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11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:51 pm
by Xtina
Hi everyone!

Absolute beginner on the forum and in regard to cat parenting - please be kind :)

I need some advice and was wondering if anyone could help?

We have recently adopted a small, black kitten from the local shelter - KiKi.

We fostered KiKi initially as she was suffering from a URI and conjunctivitis and needed to be out of the shelter. Hubby and I immediately fell for KiKi's charms and the rest is history; as they say!

Realistically, ever since we brought KiKi home, she has had loose bowel movements. Initially, we were given Fortiflora to help with this along with the cocktail of other medications she was taking. She has been de-wormed and was given further meds at this point by the vet as she had some anal discharge.

Once the prescribed Fortiflora ran out, we continued without it. Stools have since ranged from watery cow pat (sorry - gross) to toothpaste type mounds - soft but kind of formed. All, light brown in colour.

After spending hours online researching poo (again, gross), I had over the last two days introduced soft, natural pumpkin into her diet and stuck to one brand of wet cat food. All seemed to be going well in that her poo colour changed from light brown to a more natural, darker brown and there was less of a stench, too. However, I have just fed her and almost immediately, she passed a stool that was very wet and accompanied by some loud (and somewhat comedy) farting noises; which, actually alerted me to the fact she was going to the toilet!

I live in the Cayman Islands (I am British) so KiKi has been eating Friskies and the 'shreds' type rather than pate. She is only on wet food. She likes to eat so, admittedly, I gave her a fairly large portion of food in regard to the last feeding mentioned above that lead to the toilet trip. Another point I need advice on, actually.

So, looking for help as follows:

1. Any advice in regard to the loose stools?
2. How much should I be feeding KiKi? At the moment, she is eating around 8.25 oz of wet food, a day, spread over 4-6 meals. She currently weights 2.5 lbs.

MASSIVE thanks in advance :)

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:23 am
by Lilith
Hi and welcome and congrats on KiKi :)

Many kittens of this age are teething, and may have loose smelly motions. It's frustrating though - you feel as if you're doing something dreadfully wrong. Hopefully she'll grow out of them unless there's some other cause - I have to say that because I'm no expert of course.

As for feeding, at that age, personally, I'd feed a kitten what it wants, obviously not letting it stuff, but it will be growing, and they have hollow legs at that age. Make sure she gets plenty of fluids as the loose motions can cause dehydration very fast in such a tiny creature.

Hopefully others will be along soon with more advice, but hope this helps for now, and hope you and KiKi have many happy years ahead of you :)

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:53 am
by Mollycat
Welcome and congratulations on being owned by a cat!

Although the odd loose one isn't a concern, watery and going on for a while starts to run some risks. For a small creature like a cat with a low thirst drive, dehydration can become serious quite quickly, so when Kiki has watery stools for a while make sure she drinks, flavour the water if need be. A small amount of tuna spring water (not brine!) is easy, or cook a little fish or vegetables in water and let it cool.

Parasites would be your first stop, it's been a very long time since I last had a kitten so I'm not sure of age and doses etc but check with the vet exactly what her wormer was for, and if any possible parasites were not covered.

Can you get hold of some more nutraflora? If it works for Kiki, great, her GI tract may just need some support. Both of mine have gut issues at the moment (one is being kept alive by steroids now) but both of them get really loose if I give them nutraflora. I have nearly 2 boxes here going to waste. But the assault on her digestive system of long term diarrhoea could also mean she has not been absorbing nutrients from her food as she should have been for a while. Has the vet considered Cobalaplex or a vitamin B injection? Worth asking about and having the conversation if the vet considers this isn't suitable for whatever reason.

I would always free-feed a kitten. Their need for protein is high and most cats can regulate their own calorie intake if allowed to from a young age, giving you a lifetime of easy feeding. I would only interfere with that if a weight problem develops.

The only other thing that springs to mind is her history. Was Kiki in the shelter with her mother, or if she was handed in or found without her mother, at what age? If she was not weaned when she went into the shelter, ie less than around 6 weeks, this could be a clue to her problem if she was not given the right nutrition before weaning.

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:00 pm
by Xtina
Thank you both :)

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one in this 'poo limbo'! I'm hoping that this will be a case of her growing out of it. it's not constant watery cow pat, luckily. I'll keep monitoring it and speak to the vet about it, too.

As you can probably guess, KiKi wasn't with her mother at the shelter and I suspect she was abandoned early on. Usual protocol is that tiny kittens like this go into foster with a foster mum for bottle feeding, etc. She was at the shelter (when she took ill with the URI and when she came to us) around 8 weeks.

Thanks so much for the advice on the feeding too. It's a minefield out there with conflicting advice!

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:27 pm
by Ruth B
Welcome to the forum and don't worry, we don't bite (we leave that to our cats).

It's going back about 4 years, but when I adopted my young lad he was about 6 months old, had either been in the shelter since birth or arrived at a week or so old along with his Mum and sibling so his history was fairly well know. He was neutered, wormed, de flead etc when I got him and I made sure he was on the same type of food he had been at the shelter. None of that mattered he was the smelliest kitty I have had, like Kiki what he left in the litter tray had more in common with cow pats than what I would expect from a cat, and there were constant jokes about him being 'jet propelled', he could empty a room when he let off.

