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jamielynn2328's avatar

Should I remove dying kitty?

Asked by jamielynn2328 (4722points) July 9th, 2009

My cat had a litter of 4 nine days ago. There was an obvious runt and today the runt started straying from the other group of kittens. I looked it up and found that kittens sometimes experience fading kitten syndrome. She is tiny and I was afraid this would happen. I just don’t know what to do now. The baby is not dead yet, she is crying, which is distracting the momma. My cat Lucy, the mom, keeps going to the kitten and trying to lick it’s mouth and help it. Should I remove the kitten? Will that cause the mom more distress?

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25 Answers

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Likeradar's avatar

Oh, how sad!!! And good for you for being worried about the mom’s mental health. :)

Have you asked your vet about what you should do? I’d start there.
Is there any kind of cat breast milk available in stores you can hand (bottle? syringe?) feed it?

kheredia's avatar

I would probably try to hand feed it. Hopefully its not too late. Good luck!

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

What can you do to help the runt? Maybe you could try hand feeding it.
It’d be a shame to toss the runt aside and leave it for dead while it still lives.

Ivan's avatar

Hand feed it or, if you have to, find someone else who can care for it.

tinyfaery's avatar

Please try to care for it. Could you really live with yourself otherwise? At least you can say you tried.

cak's avatar

Talk to your vet, asap, about intervening and trying to feed the runt, yourself. Maybe with the supplemental feedings, the kitten will thrive. I wouldn’t completely give up hope, I’ve nursed kittens that were given up for dead, back to decent health before.

I know it’s difficult. Best wishes.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I removed her from the litter, it was breaking my heart and probably breaking my cat’s little heart too. I wrapped her up and placed her underneath a warm lamp because she was very cold. She was drooling all over and when I picked her up she sounded like she was choking on it. I will do whatever i can but I think she is pretty hard up. It’s just sad, she was fine earlier today. Thanks for the support.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Like @cak says, call a vet or search google for advice. It is possible the cat can be saved. Your lamp may not be (and probably isn’t) sufficient to save the kitten.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I did the google, and tried calling my vet, but it is 9:30 at night where I live. The baby is cold so I know that heating it up is my first priority. I don’t have a kitten heater so the lamp is all I have.

Likeradar's avatar

Maybe try this site

Good luck!!!

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, I’m so sorry. I don’t know how to help. I’m just sorry for you and the kitten.

Do you have a heating pad that you could wrap in a towel to keep it from being too hot?

I would think that after warmth the kitten needs water more than anything else, but also nourishment too. How about an eye dropper?

tinyfaery's avatar

Heating pad.
Make a rice sock.

SeventhSense's avatar

The natural order is that the kitten would probably die in the wild but there’s no lack of milk in our world and if you want to keep it alive then hand feed it. I suppose that the nature of survival is that such a kitten would weaken the gene pool over time if left to reproduce and maybe threaten the species. But again, we’re out of the jungle.

Side note: Anyone else having a problem styling text? I’m having issues!
edit- seems to be cleared up!
but actually i can’t see it in preview until it’s posted

casheroo's avatar

Our cat Spencer was a stray and we estimate he was 3–4 weeks when someone gave him to us. We weren’t prepared but there is plenty of information on the net. We had to nurse him for a while, and he stayed warm by being close to us or our dog. He is now 3 years old and very healthy. He’s chubby but definitely a smaller sized cat.

Supacase's avatar

Is there a 24 hour emergency vet near you? Give them a call.

Lovey_Howell's avatar

Trying to keep her warm is a great idea, other things you can try is giving her some alone time with the mom, sometimes the runt gets pushed out by stronger siblings and doesn’t get enough milk. You can hand feed her with milk replacers like “Ensure” that you buy at a grocery store, until a local pet store is open and you can buy a milk replacer more suitable for kittens, lacking that “Ensure” is a great alternative to starving. Be careful how much you give her, if you overfeed her you risk aspiration pneumonia which is deadly. I suspect she is only a few ounces in weight, therefore I’d only give her a tiny amount of Ensure at a time. Don’t force her to eat, because you could give her too much. If she didn’t suckle within the first 24 hours she may be immunodeficient since that’s when the mom’s clostrum (milk containing antibodies) is passed, which means she will be more susceptible to infection until she starts getting her vaccinations (which can start as early as 6 weeks old).

That’s about as much advice as I can offer without seeing the kitten. She may have some deformities which aren’t allowing her to suckle well, for example; a cleft palate, or hydrocephalus or some other genetic disorder.

My advice do what you can but keep in mind that it will not be easy and try not to get too attached, just in case. :-(

I’m sorry I wasn’t here when you first posted the question. If she makes it through the night, bring her in to your vet for a physical, to determine what your chances are of nursing her to health.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@Lovey_Howell Whenever I see your answer on a pet-related question, I think to myself, “Hah! Anyone else care to attempt beating this answer? You’ll have to try reeaaalll hard!”

dadaas's avatar

My girl also have same problem. She wanted to kill the cat, but i told her to give her something to eat. Also there is big difference from that small cat and other big cats from same nest.

Ill do what you suggested. But this cat is already 6 weeks old.

Likeradar's avatar

@jamielynn2328 How’s your kitten?

jamielynn2328's avatar

Sorry I didn’t respond earlier than this, but we sadly lost the kitten. I appreciate all the suggestions. I did make the rice sack from online instructions. I went out that night and bought kitty formula. I stayed up all night and the kitten showed signs that it was doing better, but then the next morning, I laid down for a few hours, woke up and she was dead. The other three kittens are happy and healthy and oh so adorable. They just started beginning to walk on their hind legs and they are on the verge of taking over my house.

tinyfaery's avatar

Good thoughts to you for trying. Have fun with the other kittens.

Grisaille's avatar

I’m really sad. :[

SeventhSense's avatar

@jamielynn2328
It’s natural. It’s not your fault.

dadaas's avatar

Hey, i also post that my girlfriend cat was weak, he was so weak that he could not stay on hes feet and rest of cats where jumping and playing.

This small cat, is now live, thanks to her, she was feeding him every day several times per day. This cat is now strong and ready to go to hes new home, its white with blue eyes.

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