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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 17103
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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- I have just taken in an abandoned newborn kitten. There's

Customer Question

Hi - I have just taken in an abandoned newborn kitten. There's a teeny black umbilical cord and his eyes are still closed. We've had him for four days. He has had diarrhoea twice uncontrolled (about 10 minutes after stimulation revealed no faeces). He's being fed on goat's milk 7ml every 2.5 hours. When he's in his box he's quiet and sleeps. When taken out he nuzzles and squeaks. I am concerned about his diarhoea and his distended belly. Should I keep feeding him (he seems to get diarrhoea after meals)?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that you are concerned about this little one given his diarrhea.
His nuzzling and squeaking behavior when he is being taken out of the box to be fed is normal, that is how he would behave when his mom would return to the box to feed the kittens. If he is sleeping and not crying/restless between feeding those are signs that he is warm enough and he is eating enough.
His distended belly and diarrhea may be secondary to being fed goat's milk (which isn't a usual diet for a kitten) or because he has gastrointestinal parasites. Kittens will often be infected with parasites in utero or soon after birth from the queen. He may also be infected with an immunosuppressive virus like feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus. Although he is too young to be tested now if you have other cats I would treat him as if he was and quarantine him away from them until he is tested. Make sure to wash your hands well and change clothes after contact with him. Testing can be done at 8 to 12 weeks.
Your frequency of feeding is fine, newborns should be fed every 2 to 3 hours, and the amount is fine too, I don't believe that you are overfeeding. We cannot with-hold food on kittens this young in an attempt to help with diarrhea, that would lead to hypoglycemia.
I would purchase a proper kitten milk replacer, KMR is excellent, as soon as possible.
Here are some links to read about kitten care and raising orphaned kittens which may help.
1) http://www.kittenrescue.org/index.php/cat-care/kitten-care-handbook/
2) http://www.sheltermedicine.com/node/39
Best of luck with this little one, please let me know if you have any further questions.