Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

Advice On Fading Kitten

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by nefzaoui, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. nefzaoui

    nefzaoui Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    4
    3
    Jan 13, 2018
    Hello everyone,

    My cat Etoile -- french for (sky) star -- has given birth to 3 little ones about 15 days or so ago.
    The first died on his forth day, started heavily breathing in the middle of the night until he faded out :(

    And the other two survived, although one of them is growing up fast and healthy, while the other is still the same size he was 2 weeks ago..

    He doesn't appear to be strong enough to push for getting milk and there's only one milk source both of them fight about. The other sources are working but I can't seem to make any of the kittens try another one.

    What makes the matter worse is that my cat Etoile doesn't seem to care about the un-grown weak one. Some of her behaviour includes in sleeping on her stomach each time the little one gets a chance to grab some milk for himself, or simply getting up or walking away.
    I tried taking the healthy one from their nest and she started meowing like crazy, tried taking the weak little one and she didn't even look at me.

    So I've been giving him milk with a syringe for the past week and he doesn't accept more than one "shot" of 1ml.

    I'm mainly asking for advice on what can I do to help him survive since I'm not financially able to take him to the vet and there are no pet shelters in my city and the neighbor cities..

    Despite all the warning I've read online about cow milk, I just can't buy a kitten milk formula right now, I totally would if I could :(

    I'd appreciate any piece of advice especially that even though I've raised cats and loved them all my life but this is the first time I take responsibility of kittens and I really don't want the little one to fade away.

    Thank you..
     

  2. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Staff Member Forum Helper

    6,941
    8,521
    Feb 18, 2017
    I’m sorry to hear about this. Fading kitten syndrome is so rough for cat owners to go through. :(

    This article: Fading Kitten Syndrome: 11 Things You Need To Know is a great resource, and has some things you can try to possibly save a kitten’s life.
     

  3. Grey_Tuxedo

    Grey_Tuxedo TCS Member Young Cat

    41
    55
    Jan 29, 2018
    Warmth is very important, do you have a heat blanket? Such a sad thing to deal with. I once had nearly an entire litter fade over the course of four days from a rescue cat in Mexico. Perhaps the mother was too young or malnourished. Only one of the babies survived, the one who was the biggest to start with and who the mother kept insterested in throughout most of the nursing (a second mother took over nursing "big guy" when she and her kittens were rescued and brought to our emergency nursing closet).

    All of the kittens (three out of the four) that started to fade didn't make it, so I'm really, really hoping for your kitten to pull through. At the time I talked to vets and was told that warmth (kittens rely on their mother to keep their body temperatures at a functioning temerature) and formula were our best bets... also we were told that there was no sure bet. The vet in Rosarito donated the formula to us because we literally had no money and were desparate. If you have access to a vetrinary clinic it wouldn't hurt to ask if some arrangement can be made to help you obtain a small supply of kitten formula to help keep the baby alive.

    Warmth and formula worked well for a kitten I once raised who had been taken from his mother much too early, but it is my understanding at experience that fading kitten syndrome is a bigger problem then "motherless kitten" syndrome.

    The fact that you have kept him alive for a week is very promising, at least in relation to what I went through. I hope this message was helpful and encouraging even though your situation is a rough one.

    best of luck
     
    1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  4. Grey_Tuxedo

    Grey_Tuxedo TCS Member Young Cat

    41
    55
    Jan 29, 2018
    also, since there is a risk of overheating a kitten, if you do use a warming blanket (as instructed by my vet when when I was caring for fading kittens) perhaps try to regulate the temperature as close as possible to "mother cat" temp?
     

  5. nefzaoui

    nefzaoui Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    4
    3
    Jan 13, 2018
    Thanks for the replies :)

    Regarding temperature. I don't have a warming blanket although I'm keeping the room as warm as possible using a gas heater, that's where I'm staying most of the day and night, watching out for the kitten and all of them in general.
    Plus regularly changing the blankets of their nest as they get wet fast and I think that can cause them to feel cold.. also making sure new blankets are not cold before putting them in.

    I'm go to the vet to see if I can afford a feeding bottle as I think it might make the kitten accept more milk than it is with the syringe..
     
    1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  6. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    21,054
    10,916
    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    We can get small feeding bottles at the store here, if that's possible it may be cheaper than the vet. You can also use makeup sponges (use makeup sponge to feed kittens - Google Search) or an eyedropper. Some kittens won't take a bottle and I wouldn't want you to waste the money if it's a significant expense.

    Can you get goat's milk? Or canned evaporated milk? (Not condensed milk with sugar) Either of those would be much better than plain cow's milk. You can also use human baby formula mixed double strength. Here are some recipes for homemade kitten formula: Recipes For Emergency Kitten Formula • Kitten Rescue
     
    kirathecat and lacy2000 purraised this.

  7. lacy2000

    lacy2000 Windy City Fosters Alpha Cat

    434
    319
    Aug 28, 2016
    Chicago Suburbs
    Can you get goats milk? That works well with kittens. And make sure the milk is luke warm, or he will not want it.

