How to Save a Dying Kitten

Table of contents:

How to Save a Dying Kitten
How to Save a Dying Kitten

Kittens have those cute little heads, big eyes and a thin meowing… they are pets that soften anyone's heart! So, nothing more natural than wanting to help these baby felines. Cats are great at hiding pain, but if you pay attention, you can find out when a kitten is sick. If you have a kitten or you've found one that you think is dying, the best thing to do is find out if it needs help, act quickly and seek proper treatment to save the kitten.


Part 1 of 3: Looking for a Vet

Save a Dying Kitten Step 1

Step 1. Find a box

If you don't have a cat carrier nearby, you will need to find any box to put the cat in. It needs to be big enough for the pet to stand up and turn around, but not so big that it's dangerous when you turn in a car.

  • Secure the top of the box so the puppy cannot climb out.
  • Punch holes in the box to get air in and the puppy can breathe well.
  • To help the cat feel more secure and absorb vomit or urine, place an old towel or t-shirt inside the box.
Save a Dying Kitten Step 2

Step 2. Keep the puppy warm

Newborn cats cannot regulate their own body temperature and need the mother to get the necessary heat. Wrap a towel or blanket around the crate the puppy is in, but be careful to leave several ventilation holes open.

  • You can also wrap the kitten in an old towel or t-shirt to make it warmer.
  • Just as the air holes need to be clear, if you're going to curl up the cat, leave the head and snout free.
Save a Dying Kitten Step 3

Step 3. Find the nearest veterinarian

The puppy needs to go to the vet immediately. You might find a veterinarian on duty if it's too urgent or regular clinics don't have immediate free time. Take the cat to the closest veterinarian you have so the chances of survival are better, but it's important to remember that emergency appointments tend to cost more than regular ones.

  • Use some search engine. Type "emergency veterinarian" and activate your location.
  • Or just type “veterinarian” and your zip code in the search bar.
  • If you prefer, call someone who has a cat and lives near you to have the person recommend one that is good.
Save a Dying Kitten Step 4

Step 4. Transport the kitten to the vet

If he's already in a transport box or makeshift box, you can take him to the vet. The pet will meow and cry a lot on the way and this is normal. It's just a reflection of his discomfort riding in a car. Unfortunately, you need to rush to the vet and you won't have time to let the cat settle into the crate. Just put some soft cloths in there and drive carefully, without making any sudden movements, so the poor puppy doesn't keep rolling and bumping into the box.

Some cats prefer to look out the car window, others don't even want to go near it. Try them both to see what he prefers

Part 2 of 3: Helping a Dying Kitten

Save a Dying Kitten Step 5

Step 1. Resuscitate the puppy with CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is respiratory and heart stimulation done to recover a patient who is unconscious. This works on humans, cats and many other animals. Only do this if you are sure your puppy is not breathing or his heart is not beating. While doing CPR, have someone call a veterinarian. If no one else is around, call yourself as soon as you can.

  • Remove any obstruction in the puppy's airway. If there is an object lodged in the cat's throat, use a finger to get it out. If his mouth, throat, and lungs are full of fluid, hold him with his head facing the floor so that gravity will help clear his airway.
  • Place your mouth close to the puppy's nose and mouth and blow air three times. Blow lightly because the puppy's lungs are too small to hold much air. Be discreet and remember that you can catch diseases from direct contact with cats. Blow once every 20 seconds.
  • If he's not breathing but his heart rate is normal, just blow and don't put pressure on his chest.
  • Feel for a heartbeat in the puppy's chest. If you can't feel anything bumping, take the kitten's pectoral between your index finger and thumb and press between the area where the kitten's elbows are. See if the beats have returned once a minute.
  • You don't need to do CPR for more than five minutes, as the chance of survival is very small once you reach this stage.
Save a Dying Kitten Step 6

Step 2. Control the bleeding

If the puppy has a big or deep wound, you will have to control the amount of blood the animal is losing so it doesn't die. The good news is that stopping blood in cats is a lot like what we do in humans. The goal is to clean the wound, control the bleeding, and get the pussy to a veterinarian as soon as possible for him to sew up the wound.

  • Clean the wound edges with water or an antiseptic solution.
  • Once the edges are clean, take a sterile gauze or a clean cloth and press it firmly into the wound. Apply pressure for five to 10 minutes and do not lift the gauze or cloth to look or the wound will start to bleed profusely again.
  • Once you get the bleeding under control, secure the gauze or cloth with tape and take the cat to the veterinarian.
  • Try to inhibit the animal's movements so it doesn't start bleeding too much again or take off the makeshift dressing.
Save a Dying Kitten Step 7

Step 3. Check his temperature

Kittens are prone to hypothermia and need to stay warm. It is usually the mother who takes care of this. If you can't find the mother or she refuses to take care of the puppy, you will have to warm him up quickly and safely. Place the pet in the padded box with t-shirts or fluffy old towels. Also put some hot water bottles.

  • Newborn cats cannot regulate their own body temperature and depend on their mother to do so.
  • Do not attempt to use a blow dryer or any other device that generates heat directly on the cat. This could overheat his body.
Save a Dying Kitten Step 8

Step 4. Fight newborn wasting syndrome

Even if the mother cat is zealous and takes good care of the kittens, some may die before weaning. People often say that kittens that die before weaning haven't "come on." There are several clinical conditions that can lead to this. Detecting the symptoms of this syndrome early is the best chance of being able to save the puppies, but it is important to keep in mind that even trying everything, death is sometimes inevitable.

  • If you suspect a puppy has this syndrome, take him to the vet right away. Only then will he have a chance to survive.
  • Some causes of this are birth defects, traumatic birth, toxins present in the environment, blood type incompatibility between mother and baby, prematurity or low birth weight, parasitic, bacterial or viral infections, very hot or very cold ambient temperature and even dehydration.

Part 3 of 3: Recognizing when a puppy is sick and why

Save a Dying Kitten Step 9

Step 1. Keep an eye out for lethargy

Kittens are naturally playful, curious and full of energy. They sleep a lot, just like human babies, but when they are awake they are turned on to 220! If a kitten is lethargic, meaning it sleeps all day and doesn't seem to have the energy for anything when it's awake, this could be a sign that something isn't right. You will have to take him to the vet to find out what is causing this.

Save a Dying Kitten Step 10

Step 2. Monitor how much the puppy eats

Kittens, especially newborns, need to eat every two to three hours. If the pet refuses to feed or eat, especially for long periods, this is a sign that it is sick. Young cats cannot go too long without food, and fasting for several hours indicates that they have a stomachache or something worse. Take him to the vet if he doesn't eat.

Save a Dying Kitten Step 11

Step 3. Watch for vomiting

Babies spit and kittens, being babies, will sometimes vomit. This usually indicates that they suckled too fast or drank too much milk. However, if a puppy vomits all the time, it is a sign that something is wrong and he needs to go to the vet.

Some sites on the internet say that you can give cats over-the-counter seasickness medications made for humans. Never give this kind of medicine to a puppy. Take him to the vet so he can give him some medicine that won't be fatal to the puppy

Save a Dying Kitten Step 12

Step 4. Protect the kitten from bacteria and viruses

Kittens have very weak immune systems, and if one of them is not able to suckle the cat right away, it will lose the essential colostrum antibodies. Without colostrum, the baby has no bodily defenses. Viral and bacterial infections are extremely dangerous in kittens because their immune system is so fragile. If you notice lethargy, diarrhea or vomiting, take the puppy to a veterinarian immediately as the infection can be fatal.

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