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Kittens Poisoned By Mother's Milk?

by Sarah T.
(United Kingdom)

Smelly Kitten Bottom Before Washing

Smelly Kitten Bottom Before Washing

My new kittens go through the normal poo transition stage of yellow milk poo that Mum cleans into the darker normal poo of a weaning kitten, and then a few weeks after that normal stage (with some of my litters) they just regress. They react to their mothers milk almost as if it is poisoning them.

First, a little background: I am a UK based registered cat breeder and your site has been recommended to me.

I feed by cats on a raw combo diet and in general they are all very healthy. I have a good relationship with my vet but I do also like to take the Homeopathic approach.

With this in mind I wish to have advice about the condition referenced above. It's a condition that I've repeatedly seen this year with my kittens when they are around 6-7 weeks old and happily starting to wean onto a raw diet.

I try where ever possible to separate Mum from kittens at this stage as I realise that potential Mum calling or silent calling is causing the drastic change in the milk quality.

I know the usual veterinary medicine for this is Synulox drops or tablet for queen and kittens (Synulox is also very expensive on prescription in the United Kingdom). But I would prefer to have a homeopathic remedy to give when this happens rather that relying on a vet prescribed antibiotic. I have lost a couple of kittens this year during this very faze as I am hesitant to drive
them to my vets when the smaller kittens in the litter can often become cold and weak during the journey (which is over an hour) and the subsequent wait in a germ infested vet surgery.

Can you advise me on Homeopathic remedy and suggest strength (I.E cc or ML level - I like trit tabs or dissolvable balls but have also used liquid tincture I believe that is how it is described ) for both Mum and kittens. Additionally, would you recommend complete separation or perseverance towards Mum staying with the kittens? This is currently happening with two of my litter one of which are 8 weeks old the others are 7 weeks old. I have separated one Mum and three kittens, made a change instantly with the others and all are still having offensive smelling greasy yellowish poo that is very hard to wash away as it is so greasy.

I have changed them to a very bland diet of white fish and cooked chicken and turkey meat to try to turn the poo back to a solid consistency. They like the Chicken /Turkey not the fish and won't touch the raw foods or any kibble.

I have added a pic of a smelly bottom before I wash it today. I should also say that the kittens are wormed with Pancur paste from 4 weeks old following a three day programme every two weeks and then when 9 weeks old they get Milbemax wormed and again at 12 weeks.

Thank you.

Kind Regards, Sarah

Comments for Kittens Poisoned By Mother's Milk?

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Nov 14, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Kittens Poisoned by Mother's Milk?
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sarah,
If the mother has mastitis with discolored milk, red swollen breasts and purulent discharge from the nipples, THAT is the main reason I would take the kittens away and bottle feed.

In your situation, I would keep the kittens with the mother.

From your history, I do not think it is the mother's milk that is causing the diarrhea. It may be something to do with the diet to which you are trying to wean them.

A raw diet is a good diet and what the mother cat would be feeding her kittens if she were in the wild. But apparently for some of the kittens, they are not able to tolerate it.

Also, I am not sure why you are deworming them so many times. I suggest having the mother checked with a fecal prior to breeding her. Deworm her if she is POSITIVE and BEFORE she is pregnant.

Once the kittens are born, take a stool sample from the moth & deworm her if she is POSITIVE. When the kittens are 4 wks old, take a sample in from one of the kittens. If it is POSITIVE, then deworm all of the kittens. Another fecal can be repeated when the kittens are 9-12 weeks old (old enough to be sold).

You did not say if you do vaccinations which can trigger diarrhea and other problems in kittens. I would suggest NO vaccinations until they are at least 3-4 months old. Then give only one FVRCP at that time (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus, panleukopenia) & ONLY if they are completely healthy.


1. Feed cooked chicken/turkey mixture with canned kitten food.

2. Add acidophilus, to food. About 1/4 capsule for each kitten. Open the capsule and sprinkle it into the food for each meal.

3. Four homeopathic remedies are appropriate:
-For greasy, offensive smelling, yellow diarrhea, Phosphorus is best
-China is especially useful when diarrhea occurs at time of weaning, has an offensive odor, and is yellow (not necessarily greasy)
-Sulphur is for greasy diarrhea, offensive odor that is yellowish green
-Nux vomica is a good remedy for diarrhea from least change of diet

I suggest you start with either Sulphur or Phosphorus. Make up a 200c potency from ONE of these remedies. In a 2 oz dropper bottle, put ONE pellet and fill with Spring Water. Shake (succuss) the bottle by hitting it 20 times against the palm of your hand, and draw up 1/2 dropperful of the liquid and give a few drops into the mouth of each kitten. One time per hour for the first 3 hours, then three times per day for 3 days.

After the first 24 hours, if there is NO response, then make up the other remedy. And proceed as above. GIVE ONLY ONE REMEDY AT A TIME. And wait to observe if there is a response to the remedy before proceeding to the next remedy.

Of course, seeking the help of a holistic veterinarian would be the best course of action!

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Nov 14, 2012
by: Sarah

Many thanks for your response.

No mastitis present in Mum but the kittens have already improved from taking her away yesterday :-)

This is a common occurrence with cat breeder friends as well this year and one of my dearest breeder friends has a cat specialist vet. He is the one that has suggested that if the mother comes into call during the raising of her kittens with the rush of the hormones it can cause the milk to sower and poison the kittens system.

I spoke to a cat breeder with 15years plus experience only yesterday and she concerns with this info, she calls it the 6 weeks season poo. So I am sorry I do not think in this instance it is mastitis in the Mum. And as I say both litters are doing much better now that I have separated them from both Mum's.

I do however value your suggestion of testing the fecal of Mum before breeding and then testing the kittens that makes sense as I have always wondered if this amount of worming is excessive.

Can I ask what will I be asking my vet to test the fecal for? I will have to be specific.

I shall start with The Phosphorous as I have already tried the China. and Sulpher if I have no success after 3 days.

Oh Yes I almost forgot my kittens get health checked and vaccinated at 9 weeks and 12 weeks with my vet and don't leave home until they are 13 weeks :-) This is the required pattern to follow with the GCCF the uk cat /kitten registering council.

Many Thanks

Nov 14, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Kittens Poisoned by Mother's Milk?
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sarah,
You wrote,
"if the mother comes into call during the raising of her kittens with the rush of the hormones it can cause the milk to sower and poison the kittens system."

I am interpreting this to mean that if the mother cat COMES INTO HEAT before (I have NEVER heard that term, "comes into call" before) the kittens are weaned, that it will alter the milk and cause the kittens to have diarrhea.

Yes, that is correct. I apologize when I read your question, I believe you did say the mother had come back into heat, but you said that she had "come into call", and I did not understand that is what you were referring to!

And taking the kittens away from the mother cat at this time, will help to clear things up.

As I promote more spays and neuters, I see fewer and fewer problems related to breeding and reproduction.

And hopefully, the Phosphorus will help.

You wrote,

"Can I ask what will I be asking my vet to test the fecal for? I will have to be specific."

- Ova and parasites
- Giardia

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Aug 25, 2013
Feline hepatic lipidosis
by: Anonymous


I have been reading a lot about this condition and also Cat Pancreatitis.
I wondered if you had any suggestions to help Kittens out that seem to develop these type symptoms during the weaning process.

Many Thanks

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