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Diarrhea from sour milk?

Species: Cat
Breed: bengal
Age: Less than 3 mon
my kittens have had diahria from my mom cats sour milk 2 weeks. I have given them Greek yogurt and replacement milk. They will not eat kitten kibble. How can I help them? How long does it take for them to be better? How do I know when my mom cat no longer has milk in her breasts? I have had them separated for 10 days now, but when I tried to reunite them they want to nurse. Help please!! I don't know what to do.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that your kittens are not nursing well.

Before I can answer, I have a few questions:

How old are they?
Is the momma cat eating well and acting healthy?
Are the kittens eating anything at all?
Are the kittens bright and happy?


Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

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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. 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:

How old are they? 10 weeks
Is the momma cat eating well and acting healthy? Yes
Are the kittens eating anything at all? yes, yogurt and replacement milk mixed together. I feed them some canned kitten food last night.
Are the kittens bright and happy?
yes they play and sleep and are active, but have had watery diahrea for the past 2 weeks.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

OK, thanks for that info!

At this age the kittens should definitely be eating regular kitten food. If they will not eat kibble then perhaps you could start out with a canned kitten food. And, if they won't eat that then you can use some warm water to make a soup out of it so they can eat that.

I am concerned by the fact that they have had diarrhea for 2 weeks. This is likely not because of mom's milk. If mom had infected milk she would be quite ill and not feeling well herself. There may be something else going on such as intestinal parasites.

It's not a bad idea to try an over the counter deworming medication.

Sometimes, kitten milk replacer can actually cause kittens to have diarrhea so the sooner we get them on to canned food the better.

It is also possible that they have something more serious such as a bacterial infection. If this is the case then they will need to see the vet for appropriate antibiotics in order to get better. Kittens don't have a lot of reserves to fight dehydration so if they have had diarrhea for 2 weeks it is really important to get them well soon!

So, I would try offering them soupy canned kitten food, stop the milk replacer, give them some dewormer and if things have not improved in a day or two then a vet visit is in order.

Regarding usually can take a few weeks for the milk to dry up. But, the kittens will keep trying. Every time they nurse then it starts up the milk production again. So, you may need to continue to keep them separate for a while more.

I hope they are doing better soon!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

Thank you for your comments. I think you are right about the replacement milk causing diahrea. One of the kittens ate some canned food last night and his stool was much firmer. I gave them all deworming medication 2 weeks ago so I think they are ok. I just need to get them to eat solid food. I will work with them today.

As for mom, she had some soft stool about 4 weeks ago. I wonder if this is what was the sign of possible sour milk. Anyway she is just fine now. Her stool is completely normal.

Thanks again!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sounds like you are doing a great job!

If you gave them dewormer 2 weeks ago, you should give them another dose now. Roundworms (which are really common in kittens) often need two doses given 10-14 days apart to fully get rid of them. If it has been longer than 14 days then give them a dose now and repeat it 10-14 days from now.

It's hard to say why mom had soft stool, but it's likely not because of sour milk. Sour milk usually happens as a result of mastitis which is an infection in the mammary glands. If she had this she would be really sore in her mammary glands and quite sick.

I hope everything goes well!

Customer reply:

I will give the kittens deworming again, today. Moms nipples are not sore, breats are not red or heated. I think she is okay. By the way the kitten who ate canned food yesterday just had a more solid BM, i think we are doing better already. We will defaintley use your service again, thanks so much!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Yay! Glad to hear that there is solid poop. :)

You're very welcome.

Dr. Marie.

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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.