If you notice that your kitten's wee tummy seems to be protruding more than normal, don't just blame it on her having eaten way too much earlier in the day. Stomach bulges in kittens can relate to a variety of health conditions, from constipation to parasitic worms.
Certain intestinal parasites are common in kittens, so don't be surprised if your kitty's rotund and bloated belly is a result of anything from tapeworms to roundworms. Look out for other telltale signs of worms, including diarrhea, difficulty breathing, throwing up, weight loss, excessive coughing and blood in the stool. In many cases, you may actually be able to see worms in your kitty's fecal matter or around her anal region, so keep your eyes open for any clues.
Your cutie's conspicuous stomach bulge may also just be a symptom of simple gas. Perhaps your little one scarfed down her meal too quickly or ate an excess of fiber. Apart from a bloated belly, other telling signs of gas in kittens are excessive flatulence, diarrhea, tummy growling sounds, throwing up and stomachache. If you notice your kitty hunching over in pain, she very likely is suffering from an aching belly and too much gas -- poor thing.
Your little one's bulging stomach could also be a symptom of constipation. Think back to your kitty's recent litter-box patterns. If she hasn't been using her litter box for going No. 2 in the past few days, then constipation is a likely culprit. Apart from a bloated look, your kitten may also experience stomach pain, reduced appetite, painful straining while attempting to go in the litter box, grooming neglect, frequent vomiting, exhaustion and weight loss.
Play it safe. Take your kitten to the veterinarian as soon as you notice an unusual bulge in her stomach. Whether the cause is worms, constipation or any other medical condition, veterinary attention is vital, as your kitten may require immediate treatment. For example, worms may sound rather harmless but definitely aren't. If you ignore the common signs of worms, you may put your pet at higher risk of serious complications of the problem -- complications that may even be fatal. Hookworms for one can live off your feline's blood. If you leave these worms alone, your cat may develop potentially fatal anemia -- definitely not good.