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Fostering 5 Kittens; Info and advice

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi All

At the beginning of this year our cat died although I won't
go into that, that's a subject for a newsgroup called
"Incompetant Vetinary Surgeons". I miss my mate dearly!

Anyway, point is, we have some familiarity with keeping
cats and the wife has decided to do volunteer work at a
rescue centre. It really is "good for her" !

On Saturday, 5 abandoned kitties were dumped there and
since the centre had no room we decided to foster them for
a couple of weeks and get them fit and strong. We have
no history of them, no idea even if they are from the same
litter and they seem to be at various development stages.

We named them Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo and Tinkle.

They have been given worming paste and we de-flea'd
them. Boy did they have some fleas!!

Mo is tiny, we have no idea if this is stunted growth or not,
but he has the heart of a lion and the size of a rat. Very

Meenie has had problems. She was great the first night and then
stopped eating and started going downhill. She had diahorrea,
vomitted when she tried to poo. We took her straight to the vet.
He did not notice anything too serious and gave us some
Science Plan food that is good for the tummy.
She still wouldn't eat. I grew worried so I took eating into my
own hands and started to force feed her. This is unpleasant
for everyone but my opinion is she needs some strength to
fight this and some nutirion, she must eat.

Anyway, she has started to pick up a little bit. I read on
the web people suggesting a meaty baby food (human) for
them. I got chicken and pumpkin (no onions or garlic).

Meenie started eating it. I was very pleased.

I have given some to Mo and Tinkle as they are also very

Please can someone tell me if this seems an acceptable
think to do?

I will start mixing it up with the Science Plan over the next
few days.

Another Question:

Eenie and Miney are absolute terrorists. They seem more
developed than the rest.

We will feed them separately to make sure everybody gets
some but is there a point where we should separate them
completely because they are just too rough?

Sorry for the long mail but this is such a great forum
full of people that care.

Many thanks

post #2 of 14
how old are they? I think that needs to be determined before people can give advice.
post #3 of 14
So far everything you said sounds good, especially the force feeding, even though it is, as you have said, unpleasant for all involved. It is really wonderful that you have enough strength of your own for the kittens who do not have the energy to eat. They need your strength!

I do not have a great deal of personal experience caring for newborns, but I have had extremely scrawny litters- where some are totally runts that I worried would not make it, and some are very food aggressive. I did the same as you asked about, i.e. fed the strong ones and the weak ones separately. My experience was that it was a celebration anytime I could get the weak ones to swallow anything. I was terrified but they survived, and just barely. If I had to do it again, I would be more forceful in feeding the weak ones.

If these are newborns, here is a formula that might help them too, and some instruction about how much and how often to feed:
12 oz. boiling water
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and add:
1-12 oz. can evaporated canned milk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoons light corn syrup

Mix well in mixer. Place in covered bowl
and store in refrigerator.
Warm a small amount for feedings.
This will keep for about 7 days.

Kittens need to eat whenever they are hungry; a four hour schedule sounds good. You can also introduce canned kitten food ( Maxcat, and Friskies make some in small cans) warm some of the formula and put on top. You may have to feed them off your finger and bring your finger closer to the plate so they get the idea. The first couple of try's they get some up their nose - just like when they try to drink water.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi All

Firstly, good question, how old are they?

We are not sure, they are not really young. The vet put
the Meenie poorly one at less than 6 weeks but we would
imagine they are around 3-5 weeks old.

The good news is that poorly Meenie is making an amazing
recovery. She went back to the vet last night for a
checkup, but it was clear before we went that she was
doing pretty well (eating properly and running around).
She has now even signed up with the other two
terrorists and is "playing with the big boys" now. This is a
massive change from Monday night when we genuinely
didn't think she would make it, hence the force feeding.

I'm very pleased I did it !

We took the other two smallest to the vet also. No major
alerts, just lots of love, attention and nutrition required.

This morning everyone had their own bowl, everyone got
stuck in to their food and everyone was a happy full up

We will monitor the playing and check if it starts getting
too rough. We may foster the smaller ones for a little
bit longer just to build them up a little more.

Apart from that, its just a case of tending to our own kitten
war wounds, man those nails can dig in !

Thanks for the contribution

post #5 of 14
awww. It sounds like all is going well. Do you think you might want to keep a couple? I know I would.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Keeping a couple, that is definitely a discussion we've had.

Meenie is absolutely gorgeous and its a real temptation.
(I might try and get a couple of pics for you).

Having said that, if we ended up doing this every time we
fostered we'd be wall to wall with cats.

Also, it might be logistically a little easier to foster without
a larger cat hanging round to beat them all up. After all,
the intention is to help out more of these little fella's on a
continual basis, not just this one time.

The other factor is that, honestly, after loosing our first cat
to vetinary incompetance, I'm not sure I'm ready to go
through that again. The vet we have found here for these
little ones seems OK but thats no telling how equipped he
would be in an emergency. As you know, cats are
fantastic characters, its really tough when you loose such
a good friend and its not many people that truly

We live in Hungary, animal welfare here is not advanced.
Education and respect for animals is poor, especially for

Actually, we want to rescue them from the rescue centre,
their heart is in the right place but they seem to lack the
wherewithal or resource to really promote themselves and
the animals. They also lack funds.

