Foster Diary Health Peeing/Pooping

Foster Diary: Fake Ferals, Gross Poop & Parasites

Battling kitten diarrhea and parasites.

Fake Ferals, Because Kennels Make Some Cats A-holes.

Fake feral kittens
Drake, Jocelyn, & Tupac

Fake ferals are cats that are basically devils in a shelter, but lovers once they’re in a home. These adorable babes, Drake, Jocelyn, and Tupac, were a perfect example. The sign on their cage read: Feral. They Will Bite. I was excited to get them, but once I got them home, they were snuggle bugs aka fake ferals. There was, however, another problem we had to tackle: poop.

Drake was one handsome chap. Loves his bed and his mom and he’s sorry.

Then, there was poop.
And more poop.
And more poop.

My fosters almost all have diarrhea for a day or two as part of the transition from the shelter to a house (change of food, environment, etc.). If you have a nursing mom, she always has diarrhea, because as my friend Christine put it, “She’s eating kitten sh*t all day.” #truth

But this diarrhea was different – the smell was beyond anything I had smelled before. There was something not right about it (beyond the obvious).

Fecal Exams

I took them to the vet and had their poop sent out and examined for all parasites. It came back positive for giardia – a nasty parasite. They received the proper medication and their next fecal exam came back negative.

Quick note about fecal exams: Negative doesn’t mean 100% parasite free. Fecal tests only test a small sample, so the sample tested was negative, which means it’s likely the parasites are gone, but they could still be there in small quantities not picked up by the fecal exam. After a negative, it’s best to keep an eye on the litter box and if you notice anything gross, get another fecal.

Medium haired kittens snuggling.
Sansa (formerly Jocelyn) and Drake loved cuddling.

Moving Spaghetti

Jocelyn, renamed Sansa, and Drake were adopted by the same wonderful mom. One day, I received a DM on Insta, “What is this? Sansa threw it up.”

There was a video of moving spaghetti – but it wasn’t spaghetti.

It was a roundworm. And if you’ve never seen them, they are super duper disgusting. They can build up in the digestive tract and go into the stomach, which is why Sansa threw up. They will often be live and moving around. It’s highly disturbing.

Roundworms can also be seen in poop, but not always. And, as a bonus, after a cat is dewormed, you’ll often see dead worms in their poop. I know – it’s lovely.

Roundworm Treatment

A dewormer that kills roundworms. Sometimes vets will alternate between two different types of dewormers to try to kill all the nasty buggers.

Calico kitten
Jocelyn, now Sansa, has such a calico personality. Everything on her terms and sometimes, she just can’t be bothered with humans and their need for affection haha

WTH, Liz? You didn’t deworm her?

Yes, I did. More than once – and remember her fecal was negative. A few things:

  • As I mentioned earlier, a negative fecal means the part of the stool that was examined was free of parasites – there’s no guarantee that the entire GI tract is free of them.
  • The gestation period is different for all sorts of parasites. Repeated deworming during the first few months is completely necessary to get them all.
  • Kittens are more susceptible to parasites because their systems aren’t as strong. A healthy adult cat has a stronger immune system and a better chance of fighting them on their own. Although – you should still deworm adult cats once a year.

How is Sansa now?

Mucho better. No signs of the worms for a few months. Hopefully, she’s in the clear.

Calico long-hair
Sansa was an adorable kitten, and is now a gorgeous cat.

Did you know when cats bring you something dead, they’re trying to show you how to hunt? Read last week’s blog post to learn all about hunting and playing fetch!

By LizsKittyBootCamp

Hi, I'm Liz, and I'm a cat behaviorist who provides advice and insights on cat behavior.

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