I have 5 abandoned baby kittens. My neighbor feeds stray cats who reproduce, but they give birth under my shed. There was a batch a few months ago that I returned to my neighbor. The mother refused to touch them, even though we did not physically touch them with our skin. According to him, they ‘starved to death over several days’ and he did not lift a finger to save them. Then a new batch was left under my shed, howling for food. This time, we had to take them in.
We put them on PetAG KMR and they were doing ok as a group. But I lost my job and PetCo was charging 25 dollars a can for this stuff. I found Hartz KMR at Walmart for 10 and thought, “Hey! Save money!”. I fed 1.5 cans to these kittens. Within a week, my favorite one, Jesse, started acting like she had suffered a stroke. She would sit dormant for minutes, staring into space, then jerking off into a random direction, crashing into whatever. I fed her a bit of sugar water, as advised by the Internet, and then a touch of canned food. She recovered. The next day, she ate nearly half a bottle of Hartz KMR. An hour or so later, she consumed nearly another quarter of a bottle. (Small kitten milk bottles).
By 5 PM that afternoon, she was a wreck. She howled in pain. Her stomach was bloated. She would lurch from absolute zombie-ness to lurching, panicked movements. I could not help her. I started researching her state. I could find no disease or condition that matched this. Not ‘kitty stroke’ or ‘epilepsy’ or …..nothing matched. Then I thought about the food change and I started investigating. Everything I found by Googling “Hartz KMR” DID match. We were convinced we found the issue.
The next day, we went immediately to PetCO and got PetAG’s KMR Step 2 (they’re old enough for it now) and came home and fed them. The change was almost instant. They now bound about the floor, battling and playing. Alert and attentive. Jesse is a normal kitten again. I am CONVINCED Hartz was the culprit.
PLEASE! If you are ever in the position to have to nurse kittens yourself, do NOT use Hartz. It is a crap product that causes horrible constipation, stomach buildup and what I am convinced is eventual brain death in a kitten. PLEASE DO NOT USE HARTZ KMR. PetAG is much better because it is milk based. Even Similac is better than Hartz KMR. But I wanted to share my tale because this site helped me to diagnose what was wrong with Jesse and there was really nothing wrong with her except the poision I was unintentionally feeding her.
I have no relationship with PetAG, they are just the only KMR alternative I have ever found. If you do find a KMR, please make sure it is milk based and not whey based, or the kitten will not be able to pass stool. THAT is my point. It will become bloated and pained and completely freak out. Jesse is quite content now and the other 4 are doing just fine as well. Thank you for your attention.