Kittens: Typical Diseases in Young Animals

If the kitten is ill, quick help is needed. The immune system of mini kitties is not as strong as that of adult cats. The small organism is, therefore, less armed against infections after the immunity provided by the mother animal has waned, around the twelfth week of life. The risk of injury is also somewhat higher in a young animal due to immunity, as long as coordination is lacking. Read here which typical kitten diseases there are and how you can quickly provide first aid if necessary.

If it itches and pinches – parasite infestation in the kitten?

Even small kittens that have not yet been outside can become infected with parasites. First and foremost are ear mites, recognizable by a dark crust on the ears, reminiscent of coffee grounds, or by earwax. In the rarest cases, it is a discharge. Since this is extremely itchy, the kitten scratches constantly, which in turn can lead to inflammation. But where do the mites come from anyway? The pests can jump from the mother to the little ones. If the infection is mild, an adult animal will not necessarily show an infestation of ear mites, so the mother (or other pets) can act as carriers without being noticed.

An infestation of kittens with fleas is also dangerous – not only because they become physically uncomfortable. If a small kitten suffers from severe flea bites, it can even lead to anemia in the worst case. Fleas can also be transmitted by various infections – for example, tapeworms, Bartonella, and mycoplasma. The best prophylaxis against an infestation with ectoparasites – which also include mites and lice – is absolute hygiene in the household and prevention with a flea repellent from the vet. This applies in particular if the mother has free access and/or there are other animals (dogs, rabbits) in the apartment that are often outdoors. If the kitten is infested with parasites, the vet should remedy the situation with a remedy suitable for kittens.

If the worm is inside – dangerous internal parasites

The biological danger is not only lurking on the kitten’s fur. An infestation with endoparasites is more difficult to ward off for the young organism than for adult animals, in which worm infections sometimes go unnoticed. Roundworms and hookworms can be passed to kittens through breast milk. Worms can get into the cat’s organism in a variety of ways; the usual routes of infection are contacted with feces, transmission through infected blood (flea bites), or the consumption of infected prey by outdoor animals. Tapeworms, coccidia, and giardia are also possible dangers.

Therefore, timely deworming of the kitten is necessary. As a rule, this is carried out by the veterinarian after examining a fecal sample in the third week of life; further deworming takes place every three to four weeks, depending on the preparation (and never at the same time as a vaccination!). Better leave administering a dewormer to the vet while the kitten is small – the vet will have experience in calculating the correct dose. Kittens react much more severely to worm infestation than adult cats.

Colds and respiratory infections in kittens

The most common diseases of little velvet paws include colds and infections of the upper respiratory tract. The mini tigers are susceptible to colds: kittens do not have a regulated temperature balance at the beginning of their lives. Only in the course of the first few weeks of life does the body temperature stabilize at the level of adult cats. It is essential to avoid temperature fluctuations and drafts in the kitten household.

Infections that are transmitted via droplets spread quickly because littermates easily infect each other with respiratory diseases. Luckily, with proper care, kittens will recover fairly quickly. Ensure that the young patients stay in a ventilated but draft-free environment, encourage the animals to eat if they have lost their appetite, and clean crusts on their eyes and nose with a clean cloth dampened with warm water. If the symptoms do not subside within a few days, if the symptoms worsen drastically, or if you even refuse to eat, you should definitely seek the advice of a veterinarian.

The kitten isn’t eating anymore – red alert!

An important complex among kitten diseases is infections of the gastrointestinal tract. Disorders related to nutrition and digestion manifest themselves in various symptoms.

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