Faded kitten syndrome: causes, symptoms and treatment .
Regardless of their enviable keen senses and exceptional hunting instincts, cats can be quite fragile, especially when it comes to newborns.
Kittens are vulnerable to a plethora of diseases. Even though many newborn kittens can survive extremely harsh conditions, they are not invincible.
In fact, both wild and indoor kittens suffer from a high mortality rate due to a particular condition, known as “faded kitten syndrome.”
It can affect cats of all breeds in the world . However, it is particularly prevalent in adopted felines that were born in shelters or on the street.
What is faded kitten syndrome?
Simply put, it is a health problem that often leads to a fatal outcome . Faded kitten syndrome can be triggered by an underdeveloped immune system, a parasitic infection, hypothermia, and other problems common in young cats.
Faded kittens often die before reaching nine weeks of age.
Mortality is high in newborns because numerous illnesses can cause faded kitten syndrome. Also, the problem becomes clearly visible only after it is too late and the cat has entered the crisis stage.
This is when symptoms become very clear and emergency veterinary care is required.
Unfortunately, the survival rate of cats in this crisis stage is extremely low.
Faded kitten syndrome affects felines with underdeveloped organisms due to malnutrition, harsh weather conditions, stressful environment, parasitic infections, various diseases that have affected the mother during pregnancy … Sometimes it can even happen to breeders experienced, but the highest mortality rates occur among wild kittens.
Causes of faded kitten syndrome
There are a number of things that can result in faded kitten syndrome. Inadequate care, especially during the first weeks, is one of the factors. If the other kittens in the litter get more nutrients, warmth, and care, a kitten may experience this condition.
This syndrome is often triggered by:
- Underdeveloped immune system
- Hemolytic anemia
- Physical damage
- Parasitic infections
- Bacterial infections
If the mother is obese or malnourished, cannot produce enough milk, or has not been dewormed before becoming pregnant, this can also contribute to the development of the syndrome.
On the other hand, feline herpesvirus, worms, coccidia, caliciviruses, and other similar infections can also cause it.
Like human babies, kittens cannot fully develop their immune systems at a young age. Therefore, a harsh living environment with poor care will definitely contribute to the problem.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive test for whether a kitten has Faded Kitten Syndrome . Blood tests, X-rays, urine and stool samples, and other types of tests can show that something is wrong. Due to the lack of a universal test, many pet parents do not realize there is an underlying problem until the cat begins to show symptoms or goes into crisis.
Faded kitten signs and symptoms
If your beloved kitty experiences any of the following symptoms, it’s time to take him to the vet:
- Pale gums
- Panting and shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss and muscle tone
- Irregular heart rate
- Low body temperature
Once the cat has begun to show these symptoms and has entered a state of crisis, its chances of survival will be slim . Due to the fact that many of these symptoms can indicate other health problems, it is even more difficult to detect faded kitten syndrome early.
Many pet parents will not see the first signs of depression or dehydration. The lack of a strong human-like sensation of dehydration generally causes cats to drink less water than they should.
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And since a kitten that has just arrived home may be anxious, you may miss signs of depression.
Therefore, caregivers must monitor and weigh kittens on a daily basis to make sure they are healthy.
Also, we highly recommend that you go to a good vet to examine pregnant mothers and their litters before symptoms appear. Being negligent can have fatal results for one kitten, as well as the entire litter. The longer you wait, but it will be the undiagnosed problem.
Treatment: how to care for a cat with faded kitten syndrome
Although the survival rate for fainted kittens in crisis is not promising, there are treatment options.
Emergency veterinary care is of intrinsic importance to the recovery of the kitten. If you try to save money on veterinary trips by hoping that the cat will only get better, you will only put the feline’s life in greater danger.
Treatment plans may require hospitalization, especially in extreme cases. Veterinarians will generally carry out the following treatment methods :
- Thermal support
- Fluid intake
- Nutritional support
- Dextrose consumption
- Antiparasitic drugs
- Antibiotic treatments
Unfortunately, even hospitalization doesn’t always help fainted kittens.
If the pet’s parent detects the signs of the syndrome at an early stage, there is a greater chance that the vet will save the kitten’s life.
Can You Prevent Faded Kitten Syndrome?
If you can!
If you are a breeder, you must make sure that the female is in excellent physical condition, does not have health problems (obesity, malnutrition, parasites …) before getting pregnant by a trusted cat.
As soon as the litter arrives, you have to help the mother take care of the kittens . This means maintaining a hygienic, warm, nutritious, and stress-free environment for the kittens and their mother.
The latter also applies to parents of pets who have adopted a kitten.
If you have adopted a newborn from a shelter, cattery, or the streets, you should take him to a vet before putting the kitten in your home. After your vet has done a thorough checkup and you have brought the kitten home, you will need to care for the little one with the utmost responsibility and devotion. Weighing it at least once a day and monitoring it closely will be critical to its survival .
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