June 28, 2012 9:58 PM Subscribe
Kitten health panic question! Short version: Six-week old kitten hyperventilates when sleeping after meals. Breathing is extremely rapid and shallow, kitten can't be roused. Healthy, active, playful and feisty in all other ways. More details inside.
posted by ereshkigal45 to pets & animals (14 answers total)
Longer version: six-week old rescue kitten, removed from his mother and litter way too young (probably at 4 to 5 weeks). Not transitioned to solid food before being sold to teenager who spent a couple of days trying to feed it adult kibble, and not understanding why it had diarrhea and didn't seem to be doing well. Teenager was smart enough to give the kitten up to me six days ago. I whisked the kitten off to the vet where they pronounced him mostly healthy (although he did test FIV+ - likely due to maternal antibodies rather than actually having the virus). I have been working on transitioning the kitten to solid food by mixing increasing amounts of Wellness canned kitten food with KMR Weaning formula. We're almost up to a 50/50 mix. He now laps from the bowl on his own instead of from the bottle. Twice tonight, he's had these episodes of hyperventilation - both eps started as post meal naps as his sleep deepened his breathing became more and more rapid and shallow. Think Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters I. I was unable to rouse him and he seemed to make some noises (whimpers) of discomfort. Each episode lasted for about 15 minutes.
I'm an experienced foster for a 501c3 rescue, but haven't had one this young or still bottle feeding before.
Of course now he's fine and trying to bite my nose off while I type. Reassure me that his little metabolism is supposed to be running at this super high speed.
pic of source of worry