a pair of silver grey tabby kittens sleeping together in a wicker cat bed

What Can You Give A Weak Kitten?

Have you found an abandoned or lost kitten in a weak state – or has one of your kittens started displaying signs of weakness after they were born?

Weakness can be caused by certain health conditions that cats might be born with. It might also be developed as a result of another health condition such as dehydration, tick bite fever, or cat flu.

Weakness is a general symptom that might indicate many conditions, disorders, or illnesses.

A cat that is weak might be unable to move and is likely to display other symptoms at the same time. These symptoms can include a fever, shaking, crying, or purring as a self-soothing attempt when they are in pain. Obvious signs of distress can usually be seen in a weak cat.

If you’ve come across a weak or vulnerable cat, would you know what to do?

Immediate emergency treatment could save a cat’s life, and buy essential time until an owner is able to seek out a vet for proper medical attention.

Here’s what cat owners can (and can’t) do when they encounter a weak cat or kitten who might be in immediate health danger.

I’ve Found A Weak Kitten… Could It Be Someone’s Pet? 

If you’ve found a weak cat or kitten, the first step is to steer them far away from any potential health dangers. Do what you can to make sure that the cat is comfortable, and then assess their general state of health first. Treat what is an immediate danger to the cat’s life, and then seek out a vet or animal control as soon as possible.

Could a found cat be someone’s pet?

Keep in mind that cats might wander too far away from their neighborhood, or might get hurt along the way. When cats feel that it’s too dangerous for them to progress, they might get stuck in an attempt to bide their time. 

Sometimes, this is the point at which humans might discover them.

Ask around in your neighborhood if someone has recently lost a cat matching their description. Owners can also consult a vet to find out if older cats might be chipped for the identification of their owners.

You would like your pets returned to you if they were to disappear. Always do the same for others.

Kittens And Emergency Care

a sleeping mother cat with front arm over sleeping kitten

Emergency care applies to the right now needs a cat in danger might have.

Are they breathing? Is there a heartbeat? Are they away from danger? Could there be any breaks or bruises that might make it painful or dangerous to move them to another spot? 

Then, what symptoms are they displaying right now? Could dehydration be one of them, and what could have caused this state?

All of these are questions that should be answered in an emergency situation with a pet.

It’s easy to feel panicked, but remember that you have a responsibility not to. It could save a cat’s life – and stay calm.

Is Weakness Dangerous For Cats?

There are many reasons a cat might display weakness. 

Infections or illnesses can cause weakness as a symptom, but so can very recent injuries that have impaired their movement and hunting abilities

Kittens can be born prematurely, and display weakness from the first moment.

Many cats do not, but it is important for any cat owner to know what to do if they ever encounter a situation like this.

Weakness can be fatal to cats. 

Organ failure and fatality are eventual consequences of weakness and dehydration. Take care of the cat’s immediate and most volatile health needs at that very moment, and buy a few moments until you can make it to a vet.

What Are Symptoms Of Weakness For Kittens?

a mother tabby cat lying down on a warm blanket with a kitten

Weakness is only a symptom that might indicate other conditions or ailments. If your cat appears weak, there will probably be other symptoms at the same time which could indicate what might be wrong with them.

As a cat owner present in an emergency situation, it’s very important to record all symptoms you notice. Later, a vet might ask for this information to help find the cause and treatment that is most appropriate for the cat.

If a cat is weak, symptoms can include panting, an open mouth, excess salivation or dryness. A weak cat will struggle to stand, and might additionally have difficulty swallowing, talking, or breathing normally.

Depending on what’s causing it, weakness can also come with other symptoms (such as vomiting or intense pain for the cat). If this happens, the potential cause might be worse than expected. See a vet sooner.

Why Are Some Kittens Born Weaker Than Others?

Sometimes cats do not get access to enough nutrients when they are in the womb. Other times, health conditions might cause some mother cats to give birth earlier than they are meant to.

