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Nursing Mom With URI

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am fostering a mother cat and three kittens who are now 15 days old. Momma Cat started sneezing and coughing and she's now VERY congested. I contacted the Humane Society I'm fostering her through and they gave me an oral antibiotic to administer daily. She's eating one to two cans of kitten food daily but I really have no way of knowing how much water she's drinking. Should I be giving her forced oral fluids for a few days? And if so, how much? And should I put a humidifier in her room?

And I'm very concerned for the kittens. One of them has a yellowish diarrhea and I don't know if that's related to the mom's illness or if he's just starting to use the bathroom by himself and this might be normal? They don't seem symptomatic otherwise. I would be absolutely heart broken if any of these cats die in my care.

I just researched URI's and now I'm concerned that Momma and her babies will be carriers and continue to spread this illness to all the other cats they encounter.

Am I justified in getting this worked up, or am I worrying too much?

ETA one more question: Should I bottle feed the kittens also? It seems like Momma isn't nursing as often as she was.
post #2 of 11
Yes, I would definitely use the humidifier. You and I are in the same boat, except my sick momma hasnt had her kittens yet. Has the kitty had a fever. Even if you arent comfortable taking the temp, you can tell if they have a HIGH fever she will feel warm to the touch and her breath will be warm. URIs are so tricky. Sometimes they will just have a short "cold' other times a secondary infection will set in. I'm just passing along what I have been told by my vet, I'm no expert. Patches fever weent up to 105.6, the tech at the vets office informed me that if it went up to 106, she would probably have seizures and the kittens would die. I know exactly how you feel about having a sick one in your care, just know THAT YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN. iF SHE DOES GET A HIGH TEMP, ASK THE VET ABOUT A FEVER REDUCER. I couldnt give one to Patches because she is pregnant, I had to Ice her and put her paws in rubbing alchahol. ( a great tip for cats with high fevers........good luck, I'll keep praying for your kitty!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh thank you. I'm so sorry to hear about Patches also. As you know, you get into fostering to help out but it ends up breaking your heart and worrying you to death! I'll keep Patches in my thoughts also.

I haven't taken her temp yet but I will go after work to buy a thermometer. Does anybody think I should get formula and a few bottles too? It just seems like the kittens are hungry all the time and crying for her.
post #4 of 11
Yes, definitely get formula and bottles. Are the kittens tummies still plump?
They should not be crying all the time. Sleeping and nursing, not crying.
She may lose energy and not have interest in nursing as she shoud. I dont know, but I think you can soon start them on some mushy stuff. I dont know anything about that. Any ideas anyone?
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Their bellies are still fat and pudgy! Momma has only been sick for a day so I think the babies were well fed up until yesterday. I'll pick up bottles and replacement milk. I'll be going to PetSmart - any suggestions for the best brand of milk that they carry? Price isn't an issue... I just want them all to be well!

If anybody else has any suggestions at all, please share!
post #6 of 11
My vet said all are good at Petsmart.....I have heard alot about kmr on this forum....must be good, I picked some up just in case at Petsmaart so I know they carry it!!
post #7 of 11
Goat's milk is also a good alternative. Warm a little in a bowl of hot water, then put it in the bottles.
post #8 of 11
Is she any better today? Temp? Breathing any better? ARe the kittens ok?
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry I haven't updated... I went to Petsmart and got some KMR to supplement the kittens... they didn't take well to bottle feeding at all. The kitten with diarrhea was very weak and lethargic and the mother didn't want much to do with him so I put him on a heating pad and kept him with me. I stayed up until 2 AM with him on a heating pad on my chest. When I woke up at around 3 AM, he had passed away. I really thought I could help him to pull through, but nothing worked.

So then I was down to 2 kittens. One of them is a big, chubby girl and the other was scrawny in comparison (10 oz v 7 oz). She didn't seem to be eating as much so I tried to give her KMR. I only gave her probably 10 little drops of it and about 10 minutes later, her breathing became abnormal. When I'd pick her up, she'd lose all her energy and become listless. I called my vet immediately and got her in. The vet gave her fluids and antibiotics. He said she was breathing through her mouth because she was stuffed up. So I gave her her first dose of the amoxidrops and she started to sneeze and the antibiotics came out her nose. So I called the vet back and he said he'd like to see her again the next morning. Well, I checked on her later that same evening and she was dead. This is just so hard.

So now I am down to one kitten and the momma cat.

I can't help but think the bottle feeding played a part in her death, which of course makes me feel like I killed a kitten. Has anybody else heard of breathing problems resulting from KMR?
post #10 of 11
((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))) I have never fed a newborn kitten (or a baby baby kitten) but never heard of KMR causing anything. But since mom had an URI I would say that is what happened to the baby and since they are so little it can happen FAST. Sorry for your losses, just know you did what you could.
post #11 of 11
When you bottle feed a kitten, you must lay it on its tummy, not its back. It seems awkward at first, since human babies are cradled on their back. Lay kitty on its tummy, and drip the warm formula into its mouth.

I'm so sorry about your losses. I have lost some foster kittens, too. It is very painful. However, without your intervention, it is likely they would all have died, and possibly the Momma too.

Although it is heartbreaking to lose a foster kitten, at least you know that they did know love for their short time here on earth. Best of luck with the last baby.
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