Two weeks ago, seeing the cutest furry babies in a pet store display, I made the ultimate of impulsive decisions, I adopted two kittens. I hurriedly paid their adoption fee, which was to include their first round of shots and spay/neuter fees. Home we went when the little girl, Lucille Abigail Twinkletoes (Lulu for short), promptly had diarrhea. The smelly, messy, awful kind that gets all over and we still had 30 minutes of driving to do - yuck!
The other kitty, supposedly a boy, we were going to name LeRoy (more on that later) was unscathed by the ride home. Sure enough, when it came time for the litter box, he had diarrhea too.
Like every modern-day mom, I went online. I read good and bad advice because I didn't want to go to the emergency vet that night. Needless to say, one night of diarrhea was enough for me - I made a vet appointment. And here's what I learned that might help you out if you are going through the same experience of bad kitty diarrhea:
1. Feed your young pets. In my kittens case, I took 2 tablespoons of ground turkey, mixed in a tablespoon of pumpkin and cooked rice. They gobbled it up! I was also told that acidophilus - found in yogurt - was good for them. I have an issue feeding dairy to cats, it's a no-no for me, so I added a gel cap of powdered acidophilus to their turkey. They gobbled up more.
2. Make sure they are drinking water and water only to drink. Cows milk is not for kittens, it's for cows. As it was nighttime and the pet shops were closed, I could not get kitten milk replacement formula. So they drank water. Dehydration comes on quick in itty-bitty creatures so I watched and encouraged their drinking.
3. Food - this proved to be a problem. While I am in the pet business and I know that all pet foods are designed to be healthy and nutritious, they are not all equal. I chose a brand based on the pet shop recommendation (and my experience at trade shows). This brand, Solid Gold, I was informed by my vet, can cause loose stools. I decided to try a different brand, my vet suggested Science Diet Kitten Formula - what my other cat was eating. My vet's advice was to give all my felines the kitten formula, even to my (older) cat, instead of giving adult cat food to kittens - which I think they were being given at the pet shop.
4. Get a check for worms. Worms and parasites are common in kittens - especially those from a shelter with an unknown mother and history. Better to be safe than sorry.
5. Be wary of sneezing. Should sneezing be present, it can be a sign of a virus that could cause the diarrhea. Noticing signs like this will help the vet give good advice and is important. My kittens had no sneezing. Their fecal check was negative for worms. In my case the diarrhea must have been caused by their diet.
6. Keep kittens out of your other cat's litter boxes. If you have other cats in the house, it is important, especially in the first few days of introducing new kittens to your home, to have them use their own litter boxes.
7. Scoop kitten poop promptly. In my case it's hard to keep everyone out of all the litter boxes I have so I just tried to keep them meticulously clean. Not everyone like to be forced to go where it smells.
8. Antibiotics can cause diarrhea - just an FYI.
9. Keep an eye on kittens "movements" and keep in contact with your vet.
My new kittens, Lulu and Pearl (I found out 'Leroy' was actually a girl) are getting better. Not quite normal, but better. Diarrhea is a pain for everyone. But, with patience, good advice and good food, it gets better. It's not uncommon for diarrhea to last a month, but it doesn't have to. Let me know if you have any questions. After this experience, I feel like I got the scoop on the poop!Dealing With Kitten Diarrhea - Tips To Make It Better
Julee Roth has been a life-long animal lover and pet industry veteran with over 12 years experience helping people and their pets. Hundreds of thousands of puppies, kittens, cats and dogs have benefited from her advice and well chosen pet products. To ask her for more pet advice, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.