Fading Kitten Syndrome
It is the hardest part to deal with when raising kittens but it does happen. A kitten will stop thriving despite extensive efforts to help them. If this happens to you here are a few facts about kitten mortality.
The overall mortality of kittens, up to one year of age, averages 24-30 percent, including stillborns at 10 percent and malformations at 6 percent. Of those dying, 6 percent die in the first 24 hours, 8 percent die within 1-7 days; 5 percent die between 7-42 days;4 percent die between 42-180 days; 1 percent die between 180-360 days. The most common causes are: fading kitten syndrome; kitten mortality complex; bacterial infections; parasitisms; and other infectious diseases.
Kitten mortality is usually manifested by the fading kitten syndrome, wherein kittens either are born weak and die within a few hours or appear healthy and then become depressed and anorectic(having no appetite), eventually dying of starvation or secondary bacterial infections.
During 1977 and 1978 there were many alarming reports of kitten mortality. Convincing evidence that a specific disease complex, termed kitten mortality complex, was occurring throughout the country. Kitten mortality rates in certain extensively studied catteries ranged from 40 to 80 percent during peak periods of kitten loss. Apparently a new disease existed whose etiology was and still is unknown.