the cat was injured because of the way the dirt he was covered in looked, but luckily, he is not. The cat was covered in fleas, and is very, very skinny--malnourished and dehydrated. We think he about 8 weeks old. Since my dad found him on a Saturday we can't get him to the vet until tomorrow. Today I am nervous because he has diarrhea, which makes sense because he's so dehydrated and isn't used to eating, but it's scaring me because of the way it's been just leaking out. He just wants to be held and sleep all the time.

(Sorry if I'm not making any sense--I haven't had much sleep lately.)

I just wanted to see if anyone had any advice for today, until we can get the cat to the vet tomorrow.
post #2 of 21
There is a wonderful website with all sorts of good information -

http://www.kitten-rescue.com

which can answer a lot of your questions.

The fleas will need to be treated as soon as is humanly possible. A spot-on flea treatment purchased from your vet is best, but as you cannot get in until tomorrow, you can get a very small-toothed comb and get a lot of them off of baby now. You will need a bowl of warm water to which you will add just a small drop of dishwashing liquid - you don't need much, just enough to make the water a little sudsy. Comb the baby gently and then dip the comb into the water. Dry the comb thoroughly so as not to get baby wet at all and repeat this until you have removed the majority of the fleas.

If you can the baby to eat on her own, great, but if not, you will need to force feed her. Go to the grocery store and buy several jars of human chicken or turkey meat baby food, warm it gently in a bowl of hot water or in the microwave (it should not be at all HOT, warm to the touch is best) and put a little on your fingers. Offer it to Baby this way to entice her to eat.

Additionally, the dehydration is most certainly an issue and one that cannot be ignored, but the baby food has enough moisture in it to help with that. If you can get her to eat, she will also be taking in fluids. A little KMR purchased at Petsmart or Goat's milk from the grocery store may be helpful. Warm it gently, again either in a bowl of hot water or slightly in the microwave. You can get a little syringe from the pharmacy (request that the needle be removed) to assist in feeding, but be extremely careful not to go too fast. The chances of getting food or liquids into the lungs in a sick young kitten are high, so you must go very, very slowly.

She will also need to be kept warm. Make up some rice-heaters or fill plastic soda bottles with warm water. Wrap them in a soft towel and place them in with Baby to help her maintain her body heat.

Best of luck and thank you for caring enough about this baby to help her.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catculus
My dad is a mailman and yesterday, on his route, he found a kitten. He thought the cat was injured because of the way the dirt he was covered in looked, but luckily, he is not. The cat was covered in fleas, and is very, very skinny--malnourished and dehydrated. We think he about 8 weeks old. Since my dad found him on a Saturday we can't get him to the vet until tomorrow. Today I am nervous because he has diarrhea, which makes sense because he's so dehydrated and isn't used to eating, but it's scaring me because of the way it's been just leaking out. He just wants to be held and sleep all the time.

(Sorry if I'm not making any sense--I haven't had much sleep lately.)

I just wanted to see if anyone had any advice for today, until we can get the cat to the vet tomorrow.
Welcome to TCS...first, you need to remove the fleas from the little one. Fleas can be deadly:

http://www.kitten-rescue.com/parasites.html

You will also want to feed this little one a high quality kitten food and provide him lots of water. Since he is dehydrated, you will also want to make him some Pedialyte:

Home-made Pedialyte
1 cup water (boiled then cooled)
Small pinch of baking soda
Small pinch of Salt
2 teaspoons of sugar
Mix all ingredients well. Make sure the mixture has been slightly warmed before feeding to your kitten. The mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Feed 1ml (1cc) every half an hour for the first two hours using a dropper or feeding syringe. Also make sure your kitten is on his tummy and not his back when you feed. Feed very slowly so the fluid does not go down the wrong tube and choke your kitten.

After two hours, if your kitten has warmed up, you can begin to feed him formula. Never feed a kitten cow's milk or human baby formula as this causes stomach upset and severe diarrhea. He can have a commercially available formula such as KMR or Just Born, but if you don't have any of this, you can make up your own formula to use until you can get hold of some from a vet or pet shop.

http://www.kitten-rescue.com/what_to_feed.html

Thank your dad for rescuing this poor little kitten and let us know how it goes.

