Kitten Diarrhea and Vomiting

Kitten diarrhea and vomiting is not normal in young cats. Because young kittens don't have the resilience that older cats do, these symptoms are a very clear message that something is not right. Even if the cause of the diarrhea and vomiting is not life-threatening, dehydration from the condition can be. Any time a kitten is persistently vomiting or experiencing stomach upset, it should be cause for alarm.

Causes of Diarrhea and Vomiting

When kitten is vomiting or has diarrhea constantly, the problem could be very minor in nature or extremely severe. As a kitten grows, there are many things internally that are changing, and the digestive tract is easily upset. Because a kitten's immune system is not fully developed and he's likely too young to vaccinate, there could be a real problem if he's displaying these signs of illness.

One of the major causes of stomach upset in kittens is the switch from mother's milk to solid kitten food. It's not uncommon for a kitten to have bouts of diarrhea or even vomiting during this transition. A mother's milk is less gaseous and goes down smoothly in a kitten's body. However, as the kitten ages and solid kitten food is eaten, it can sometimes take up to a week for the digestive system to adjust to it.

Another cause of kitten diarrhea and vomiting could be worms or parasites. If the mother has not been on a regular worming schedule, it's possible that she has transferred a parasitic infection to her kittens. Because a kitten's body is so small and undefended, he's very susceptible to any type of worms.

Feline leukemia is a one of the most dangerous causes of diarrhea and vomiting in kittens. Feline leukemia can only be spread between cats through saliva. If the litter of kittens remains outdoors and is exposed to several other animals, feline leukemia could be a possible suspect. Because a kitten's immune system is weak and only protected by a mother's colostrum, it's always a threat for kittens to be around any other animals that could be carrying infection.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to treat persistent diarrhea and vomiting in kittens, the cause must first be determined. The first step in finding out what is wrong is to have a fecal test done. The fecal test will determine whether the kitten has any worms or parasites. If worms are the culprit, there are worming medications which can effectively rid the kitten of infection and can give way to a consistent treatment plan of worming.

If the fecal test is negative, then other illnesses must be explored - namely feline leukemia. Feline leukemia can be tested with a basic blood test. Unfortunately, there is no way to treat feline leukemia, and kittens are among the most susceptible to it. While it's possible that a kitten can develop immunity to feline leukemia, if diarrhea and vomiting are already present, the prognosis is likely fatal.

Early detection is the best chance that a kitten has at survival when any type of illness is present. Vomiting and diarrhea in young kittens is never a good sign, and should always be explored. While not all causes of diarrhea or vomiting are life-threatening, they can be if the illness has a chance to progress. If the illness can be detected early, the prognosis is much better.