While weakness is also something that cats can develop as a result of a thousand-and-one different things, weakness is something that a cat could also be born with.

Within a litter, it’s important to ensure that weaker cats or runt kittens are still getting access to enough nutrients and attention from the mother. If not, weaker cats might be rejected from the pack – or develop serious health problems without human intervention.

Why Is My Cat Showing Signs Of Weakness? 

three silver and black tabby kittens sitting in wicker basket surrounded by balls of wool

It is difficult to tell, and could be dangerous to guess.

There are thousands of reasons why a cat might be showing signs of weakness. We’ve already mentioned some of these reasons above, but this cannot be even the tip of the iceberg – and that’s why expert advice is recommended as soon as the emergency has been controlled.

Trust your vet, and see them as soon as possible.

What Can’t You Give A Weak Kitten?

#1: Don’t Give A Weak Cat Milk Or Dairy

The first thing most humans imagine to give a weak kitten or cat is a saucer of milk.

Milk is one of the worst things to give a weak cat.

The majority of cats are lactose intolerant and don’t respond well to cow’s milk. If a cat is already ill or weak, adding milk to their strained body can only increase the stress that they are under.

Loading weak kittens with anything containing too much sugar, salt, or fat could be deadly. Even though it seems like a good idea when you’re in an emergency, milk is one of the things that owners shouldn’t give cats as an emergency measure.

The same is true for any other dairy products that you could imagine to mention. Especially during illness, a feline’s systems cannot handle it.

#2: Human Medication

Cats cannot take any medications that have been formulated for humans.

Never give a cat any human medication in an emergency, even if you think that it might be a good idea. It is not getting the cat any further out of danger. 

Most human medications can be fatal to cats. Instead, call your vet if you are not sure how to handle the emergency and have them advise you.

#3: Most Human Foods

The majority of human foods are not healthy for cats even when they are in good health. When a cat is weak, the ingredients contained in human foods might overload their system when they are already sick.

Unless recommended and approved by a qualified vet, most things in your food cupboard can only be unhealthy or dangerous to a weak kitten.

black kitten poking pink tongue out

What Can You Give A Weak Kitten?

#1: Water

If you are taking care of a weak cat, start by introducing water into their system with a dropper or syringe. Dehydration is one of the biggest dangers for a weak or sick cat, and it’s the element most likely to prove fatal.

Water ensures that a weak cat doesn’t become dehydrated, and replaces fluid that they might have lost. Staying hydrated can take some of the pressure off from the organs.

Remember that water alone cannot replace minerals, salts, or nutrients.

#2: Electrolytes (With A Vet’s Advice)

Electrolytes are important to any creature that might be weak,  ill, or recovering from either of those physical states. More than just water, it’s a suspension of salts and sugar in water, usually given to replace these minerals in the event of dehydration.

Speak to a vet about the concentration that would be correct for your cat. Felines are more sensitive than humans and will need different electrolyte solutions to the ones that humans might take. 

If a cat appears to be dehydrated, the slow introduction of electrolytes might help. Careful, as too much might do more harm. Hence saying, seek a vet’s advice first.

#3: Kitten Formula 

Kitten formula can help a weak or dehydrated cat to regain its nutrients – and some of its strength. Cats have different systems to humans and will process most things you give them differently to us people.

Cats cannot handle human baby formula. Do not attempt to give cats or kittens human formula if they are weak. Instead, find special feline formula mixes from your vet that have been specially created for cats in emergencies.

After this, seek medical attention for your weak cat or kitten as soon as possible

Should I See A Vet? 

Yes – and usually as soon as possible.

Emergency situations are exactly what they sound like. They are emergencies, and most of them are things that people cannot handle at home with all of the love and care in the world. 

At home, you might be able to buy your cat sometime until you are able to get them to professional veterinary advice. That’s the best you can hope for unless you are a qualified and trained vet yourself!