Eclampsia (Milk Fever)

A cat with a low serum calcium level can develop eclampsia due to the calcium demand during nursing. This is more likely to occur when the mother cat has a large litter. Initially the first signs of eclampsia are restlessness, rapid breathing, uncoordinated gait, pale mucous membranes, and a dangerously high fever. The muscles in the her face will tighten, exposing the teeth. She will eventually go into full body spasms, and finally, paralysis.

Eclampsia is an emergency. It is vital that the cat be taken to the vet immediately for calcium replacement therapy which is given by IV. The kittens will need to be fed with a milk replacement formula. As soon as the mother cat has recovered from the emergency, she’ll need to take vitamin and mineral supplements. The kittens shouldn’t be allowed to continue nursing though.

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