We tried everything, different pills and powders from the vets, special diet foods, different brands and styles of food, nothing made any difference, but if he hadn't used the litter tray and had gone outside to do his business I would never have dreamed there could be anything wrong. In the end that is what we decided, just to accept it as how he was and hope he grew out of it.

I'm glad to say he has but it was months or perhaps even into years before we really noticed a difference, there are still times when he will jump on a knee and and be greeted with the 'oh my god Saturn did you have to just do that' as we try to hold our breath until the smell has faded.

One piece of advice I can give, have an old towel to hand if Kiki likes to sit on your knee and keep an old blanket over the bed or favourite chair. We did notice that Saturn would occasionally leave the odd brown smear where he had been sitting, nothing more than him being a bit messy at the back end, or a bit of liquid coming out with the gas, but it just makes it so much easier to deal with if it something that can easily go in a washing machine.

I would also advise keeping her mainly on wet food to help keep her hydration up, and you can always add a bit of extra water to it if she is having a really bad, prolonged, loose period. I would also ask at the shelter as to recommended cat foods, I, like a lot of forum members, am from the UK, but I do know that pet food regulations differ country to country, and I don't what the Cayman Islands are like, I do know that some of the ones that are considered to be the better, easily available foods over here have a bad reputation in the States as the ingredients can be entirely different. Local knowledge really is best for that type of thing.

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:07 pm
by Xtina
Ruth, thanks so much for your reply. I feel like we're very much on the same page!

Cats here in Cayman are all house cats. Like you say, if she was an outdoor cat, I would probably be non the wiser as to cow pat city. However, as I'm in with her the majority of the day (on poo patrol) I know what's going on and how whiffy it really can be!

I'm going to stick to wet food, like you say too. The food we get here tends to come from the States and isn't that wide in choice at the supermarket. I've been test-running Friskies. It's a Purina brand but I'm not sure if it's available in the UK (under that name anyway)? In a last attempt, I've bought her some 'grain free' wet food to see if that makes any kind of difference. If not, we'll stick with Friskies and just wait and see if things get a bit more solid over time.

Already ahead of you on the spare towels, ha ha! ;)

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:04 am
by Mayday21
Hi Xtina & welcome. Just an idea... Are you able to take a sample of the stool for your vet to do a flotation test for parasites? Harper, my terror tuxedo was a stray kitten handed into my vet. She had a nasty parasite cocedia (sp) & was being treated at the clinic & they thought all was ok. Watery, slimy yellowish stools. It’s contagious & I ended up having to treat my other two whom came down with it. I also had to change trays as soon as they’d used them. You’ll get heaps of advice here from those experienced with cats. You’ve joined the best for advice & support. Vivian

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:31 pm
by Xtina
Thanks Vivian!

I really do feel like I'm in the best place -thanks for your support and advice too! :)

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:39 pm
by Catotum
At 11 weeks, she is rather young to be without her mother. Ideally, kittens stay with their mother until they are 12 weeks old but this did not seem to happen for KiKi. She might not have been fully weaned & her diet might be responsible for her distress. You can buy food designed for cats under 1y & I'd be looking to get hold of that, rather than feeding her adult food for which her delicate little insides will not be ready. Lots of manufacturers sell food for kittens (less than a year old).

You probably need to shop online & get this delivered - indeed, I can see that you can from the web. Check & see. You can also buy Fortiflora online but it sounds as if you can buy it there. A mix of dried (good for teeth) & wet (good for hydration) is ideal.

Are you giving her milk? If so, she might be one of those kitties who are intolerant of lactose. Stop the milk if necessary, to see if she improves after a week or so. She probably doesn't actually need milk, if you can improve her diet. She will need a constant supply of fresh drinking water. If tap water isn't safe, buy bottled or simply boil it. You can buy so-called "cat milk" but it is expensive & unnecessary for a cat on an adequate diet.

Is she getting at least 3 separate meals a day? Don't let her guzzle down too much in one sitting as that will upset her insides.

Try giving a small meal of simple steamed white fish (go through it very thoroughly to remove bones) or chicken once a day. Tinned tuna or salmon might do but ONLY if it is in spring water - in oil it will worsen the situation, in brine it could kill her. None of these things would be a good diet alone but they are easy to digest & nutritious supplements.

If none of this works, or she worsens, you need to get her to a GOOD vet asap.

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:47 pm
by Xtina
Unfortunately, online shopping isn’t a viable option here in Grand Cayman due to tax and import restrictions, so I’m restricted to foods available “on island” and my hunt for specific kitten food thus far has been unfruitful. To be fair, we’re about 5 days into a switch over of food to grain free and things seem to be going well.

She’s not having milk and having around 5/6 small meals a day.

I think as has been discussed with other posters, her tummy troubles have been a combo of her shelter background, age, etc. And it’s a matter of sitting it out a little bit.

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:10 pm
by Mayday21
Hi Xtina just remembered I’ve a friend who breeds Ragdolls, she buys baby’s food Farax (sp) a powder she mixes in with food she gives her kittens. She swears it helps their calcium levels. Maybe you could look into this to add nutrients to your kitten’s food. Vivian

Re: 11 week old kitten with loose stools

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:54 pm
by Xtina
Wow, that's really interesting Vivian! I'll definitely give that a go - anything to make sure she's taking on board everything she needs to atm! Thank you :)