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HELP!Kitten being rejected!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My female cat gave birth to her first litter yesterday, 7-7-07. Before you bash me for not spaying, please believe me when I tell you I had been told she was infertile due to a sickness in kittenhood, and in two years had never gone into heat. This was a surprise.

Now for the emergency! One of her five kittens was smaller than the rest, and almost immediately started crawling away from the litter instead of joining it. He cried constantly and I was moving him back every few minutes literally around the clock. I finally fell asleep for about three hours. In the morning, he was warm, with the others, and seemed fine. I went out shopping and was gone 3 hours, and when I returned, I was guilt stricken and devastated to see he was in the middle of the floor, alone, several feet from the mother and siblings who are in the bottom shelf of my entertainment system. I immediately tried to warm him and put him back with his mother and the rest, but this time he's not getting his strength back. The mother seems to have given up on him (she did yesterday too, all efforts to save him were mine, not hers) Is it too late? What causes this and what can I do? HELP!
post #2 of 27
If the mother cat knows one of the kittens is ill, she will sometimes reject it.

I have never been in this situation before, but if you want to try to save this baby, please check out this link.

http://www.kitten-rescue.com/

There is important information about how to keep him warm and how to feed him. If the mother cat is not going to take care of this baby, you are going to have to provide the care she would.

Some of our members have a lot of experience with this and I am sure someone will be along shortly.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabbyTail View Post
My female cat gave birth to her first litter yesterday, 7-7-07. Before you bash me for not spaying, please believe me when I tell you I had been told she was infertile due to a sickness in kittenhood, and in two years had never gone into heat. This was a surprise.

Now for the emergency! One of her five kittens was smaller than the rest, and almost immediately started crawling away from the litter instead of joining it. He cried constantly and I was moving him back every few minutes literally around the clock. I finally fell asleep for about three hours. In the morning, he was warm, with the others, and seemed fine. I went out shopping and was gone 3 hours, and when I returned, I was guilt stricken and devastated to see he was in the middle of the floor, alone, several feet from the mother and siblings who are in the bottom shelf of my entertainment system. I immediately tried to warm him and put him back with his mother and the rest, but this time he's not getting his strength back. The mother seems to have given up on him (she did yesterday too, all efforts to save him were mine, not hers) Is it too late? What causes this and what can I do? HELP!
It sounds like he is the runt of the litter, you could try your local pet store, they should have a special kitten formula for this type of situation. You will then of course need to feed him yourself until he can eat solids.

As for the infertile part, who told you she was infertile? a vet or a previous owner? unfortunately sometimes what you are told and what actually is, are 2 different things.

I hope all goes well for the little one.
post #4 of 27
I don't have tons of experience with this, but I have had to nurse many babies over the past 6 months due to similar situations. The baby will probably need to be cared for by you if mom is pushing it away. As Karen said - mom senses something is wrong with it and will continue to not care for it. Please see that link - it's a great resource.
Most importantly the kitten needs to be kept warm and fed often. Depending on where you live, keeping the baby warm may not be that difficult, but great ways to keep a baby warm are a pet heating pad or microwavable heating disks. Be sure not to place the kitten directly on this! Put some towels in between so that it is warm, but not hot.
You'll need to get some milk replacement to bottle feed the baby. It may take a while to get the baby use to a bottle and the taste of the kitten replacement, but with a little work they usually will take it. They don't eat that much at a time, but they do eat quite often, so be sure his/her little belly is full.
As I said, I don't have tons of experience with this, but I've learned alot about abandoned babies over the past 6 months. Our rescue currently has 69 kittens - most all without their mothers and many many bottle babies of all ages, so if you need any additional help, please feel free to PM me and if I can't answer your question, I know someone who most likely can.
Best of luck to you and your baby.
post #5 of 27
One thing that has been left out, and it is a reality, don't be suprised if, despite all your efforts, you lose the little one. It is something that does happen but just remember, you did everything you could.

The kitten rescue link is wonderful but if you can get that little one to take the milk replacment at the store, it's so much easier. Don't worry if (s)he doesn't poop every feeding. That's normal. I start to worry if there's no bm for a day.

Good luck and I hope the little one makes it!!

