Pregnant Cat with Ear Mites / panting when nursing etc

zoomango

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I have recently learned that my pregnant cat has ear mites. I'm worried that once she gives birth she will pass it along to the kittens, who are most susceptible. I'm having trouble holding her to clean her ears.

Most of the medications are not recommended for pregnant cats, so I've realized I'll have to use some kind of home remedy.

I live alone (besides my cats) so I would be doing this alone (no one to help hold the cat). Even if I could ask someone for help, I'd need to do this daily for a few days at least, so that's not an option. Any tips on getting things into a cat's ears without holding their body too tightly?
 

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Your best bet would be to take her to a vet for ear mite cleaning. They will also know what to use that will not be harmful to the developing kittens. I really don’t see how you can do it with a squirmy cat without help.
 

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If you can apply a topical flea treatment to this cat, you could use Revolution (NOT the Plus version) to start the process. I believe it is still prescription only, but you would really need to get a vet's OK to do so anyway. As far as I know, it is supposed to be safe for pregnant cats.

That might not get rid of them completely, but it should significantly reduce them, depending on the timeline. Then, perhaps you can ask the vet about a home remedy to supplement the Revolution - and, what to use once the kittens are born. If you have other cats that have any exposure to this pregnant cat, or exposure through you, they are going to need to be treated too.
 

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A possibility to try with, is to put in a drop of oil; say virgin olive oil, into the ear... It tends to spread out by itself (if you can help to spread it around its even better), and it suffocates the mites... Its sometimes enough to get rid of mild ear mite infections. I say literally a drop, its not meant to fill the ear with oil.

So do as the others suggested; contact your vet, get the revolution prescription (or some else drop on the vet prescribes) - and hear about home remedies...
 
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zoomango

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Shortly after posting this question my cat gave birth!

Your best bet would be to take her to a vet for ear mite cleaning. They will also know what to use that will not be harmful to the developing kittens. I really don’t see how you can do it with a squirmy cat without help.
That's great I didn't realize a vet could do an ear cleaning service. I will take her to the vet the soonest I can. Actually I'm not 100% certain it's ear mites or if it's a food allergy, but I'm guessing the vet would be best to determine that too.

If you can apply a topical flea treatment to this cat, you could use Revolution (NOT the Plus version) to start the process. I believe it is still prescription only, but you would really need to get a vet's OK to do so anyway. As far as I know, it is supposed to be safe for pregnant cats.

That might not get rid of them completely, but it should significantly reduce them, depending on the timeline. Then, perhaps you can ask the vet about a home remedy to supplement the Revolution - and, what to use once the kittens are born. If you have other cats that have any exposure to this pregnant cat, or exposure through you, they are going to need to be treated too.
Oh that's good to know, thank you for the recommendation. I started reading and learned the difference between Revolution and Pro version. I wish I had used that early on when I first got her, but it's a bit late now that she's already nursing I think. I will contact my vet and find out.

A possibility to try with, is to put in a drop of oil; say virgin olive oil, into the ear... It tends to spread out by itself (if you can help to spread it around its even better), and it suffocates the mites... Its sometimes enough to get rid of mild ear mite infections. I say literally a drop, its not meant to fill the ear with oil.

So do as the others suggested; contact your vet, get the revolution prescription (or some else drop on the vet prescribes) - and hear about home remedies...
Interesting about the olive oil! That seems simple, but if only I could get anything into her ear. Not at this point since she's just given birth, but I will be contacting the vet today and seeing what's possible.

Thanks all for the advice!
 

Sarthur2

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How many kittens?

You’ll need to wait to go to the vet for a few weeks, but see what your vet recommends and do let us know!
 

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I have never used it, as--knock wood, there has never been a need--but I know from belonging to a dog breed forum (a breed prone to such issues due to long floppy ears) that the most trustworthy members from the UK all swore by the use of Thornit Ear Powder to get rid of ear mites.

Also used with cats and rabbits. A very old formula.

Not sure the best place to source, but I'll throw it out there as an option to explore.

Bill
 
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zoomango

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My cat gave birth to 2 kittens approximately 38-40 hours ago. The first kitten arrived at roughly 2am and the second at roughly 3am. I've written exact times, but just mentioning here to note that everything has gone well so far. Mama cat is a young cat herself, probably 1.5 years of age. I don't know exactly because she was a stray when I adopted her.

About 3 hours ago, she started panting very intensely as she was nursing. Her breathing became faster and faster, and she was drooling as well. I started googling and found another post on this forum indicating it may be a lack of calcium. So I mixed in 1 scoop of Wholistic Pet Organics Calcium Support, with some kitten formula and gave it to her. After that she was more relaxed and seemed fine with panting here and there but very light, not like before.

Now, for the past 30-45min the intense panting has begun again. I go check on her and the kittens about every 10-15min, and stay next to her as well for most of the time. It seems whenever I leave for a bit, the smaller kitten has unlatched and is wandering off. So I gently pick it up and help it re-latch (using gloves). When I help it relatch, and there are 2 kittens suckling, the panting becomes more intense. When only 1 kitten is suckling, the panting is not as intense. Still it's not as bad as before, but I wonder if this is normal or if this is any cause for concern?

