Kitten Terms

coccidia – An intestinal parasite that causes diarrhea in kittens. It is treated with Albon which is “birth control” for the parasite. There is a distinctive stench when kittens have coccidia.

conjunctivitis – pink-eye. Usually a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and redness in the eyes. Most of the time there will be greenish, crusty discharge from the eyes. This usually presents with upper respiratory conditions.

FIPFeline Infectious Peritonitus. An infection caused by a mutation of a very common corona virus. There are 2 forms – effusive (wet) and non-effusive (dry). It is not yet understood why the virus mutates in some kittens. The disease is ultimately lethal.

giardia – an intestinal parasite that causes diarrhea. It is contagious to humans as well, so washing your hands is very important after handling infected feces or when handling a kitten with giardia, since there could be residue in the fur. The diarrhea has a terrible smell much like coccidia.

interactive toy – a toy that is designed to get a cat to interact with you (i.e a piece of rope tied to a stick). Cats and kittens should never be left unsupervised with an interactive toy because accidental consumption of parts of the toy can be fatal for the kitty.

Recovery a canned cat food made by Royal Canin. It is extra tasty to most kitties, but more importantly, it had nutrients vital to a convalescing cat.

sub-q fluids – subcutaneous fluids. Fluids are injected under the kitten’s skin, making a camel hump on the kitten’s back. This is a lifesaving procedure used to rehydrate a dehydrated kitten.

Thermoregulate – control one’s own body temperature through metabolic processes. Kittens start out life unable to devote energy to warming themselves, so you must keep them warm to prevent hypothermia.

URI – upper respiratory infection (another word for a cold). URIs can vary from mild to severe, depending on the bacteria or virus behind it.