Recently, we rescued three kittens from the same litter as the mother cat was abandoning them. One of our kittens that we rescued sadly passed away and another one is now showing most of the same symptoms. Mentioned symptoms are for example fatigue, general sleepiness, etc.

I want to know the chances of the kitten from the same litter being sick as well or if she is just sad because a loved kitten passed away (the kitten did see the other one pass.)

I'm not sure if cats do mourn others, though. We are going to get claramox just in case, as we don't have money for the vet.

I am asking for professional advice anywhere I can before moving forward, because then again I have no money for the vet.

The cat's precise age is unknown, but weighs about 1 lb (0.45 kg) or very close to that. It is mixed breed and female.

Please respond soon, thank you.

  • 2
    If you don't have money for a vet, please consult a local rescue asap, though it may well be too late. I am not a vet or medical professional, but those sound like the symptoms of FIP, which is almost always fatal.
    – Allison C
    May 13, 2020 at 15:01
  • 2
    See related I can't afford vet treatment, what are my options? May 13, 2020 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


I am so sorry you are in the position you are. It sucks for sure. Unfortunately, it is extremely likely that kitten #2 has the same thing the kitten who passed away had. It is crucial that they see a vet ASAP - as in today. If you cannot afford to bring them in I would start reaching out to rescues in your area. Also, ask your vet if you can surrender the cats to them, as some vets will take in cases like that then find homes for them.

Kittens are extremely fragile and even a couple hours can be the difference between life or death. I've fostered quite a few litters of orphan kittens and when sick time was always of the essence. Once kittens start acting lethargic (sleepy, lazy) it's an emergency.

My thoughts are with you and your kitties <3

  • 4
    We were able to reach out to a rescuer in our area! Simba (the sick kitten) had worms, as well as flees, and a respiratory virus. They got her completely treated! We agreed to pay them back when we can in a form of a donation! Huge thanks to everyone who does that kind of stuff for free. Simba is alive and well again!
    – Checksum
    May 14, 2020 at 9:07

This might not be the answer you'd like, but it's possible the kittens were abandoned in the first place because their mother sensed that something was wrong with them.

The most common reasons a mother would abandon her young I know of are:

  • She's inexperienced (it was her first litter)
  • The environment is not ideal (she cannot find food and a safe hiding spot for her litter, so she abandons them because the chances of them surviving till adulthood are too slim)
  • The young are ill or have some birth defect. This includes cases where the mother was ill or malnourished during gestation.

It's sometimes observed in zoo animals that those young that were raised by humans later turn out to have an illness or birth defect that the humans didn't even notice at a young age. One recent and very popular example is polar bear "Knut" in the Berlin Zoo, Germany, who's death was caused by an autoimmune defect. Many other examples don't make the news and go unnoticed.

It is always worth giving the kittens a vet treatment when they need it, but you should be prepared that they might not survive anyways.

  • 1
    We believed that too, that's one reason we rescued them to get them healthy again.
    – Checksum
    May 14, 2020 at 9:05

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