Chrissy
post #6 of 27
As the others have stated there is probably something wrong with the kitten. Queens usually have a good reason for rejecting there babies.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
I am so sad to say I think it's too late, and probably was by the time I found him. He's so weak, he can barely wiggle, he can only peep instead of meow, and he's very thin. He won't accept milk from me, or his mother when I put him there and find him a teat. I HATE myself for leaving him for three hours, if I had been here, I know I could have given him back to her in time, like last night. He was cuddled with the rest of them and nursing when I left, I had no reason to believe he'd wander so far away. And why didn't Mama cat go pick him up and bring him back when he was crying? I took him and held him inside my shirt for an hour to warm him, and he so sadly seems too weak to go on. I did try my best to save him but I can't help feeling guilty over the 3 hours. I am so sorry and it will always hurt. He's not gone yet, but I am so afraid the end is near. Is there any way to get their strength back if they're that far gone and won't eat? Anything? It would mean so much to save him. He's beautiful and will always haunt me if I fail.

edit I just checked, she's pushed him away again. Why doesn't she care? She's his mom! I'm upset at her behavior as well as my own guilt. Poor precious baby. What a beautiful cat he'd have been. I am hoping for the best but it doesn't look good. I'm going to go try again now.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabbyTail View Post
I am so sad to say I think it's too late, and probably was by the time I found him. He's so weak, he can barely wiggle, he can only peep instead of meow, and he's very thin. He won't accept milk from me, or his mother when I put him there and find him a teat. I HATE myself for leaving him for three hours, if I had been here, I know I could have given him back to her in time, like last night. He was cuddled with the rest of them and nursing when I left, I had no reason to believe he'd wander so far away. And why didn't Mama cat go pick him up and bring him back when he was crying? I took him and held him inside my shirt for an hour to warm him, and he so sadly seems too weak to go on. I did try my best to save him but I can't help feeling guilty over the 3 hours. I am so sorry and it will always hurt. He's not gone yet, but I am so afraid the end is near. Is there any way to get their strength back if they're that far gone and won't eat? Anything? It would mean so much to save him. He's beautiful and will always haunt me if I fail.

edit I just checked, she's pushed him away again. Why doesn't she care? She's his mom! I'm upset at her behavior as well as my own guilt. Poor precious baby. What a beautiful cat he'd have been. I am hoping for the best but it doesn't look good. I'm going to go try again now.
Yes they still can come back! There might be something wrong with him, so there always is a chance that there's some underlying issue with his health, but with some nutrients in his system, yes there is a chance. If he won't take a bottle you can use a medicine syringe. That's what we use when they are extremely week and seem too far gone. We usually try to get a small syringe of food in them every couple of hours. Some we bring back...some we don't. DON'T beat your self up if he doesn't make it - there may just be some health issue with this little one and it's definitely NOT your fault. Maybe it was just meant to be this way, but can't hurt to try some nutrients if he's still with you.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
He wouldn't suck, but he took a little formula from an eyedropper. I am afraid I gave it to him wrong, because he became even worse. I have tried the mother again, no use. I am keeping him warm and holding him as long as I can. This is a very heartbreaking experience.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Lisasha, do you really mean it's not my fault? I feel so guilty I can't stand it. I think if I had not been gone so long I could have put him back with the litter in time. But why wouldn't the mother cat come pick him up? How could she just leave him there crying? This really hurts.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabbyTail View Post
Lisasha, do you really mean it's not my fault? I feel so guilty I can't stand it. I think if I had not been gone so long I could have put him back with the litter in time. But why wouldn't the mother cat come pick him up? How could she just leave him there crying? This really hurts.
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT HONEY! . Sometimes it just wasn't meant to be. Just you being there for this little one and holding him and loving him and trying shows how much you really do care. You didn't do anything wrong. Please don't let this hang over your head. Mom is pushing him away for a reason. The most you can do is love him and give it a shot. It's in hands way above ours now.
Believe me - I've gone home from our rescue many a nights feeling as you have - could I have done more, my fault I wasn't there, I didn't do something right.....but that's not true and I know that. I pour my heart into these little ones as well. Some I am able to bring back, others I am not. It's just natures course and there's only so much we can do.
post #12 of 27
I just phoned my mate who is also a member of this forum, coz he knows a lot about situations like this. He has no access to the net at the moment so I will post what he said.
He has heard that you can actually milk a mother cat and use an eye dropper to feed the kitten, only problem is he has no idea how you can actually go about milking her. Because its only 2 days old it will probably not accept a formula. He doesn't think there is actually anything wrong with your kitten, other than its probably the smallest in the litter, and they tend to get pushed out of the way by the others. The mother will know that its the runt of the litter and unfortunately, this is the law of the jungle situation and the mother won't do anything to help.

I will do some searching on the net to see how you would go about milking the cat, I just hope that its not too late.

Please know that you did the best you could and that it is not your fault.
post #13 of 27
Ok I couldn't find any info on how to milk your cat, but I did read that cats milk is consumed in Europe, so it can definitely be done,


Here is some other info I found which may be of some help for you.

CARE OF THE NEW-BORN KITTENS
The mother and kittens should be left strictly
alone for the first two or three days.
Nursing kittens are very delicate, so avoid unnecessary handling.
Caution children not to
pick up the baby cats. During the first ten
days of life, the physical activities of
the new-born kittens are very limited.
They cannot see or hear; their legs are
too weak to support their bodies and they
must get around by crawling on their
abdomens with a swimming motion. Baby
cats will cry when they are hungry and
sometimes stray from the warmth of
their mother's body. Provide some
barricade to prevent the kittens from
getting too far from the mother.
Watch the kittens closely for the first week
to make certain they are getting enough
to eat. The mother's rear breasts contain
the most milk and the more vigorous
kittens will monopolise them. Keep rotating,
you can tie different coloured ribbons to
one leg of each kitten as identification
markers to help you keep track of which
kitten have been fed on the rear
breasts.
Excessive leanness weakness and constant
crying are signs that a kitten is not getting
enough milk. Such kittens quickly become
dehydrated. You can check for dehydration
by pinching the skin at the back of the
kittens neck with your thumb and forefinger
and quickly releasing it. If the kitten is
dehydrated, the skin will not snap back to its
former position, but will remain pinched.
In spite of good prenatal care the mother
may not have enough milk to feed all her
kittens, especially when the litter is
very large. Occasionally a mother cat
dies while the kittens are still nursing.
If either of these situations arises, you
will have to bottle-feed the kittens. I must
stress that this is rare when the mother
cat passes away.
BOTTLE FEEDING
You should have little difficulty in getting the
kittens to feed from a bottle or eyedropper.
Kittens have a natural urge to suck. Use
an eyedropper or baby doll bottle for the
first few days, and later switch to a larger bottle.
Two or three day old kittens do not consume
much milk at feeding, even though they seem
to be eating all the time. The actual quantity
that an average new-born kitten drinks at a
feeding is from about five to twenty five
drops. New-born kittens should be fed five
times a day. Your best gauge as whether
the kittens are getting enough to eat is to
apply the dehydration test already described.
If the kittens are dehydrated, increase the
amount of food for each kitten. You may
make your own recipe or use one of the
commercial preparations. Here is a recipe
that has proved successful:
1/2 cup of evaporated milk
1/2 cup of water
1/10 cup of single cream
2 drops of water soluble vitamins
This is a stock supply and should be kept in
the refrigerator; warm any portion you feed
to the kittens. If you use a commercial
preparation, follow the directions of
the manufacturer. Clean and sterilise all
utensils and bottles after each
feeding.
post #14 of 27
For a kitten this young and this weak, you may need to feed it a drop at a time, wait a full minute and repeat. Give it time to swallow. It takes a lot of energy to eat and his blood sugar level is probably very low.
Keep him warm and try often.

thank you for trying.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabbyTail View Post
I am so sad to say I think it's too late, and probably was by the time I found him. He's so weak, he can barely wiggle, he can only peep instead of meow, and he's very thin. He won't accept milk from me, or his mother when I put him there and find him a teat. I HATE myself for leaving him for three hours, if I had been here, I know I could have given him back to her in time, like last night. He was cuddled with the rest of them and nursing when I left, I had no reason to believe he'd wander so far away. And why didn't Mama cat go pick him up and bring him back when he was crying? I took him and held him inside my shirt for an hour to warm him, and he so sadly seems too weak to go on. I did try my best to save him but I can't help feeling guilty over the 3 hours. I am so sorry and it will always hurt. He's not gone yet, but I am so afraid the end is near. Is there any way to get their strength back if they're that far gone and won't eat? Anything? It would mean so much to save him. He's beautiful and will always haunt me if I fail.


edit I just checked, she's pushed him away again. Why doesn't she care? She's his mom! I'm upset at her behavior as well as my own guilt. Poor precious baby. What a beautiful cat he'd have been. I am hoping for the best but it doesn't look good. I'm going to go try again now.
Please don't blame momma kittie either. She is only doing what instinct is telling her to do. Sometime they just don't make it no matter what we do,and you seem to be doing what you can. Sometimes that's all you can do. I sure hope the little fella makes it,tho!
post #16 of 27
you might want to try some karo syrup on the tounge to stimuate the sucking reflex when trying to get him to eat, poor kid.

any news?
post #17 of 27
Oh Tabbytail,
You poor thing, I know exactly what you must be going through as this happened to me a week last Wednesday. My poor furbaby was called Patch and I tried feeding him and putting him on his mummies nipples etc but felt him get weeker and weeker. The really sad thing was that I had to leave him to go to my Aunty Phyllis's funeral and when I got back he had passed away. I cried so hard and even though I blamed myself for leaving him I knew deep down that there was nothing more that I could have done, I think that I felt bad because he hadnt died being cuddled by me which is what I'd been doing for 3 days and nights. Don't beat yourself up over this as it really isn't your fault and you have done over and above what alot of people would be doing in the same situation.
I will keep everything crossed in the hope that your poor baby gets through this.
Bibbytessy
post #18 of 27
Many people try and save them, but IMO when a mother rejects a kitten and it crawls away, there is something wrong with it (internally, etc.) and IMO its best to let it go instead of trying to save them.

I had 2 litters of rex kittens (mom and daughter had them a week apart). The daughter decided she didn't want to be a mother and so her two kittens were put in with the grandmother who accepted them fine. However a day or two later the daughter's kittens were found (or put there by one of them) in the bottom of the tree house cold. I put them back, the grandmother let them nurse but again, the following morning they were found in the treehouse - this time dead.

Both mothers knew something was wrong and deserted them.

Its a 50/50 chance on saving the little one. Newborn kittens can't regulate body heat and you can quickly lose them. Up to you if you want to try and bottle feed, but there probably is something wrong inside the kitten and he/she may not survive very long.

I believe in letting Mother Nature choose in living/dying sometimes.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbytessy View Post
Oh Tabbytail,
You poor thing, I know exactly what you must be going through as this happened to me a week last Wednesday. My poor furbaby was called Patch and I tried feeding him and putting him on his mummies nipples etc but felt him get weeker and weeker. The really sad thing was that I had to leave him to go to my Aunty Phyllis's funeral and when I got back he had passed away. I cried so hard and even though I blamed myself for leaving him I knew deep down that there was nothing more that I could have done, I think that I felt bad because he hadnt died being cuddled by me which is what I'd been doing for 3 days and nights. Don't beat yourself up over this as it really isn't your fault and you have done over and above what alot of people would be doing in the same situation.
I will keep everything crossed in the hope that your poor baby gets through this.
Bibbytessy
Thank you very much, sounds like you really do understand. I'm sorry about your furbaby, and your Aunt Phyllis too. I haven't wanted to post this, but I lost him late last night. He was cuddled up inside my shirt, and I tried to keep him warm. I even turned a space heater on despite the heatwave outside. I tried giving him drops of milk but he looked like he was gagging and acted like it was hurting him. It was so sad when he finally went. I looked at his perfect little paws, his beautiful red markings on his back, and thought what a beautiful and special kitty he'd have been. I wish he could have lived a long life. He will always hold a piece of my heart, and I will always be so sorry I couldn't save him. I buried him in the garden, under a blue hydragena bush beside his Auntie Persephany. They can guard the flowers for me, and every spring when the green things come to life again, I'll think of them and feel a sad, bittersweet love. I'm crying now, I'll talk to you later. Thanks to EVERYONE for your help, support and understanding. You're all wonderful.
post #20 of 27
Sorry about the loss but hope the rest of the kittens and mom are well and strong.
post #21 of 27
Aww I am sorry about the little baby but sometimes its natures way no matter what we try to do. Please try not to be upset with the mother cat.

I had the same thing happen to me many years ago. A cat I had delivered two kittens but she wanted nothing to do with either. We tried the eye dropper and the baby formula but after two days the both passed on.

I was seven months pregnant at the time and I was heart broken. I started to doubt becoming a mother of a newborn. I mean if I could not take care of some kittens how was I going to take care of a baby.

But the kittens were ill. The mother cat left them for a reason. It is her instinct to do so or to even shun a baby if there is something wrong.

I know in your eyes he was a perfect angel and he always will be.
post #22 of 27
I'm sorry you lost your wee baby. It is a sad experience, when they die, but at least he died, warm happy and above all loved and in your arms. (I get the impression he was in your arms/ up your shirt).
This is not the same circumstance but when I was 15, I saw my poor Tiger, (tabby) hit by a car, he was only 4 months old. I picked him up and held him whist he passed, I believe that he died much happier being held by me.