We have decided to make the small steps we can. Our
donation is in terms of our time and money fostering these
fluffy bundles and getting them re-homed. Changing a
country's education and opinion is a very long process.

If you follow this link you'll know what I mean by "making
a difference, one starfish at a time".

Just view the preview, that's all you need.

Watch this space for any update.


post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
This is all 5.

Cute eh !

Hope the link works.


post #8 of 14
I just want to say how truly wonderful you are for doing this, especially in a place where there isn't as much help as here. The kittens are beautiful! You have done a wonderful thing in helping them. Do keep us updated on their progress.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mate. There are no true words I can say. Just know that all of us here have felt your pain and in time it will get better.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Great news!

Last night we re-homed our first rescue kitten, Eeenie.

They were a nice young couple who seemed to love cats
and had gone to the trouble to prepare all the bits and
pieces. We were happy to see them adopt her.

Meenie is a tough, lovable kitten and I am sure she will
have no trouble settling in to her new home.

Tonight we have someone else coming to take a look.
Fingers crossed that goes OK too.


ps Appologies, the photo link seems to have
dissappeared, I'll see if I can fix it. Is there anyway to
upload a photo rather than post a link to a photo that is
on another web site?
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Worms worms worms! Poor little Mo.

Little Mo is the smallest and most under-developed of the
bunch, now we know why. We de-wormed him when he
arrived, but there is still more.

We have de-wormed him again and everyone else (1 week
later) and I gave him a little bit of de-wormer yesterday (2
days after the last) as we found a live worm yesterday.
The poor little thing.

I will leave it a little while before repeating any treatment,
say at least another week.

How do you know when you have finally got on top of the

Just no worms I guess.

Worms are horrible but we WILL sort out the little fella.

Everyone else is doing fine but we are still working on
re-homing them.

post #11 of 14
Re worming. Heavy infestations of worms can take several
wormings to get rid of. Strongid can be used, as is Drontal.
Drontal takes care of tape worm as well as round and whip
I believe. Strongid doesn't take care of tape worm, but is fine

With drontal, you give the pill, then 3 wks the follow up dosage.
This can be done a couple of times, to completely rid them of

Strongid is a liquid form of wormer that you can put in the food
or give via syringe.

Dirreah can also be caused by Coccidia (bacterial parasite) and
they use Albon for that. Giardia can be a cause as well,
though this is much harder sometimes to identify. They use
Flagyl for that....

Regarding feeding of young kittens: baby food they sell in the US
(where I am) that is marketed for "stage 2" and contains NO onion or
garlic powder can be used. Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Ham or Veal.

Many kittens love it. I have one cat
I used it on when he was suffering URI and mouth ulcers, and he
to this day comes RUNNING when he hears the baby food jar
being unwrapped and opened, LOL....

In the US there is also a food called AD made by Science Hill, for
canine and feline use, it is very high calorie and is mousse like
and very tempting to young kits or sick cats. Its a bit expensive though.

Often times, you can also use the kitten replacement milk,
mixed with baby food as a gruel in the very very young kits.
Heat it gently, put it into a bottle or syringe and feed them that
way, to give the kits a boost.

You did great though it sounds like all the kits recovered and
were thriving under your care...
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi opilot

Great information, many thanks.

Little Mo seems to be doing much better now. He is putting
on some weight and looking more like a kitten and less like
Yoda from StarWars. We will re-treat him at the end of
the week but so far we haven't seen any more worms.

On the re-homing side things are goin quite well. We have
re-homed 3 out of 5. Its only Miney and Mo, left. Miney is
ready and we will put some more posters/adverts up, Little
Mo needs a few more weeks to beef him up a bit.

Again, thanks for the info, advice and support, very much

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Mmmm, I spoke too soon.

Poor little Mo STILL has worms, I saw another one last
night. So out with the worm treatment again. I am using
the following, its called Banminth

Question: Assuming the last treament was at least a few
days ago, is it acceptable to repeat the treatment as soon
as I see a worm?

I don't want the infestation to take hold as I think we are
winning so I have taken the approach to repeat the worm
treatment every 10 days or as soon as I see a worm.

Poor little Mo, apart from that, he is doing well.


post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Doing a bit more research (you gotta love Google), I think
that little Mo has tapeworm and not roundworm.

It seems that Banminth is only effective against round worm so I need
some other stuff for the tapeworm. No problem, I know Drontal etc
works against tapeworm.

A couple of questions

1. I see the egg (rice-like) pods, they are yuck. I seem to
remember from biology that supporting more than one
tapeworm in a Human host is rare. Is this true for Feline
tape worms.

2. Related to the Q1, what would the longer worm like
creatures escaping out of his Butt be? Even more yuck I
know. Could they be broken off parts of the tapeworm?
Could they be additional tapeworms making a bid for
freedom? They wriggle!

Its so gross I know but more info would help.

On a much nicer note, all the cats appart from Mo have
been re-homed, we ware waiting for the last one to be
taken tonight. We will get little Mo all healthy and then it
will be his turn.

Sorry for grossing you all out

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