Why Do Kittens Shake?
It’s hard to understand what’s going on when you get a new kitten. It’s hard to know if they are happy, or sad. One of the most common things reported by new kitten owners is trembling and shaking.
Sometimes this can be caused by something as simple as fear or it can be more complex such as inadequate food intake.
In this article we will focus on:
- What Causes Kittens To Shake?
- How Can We Stop Kittens When They’re Shaking?
- What Can You Do To Prevent Shaking?
What Causes Kittens To Shake?
There can be many reasons why your new kitten may be shaking or trembling a lot.
Some of the most common causes of kittens shaking include: Hypoglycemia, Hypothermia, Hyperthermia and anxiety.
Hypoglycemia refers to significant drop in blood glucose level as a result of depleted glycogen stores. As kittens are quite small little animals, their liver is not completely able to produce enough glucose to help stabilize their blood glucose.
Hypothermia refers to a reduction in body temperature and may occur as a result of hypoglycemia or may occur completely separate from hypothermia. Hypothermia may occur as young kittens (particularly newborns) do not have sufficient fat and the means to regulate their body temperature.
Hyperthermia refers to the significant increase in body temperature, that can result in fever and trembling. Often this occurs due to the contraction of viruses, diseases or heat strokes.
Anxiety and extreme fear can be associated with a shaky kitty. Sometimes a kitten may shake and tremble all because they’re simply afraid of their new environment because it has something in it that cats hate. A fearful, nervous kitten may show signs such as:
- A reluctance to eat
- Hiding in dark, closed area
- Refusal to eat or drink
- Constant shaking,trembling
How Can We Stop Kittens When They’re Shaking?
If you have a kitten that you believe is trembling excessively, is extremely lethargic and is unable to move, then it is highly recommended that you speak to a local veterinarian.
For cases such as hypothermia and hypoglycemia your veterinarian may suggest fluids and glucose therapy either done intravenously or subcutaneously. This is to ensure that the kitten does not go into shock.
For cases such as hyperthermia where fever is a cause of trembling, your veterinarian may simply do a full physical exam and take the history of the kitten recent vaccines and medications. In order to diagnose the underlying cause.
As for kittens who are simply scared and anxious, the best method of stopping the trembling and shaking is to help them feel safe and give them time. Try to make sure your kitten is kept in a quiet room where it can keep comfortable.
Feliway is a great veterinarian recommended product that claims to reduce feline anxiety through mimicking pheromones recognizable to cats only. It can be found as a diffuser or a spray.
As I’ve spoken about Feliway before, I think it would be great to share this video on how exactly this product works to relax anxious and stressed out kittens.
What Can You Do To Prevent Shaking?
The best way to prevent issues such as hypoglycemia is to feed your kitten energy dense meals on regular intervals. Royal Canine has a dry kibble food specifically designed to meet the needs of a kitten. Want to add wet food to their diet? Then try Hill’s Science Diet kitten food.
If you’ve recently found yourself with kittens less than 8 weeks old then it is essential that you provide regular meals and a warm space for these guys to grow. Generally, kittens less than 8 weeks should still be with their mother.
However, there are occasions where owners kind find themselves with young kittens. As such feeding the appropriate kitten milk replacer which can be found on amazon as well.
If your young kitten needs help drinking, then try out the nursing kit which can mimic the teat of its mother.
it is also important to provide a warm pad to prevent hypothermia. There’s a great heating pad on amazon found here.
When introducing a new kitten to a new home, it’s important to keep in mind that this is the first time they are separating from their mother and siblings. So chances trembling and shaking may be quite common in those anxious and scared new kittens.
So, restrict your new kitten to a small single room in the house, this room should be quiet and ideally have a piece of clothing or blanket material that has its mother’s scent on it. Give the kitten a place to hide and feel safe.
Give the kitten some time, time is all it may take for the kitten to come out of its shell. If your kitten came from a social group then the fear of now being alone might be a cause of anxiety. In such as case, owners can look into adopting another kitten to create a bonded pair.
So, Why Do Kittens Shake?
The reasons can range from something as simple as fear and anxiety to something as serious as hypoglycemia and hypothermia. For any new pet owners who are concerned about their shaky kitten, it’s best to simply speak to your vet in order to figure out what could be going on. As I said earlier, I recommend that you get Feliway to keep your kitten comfortable in their new home.
To learn more about when a kitten stops growing, click here.
Do you have a shaky kitten? Unsure about what’s going on with them? Leave a comment below.