I know you will never forget that poor kitten.
post #23 of 27
lol, I don't have time to read all the other threads so I will give my advice and hope it hasn't already been given.

Just a couple of months back I had to try and care for a new kitten who was attacked by a wild animal. About a week old (I know a bit older then your guy). He had to have stitches as the wild animal left horrible wounds all over his little body.
These were the vets instructions...
I was given a formual from the vets office (probably best place to go). Give it to your kitten using a syringe. The kitten won't have a great suction and the nipples used on kitten/puppy bottles are often too large for new kittens/puppies. On the formula container it will say how much to feed daily and you divide those feedings up into about 6-8 times daily so he is being fed every 3-4 hours. Keep him warm, with a heating pad wrapped in a blanket. Don't smother him or surrond him with so many blankets that he can crawl and get sufficated. Maybe put a stuffed animal with him so he feels that he is not alone. Most importantly, give him lots of love and attention. If an animal doesn't feel love or care he will probably just give up. OH and you have to stimulate the kittens bum to make him pee/poop. THIS IS A MUST! I cut up many pieces of paper towel and after every feeding I patted his bum with the paper towel with warm water until he would pee/pooh. 95% of the time they will go pee AND poo right after eating so you need to make sure he has done this before you give up the tapping on the bum as the only way he will be able to go to the washroom is from you doing this.
My little Lukoki died about a week after I started this. He got an infection as the vets stitched up his wounds (which you are NOT suppose to do with a puncture wound) and didn't give him antibiotics (because of his age).
I wish you the best of luck. A kitten raised by a human (although it is not a good idea unless necissary, is normally the suckiest, sweetest little thing in the world). I have bottle fed and raised MANY, MANY kittens over the past tweleve years, and most of them have survived and found great homes. DO NOT GIVE UP.
Caitlin
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your kind words of support

I have a new problem, one of the remaining ones started running away from the mother and crying but I was right there and caught him every time and put him back. He seemed fine after that, and was doing fine, but this evening he started crying, I mean intermitten cries that sound almost human. It's very heartbreaking. He seems a little slower and weaker than the rest, but he's not cold and is still moving. I fed him the kitten formula just in case he wasn't getting milk. The mother cat at first started to reject him but when she saw me giving him attention she took him back and started licking him and is hugging him between her paws while the healthy ones are sucking. I wonder if he's sick to his stomach or is something terribly wrong? I can't take another loss. Does anybody know anything this might be, how serious it is, and what I can immediately do? I've read the links again but don't see this problem. Thanks for any help.
post #25 of 27
I'm not exactly sure on this one, but it could possibly be that this one is sick as well and mom just knows it. It's instinct and sometimes hard for us to tell. There is also the chance that mom is just unsure of what to do. First time moms and young moms sometimes have problems. Just keep doing what you're doing - putting the baby back. Try to get him to suckle off of mom, but if he doesn't, you'll have to go into bottle feedings for him and he might become your bottle baby. Just make sure he's getting enough nutrients and keep him warm. You'll probably have to keep a closer eye on him and mom and they way they are interacting to make sure of this.
post #26 of 27
I too have this similar problem..

See, I woke up today to hear one of my kittens crying (My Cat Jessie had her kittens 3 days ago) and when I went downstairs, the kitten was in a corner, PRETTY far from her box.. I know it couldn't have walked that far, so I was ASSUMING it was Jessie.. I put the kitten back in and it seemed Jessie was cool with it, and the kitten started nursing again...

Well a few hours past and then I left for about an hour to come back and the kitten was in the SAME exact corner crying... Im pretty sure now it's Jessie taking the kitten away...

The kitten seems fine though.. Acts just as the others.. Not weak or anything.. Infact, it's probably more active than the others.. Also we went to the vet a day ago and the vet said she and her kittens were good.. I don't know though..

Im thinking maybe the new mommy thing as well.. Jessie is just a LITTLE over a year old, so she is kinda a little one too. But anyways...

You think my situations falls in the same place as well?
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
PLEASE keep watching it and checking it like every hour. That's how mine started out. They cried, kept moving away, and seemed fine, but they go downhill SO fast you wouldn't believe it. From one hour to the next you may find a weak kitten with crossed legs that is dire emergency. It happens so fast. You think they're okay and they're not. Keep checking! Good luck.
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