Fading Kitten Syndrome: A Closer Look Tackling Fading Kitten Syndrome

Fading Kitten Syndrome: A Closer Look Photo by Tranmautritam: https://www.pexels.com/photo/gray-and-white-kitten-on-white-bed-2061057/

Newborn kittens are susceptible to fading kitten syndrome, also known as Neonatal isoerythrolysis. When the kittens are exposed to blood types that are different from those of their mother and themselves, it happens. We dig deeper into this condition in this article.

Fading kitten syndrome, also known as Neonatal isoerythrolysis, is a serious condition that can affect newborn kittens. It occurs when the kittens are exposed to incompatible blood types between their mother and themselves. Their red blood cells may be destroyed as a result, which may cause anemia, jaundice, and even death.

We'll talk about fading kitten syndrome's causes, signs, and possible treatments in this article.

Causes of Fading Kitten Syndrome

Here are some of the causes of this condition:

  • Incompatibility of blood types between the mother cat and the kittens.

  • The mother cat's immune system regards the kittens' blood cells as foreign and fights them.

  • The kittens are born with a genetic defect that makes them unable to produce the necessary enzymes to process their mother's antibodies.

  • The kittens are born with a weakened immune system due to poor nutrition or other health issues. 

  • The kittens are born prematurely or with low birth weight, making them more susceptible to infection and other health problems. As a result, the mortality rate in pups and kittens during the first two months of life is high, believed to be around 20%.

  • In some cases, the cause of fading kitten syndrome is unknown.


The symptoms of fading kitten syndrome vary according to the etiology and severity of the disorder. However, some frequent symptoms include:

  • Anemia: The kittens may have pale gums, tongues, and conjunctiva.

  • Jaundice: The kitten's skin, gums, and eye whites may all have a yellow hue.

  • Weakness: The baby cats could be groggy, have a weak suck reflex, and have a hard time feeding.

  • Failure to thrive: There's a chance the kittens are underweight and have smaller muscles than usual.

  • Diarrhea: The kittens may have loose and watery stools.

  • Vomiting: These affected kittens may regurgitate their food.

  • Respiratory distress: They may have difficulty breathing, with rapid breathing or grunting

  • Dehydration: The kittens may have dry gums and skin, sunken eyes, and a decreased amount of urine.

  • Death: Fading kitten syndrome can be fatal if left untreated.

It's essential to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions. A veterinarian should be consulted if a kitten is showing any of these symptoms.

How to Treat and Manage Fading Kitten Syndrome

The underlying cause of fading kitten syndrome and the severity of the symptoms will determine how the problem is treated and managed. Typical forms of treatment include:

  • Blood transfusions: If the kittens are suffering from anemia due to the incompatibility of blood types, a blood transfusion may be necessary.

  • Immunoglobulin therapy: If the mother's immune system is attacking the kittens' blood cells, immunoglobulin therapy may be used to neutralize the antibodies.

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics could be recommended to treat any infections the kittens may have.

  • Nutritional support: If the kittens are underweight or have poor muscle mass, they may require additional nutritional support and weight gain diets to help them grow and develop properly.

  • Fluid therapy: The kittens may need fluid treatment to rehydrate them if they are dehydrated.

  • Oxygen therapy: If the kittens have trouble breathing, oxygen therapy may be necessary to make it easier for them to do so.

  • Special care: Kittens with fading kitten syndrome will require special care and attention during the recovery process, including frequent monitoring of their vital signs, regular feedings, and keeping them warm and comfortable.

Can You Prevent Fading Kitten Syndrome?

Fading kitten syndrome might be difficult to prevent since its causes are sometimes unknown. To lessen the likelihood that this disease may develop, various actions can be taken:

  • Blood type: In order to rule out any potential blood incompatibility between the parents and their children, blood typing the mother cat and the father before mating might be helpful.

  • Vaccination: Vaccinating the mother cat before breeding can help to reduce the risk of infection in the kittens.

  • Proper nutrition: In order to guarantee that the kittens are born healthy and strong, the mother cat should be fed a good and balanced diet throughout her pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • Good hygiene: Maintaining good hygiene during pregnancy and lactation can help to reduce the risk of infection in the mother cat and her kittens.

  • Avoiding inbreeding: Inbreeding can increase the risk of genetic defects in kittens.

  • Monitoring the pregnancy: Regular check-ups with a veterinarian during the pregnancy can help to identify any potential problems early on.

Even with all the measures taken, there is no assurance that Fading Kitten Syndrome will not still occur. If a kitten exhibits any fading kitten syndrome signs, a vet should be consulted.

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