    Fading kitten syndrome is hard to combat. One of the underlying causes is dehydration from lack of milk. You can test if he is dehydrated by doing the “tent test” (lift up some skin and if it doesn’t snap back, he’s dehydrated). To rehydrate him, add a little of this mixture to his milk:

    1 pinch of salt
    3 pinches of Sugar
    1 quart of water

    As others said, warmth is also crucial. Keep him with the Mom if she stills acts like she wants him. Perhaps he can still get some milk from her and she provides warmth. Keep us updated! I really hope your little guy pulls through!
     
    kirathecat and 1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  8. EmmiTemmi

    EmmiTemmi TCS Member Alpha Cat

    399
    467
    Sep 16, 2017
    Wisconsin
    Is it a matter of price for not being able to get the kitten milk? You could ask nearby shelters to donate some, and they may be able to help out.

    Also, as far as other milk supplements go, goat is definitely the closest to cat's milk (using my dairy class professor's powerpoint as a reference below) and is usually fairly common in stores. The link Willowy posted with the emergency kitten milk formulas is a good reference to use. Concentrated human baby formula is probably not the best idea because it's so low in protein and high in carbs compared to what kittens need. High protein is very important for kittens' growth.

    upload_2018-1-30_19-27-40.png
     
    Antonio65, kirathecat and 1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  9. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    4,894
    11,257
    Apr 8, 2016
    Nefzaoui, I can't offer any other advice than what's been given but I hope the little guy pulls through.
    We've had two kittens that survived "mothers rejection" and both kittens grew into long lived cats, though a bit different (due to being raised without a Mother cat to slap them around, I presume) in personality.
    We're pulling for the little fella. :grouphug:
     

  10. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    4,894
    11,257
    Apr 8, 2016
    Oh, and a side note:

    Kitten will need "stimulation" to urinate and defecate. We always used a tissue or a slightly damp tissue, stroking the region until the kitten has "success" in the matter.
     
    kirathecat purraised this.

  11. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    21,054
    10,916
    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    Yes, but if the mama cat is still caring for the little guy, you won't need to do that, she'll take care of it. If she rejects him entirely, though, you'll have to do it.
     
    kirathecat purraised this.

  12. Tagrendy

    Tagrendy TCS Member Young Cat

    89
    72
    Jan 14, 2018
    This might be a horrible advice but maybe separate the healthy one for a bit from the mother to let the other one eat and then rejoin? Somehow if you could control for both of them to have equal access maybe it would help.
     

  13. kirathecat

    kirathecat TCS Member Adult Cat

    226
    142
    Jun 1, 2016
    Maryland
    If mama cat doesn’t accept him you can use rubber hot water bottle or even regular plastic bottle filled with hot water and wrapped in a towel. Place it in kittens nest under blankets. Just a thought.
     

  14. nefzaoui

    nefzaoui Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    4
    3
    Jan 13, 2018
    Thank you all for this extensive amount of advice and details. Unfortunately the little one passed away a few hours ago.. He was still holding himself together with the formula you folks told me about being given to him up until tonight where he suddenly woke up from his sleep reaching for his breaths :( It hurts me that his passing was with pain..

    Now the mama cat is freaked out, roaming the house, meowing, and going back and forth to her only kitten left alive :(
     

  15. Tagrendy

    Tagrendy TCS Member Young Cat

    89
    72
    Jan 14, 2018
    oh noo =(((( so sorry
     

  16. lacy2000

    lacy2000 Windy City Fosters Alpha Cat

    434
    319
    Aug 28, 2016
    Chicago Suburbs
    Oh no... I’m so sorry! Fading kitten syndrome is difficult to combat and many kittens don’t make it through, even with the best resources. You did all you could to help him feel loved. I wish the best for your momma and the remaining little one.
     

  17. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    4,894
    11,257
    Apr 8, 2016
    I'm so sorry :( And so sorry for Etoile. It's hard enough for us, but they are affected strongly too.
    Even with all the best intentions, resources, sleepless nights and help of those with expert experiences, sometimes Nature puts her foot down, for whatever reason.
    I'm very sorry, but glad the little guy had you for his short time here, and knew someone cared about him. :petcat:
     

  18. Grey_Tuxedo

    Grey_Tuxedo TCS Member Young Cat

    41
    55
    Jan 29, 2018
    So sad. I once read that the only kittens that have much of a chance of surviving fading kitten syndrome are those lucky enough to have a caregiver experienced in noticing the very earliest signs (which would not raise any alarm in someone not looking for it)... even then, I don't know how good of a chance it really is. It's a hard thing to go through! Please do your best to minimize regrets, after a week of care and concern and love, know that you did a good job of caring for the little guy. I'm sure it's upsetting that mom is freaked out, but I expect it won't take long for her mind to be back on being a full-time mom to her baby. You guys have some good times together ahead.
     

  19. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    4,894
    11,257
    Apr 8, 2016
    It sounds a bit odd to say this here, but we've seen this fading thing in baby chickens (chicks only a few days old.) They're up, active, eating, drinking, doing what baby birds do, and then suddenly we find one dead. It's upsetting.
    I guess this happens in dogs (fading puppy), cats (fading kitten), humans? (SID's?), etc.
    Nature is amazing, but can also be one heck of a *****... :(
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.