Is there anything I should do in this situation?
Is the panting dangerous?
Are there any other symptoms I can look for besides just the panting to determine if it's something serious vs. normal?

Also what is the required milligrams of calcium for a nursing kitten per pound or kg of bodyweight? I haven't been able to find this anywhere online.

Attached is a picture of momma cat and the babies taken just a bit ago. She can be seen panting in the picture.

Thanks a lot for the help!
 

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zoomango

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Also, how long should newborn kittens be suckling per day? Should they be latched on 247? I ask because I keep having to help the smaller kitten latch on, and occasionally I see either of the kittens just napping. I haven't been able to find information about this either.

Thanks again
 
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zoomango

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How many kittens?

You’ll need to wait to go to the vet for a few weeks, but see what your vet recommends and do let us know!
She had 2 kittens about 38-40 hours ago approximately. I called the vet today and they said yeah I need to wait but had I let them know earlier they could have done an ear cleaning and also can apply Revolution (not plus). They suggested trying mineral oil like baby oil, but said to wait on that too and may be best to just wait until I can get her in for an appointment, to avoid the stress while she's nursing, etc. But they also said it's not a guarantee that it's mites, so I should avoid trying to buy any 'remedy' type solutions for ear mites or even trying a remedy myself because it could even irritate at times if it ends up not being mites.

I have never used it, as--knock wood, there has never been a need--but I know from belonging to a dog breed forum (a breed prone to such issues due to long floppy ears) that the most trustworthy members from the UK all swore by the use of Thornit Ear Powder to get rid of ear mites.

Also used with cats and rabbits. A very old formula.

Not sure the best place to source, but I'll throw it out there as an option to explore.

Bill
Thanks a lot, I'll make a note of that or see if my vet carries it. Did a quick search and see it sold out at most places, must be good stuff.
 

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Nursing is hard work! She may pant off and on until her body adjusts. A couple of dishes of calcium a day will be sufficient.

Kittens latch and sleep; latch and sleep. It’s normal.

You need to weigh the kittens daily, especially the runt. If he is not gaining, you’ll need to supplement with a syringe and kitten formula until he is latching more strongly.

Z zoomango
 
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zoomango

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Nursing is hard work! She may pant off and on until her body adjusts. A couple of dishes of calcium a day will be sufficient.

Kittens latch and sleep; latch and sleep. It’s normal.

You need to weigh the kittens daily, especially the runt. If he is not gaining, you’ll need to supplement with a syringe and kitten formula until he is latching more strongly.

Z zoomango
Thanks that's helpful to know. It does seem the panting is getting better and subsiding gradually.

Ah I see, didn't realize that about the kittens, good to know. Yeah I'm keeping my eye on their weight and logging it frequently.

At birth:
Kitten 1 = 100g
Kitten 2 = 96g

Right now, almost 24hrs since birth:
Kitten 1 = 105g
Kitten 2 = 99g

Is this too low? According to ChatGPT they need to gain 10-15g per day and eventually be close to double their birth weight after 1 week - I worry they're not on pace, unless maybe it picks up in the next few days? Mama cat keeps leaving the kittens and I keep having to lead her back to them. Kitten 2 (the smaller one) wanders off a lot, and I keep having to put it back near the mama cat.
 

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Thanks that's helpful to know. It does seem the panting is getting better and subsiding gradually.

Ah I see, didn't realize that about the kittens, good to know. Yeah I'm keeping my eye on their weight and logging it frequently.

At birth:
Kitten 1 = 100g
Kitten 2 = 96g

Right now, almost 24hrs since birth:
Kitten 1 = 105g
Kitten 2 = 99g

Is this too low? According to ChatGPT they need to gain 10-15g per day and eventually be close to double their birth weight after 1 week - I worry they're not on pace, unless maybe it picks up in the next few days? Mama cat keeps leaving the kittens and I keep having to lead her back to them. Kitten 2 (the smaller one) wanders off a lot, and I keep having to put it back near the mama cat.
The raise is low, but for the first day its OK, because they ALSO lose some. But yeah, be prepared and watch alike a hawk. If they dont gain at least 6g second day, begin to supplement. Ps... The birthing weights are good, so they should have some reserves.... Still, beware.
 
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zoomango

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The raise is low, but for the first day its OK, because they ALSO lose some. But yeah, be prepared and watch alike a hawk. If they dont gain at least 6g second day, begin to supplement. Ps... The birthing weights are good, so they should have some reserves.... Still, beware.
Ah thanks that is somewhat of a relief, but yeah definitely keeping a close eye on them.

Just now mama cat took Kitten 1 with her out of the nesting cave, and sat next to the edge of the door of the room to nurse Kitten 1. She left Kitten 2 (smaller one) by itself in the nesting cave. Does that mean she is rejecting Kitten 2? I took Kitten 2 and brought it to her, but she looks at me confused and doesn't seem to help Kitten 2 like she helps Kitten 1. So I took them all and put them back in the nesting cave and closed the zipper door for now. It's a mesh door, see-through. She has food & water in there, only the litter is outside.

