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HomeDear VetBabbleWeek-Old Kitten: Changed Eating Habits, Drooling, Less Active - What's Wrong?

Week-Old Kitten: Changed Eating Habits, Drooling, Less Active – What’s Wrong?


Dear VetBabble,

I recently found a week-old kitten and took her in. She was eating well initially, but now her eating habits have changed, and she seems to be making funny noises. She’s also drooling and not as active as before. I’m worried she might have an infection or something else. What should I do? Are there any recommendations on how I can take care of her?

Understanding Your Kitten’s Symptoms and Seeking Veterinary Care

It’s understandably distressing when a young, vulnerable pet like a kitten is not eating well and showing other concerning symptoms. Your kitten could indeed be suffering from an infection, parasite, or congenital abnormality, among other possibilities. We highly recommend taking your kitten to be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible, ideally today. They can help determine the root cause of her symptoms and provide appropriate treatment. Since kittens can become dehydrated very quickly, especially if they are not eating, it’s crucial to act urgently.

Basic Care for Your Kitten Until the Vet Visit

While you’re waiting for a veterinarian appointment, there are some actions you can take to ensure you’re providing proper care for your kitten at home. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Feeding: Continue trying to bottle-feed your kitten a milk replacer like a kitten formula. In some cases, kittens may be hesitant to eat due to stress or confusion, but it’s still essential to keep trying. If your kitten continues to have difficulty eating, you can also consult this helpful VetBabble article on My Cat Won’t Eat! What Should I Do?.
  2. Warmth: Young kittens are unable to regulate their body temperature, so it’s crucial to keep them in a warm place. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or simply wrap them in a blanket to help maintain their body temperature. Make sure the heating source is wrapped in a towel and has a low setting to avoid overheating your kitten.
  3. Monitor their behavior: Keep a close eye on your kitten’s behavior, energy levels, and symptoms. Make note of any significant changes or additional symptoms, and share this information with the veterinarian during your appointment. This will help them with diagnosing and treating your kitten effectively.

Post-Vet Visit Kitten Care

Once you’ve taken your kitten to the vet and they’ve provided treatment recommendations, it’s essential to follow their guidance and provide a loving, nurturing environment for your young charge. Whether she’s an orphaned kitten or a young kitten separated from her mother, proper care is key. VetBabble has an excellent article on How to Take Care of Orphaned Kittens that you may find useful as you continue caring for your kitten.

Additionally, feel free to consult another resource on How to Care for a Kitten: Kitten Care Basics, which covers a wide range of topics related to kitten care, including nutrition, grooming, socialization, and health monitoring.

As your kitten grows, it’s important to keep an eye on her weight and overall health status. If you notice that your cat is losing weight, consult the VetBabble article about Why is my Cat Losing Weight? to determine the possible causes and solutions.

Ensuring that your kitten receives timely veterinary care and following the guidance provided for her ongoing care will greatly contribute to her chances of becoming a healthy, happy adult cat. Best wishes to both you and your kitten on this journey!

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