Diarrhea / Constipation

What does a loose and/or yellow stool mean? This may indicate a mild case of overfeeding. Try diluting the formula strength with liquid, unflavored Pedialyte by about 1/3 until the stool returns to normal, then gradually bring the formula back to full strength.

What does a loose and/or greenish color stool mean? This would be indicative that the food is moving too quickly through the kitten’s system, and the bile is not being absorbed, and is probably attributed to moderate overfeeding. Cut the formula back with the Pedialyte or bottled water; in severe cases use 2 to 3 drops of Kaopectate every four hours until this problem clears up.

What about stools that look like cottage cheese? Either the formula strength is too rich, there is severe overfeeding, or the kitten may have a bacterial infection. Check with the shelter manager who may recommend that you cut the formula in half with bottled water and/or Pedialyte liquid, and start the kitten on antibiotics. If the kitten is seriously dehydrated, fluids can be given under the skin.

Constipated or straining kittens? In this case, you would want to increase the strength of the formula, and feed slightly smaller amounts, but feed more frequently. If the kitten has a swollen abdomen and hasn’t passed a bowel movement in over a day, you may want to try mineral oil given by mouth (3 drops per ounce of body weight).

Call your veterinarian for advice if the kittens develop these symptoms.