Six Frequent Kittten Health Problems

Kitten health problems are a serious concern because a kitten's immune systems is not yet fully developed. Kittens are not able to fight off diseases and infections as effectively as adult cats, so being conscious of your kitten's health is of the utmost importance. Below is some helpful information regarding some common health issues that can afflict your kitten and how the issue can be treated.

Feline Leukemia

Feline leukemia is a serious viral illness that can be deadly for adult cats as well as kittens. Kittens will very likely pass away within a few weeks after contracting feline leukemia. You should have your kitten tested for this disease by the time he or she is eight weeks of age. Once your kitten has a clean bill of health for feline leukemia, be sure to get information on future vaccinations.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Feline immunodeficiency virus is another deadly disease that lowers your kitten's health by damaging the immune system. Tests for this disease performed before the age of six months usually aren't reliable, so be sure to have your kitten tested at the exact age of six months. If the test comes back negative, have your kitten vaccinated to prevent this illness in adulthood.


Ringworm is a fungal skin infection that's very contagious among cats and kittens. Symptoms include a red, itchy spot with a red halo around it. There may be some hair loss around the area as well. Ringworm is treated with medicated shampoo and anti-fungal medications.

Ear Mites

If you notice your kitten shaking his or her head and scratching excessively the ears, he or she probably has ear mites. Ear mites are easily treated with drops, but can seriously damage your kitten's hearing if left untreated.

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms are quite common in kittens and cats and should be checked for at every veterinary check up. You can make this easier by bringing along a stool sample. If left untreated, intestinal worms can cause malnutrition, diarrhea, dehydration and anemia. These symptoms can prove to be fatal in very young kittens. Intestinal worms are easily treated and eliminated with medication.


While fleas may not seem dangerous, they can cause anemia in kittens. If the anemia becomes severe, it can threaten your kitten's life. Fleas also spread intestinal worms, which can contribute to anemia, and cause diarrhea, dehydration and malnutrition. Fleas in kittens can be eliminated through a shampoo treatment in Dawn dish-washing liquid, followed by a grooming with a fine-toothed comb. Flea medications should not be used on kittens under twelve weeks of age.