4 months old kitten with URI and diarrhea not eating - Need advice.

spgmom

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We brought home a 4 month old kitten from the pound a couple of Fridays ago. The pound told us that she was surrendered after 2 months since she was acting too kitten like and there was a cat in her prev home.

We already had 2 cats at home, so we kept her in a separate heated room above the garage. She was quite active but a bit reluctant to eat which we put down to changes in her environment. She eventually ate Churu and some fancy feast. She didn't eat any kibble (we gave her RC gastro which we give our cats). That weekend she pooped and threw up worms, so we took her to the Vet for her 1st set of vaccines and for deworming on Monday. She tested negative for the usual kitten tests but the vet recommended a 2nd test 6 weeks after to confirm.

She was low energy, low appetite on Mon, Tue but back to being active after. Over that week, we tried various foods and textures (tiki chicken, fancy feast, friskies, kitten food, pate & shredded, stew, fancy feast kibble, freeze dried chicken, shredded chicken). We also tried the food that she was eating previously (kitten kibble) but she is not eating that anymore. She mainly ate only churu, some fancy feast and weruva cats in the kitchen- but after a lot of coaxing. We also started giving her Forti Flora to stimulate her appetite (didn't help), and fed her by syringe a couple of times. During this time she was alert, active and playful, but developed diarrhea.

Friday night, we brought her over to our main house and put her in our bedroom, closing it off to our other cats. They have seen each other but have not interacted. The kitten does seem to get perked up when she sees the cats. In fact, she starts going towards them when she sees them, and cries at the door when we close it off.


She had a sneeze initially which we thought was likely litter dust but it worsened after Friday. One of her eye was watering and her diarrhea continued. She also became lethargic. So, we took her to the vet again on Monday. She had a bit high temp, her weight had gone down by 200 gms (7 ounces) within the week, and her coat was less shiny. The vet thinks she has URI and prescribed her azithromycin for 2 weeks and sent us home with canned i/d food. The vet said that the diarrhea is probably from churu and fancy feast.
She has been back home for 2 days but her appetite and energy has not improved. We tried all kinds of food but nothing is working. She smells the food, licks her lips and turns away. She tries to eat the i/d stew but only licks the gravy and doesn't pick up the pieces. She is eating only churu now from finger. At this point, we are also afraid that she may have food aversion.
She used to be a purr machine but hardly purrs now.

We are at our wit's end trying to make her eat anything and getting her to act even slightly normal. We will be taking her to the vet again but we need some advice on what to look out for, and if there is potentially something else going on rather than URI/ upset tummy.


TLDR: New kitten not eating for a week. Has diarrhea, low energy, URI. Need advice to make her eat and bring back her appetite and feel better.
 

stephanietx

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It's very common for kitties in new environments to get sick. Also, food changes can cause diarrhea. The stress of going to the vet can also cause her to get sick. Deworming a cat can cause diarrhea as well. I would call the vet and explain what's been going on and see if you can get something to help firm up her poops. Stop switching food. Put her on a good kitten food (I like Royal Canin babycat/kitten) and leave her on it. Try warming up wet food to enhance the smell and entice her to eat. Also, steam her in the bathroom to help with any congestion.

Ask the vet for something to firm up the stool (Metronidazole is common) and maybe an appetite stimulant.
 
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spgmom

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It's very common for kitties in new environments to get sick. Also, food changes can cause diarrhea. The stress of going to the vet can also cause her to get sick. Deworming a cat can cause diarrhea as well. I would call the vet and explain what's been going on and see if you can get something to help firm up her poops. Stop switching food. Put her on a good kitten food (I like Royal Canin babycat/kitten) and leave her on it. Try warming up wet food to enhance the smell and entice her to eat. Also, steam her in the bathroom to help with any congestion.

Ask the vet for something to firm up the stool (Metronidazole is common) and maybe an appetite stimulant.
Thank you for your reply. We were trying new foods to see which one she would eat. But no luck. She is only eating churu now. We want to wean her off it but we are thinking it is better than her eating nothing. Warming up food hasn't helped. Sometimes she only licks the gravy but seems unable/unwiling to eat the chunks.
We want to start her on metronidazole for diarrhea since that helped our other cat, but she just started on azithromycin for URI, so we are worried of possible side effects of taking both. But we'll call our vet to ask. When we asked for appetite stimulant during our last vet visit, the vet was unaware of any other than the one which is given topically in the ear. We had some leftover from our other cat who has IBD and we have used it but it hasn't worked yet.
 

Juniper_Junebug

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My kitty had a pretty bad URI when I got her at 4-5 months. She also had worms and giardia (didn't discover that until later). She did a little better at eating than yours-- ate at least 1/3 of each meal, which the vet said was fine, all things considered-- but she was really lethargic and unwell-seeming and I was genuinely worried about her the first 10 days or so (she's my first cat so I didn't know what to expect). But it really was the URI to blame and not something worse.

Tiki makes a paste-type food (Velvet?) that is kind of the consistency of Churu but is a complete meal, not just a snack. I always keep that on hand for sicknesses these days. Wish I knew about it then.

FWIW, metro made my kitty super ill and unable to eat, so I wouldn't be in a rush to give that.
 
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spgmom

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My kitty had a pretty bad URI when I got her at 4-5 months. She also had worms and giardia (didn't discover that until later). She did a little better at eating than yours-- ate at least 1/3 of each meal, which the vet said was fine, all things considered-- but she was really lethargic and unwell-seeming and I was genuinely worried about her the first 10 days or so (she's my first cat so I didn't know what to expect). But it really was the URI to blame and not something worse.

Tiki makes a paste-type food (Velvet?) that is kind of the consistency of Churu but is a complete meal, not just a snack. I always keep that on hand for sicknesses these days. Wish I knew about it then.

FWIW, metro made my kitty super ill and unable to eat, so I wouldn't be in a rush to give that.
Thank you for the re-assurance. We are hoping that it's just the URI and tummy bug, and not anything worse.
 
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spgmom

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Tiki makes a paste-type food (Velvet?) that is kind of the consistency of Churu but is a complete meal, not just a snack. I always keep that on hand for sicknesses these days. Wish I knew about it then.
And thanks for this tip. We'll try this out!
 

stephanietx

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Can you mix the Churu in with other wet food to make it kind of like a slurry or thick oatmeal? You could also try plain meat baby food, stage 1 with no chicken or garlic.
 
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spgmom

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We have tried putting the churu on top of her food but she either doesn’t eat or just licks off the churu. She is also only licking the churu from fingers.
I went looking for baby food yesterday, but didn’t find any which didn’t have garlic or onion :(
 
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