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Kitten is shaking and not eating (Why and What to do)

Devoted cat people worry and fret over their kittens as they do their children. This is the way the responsible and caring cat parents do when something does not seem right with their new tiny kitten or adult cat.

When a kitten is shaking and not eating, all sorts of red flags go up. Even those cat parents who are new to caring for a tiny kitten know that this is not normal, nor is it a typical action in a kitten or child. Something is wrong, but what?

Felines and humans can have the same type of symptoms of illnesses. It is very challenging to find out why your kitten is shaking.

There are a few interventions you can try, and if they do not help to tone down the shaking, you may have to seek your vet’s help to rule out any underlying health conditions.

Why Is My Kitten Shaking and Not Eating?

Sometimes you may be able to ascertain why your kitten is shaking and not eating. And, it takes the expertise of your vet to figure it out.

However, as a caring and loving cat parent, your responsibility is to relay to the vet your kitten’s routine and habits and when the shaking started.

You must let the vet know how long the kitten has been shaking and not eating. Your vet will want to know what diet you feed your kitten.

The following are the possible reasons why your kitten may be shaking. However, most of all, these reasons need to be addressed by your vet.


When a kitten or adult cat enters a new home, it is fair to say that the kitten is under undue stress, no matter how much love you give your little fur baby. Cats do not usually like change in their lives unless the change is on their own terms.

Until the kitten gets to know its environment, it is on high alert. Kittens can be so upset that they refuse to eat or drink. While kittens or adult cats cannot go over 24 hours without drinking, they can quickly become dehydrated.

Stress can cause your kitten to shake if the following are present.

  • New environment
  • New cat parents
  • Changes in their environment
  • Other animals
  • Loud, unusual sounds


Kittens can suffer from hypothermia the same as an adult. This usually happens if your cat has an untreated infection. Fever and chills cause kittens and humans to shake uncontrollably. Infections usually accompany fevers.

Typically, a cat’s temperature should be around 101 degrees. However, if its temperature is 103 or above, it has a fever and possible infection.


Humans and their kittens can suffer from hypoglycemia, which is brought about by not eating. Hypoglycemia can be attributed to kitten shaking and is common in cats.

Any animal such as a feline or a human who suffers from digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea or constipation can bring about episodes of shaking. If your kitten has not eaten for a spell, this can bring about hypoglycemia.


Cats can hide an illness well. They may have a severe infection anywhere in the body, and you will not know it until the cat develops signs and symptoms of an underlying illness.

Cats can also be injured, and unless you see something on their body, you will never know.

For example, if the cat had a fractured leg, it would be limping, so you would check its paw and leg for injuries. There may be no outward indications of injury.

However, the kitten could have internal injuries that are minor to severe; only the vet can diagnose.

Even though cats hide illnesses and injuries well, they experience pain the same way as a human. One indication of the kitten being in pain is uncontrollable shaking. In this case, you would want to get your kitten to see the vet as soon as possible.

When a cat or a human is in pain for whatever reason, they do not usually feel like eating or drinking. Not eating or drinking creates additional problems for the kitten.

What to do about my kitten shaking and not eating?

Monitor your Kitten

What you do about your kitten shaking depends on how long your kitten has been shaking. If it has been a matter of minutes to a few hours, you will need to do a bit of investigating.

If, after a few hours, your kitten has not stopped and refuses to eat or drink, you need to have the kitten see the vet.

Help Your Cat Adjust to Changes

Sometimes you make changes to the kitten’s environment, and the kitten needs to adjust. Perhaps you moved things around in your home, and this is causing an element of stress, and the kitten needs to readjust.

Did you bring another pet into your home, and your kitten is afraid? Try to provide comforting things around your kitten. Give your kitten more attention and love.

Perhaps an exciting new toy, some treats, or catnip may help. Never leave your kitten and the thing causing it stress be left alone.

Cats love heights. The higher a cat can get, the more secure it may feel. Perhaps a tall cat stand would help. The kitty can be up above the thing, causing it stress. Your kitten may find solace in a window seat or hammock.

Low Blood Sugar/Hypoglycemia

If you know that your cat has not eaten or drunk water for over 24 hours, you can fill a 2.5 to 5cc dropper with water and squirt some water into the kitten’s cheek. Administer only a few drops at a time.

Another thing you can do is place a few drops of honey in its mouth. Honey gives blood sugar a spike, and this may be enough for them to want to eat a bit of food and drink some water.


There are over-the-counter remedies at big box stores or pet food outlets such as Cat Lax.


Diarrhea comes about for many reasons. I have met many cat parents who routinely give their cats milk or cream.

Do not do this, as cats cannot digest the milk sugar found in dairy products. Saying that milk is good for cats has been a myth for a long time. Milk can cause diarrhea or constipation.

Cats hide illnesses

Both an increased temperature or fever and a low internal temperature found in hypothermia can cause shaking. If it is in the middle of winter and your house is cold, you can provide a warm cat bed with blankets.

Some cat parents place a low-setting heating pad under a blanket and allow their cat to rest on the heating pad. Never give your cat any human over-the-counter medication like Tylenol, aspirin, Motrin, or others without first consulting your vet.

While cats and humans can take many of the same medications but at much lower doses. Many other medications are toxic to a cat. Always consult your vet before giving your cat any medication.

Keep your kitten hydrated. The best way to do this is to use a small dropper filled with water. Give your kitten a few drops at a time, and call your vet. The kitten most likely has some sort of infection. Only the vet can diagnose and treat appropriately.