Why is my 8 week old kittens face swollen?

by Miasy
(Warminster, pa)

My kitten Marley just turned 8 weeks old on the 14th. She is one of six kittens from my older cat Minnie. This morning I realized her face was bigger. I thought I was over feeding her. But her face got noticeably bigger throughout the day and it doesn't seem to bother her that much. She still plays and I can touch it but she gets mad.

There are seven other cats besides her living in our house at this time. It's her, her siblings, her mother and father and a cat we took in from the SPCA. They all fight with each other but her father is more aggressive then the other cats but doesn't ever play too rough with the kittens.

She's had cuts before that I've cleaned. I haven't gotten all of them since every cat gets a new cut everyday. Marley's face is the only one swollen and I'm a little nervous as to why. I read many different things as to why her face may be swollen but I can't get her into the vet until Thursday.

I'm sure you get this a lot but I'm really nervous because she's so young. Are the other cats to blame for her face being swollen? We haven't brought anything new into the house. We have been using fancy feast the entire time so I didn't think it would be an allergic reaction. Also, they had fleas that we just recently finally got rid of. Could that be a problem with the swelling as well? I'm sorry I'm just extremely concerned because I have never seen this before in any of my cats.

Dear Miasy,

It sounds as though the swelling is in your kitten’s entire face, which would make me think that she is having a very, very severe allergic reaction to something in her environment. How recently did you treat for fleas and with what products? Many cat flea products can be quite toxic for cats, and if the flea medication was just applied, or if you used dips, bombs, or foggers in your house, and your kitten’s face is uniformly swollen, this could very well be an emergency.

It could be that your kitten had a wound from another cat that has turned into an abscess, but in that situation, the swelling on her face would be limited to the side where the wound is located, not likely her entire face. But, even if it was an abscess, the sooner she gets treated by a veterinarian, the better.

My best recommendation would be to run to an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible if you cannot bring your kitten to the vet before Thursday.

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