I brought a feral kitten home. Would a distended belly mean worms?

She is about 4-5 weeks and was fed in the wild. She eats hard food and occasionally I give her wet food. She is very energetic and sociable already, but her belly isbig. Is this probably just her eating alot?

Asked by Member 629678 on May 11th 2008 in Food & Nutrition
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To add to Oscar's answer, depending on the worm, you might have to dump the litter bag every time you clean to make sure the pests stay gone.

Also, if you have other cats in the home, make sure you keep your kitten quarantined from them until she gets a clean bill of health, and do not allow the other cats to use her litter box while she still has worms.

The vet can give you more specific instructions depending on what s/he finds once you take her in to be seen. At her age and being a motherless kitten, it is essential for you to do so asap.

BTW, have you considered feeding her KMR, even if she does eat dry food? Her tummy might be at that tender age where it is not absorbing that food well, so that's another possibility for that big belly (but again: have vet rule other stuff out).

Boris answered on May 12th.

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I would guess that you are right about the worms, given her age and her exposure to the great outdoors. A kitten's belly can be a little pudgy, but should never be distended, nor should it be noticeably larger than the rest of her, proportionally speaking.

Member 631733 answered on 5/11/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


It could be worms, it could be norrmal kitty belly, it could mean FIP (unlikely do to the energy level). You need to get this cat into a vet to have it examined. Also most kitties are with their mothers until at least 6-8 weeks and therefore don't usually receive vaccines until 8 weeks but since this kitty is already away form it's mom, it's going to need vaccines sooner, likely now because it's maternal antibodies are wearing off at this point. Please schedule an appointment with your vet. You should also have kitty tested for FeLV/FIV since she was a stray and there's no telling what mom may have been a carrier for.

Hunter answered on 5/11/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Sweet Mary

My neighbor said her VET recommend this -

Excellent site that has cat vets on it

But, there is no subsitute for the hands on method of your regular vet.

Sweet Mary answered on 5/11/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Oscar J. Cat

My sweet Oscar was a feral kitten too and yes, it's probably worms. Kittens are wormy at first anyway, but living out in the great wild unknown probably didn't help anything.

Deworming is very easy and very inexpensive. They'll just give your little one a dose of what our vet called the "kitty cat milkshake." It's thick and sweet and Oscar J. actually liked it. Once she gets the dewormer, don't be surprised to see the worms coming out in her feces. That's normal and the desired result. Just be extra sure that you wash your hands very carefully every time you clean her litter.

Oscar J. Cat answered on 5/12/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer