Sick Kitten is very lethargic and has gunky eyes

by mrs lora klimkiewicz
(warrenton mo)

My mom purchased a brown classic tabby Persian that was born in March of 11, and we picked it up about two months old. She seemed playful, healthy, had most shots and is feline leukaemia negative and ate fine.

My mom is older, but talkative, and not too active at all, but walks fine. She treats the kitten like an infant, holding it on its back and talking to it in baby talk. The cat goes limp and my mom walks around like this for about two hours a day and the cat sleeps in her arms while she walks or sits.

I told her this isn’t normal. Kittens run, play and jump and climb, not go limp and sleep on you. My mom got concerned when the kitten ate less, seemed lethargic and wouldn’t open her eyes. I took her to the vet and she had swollen lymph nodes, gum disease, and eyes infected with an upper resp. sound in her throat and sneezing. She gave her a two week antibiotic shot with some antibiotic ointment for her eyes. which we used for five days. After this she ate better, played more and eyes were open for about a week or two, then she relapsed. We took her back; she tested below one on her Schillers dry eye test, five to ten being normal. We again got an antibiotic shot, resumed eye ointment for two weeks, and again she got better. Now she is less playful, eyes half shut, and kind of crusty under the bottom lashes, lays around more and sleeps instead of playing. My mom is going crazy because she thinks her kitten will die or go blind. We are continuing to give her eye drops to lubricate her eyes after the antibiotic ended but that doesn’t seem to help. Thanks for your reply.

Yes your advice to your mother about carrying the kitten around all day not being healthy for the kitten was correct. However the fact that the kitten allowed this to happen does rather suggest that it was not feeling well then either. It simply isn’t normal for a kitten not to be active etc.
Unfortunately some cat breeders are not all what they should be and some do breed unhealthy kittens. I can’t go into how this happens needless to say they breed to much from the same cat causing the kittens to be born weak. This may have been the case with your kitten.
You have done the right thing in taking him repeatedly to the vets, sometimes this is all you can do and it sounds as if the vet is doing all they can to help the little guy.

His symptoms does sound like cat flu which can be very nasty indeed. My sister found a stray kitten who was affected with this and sadly his eye sight was affected although he did not go totally blind. He managed to pull through and lived to a ripe old age happily with my sister.

I have some information about cat flu on my website which you may find of further interest, here

I also have a page about some eye conditions too which may also be affecting your cat here


All you can do for your kitten is to try and keep the eyes clear from gunk by using warm water a little cotton wool. Let the kitten sleep in a warm clean and dry bed and to make sure that he does not become dehydrated which can be a problem but is essential.

I hope he pulls through and don’t forget you have done everything you can for the little guy.

Best wishes Kate

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