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Old 18-10-2013, 06:57 AM
Cerridwen Cerridwen is offline
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Kittens sick from mother's milk?

Maybe I've asked this before but I have to ask. Through the years I've heard breeders claim that kittens get sick from the milk their mother produce when she's in heat. This leads to breeders putting their queens on BC when the kittens are 2-4 weeks old just to prevent the queens from going into heat and getting sick kittens (kittens that vomit or have diarrhea).

I've never experienced this. My queens usually go into heat when the kittens are 4 weeks old and not once have I had a kitten get sick during that period. In fact I've never had a kitten with diarrhea or that vomits. My breeder friends seem to have the same experience as me.

So, what's your experience? Does the milk "go bad" when the queen go into heat?
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:12 AM
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

Funny you should say that .... My girl came into heat around 8 weeks at 9 weeks some of the kittens had runny bums ... Still nursing off mum and no food change .. They were not ill ill . Just runny bums which cleared up with ABs and kolin within days ... My girl did have a bad case of the runs while pregnant and does have it every now and then for no reason ... So I wonder if this could have been the cause with the kits ummmmmmmmm.
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:16 AM
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

I would say that yes, sometimes the milk seems to 'go off' and kittens end up vomiting and/or with runny tums. However I can't say I've noticed it has anything to do with the queen calling. It doesn't happen with every litter, all a bit mysterious!
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:18 AM
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

For years I was convinced this was rubbish and said so. Then I got a queen who's milk 'soured' when she called and boy did I see what people meant. Could be it's in the lines as this is a girl I got in from another breeder and I'd never experienced it before. The kittens don't have runny bums but they do vomit curdled milk. Luckily she tends not to call until kittens are fully weaned and is pretty short tempered with them during this time and not keen for them to suckle anyway so I remove her for a few days at the height of the call. When she comes off call everything goes back to normal.

Last edited by havoc; 18-10-2013 at 07:24 AM..
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:23 AM
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

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Originally Posted by havoc View Post
For years I was convinced this was rubbish and said so. Then I got a queen who's milk 'soured' when she called and boy did I see what people meant. Could be it's in the lines as this is a girl I got in from another breeder and I'd never experienced it before. Luckily she tends not to call until kittens are fully weaned and is pretty short tempered with them during this time and not keen for them to suckle anyway so I remove her for a few days at the height of the call. When she comes off call everything goes back to normal.
Did the queens milk have a smell and go all thick havoc ?
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:26 AM
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

Not had any issues here, I use acupressure to take my girls off call - that's just so they don't call too many times and remain attentive to their bubs, not to prevent 'sour' milk.
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:41 AM
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

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Did the queens milk have a smell and go all thick havoc ?
No, not that I can say I noticed. If I'd noticed any smell I think I'd have been off to the vet for ABs. She doesn't call until kittens are 7-8 weeks old and really doesn't want them to suckle during this time though there is no indication of any discomfort on her part. It's nothing like mastitis or any infection. This has been consistent over three litters.
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:53 AM
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

I was just wondering if there was any signs other than sick kits .... I will remember this tho for when Rosie has her next litter and if the kits do get runny bums it could be because of her milk
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Last edited by Cosmills; 18-10-2013 at 08:54 AM..
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Old 18-10-2013, 08:42 AM
Cerridwen Cerridwen is offline
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

What kind of confuses me is first the very different experiences breeders have. Some seem to see this "all the time" while others (like me) never encounter it. Another thing is that I cannot find anything about this in any scientific literature. Not even in the literature about laboratory animals. If this is a quite common problem it should have been noticed and documented by those who breed and keep laboratory cats (which we have done since at least the thirties) since health problems in laboratory cats is a big problem.

When I scan the literature for diarrhea/vomiting in kittens I find lots of things to read about bacterias, viruses, parasites and poor diet but nothing absolutely nothing about "bad milk" or even queens in heat.
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Old 18-10-2013, 08:59 AM
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Re: Kittens sick from mother's milk?

Maybe the two never get linked ... And put down to virus, bacteria etc ... Cos if there is no signs in the queen am guessing you wouldn't know until your queen gets poorly kits every time she has a litter
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