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Quick! How do I get Pennie to take fosters?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Just had 2 10-day old fosters brought over. Pennie's babies are 7 weeks old. She won't nurse them. Can this work?
post #2 of 10
It can work, if she can "view" them as her own. I am not really sure how this is done, but I did read to get the scent of her and her kittens on THOSE kittens. Take used bedding & rub the kittens with it. I cant find much else.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
She's acting like they're another species. Like a fish out of water. And, I don't know if they know how to suckle, because they're used to a bottle. Can they learn? Has anyone had a similar experience?
post #4 of 10
if moms not willing, and kittens have been on the bottle... Its not going to be easy at all. I'd continue to bottle feed. Don't count on your cat to do it.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, we may have to keep them on a bottle. I was really hoping they'd be able to get the hang of it, but not yet. Pennie's uninterested, to say the least.

Guess I can't push my own desires on my cat.
post #6 of 10
Sometimes it just takes a little time. Pennie is naturally nervous. She doesnt know the mom cat isnt around ready to pounce on her if she sees her near the kittens.

Let Pennie get used to them gradually. You might consider containing the kittens and Pennie to a quiet room where there isnt a lot of commotion. Hopefully she will let her guard down and foster them.

Good luck and keep us posted!
post #7 of 10
I would rub Pennie's kitten all over the new kittens, just for a starter. I'm sure the experienced here have some tricks we'd never think of.
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
I would rub Pennie's kitten all over the new kittens, just for a starter. I'm sure the experienced here have some tricks we'd never think of.
What if she does not like the scent of the OTHER kitten on her own?
post #9 of 10
I was wondering if she took to the kittens yet. I assume by your reply that she has not yet.

Here are some tips I took from the web
It is very common for mom's to take over the care of orphan kittens so I am sure this will be successful for you... eventually.
First let's go over the steps needed to do this successfully. You may already have done some of these steps but it is good information for other readers!
1. Put the orphan kittens in with the natural litter when the mom is not around. Put mom in another room so she does not know what you are doing. Do not change her bedding or make any other changes at this time. Just add the new kittens. Rub the new kittens against the natural kittens especially their faces and their rear when smells can spread from one to another more easily.
2. Make sure that nothing obvious is being passed from the orphan kittens to the natural kittens such as sneezing, eye infections, and fleas.
3. Make sure the orphan kittens are warm to the touch. Quite warm. This can be done by using a heating pad, feeding them a warm formula before introducing them to the nest, or walking around with them tucked in your chest to warm them up.
4. Now you can introduce the mom. Usually she will sniff the newcomers but then settle right down with the litter as if there was no change at all when she was out of the room.
5. When there is a significant difference in age you will have to help for a while to make sure that the smallest kittens are doing ok. You can do this by supplementing them with formula and letting "mom" do the cleaning and other chores. OR, you can remove the older kittens at intervals so that the younger kittens have a chance to get a nipple and get a good meal. In your case I would recommend supplementing the kittens with formula. This way they will not have to fend off the older bigger kittens to get a meal, yet they will still have all the other benefits of a surrogate mom such as stimulation, littermates, cleaning and training. You will also notice them suckling off the surrogate mom even if they are not getting the bulk of their nutritional needs from her. Having suckling time is very important for kittens and it is almost impossible to replicate this when you are bottle feeding or tube feeding them.
Last year I fostered a very loving dilute calico and 4 of her own newborn kittens, along with 3 four-week old orphan kittens. The shelter had introduced them and the mother took to them right away.

Good luck with these babies and please keep us posted - and by the way... you know how we love pictures!!!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
She didn't take them. I think the age difference was too much. Plus, they had only eaten from a bottle, and didn't find her nipples. Pennie was stressed, so we let them go back to their home, on bottle. I was sad, they so needed a mama, but my husband didn't want to do the bottle-thing indefinitely. Thanks, everyone, for your help! I wanted it to work, but couldn't force it.
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