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anyone here have experience with surrogate moms?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Does anyone here have experience with using surrogate moms to feed orphan kittens? Yesterday at work (a cat hospital) we got a frantic phone call from a lady who went to her neighbour's (the lady is a cat hoarder) and found two newborn kittens attached to each other! She brought them in, and sure enough they were attached at the cord! Mom rejected them, didn't even sever their cords and only partially cleaned them. The two had their umbilical cords and a piece of placenta all tangled together, what a mess! After we carefully separated the babies, we gave them to a momcat we are taking care of at the clinic who has a litter of four ten-day-old kittens, and she readily accepted them. We are now monitoring them carefully, making sure they get enough milk and are able to compete with the much larger kittens. Has anyone else here had any similar experience, and how did it work out? Thanks!
post #2 of 7
If there is initial acceptance, you should have no problem with the momcat. It would be a good idea though to take a soft cloth and rub the original litter all over with it, then take the new ones and rub them, then rub the kittens again transferring as much scent and blending it. But again, if mom is nursing them right away, it was a good call to save them!
post #3 of 7
I had 4 female cats that were indoor only cats. My ex decided to let some of his friends stay with us. They brought their tom cat... Sure enough we ended up with 21 kittens in the house. The mom's had the kittens all in a pile within 3 weeks of each other. They were all good moms and took turns feeding all the kittens. I made sure to get the mom's all fixed asap.
post #4 of 7
I had two such incidents. My last kitten was gone, and a friend brought a kitten who had been abandoned. The vet said it was too young to be without a mother. I had to babysit and hold the baby at first so that it could nurse. Then, it soon had the scent of the mother on it, and she adopted it.

Another time, I had to have the mother of six spayed-because of a kitten that was too big to be born-and my other mother cat, who had only two kittens, nursed those kittens until the spayed mother came home the next morning. That saved me a lot of tube feeding! I didn't have all the wonderful hints that I have learned here at that time. Fortunately, the second mother took them without any problem.

The very best of luck!
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you to everyone who replied! Unfortunately, I found the two babies dead when I came into work thursday morning. It looks like they just had too much of a rough start, what with being stuck together, cold and unfed for almost 24 hours before we got them, to recover. THe poor little things, I guess help just came too late. The momma cat and her own 4 babies are doing very well, and none worse for wear. thanks again for your replies!
post #6 of 7
mellanie, I'm so sorry someone didn't get the kittens to the hospital sooner. Of course, mother cats will often reject kittens with birth defects. You did the best you could at the hospital, I'm sure.
post #7 of 7
I am sorry to hear this. The mom could of just been to young to know what was expected of her, and if the babies do not nurse on her right away (within an hour) they end up having all sorts of problems because of lack of antibodies. When the mom eats the placentia the kittens absorb the nutrients in the milk as well.

Baby kittens are very fragile and some just don't make it, even under the best of circumstances.
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