Katie
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Eustis has been eating and drinking on his on. We got him some KMR last night and he's been drinking that a little, and he's been drinking water.

I know fleas can be deadly. We got rid of most of them yesterday (most being removed still left quite a few, but most of those are dead). Hopefully the vet can help more with this tomorrow.

I checked out the kitten-rescue website before I came here, but it really seemed more relevant to kittens under 4 weeks. That's why I wanted to actually ask someone--I couldn't find anything on how to help and 8-week-old cat. Although I realize that it had been so long since this cat had eaten (before yesterday, of course!), that he probably needs to be treated like a younger kitten.

He's doing fine although still having some trouble with his bowels. Poor guy. He's so weak too. I can't wait to get him to the vet tomorrow.

Since everyone loves pictures:
post #5 of 21
Awww...what a sweetie.

Katie
post #6 of 21
He is very lucky to have found you. Just to have someone to comfort him and love him will make a difference in his little life. I wish you all the luck in the world. Keep us updated please.
post #7 of 21
What a cute little guy! He is very lucky to have found someone to care for him and nurse him back to health. Please keep us posted, and best of luck.
post #8 of 21
Wow! He's beautiful! I sure hope he ends up okay... but it sounds like he found a wonderful rescuer!

Give him kisses for me... I love his light coloring.
post #9 of 21
What a striking kitten Such a unusual coloring.Hes one lucky kitty to be found by someone who cares. Sending good vibes your way. I hope hes ok and the vet can help get your new kitty back to good health.
post #10 of 21
He's adorable, I'd say closer to 12 weeks though so just feeding him kitten food should be fine. Treat the fleas, he will need to be dewormed for a few different kinds of worms, including tapeworm since he had fleas so badly. They may need to treat for earmites as well. He should have vaccinations and a check up as well.... but he is gorgeous!
post #11 of 21
Aw, what a sweety!! Good luck with everything, I hope he'll be okay
post #12 of 21
I agree with Pondwader, the kitten does look older than 8 weeks, possibly closer to the 12-16 week date. None the less the vet will be able to assess the age.
If he is "leaking out", this is usually a sign that he has had diarrhea for an extended period of time, it causes the muscles surrounding the rectum to become weak. It will take a few days to a week, to help his stool return to normal, and unless he has something like Irritable Bowel Disease, the "leaking out" will stop soon.
I would try soaking some dry kitten food or as Gaye suggested some baby food. I would say the pedialyte is the most needed, to help him to rehydrate.
He is a cutie!! I hope the vet can get him good as new tomorrow. I can't wait to see more pictures, please keep us updated.
post #13 of 21
Well, I suppose I should actually ~read~ the thread before I blindly answer it ... sorry, y'all, I missed the part where it was mentioned this kitten was older. My bad.

Pondwader and Familytime Rags have both given you excellent advice. Sorry I wasn't more observant when I responded earlier.
post #14 of 21
He does look older. I am glad you resued him.. Update us on the vet trip.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, I heard he had a regular bowel movement today

He goes to the vet tomorrow; I'll let you guys know how it goes.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
My mom and my sister took the kitten to the vet today. The vet is keeping him there--he may be able to come home tonight but he also might have to stay overnight (which worries me since he requires being held at all times).

He is anemic, has parasites (not sure what yet), and is, of course, dehydrated and malnourished. He weighed 1.9 pounds
post #17 of 21
Poor baby. Did he say the age yet.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
My mom said he said 8 weeks.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
He had to stay overnight at the vet last night and will probably have to stay again tonight. They say he is doing better, eating on his own and such.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
He's finally home after 3 nights at the vet! He has special food and the vet wants him to stay in a box for a week (but we'll probably just be holding him when he's not eating ). He's eating and drinking on his own now.
post #21 of 21
Awww, poor little lamb!!!

Well, the good news, is that you found him, and he's being treated. With the medical care and special food, he'll plump up in no time, and I'm sure his potty will regulate fairly soon. Kittens can carry all sorts of lovely parasites...most are easily treatable.

Give him about 3 weeks...you will not believe the difference in his health! Keep up the good work.
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