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HELP - New Queen ignores kittens

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, I would greatly appreciate your help. I just have barn cats and this is the first litter we have had. Sometime early this morning the queen gave birth. I went in the barn and found the mom sitting in a horse stall probably a 50 feet from the babies. I went over and found two live kittens meowing, with their placenta's still attached. One dead kitten still in its sack and the placenta and a paw of another cat. The mother is ignoring the kittens. I took her over to them and she looked at them and completely left the barn. As well, she did not have them in a safe area. What do I do? Do I cut off the placentas? Do I move the kittens? Will she come back and feed them?
post #2 of 26
first of all you need to tie of the plancters about 1 1/2-2 inchs away from the body use cotton or dental floss. then cut the plancter on the side away from the kitten on the other side of the knot. then you will need to keep them warm and fed , first of all get them warm , use a heat pad set on low with a towl covering it , put it in to a box with some sheets etc.. or you can use a sock with some uncooked rice , place it in the microwave for about 2 mins and but this in with them , or a coke bottle filled with hot water with a towl covering it.
then you will need to get some KMR or another type or kitten replacment milk it will have instructions on the back to tell you how to make it up, it should be warm before you give it to them , you can use a sryinge or a kitten bottle(remember to check it has holes) they need to be fed every 1-2 hours day and night at this age.
hopefully someone else will be along in a min to help more. good luck i hope everything turns out ok , keep us updated please.
also one more thing before you try and feed them they have to be warm , a cold kitten will not feed and can not digest the milk . and you will have to stimulate them to go to the toilet , use a warm damp cotton ball and wipe gently around there (bits) normaly do this after each feed.
post #3 of 26
Here is a good site I just found http://www.cathobbyist.com/articles/...edKittens.html

Poor babes. I hope they make it.

Most likely she will not come back. If they don't get some attention soon, they will die so don't take the chance.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help. I am warming rice. will do the placenta next. A friend said to put the mom in a cage with them, but I am worried she will kill them. Anythoughts on that?
post #5 of 26
it really depends if she is scared or she thinks something is wrong with them she might , but it is unusual for a mum to turn on her kittens at such a young age. but if mum does take to them then this will be so much better for them.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
While I was taking care of the placentas mom came back to the barn to eat. I picked her up, put her in the cage and took the babies in too. I sat to watch to make sure nothing bad happened. Mom has never been in a cage in her life. She didn't like that part, but eventually got tired of trying to get out and laid down. I scouched the babies closer and she let them eat. I wouldn't say that she has taken to them, because she would get up every few minutes and move, and I would scouch them over to her again. So...not really being a cat expert...I can't really leave her in the cage because she will have to get out to do her business and eat, but now I worry if I let her out that she won't come back to the barn. She is a tame barn cat, but still sometimes I won't see her for days.
post #7 of 26
is there any way of bringing her indoors for a while , then putting mum and kittens in to a room of her own? sorry i dont know what a barn cat is as im in london , but i take it it means semi feral? also she can and will get pregnant again if left to wonder, so you could have all this again . is there a no kill shelter anywhere near you that could help?
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Basically Goldie and several other kittens were given to us. If you live in the country you want cats to keep down the mice and snakes. They live in the barn, hence barn cats. All together we have had 8 cats and are down to 2 they run off, or get killed by wild animals. So goldie being pregnant was a good thing, as we wanted more cats. I had hoped that her maternal instincts would take over this part though ;p I can't bring her indoors because my son is very allergic to cats and I am a little bit allergic. If it ends up just the babies, I will have to bring them in somehow and put them somewhere.
Not sure what a kill shelter is though. As in animal shelter? Not sure what they could do unless they had a mom that just had kittens.
post #9 of 26
yes as in an animal shelter with a no kill policy.
if she dosnt take to them it might be worth asking if they have a maybe foster mother, or they can give you some great advice on how to look after them what you will need etc.. or maybe phone them now tell them the situation and see what they suggest?
post #10 of 26
also was she maybe interupted during the birth? and that might have been what happened to the other kitten , maybe another cat or wild animal?
post #11 of 26
I've sent a pm to Gaye for when she comes on to come straight here
post #12 of 26
NOTE I have only cared for orphaned birds

the link given will give you the basics...

A bathroom or closet with a cardbourd box and some old towels or clothes with the rice warmers..THe cage is a good place keep her and any babies you found in there ... just place a small box with NON CLUMPING litter in for her ... . DO you have KMR >>>??? or any multi animal milk replacer?? if you dont have bottles handy ... straws and syringes minus the needle will work in a pinch...

