Major causes of death before weaning
Hypothermia – Newborn kittens are predisposed to hypothermia because they cannot regulate their temperature.
Low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia – Newborn kittens have high energy requirements but no energy reserves so are highly dependent on the milk from the mother.
Dehydration – Young kittens have a high risk of dehydration because their bodies have a higher water content and they are much less able to regulate water loss compared with adults, losing water readily through their kidneys, lungs and skin.
What can we do??
Make sure babies are kept warm and benefit from maternal warmth under the mother.
Make sure they are suckling milk from their mother at regular intervals.
Dehydration can easily occur in kittens, often due to overheating or diarrhea.
Make sure they don’t overheat or have diarrhea.