View Full Version : Survival of the kittens (sad)
08-29-2001, 04:31 AM
Our cat, Van Damm, had three kittens, but last friday, Midnight died, and then this past Monday, Squeak, and Crybaby died. The kittens were four weekks old at the time of death.
On Friday, i had played with the kittens,and Midnight was fine then, then in the afternoon Christina said, that Midnight had been lying very still for half an hour, had a seizure and died.
Squeak and Crybaby, were alright Sunday night, when i saw them last. I did not play with the kittens on Monday.
We think Van Damm may not have fed them, we also wonder if fleas may have had sometihng to do with the death of the babies.
The babies were not wounded or bleeding when they died, so I do not think my cat or the dog got ahold of them. Can any Dopers please help us figure out what happened to the kittens?
08-29-2001, 05:31 AM
This is not being smartassy.
Do you have any mopey, alienated teens in the house?
Pre-serial killer behavior can be witnessed in the stealth-killing of pets.
08-29-2001, 06:07 AM
FWIW, Van Damm moved her babies, into Carrie's room, and Christina was hysterical, when we realized that midnight had died.
I believe the twins loved the kitten, and would not have wanted them dead, we wanted to keep midnight. and the did not appear injured.
08-29-2001, 06:27 AM
My condolences on your kittens. A similar thing happened with one of my cats once, and it taught me a hard lesson about having pets. She had more kittens (9) than she had nipples (8), so I knew immediately that at least one wouldn't get fed. I tried to rotate them out, but that only worked until one of the mama cat's nipples was bitten off, at which point she wanted nothing more to do with them. Understandably, in my opinion. Result: despite my best efforts with kitten formula, heating pads, etc, all nine kittens died. It was like a little kitten Jonestown, really horrible, and I felt so bad that I couldn't save them. So mother cats do abandon their kittens. If this is her first litter, she may not have known properly what to do, or how to take care of three rambunctious youngsters. Some cats just do not make good mothers, no matter how much practice they have, and should be discouraged* from having future litters.
Fleas also can contribute to kitten deaths (any small animal deaths, really) by consuming/ allowing to leak out too much of the total blood volume, which is very tiny already. Should you find yourself with kittens again*, you should ask your vet for flea control measures for mom and her environment before they're born, and for baby-safe flea control once they're out.
That said, my recommendation is to *have your cat spayed*. Many vets will do it for very cheap, not more than $65 or so, and sometimes for cost if you have a hardship or catch a special deal. For cheap vets, check your humane society or animal control agency for a listing.
To me, kitten death from natural causes isn't something to be sad about. Things happen, and if you were providing a caring, loving environment for them, which it sounds like you were, then there's no problem. It's nature's way. What is sad to me is irresponsible kitten production that leads to overpopulation, with no available homes, and abandonment in shelters, on highways, where ever it's convenient to dump them. The best abandoned kittens can hope for is euthenasia, which is sad, considering how preventable kittens are. Preventing unwanted kittens (and any kitten that does not have a home already lined up should be considered unwanted) does a service to cats everywhere. It's part of responsible pet ownership.
08-29-2001, 09:23 AM
Perhaps an upper respiratory (I KNOW I spelled that wrong, mmmkay?) infection? A form of Feline AIDS-do you know who the father of the kittens was?
08-29-2001, 11:31 PM
About a year ago the same thing happened to my mother's kittens. There were four total. About a month and a half after they were born, two of them died all of a sudden (one died over night and when I came home from school the other was dead). But the other two cats seemed fine and survived and are still alive.
08-29-2001, 11:42 PM
Kittens die en mass all the time for a number or reasons from poor maternal care to disease to predation by other cats etc. It's sad but hardly out of the ordinary.
08-29-2001, 11:52 PM
IANAVeterinarian. The seizure is an indication that your kittens were born with neurological defects. Or perhaps their mother's milk lacked the proper nutrition? Had they seen a vet for an exam? If your mother cat was otherwise healthy, and the kittens had been gaining weight, a neurological defect seems the most likely explanation.
08-30-2001, 01:08 AM
Seizing, in this situation, does NOT mean that the kittens were born with neuro problems. Seizures can happen for a number of reasons. And without doing a necropsy on the kittens, there is no way to tell you why the kittens died. Lack of nutrition, internal and/or external parasites, trauma, exposure to chemicals, diseases passed to kittens from the mother, and a million other things could have caused these kittens to die.
I second the motion to have the cat spayed.
Cyndar, Vet Tech
08-30-2001, 02:10 AM
Original owner had said she would spay them, so i took it at face value and assumed that the surgery had already occured.
Julia, the grouchy grande dame, was spayed March 98.
Tigger will probably be spayed first, before he can start to spray.
Guinastasia, we do not know who the father was. Van Damm got out, and apparently, she had had her heat while outside.
Astro & Cyndar.. By what we had observed , the kittens had seemed to be doing okay, they were getting bigger, and were learning how to play.
Missdavis102: None of us knew kittens died like that, we did love them, and if i had known that something was that bad, i would have paid for a vet visit. It was our first batch of kittens.
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