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How do I know if kitty is getting enough milk?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
The runt still doesn't seem to be latching on very well,he looks healthy,just smaller but he was born smaller,he is moving about and crying but he takes so darn long to find a nipple.

I am wondering if she only has a couple of nipples that are producing milk or something. When I go to check on them the kitten is rarely suckling but his tummy is plump and he isn't getting any weaker. Do some kittens just find it hard to latch for a while? Maybe he will get better at it? He is only 2 days old. Is there any specific signs of not eating enough I need to look out for?
post #2 of 5
Yes...weigh him. Do you have his birth weight? Kittens need to gain weight steadily, each day, and will have noticeable growth each week. Here are the averages, which are, of course, a very basic guideline...many kittens are smaller, and some are larger, and grow at various speeds. This is simply the norm:

At birth, weight should be approx 3-3.4 ounces.

At age 1 week weight should be approx. 4 ounces.

At age 2 weeks, weight should be approx. 7 ounces.

At age 3 weeks, weight should be approx. 10 ounces.

At age 4 weeks weight should be approx. 13 ounces.

At age 5 weeks, weight should be approximately 1 pound.

By the end of the 8th week, kittens should weigh approximately 2.2 pounds.

If he really isn't latching on, or getting the hang of nursing, chances are, he's not getting enough to eat...he may or may not get the hang of it, and chances are, there's a reason for this. You really may want to consider providing supplemental feedings to him, just to make sure he's getting enough in his tummy, so that he'll continue to thrive. Purchase a syringe with a plunger, a dropper, and a kitten bottle), and some KMR formula. Having all 3 on hand to experiment with makes it easier if one method doesn't work as well. Allow him to try to latch on and nurse from momma, and if he's crying, and not getting the hang of it, he's hungry, and needs your help.

First of all, weigh him NOW. Then, allow him to attempt nursing a couple more times, and then weigh him in the morning again, if he still appears healthy, and if he actually had something to eat. Check and see if the weight has either remained the same, or if he's actually gained a bit. If he doesn't succeed right away in nursing from momma today, run right out and get your supplies...he won't last long if he isn't getting adequate nourishment. You may want to attempt to feed him separately tonight, if he truly isn't eating from momma.

Please visit www.kitten-rescue.com for specific feeding methods, and how to hand-raise a kitten. If runt-kitty isn't really thriving or getting the hang of nursing, I suggest you intervene, and start to feed him by hand. Please read up on the proper techniques, and how to make it safe, and easier for you and kitten. Good luck!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help.

Milly wanted them in the back bedroom,the thing is I do not get to see much of the kittens. I want to move them into my room so I can keep an eye on them overnight to see if he feeds more than I think he does. I check on him a lot. I am worried that she will not want them to be moved though.

I will go weigh them now.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ha! I just went to get kitty and I watched him latch on perfectly The best ive ever seen him do. I did move them to my room but mum moved them straight back so I will just set my alarm every few hours to check on kitty. It is nearly midnight here and it is impossible to pick up milk because the only place that does it here is shut. Anyway,it is feeding as we speak
post #5 of 5
He'll probably get through tonight fine...but you may want to run out tomorrow and grab some bottles/droppers/syringes and KMR (you can find cans of KMR in most grocery and discount stores), just in case he suddenly forgets how to nurse again. Sounds like he's sneaking feedings under your nose, however, because if he weren't eating, or suffering from lack of nourishment, he'd be in a lot of trouble by now. From the pictures of the 3 kittens, everyone actually looks pretty healthy, really. Just keep monitoring those weights...it really is important the first 3 weeks or so. Just down them down in a notebook at the end of each day to keep a running record, and it will help keep tabs on the runt a lot.
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