THIS IS a great site

post #13 of 26
I agree with sharky.... www.kitten-rescue.com is a great site. There is also a recipe on there for kitten formula and pedilyte if you would need it. It's also very easy to navigate!
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyones help. I did let her out into a room in the barn for a little bit, then put her back in. She has never used litter, but it might work. She has let them feed off of her twice. I am going to keep doing this until this evening and then decide what to do for the night. I don't know if anything happened during labor since I wasn't there. She did lick the kittens the last time I put her in the cage with them. I think that is a good sign.
post #15 of 26
If you have wild animals that have killed your cats please dont leave the kittens outside. They will be perfect prey. There is a smell of fresh blood from the Mother birthing and if you have wild animals around they will be attracted to the area. If you cannot bring them into your house please take them somehwere where they can be cared for and safe!!
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
There is a room in the barn that is safe and that is where they are. As well they are in a cage. Generally the wild animals get the cats if they are out and about. Actually I don't know for sure that wild animals have killed any of the cats, but I have had several that I would see daily and then all of a sudden they are gone. So I assumed, that they went out hunting and maybe a coyote got them. But maybe they just found another ranch that has better cat food ;p
post #17 of 26
I have to agree with Sharky ... the Kitten Rescue site is THE place to get information on how to care for orphaned kittens - please take a moment and read it. Here's the link again:


I hope that our resident orphaned kitten expert, Kumbulu will be online soon and will assist in whatever ways she can. This is a bit out of my level of expertise. Best of luck.

post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, the day started very encouraging. Both kittens were resting with mom this morning. I opened the cage, she came out, wandered the barn while I stimulated the kittens so they would go potty. She heard them crying, went right in the cage and laid there on her side for them to eat. (In the past, she would sit and they would have to hang underneath her to eat.) She was cleaning them and very attentive. I left to go to dinner with my mother inlaw. I came back about two hours later, went up to check on the kittens and one of them had passed away. I have no idea what the cause was. I had left warmers in the cage but mom was going in and out. No visible infections. Since I removed the dead kitty from the cage, momma hasn't left. I guess that is one good outcome. I am worried about the last one's chance of surviving being alone. Anything I should keep in mind with a lone kitty?
post #19 of 26
I would intervene and bring the kitten inside and start bottle feeding it. If mom senses something is wrong with the kitten, she will either abandon it or take it out somewhere and leave it for the predators. I had one queen climb on the barn roof and leave her kittens for the hawks. With so many already gone, it is more than likely the kitten is ill, not strong enough and needs intervention. The website kitten-rescue you have been given will give you step-by-step instructions on how to care for the kitten. Bottle feeding needs to be done around the clock, 3-4 hours apart.

If there is any way you can take chicken wire and an empty stall, wrap the wire up and round the stall to create a large enclosed area where mom can stay safe, I encourage you to do this. She is going to get pregnant again in the next few days and needs to be spayed. You can even keep her in the cage for 24 hours until you can get her to the vet to be spayed, bottle feed in the meantime, and when she gets back, her milk will drop.

I realize she is only a barn cat, but if she senses her kittens are ill, she will kill them or deny them her presence. Sick kittens smell "off" to the queen, this is how she knows something is wrong. If the kitten isn't kept warm by her body heat or artificial heat, it will die.

Your allergies won't kick in with a kitten this young. Hopefully by the time the kitten is on solids you will have found another home for it.

Good luck
post #20 of 26
i agree with hissy, or if you have a spare room that no one really uses this will be best , you can make sure its warm and keep mum and her baby in there, i wouldnt rush trying to bottle feed by the sounds of things she is starting to feed them yes? the way you can tell this is by checking there weight with a mesuring scales when you get the messurments post them here it might be the kittens was a bit prem, or they could have been sick. with the spaying of mum when iv had to do this before kittens have been weened she only had milk for another week after then dried up. so in my own experinces i wouldnt do this again unless for a medical reason or if you really cannot keep her from getting pregnant again. i know you said you have allergies this is why i suggested a room that isnt used to often, or if you do take on mummy role then it shouldnt affect you untill there a bit older.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
well I brought the kitten in last night. This morning he is very lathargic and I cant get him to eat. I am keeping him wrapped in warm towels and he is pottying fine. but he isnt even meowing anymore. My alergies are tolerable adult or kitten, it is my son who quits breathing. Right now I am just hoping this one pulls thru. He hasnt eaten pedialyte, KMR or from mom in 5 hours. I have tried all three.
post #22 of 26
In a last ditch effort, get to the vet and ask him to show you how to tube feed. Sounds like the kitten is failing

Good luck and bless you for trying
post #23 of 26
Try this (if it isn't to late) brew up some coffee, let it cool at room temp. Put a small amount of coffee in a syringe, and very slowly drip it on the kitten's tongue. Black coffee, warm not cold, just a few drips to see if it will jump start it. Add a small amount of Karo syrup to the next batch of formula. Be sure that the nipple is actually giving out milk (sometimes it plugs up) Nurse the kitten while it is in an upright position (some people tend to turn them over on their back and cuddle them while they eat) They have to eat while on all fours.

Best of luck- please update when you can. I hope the kitten is still around for you to try this. Please get your females spayed. Sounds like you might have a male that is infectious in your area which is why most of the kittens didn't make it. Contact a local rescue group in your area (be patient they are probably slammed with cats/kittens right now) ask for help, tell them if they help trap neuter and release your colony, you will donate to their organization.

Best of luck-
post #24 of 26
Update??? if anything??
post #25 of 26
How is this kitty doing? Did he pull through??
post #26 of 26
aww hows the kitten doing?
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