Found kitten with swollen belly and a red anus – Advice Please

by Briana Jackson
(Valdosta, Georgia, USA)

I got a new kitten. One of my other kittens found her on our backyard porch. We finally got her in the house but we don’t know where or who she came from. She has a big bloated or swollen belly and she has a red anus and its poking out a bit. I am getting worm meds soon but i wanted to know the possibilites it could be. Thanks.


Hi Briana… thanks for visiting and asking and for rescuing this kitten who needs help.

I’ll refer to the best manual on cat health I know, Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook to see if I can find some answers.

Red and Swollen Anus

The book says that toxic milk syndrome causes symptoms that include: diarrhea and bloating commonly. “The anus is often red and swollen from continual diarrhea.” A complication is kitten septicemia.

The most common cause of toxic milk syndrome is a breast infection or an abscess. It usually affects kittens at 1 to 2 weeks of age.

Swollen Belly

Worm infestations can cause abdominal distension in kittens. FIP can also cause a pot-bellied appearance. When feline intestinal toxoplasmosis has symptoms (it is usually asymptomatic) one symptom is a swelling of the abdomen.

A blockage in the intestine can cause swelling but I doubt this is the cause in this instance.

A kitten with constipation can have a bloated abdomen but this cause is not consistent with a red anus so unlikely.

Kitten septicemia can cause bloating.

Conclusion Worms as you say are the most likely cause. And possible toxic milk syndrome.

Good luck.


Treatment: see a veterinarian.

Comments for
Found kitten with swollen belly and a red anus – Advice Please

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Aug 15, 2011 Probably round worms
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

My cat had that distended belly too when I first caught him as a stray kitten. It took more than one treatment to finally kill the worms– the vet said they were round worms. Monty’s been fine since. I started to suspect the deworming they did at animal control wasn’t enough when he wasn’t as rambunctious as a kitten should be. Poor little guy.

The deworming medicine tastes terrible, I guess. It isn’t easy to administer. The type my vet gave me was the gentlest kind for the cat, but was still very effective against the worms. Monty needed three doses, and then a couple weeks later another three doses. If you don’t give them the medicine again the worms can come back.

Good luck with your precious little kitty!

Aug 13, 2011 No doubt about it!
by: Anonymous

It has to be worms Briana! No doubt about it!!

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