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Advice re hand feeding newborn kittens!!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi, I have posted a similar thing in the blood typing bit in the breeders corner, so sorry for any repetition.

I am looking for some advice from those who have hand fed newborn kittens for whatever reason!

I have found out my British shorthair babies will possibly have an incompatible blood type to their mother, so have to be hand-fed for the first 18 hours of life (while mother is passing antibodies to them, to prevent antibodies against their blood-type being passed).

I have ordered some kitten milk replacer etc from the vet, and am trying to arrange for a more experienced breeder to be on hand. But i would love to hear some tips, any problems you guys have had etc. I need to get this right as don't want to lose any babies. We won't be repeating this mating now we know there is this issue, as i feel so mean taking her babies away for a while. I am also worried she won't accept them back, so any tips on this would be great too.

Maybe if i keep them close by her so she can smell them and lick them etc, but just prevent them drinking from her?

post #2 of 5

Sorry I have never hand fed kittens so I cant be much help to you in that respect but have you checked out the links at the top on the pregnant cats and kitten care forums. There is some really good info and advice in them which has helped me out loads in the past with other stuff.

Im sure someone with experience in this will be along soon to help answer your questions though.

Good luck with your babies and I hope all goes well for you and momma cat x x x
post #3 of 5
im just going to bump this up a bit , when i hand feeded a very week kitten , i allowed the mother to smell clean snuggle ect , but i didnt have to watch in case he fed from her as she had no problems.
but when i had to feed him i had to do it in another room , as he would cry a bit and lilly would snatch him back of me , if he didnt cry she was ok but if he did that was it.
so that is really the only advice i have for you im afraid.
post #4 of 5
I've never had a mother cat along with the kittens so can offer no advice on that, but for hand feeding kittens I would suggest the following:

1. Make sure the milk is warm. I found that kittens adapted better if the milk wasn't just room temp, but was actually a little warmer than body temperature. I also put hot water in a cup and when a kitten wasn't actively suckling, I put the bottle in the water to keep it warm. Once the milk cooled down, they were less likely to want some.

2. Make sure the nipple on the bottle has a large enough hole to really let the kitten suckle freely. I found an X pattern worked the best, as opposed to a hole, and that the nipple should "leak" when I held the bottle upside down.

3. Some kittens like to lay on their back wrapped in a towel and suckle and others prefer to be on all fours and just raise their heads to suckle. Experiment with a couple different postures to see what works best.

Good luck with your kittens! I can't imagine how you are going to keep them from suckling from their mom but have the mom raise them! It sounds like a stressful situation. I do hope it all goes well for you.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice. Yes it is going to be tough. Luckily i know a breeder who is going to be in the same position as me about a week before so I am going to go over and watch what she does too! I think maybe to be safe i will have to remove them from her completely for 18 hours and then try re-introduction as it sounds like she might be more stressed by them being near her but me doing all the mothering.
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