Will my kittens die? Picture

English German French Italian Dutch

There are two major crunch points with FCK kittens - if the kittens survive onset of the condition they may survive, but breeders have seen kittens apparently doing well who die suddenly at 10 days, and others who thrive up to three weeks of age and then, similarly suddenly fade and die. If kittens survive beyond 3 weeks, then the likelihood is that they will not die of FCK, the ribcage may revert to a normal shape if the condition is not too pronounced, or may remain flat into adulthood with no apparent side-effects. A recovered FCK would have every expectation of a normal life, as long as the compression has not affected the development of the heart or lungs. If a kitten runs and plays as normal without getting out of breath or tiring quickly then it is probably OK - your vet may be able to assess the kitten more specifically. Some FCKs grow out of the condition and the ribcage goes to a normal shape in time.

Sadly, if your kitten survives the 10-day and 3-week times this is not a guarantee of future survival. Kittens who are particularly small have often got a compromised heart and they can die at 12-18 weeks, or even later. We all become very attached to these little surivors, and it can be heartbreaking to think you have saved them and then have them die on you just when you think you are out of the woods. There are no guarantees I'm afraid, but if the kitten is a normal size by 16 weeks and seems normal in every way, then it probably is OK.

Next...
To this article's index page