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Vomiting and diarrhea.

Species: Cat
Breed: Domestic Mix
Age: 3-6 months
I have a 4mo old kitten who has had diarrhea 2 days and threw up last night. No change in her food but she wasn't that interested in eating this morning (although I hear her nibbling at the dry food now). Any advice?

Just a little background; she was rescued at 6 weeks from a feral colony (after she was no longer nursing) and kept in a foster home until ready to be placed. She has been spayed and had her shots (4 weeks ago). I have had her for two weeks and except for the tummy trouble, she is the sweetest, gentlest, cuddliest cat you could ask for. Dry food has been kitten chow and wet has been fancy feast. At first she didn't drink much but that has improved as she became more comfortable with her new surroundings.

Thank you,
Colleen


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I don't like it when a young animal has vomiting and diarrhea. Kittens don't have a lot of reserves to fight dehydration and they can get sick very quickly.

There are a number of things that can cause these symptoms, but often we don't know why kittens have vomiting and diarrhea. Generally, I tell people that if a kitten has these symptoms and they are not improving within 24 hours then they should see the vet.

The most important thing to keep an eye on is her appetite. If she doesn't want to eat then this is a sign that she is really unwell.

If she hasn't had any dewormer, this may be a good thing to ask the vet about.

The other main concern when a young kitten is vomiting is if she has eaten something that is causing a partial obstruction. If this happens it is very serious! If she continues to vomit then the vet may want to take an xray to see if there is evidence of an obstruction.

Viruses are possible as well...however if she's vaccinated then these are less likely.

There are some things that can just cause a 1-2 day bout of diarrhea and vomiting so if she seems like she is improving then this could be it.

Unfortunately there is not much home care that you can do to help. I don't recommend changing the diet because cats are not like dogs where you can just feed them chicken and rice. I would stick to the food she has been used to. (Incidentally, kitten chow and fancy feast are not really great quality cat foods. They're not likely causing the intestinal issues but once she is cleared up I might consider a change to something like Iams, Science Diet or Royal Canin).

I wish I could give you more advice, but either this is something that will get better today or, if not, needs veterinary attention.

I hope she is ok!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you, I am definitely keeping an eye on her (fortunately I work from home).

I agree with the food brands too - this is what she was being fed in the foster home and I was afraid to switch her to something else before she got used to the new surroundings - she hid for the first 2 days and refused all food and drink.

Thanks!
Colleen


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.