When little kittens develop diarrhea, they can quickly become dehydrated because of the loss of fluids through their loose stool. This can be fatal, especially in young, nursing kittens. To prevent dehydration and help to replace the electrolytes in your little kitty's body, feed him Pedialyte.
Pedialyte is an electrolyte replacement solution made for human infants. Although it's designed for people, it's also safe to use with kittens of any age to help them replace fluids in their bodies. Kittens can become dehydrated for many reasons, including diarrhea. You'll notice that when you gently grasp the skin of a dehydrated kitten between the shoulder blades, it won't bounce back as it would normally. To more quickly get your little one hydrated and prevent low blood sugar levels, feed Pedialyte to the kitten or offer it to a weaned kitty instead of water. Unlike plain water, Pedialyte contains minerals, also known as electrolytes, like sodium, potassium and chloride. These minerals are lost in kitties with diarrhea, and Pedialyte helps to replace them and more quickly hydrate the little ones than simply water alone.
While Pedialyte comes in flavored formulas, these flavors are designed to appeal to human babies and won't appeal to your furry friend. Instead, choose one that is unflavored to tempt your little one to drink the solution or eat it mixed with his food. If your kitten has been weaned and is eating solid foods, you can add a teaspoon or two of tuna juice or chicken broth to these unflavored solutions to make them more appealing to your little one. Some kitties even like licking Pedialyte ice cubes added to their water to help with diarrhea. During the weaning process, your kitty may experience some diarrhea as he acclimates to the solid food. Mix a few teaspoons of Pedialyte into the food and formula mixture you are feeding your little weaning kitty.
Nursing Kitten Diarrhea
Diarrhea can occur in nursing kittens for a variety of reasons, including overfeeding or mixing their powdered formula in too rich a concentration, according to the Feline Advisory Bureau. In these cases, bottle-feeding your little kitten Pedialyte mixed with formula should help to alleviate the diarrhea. Dilute the kitten formula by 1/3 with Pedialyte and feed your kitten as you normally would, recommends the Alliance for Philadelphia's Animals. When the stool is no longer loose, reduce the amount of Pedialyte mixed with the formula until you are feeding the little kitty only formula again. If the kitty's condition doesn't improve within 24 hours, visit the vet to get your little one checked out.
Keep in mind that giving your kitten Pedialyte is an emergency measure to prevent potentially fatal dehydration in the little guy. Visit the vet as soon as possible with your furry friend to get him checked out. He may require intravenous fluids or treatment for bacterial infections or internal parasites, which could be the cause of his diarrhea. Before giving your kitty Pedialyte, consult with your vet to get her opinion on your little one's diarrhea and condition. She may recommend visiting an emergency vet if it's after hours in serious situations.
- VetInfo: Cat Dehydration Treatment with Pedialyte
- NYC Feral Cat Initiative: Bottle-Feeding & Care of Orphaned Kittens
- Alliance for Philadelphia's Animals: Raising New-Born Kittens
- Dr. Susan Little's Website: Raising Healthy Kittens
- CatChannel.com: What Causes Kitten Diarrhea?
- VetInfo: 4 Causes of Kitten Diarrhea
- WebMD: Pedialyte Oral
- Feline Advisory Bureau: Hand Rearing Kittens
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.