I have small syringes, but I don't have Kitten formula, but will get some first thing tomorrow to have on hand.
 

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Goats milk is usually OK, and human mothermilk powder is too OK in a pinch... Just dilute less.

Mommas wants sometimes to nurse them apart; but its usually with a big litter, they take them one and one outside, and nurse outside...
So beware, if momma lefts the runt... She perhaps thinks its a goner, and abandon it...
Some mommas give the runt extra attention, but its not unusual they abandon...

So watch out the runt extra much, and be ready to handraise. And best handfeed, but perhaps handraise...
 
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zoomango

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Goats milk is usually OK, and human mothermilk powder is too OK in a pinch... Just dilute less.

Mommas wants sometimes to nurse them apart; but its usually with a big litter, they take them one and one outside, and nurse outside...
So beware, if momma lefts the runt... She perhaps thinks its a goner, and abandon it...
Some mommas give the runt extra attention, but its not unusual they abandon...

So watch out the runt extra much, and be ready to handraise. And best handfeed, but perhaps handraise...
Thanks a lot, that was good to know, I actually ended up not needing it.

Yeah I'm not really sure at this point why she was separating them, because now they are back together. Initially it seemed she had rejected the smaller one, but when I returned last night around 2am, she had taken it as well. Seems now she's decided to keep them both right behind the door of the room (she has her own separate room for this time period).

So maybe there was a reason she had separated them temporarily. I actually think it may be because I was touching Kitten 2 so much and trying to get it to latch, that maybe she wasn’t feeling bonded with it? So I decided to stop in less often…a bit risky I know, but it seems to have worked, because she seems more bonded with Kitten 2 now that I’m checking in every 3-4hrs. And it seems this time I checked in both had gained the same amount of weight (10g) since last weight check-in. Each time I've been checking in now the smaller one is latching/nursing more on its own. Currently Kitten 1 is 115g and Kitten 2 is 109g.

Mama cat isn’t eating unless I lift the bowl to her face to get her to eat. When I put the bowl to her face, she does eat a good amount. She has totally stopped panting and is much more calm/relaxed too. She seems more comfortable with being a mother now. I have actual kitten replacement formula on hand now in case as well.

Thanks a lot for the support and guidance, much appreciated. It doesn't feel like I'm doing this alone :)
 
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zoomango

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Actually it does seem mama cat is eating some of the dry food I've left for her. I think maybe my over-worrying was making things worse. Seems like she is doing better than I thought :)
 
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zoomango

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I just rechecked their weights now, and Kitten 1 is at 125g. Kitten 2 lost 1g and then I checked again a few hours later and it's at 111g. So basically, Kitten 1 has gained another 10g and Kitten 2 has only gained 3g. Kitten 2 doesn't seem rejected but seems to gain weight at a much slower pace and also overall seems to have balancing issues (I know some balance will be normal but compared to Kitten 1, Kitten 2 has more difficulty not rolling over). I'll check again in the morning and if it's the same I'll start feeding Kitten 2.

I wrote the above roughly 2 hours ago, but hadn't posted it. About an hour ago, I heard a loud meow from one of the kittens, went into the room and saw a spot of blood on the floor next to mama cat (about size of half a dime) and some blood on the door. Kitten 2 had hit its nose on the door? I don’t know what happened but the most blood was on the floor not the door so I can’t rule out that this was possibly caused by mama cat. When I came in the room mama cat didn’t seem bothered by the hurt kitten. But also did not seem aggressive or anything.

I helped the hurt Kitten 2 to nurse. It seems to really want to nurse but mama cat seems almost indifferent. It's hard to tell but almost seems like mama cat is annoyed by this smaller kitten. I wonder if I should keep it apart, but don't know where I could put it, if mama cat is intent on hurting it. Fortunately, at least from what I can tell, it had maybe a bloody nose? Nothing seems visibly off otherwise.

I decided to check in more frequently, and it seems when the smaller Kitten 2 meows mama cat isn't tending to it, unless I massage her stomach and basically nudge her to lie down so she can nurse. When I do these, she does allow Kitten 2 to feed off her, but she doesn't seem to initiate this herself as she does with the other kitten.

One thing to note, Kitten 2 seems to twist a lot, especially when nursing, and it rolls off the nipple. When I was last there, I held my hand by its legs so it wouldn't twist and it was able to nurse for pretty close to 45min. I wonder if this twisting problem is why mama cat is rejecting it (besides the lower weight). I helped keep it nursing a few more times but it's not gaining as much weight as the other one. It's currently 112g, which is only a 1g gain in the last several hours, despite helping it to nurse for a few long sessions.

How many ml/cc of kitten formula per gram of body weight do newborn kittens need each day? I'm seeing conflicting info on the web, some say 8ml, some say 10-15ml.

Thanks again!
 
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