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Little Orphan Cheerio...I could use some help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello, I just joined this forum (literally minutes ago!) I did this for two reason. One, I love cats. Two, I need desperate help with my newest little one, Cheerio. I received Cheery from my best friend who has a lot of barn cats. Cheery is just one out of four kittens that survived. The litter's mother died suddenly so I offered to take one of the kittens to nurse and raise. My family has had rescued kittens before, though none quite as young as little Cheery.

So that's the story. Cheerio is about 3 weeks old. I went out and bought some kitten milk replacement and a small animal bottle. After some coaxing, Cheery took the bottle just fine, and me or my mom feeds her every 4 hours or so. She is getting along fine I think.

So my question is this. I know that you can overfeed and underfeed a kitten. Is there an amount of mL she should be getting? In one feeding she usually takes about 1-2 milliliters (mL). Is this normal? If not, how much should she be getting?

Oh, and here's some pictures of the little sweetie. Not the best pictures, but I didn't want the flash to hurt her eyes

post #2 of 11
I feed 3 week olds every 3-4 hours, and they eat about an ounce to an ounce and a half. You will know if you overfeed them if they start to get diahreah. Also, you will need to stimulate the little one at this age to go to the bathroom.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, how do you stimulate them?
post #4 of 11
This link may be helpful:


I got it from the "Sticky" thread at the top of this page: "Important Kitten Care links". There's also a few other resources there you might find helpful.

Good luck and thanks for saving this sweet little one!
post #5 of 11
Hi Fugigirl, welcome to TCS.

Little Cheery looks very sweet. The Kitten Rescue link that Curly gave you should answer many of your questions. 1 or 2mL isn't enough for her and at 3 weeks, she should be drinking 16-20ml each feed. You may need to make the hole in the top of the nipple slightly larger (they don't come pierced). This link on Kitten Rescue will tell you how: http://www.kitten-rescue.com/feeding_techniques.html . If the hole is too small, Cheery will become frustrated and tired and refuse to feed more than a few seconds. Another trick is to loosen the collar on the bottle just a little so that bubbles rise into the formula as the kitten suckles. This stops the teat and bottle collapsing.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
That link was very helpful! I poked a larger hole into the bottle nipple, and what it difference it has made! Thank you all very much. Keep the tips coming!
post #7 of 11
The best advice anyone gave me when I took in Smeagol last year was to stop stressing (I was VERY stressed and exhausted). Ideally, you should feed every 4 hours, but if you just CAN'T then try every 6 hours overnight and then 3-4 hours when you are awake.
Also, I found that just poking a hole with a needle wasn't large enough and I actually cut a little X pattern in the top of the bottle with a knife so that the milk would drip out with hardly any pressure.
I also made good use of paper plates. I called them poop plates and before a feeding I got everything ready. I put out a poop plate, folded a paper towel into a square and put it on the plate. I then got a small bowl of warm water, set out the cotton balls and got out my journal. Each feeding I put the date, and time as well as columns for Pee, Poop, Food. I checked the column if the kitty did each of those three things. I also weighed him once a day to ensure he was gaining weight. Then I got out the bottle, warmed up the milk and collected a few towels to feed him on.
Only after all this was done I'd get him out of his box for his feeding. That helped a lot because it's very stressful to do all that with a baby crying his little head off. Once he's out, stimulate him to go pee, then feed, burp and cuddle. After 15-20 minutes stimulate him again to pee and poop over the plate. The dirty cotton balls get bundled up on the plate and the whole thing goes in the trash. I called this the "diaper". LOL!
Then comes cuddle and play time.
I found that doing this prep work made things go much smoother and less stressful for me and the baby. It's a good idea for overnight feedings to set out most of these things before bed, so all you have to do is put warm water in the bowl and heat the bottle. The routine really saved my nerves!!
I also used rice filled socks that are heated in the microwave for about 1 minute and then put in the box to keep him warm.
Once he starts pooping or peeing with little stimulation, it's time to substitute the "poop plate" for a tiny litter box. I used an old cake pan that had a lid which was helpful when I took him to work. I could cover his pan and easily transport it.
Smeagol started using the litter box on his own by the time he was about 3-4 weeks old.
Oh, I almost forgot. I also used the warm water and cotton balls to give him a little bath cleaning up his face and paws and everything else. He started "trying" to groom himself when he was about 2-3 weeks old but he'll still need help.
It's amazing how fast they grow and learn. It was very funny watching a clumsy baby scratching in the litter box and then squatting to pee. Litter training was SO effortless!

Good luck!!

post #8 of 11
Excellent post Devlyn.
post #9 of 11
OMG Cheerio is a cutie!! I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say how adorable she is and I wish you the very best of luck in raising her!
post #10 of 11
How is little Cheerio doing?

post #11 of 11
Hello and welcome to TCS, what a sweetie little Cheerio is Nothing to add, theres already lots of great advise, I am sure Cheerio is going to do just great. Theres lots of experienced members here, so just jump right on in with any questions

Keep us posted on that little cherub
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