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3 day old orphaned kitten - advice?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I am new. My name is Tara, I work at a vet clinic in washington. Last week a client brought in a cat that had been in labor for 2 days, we did an emergency c-section and unfortunately she did not make it. She had a litter of 3 kittens, one was stillborn and another passed away about a day later. One lone little kitten survived, and he is now about 3-4 days old.

I am on kitten duty this weekend and have never done this before. I am feeding him KMR every hour and a half. Any tips from people who have done this?? I am stimulating him to urinate/defecate each time I feed him. How do I know if he is eating enough? He has not had a BM in about 3-4 hours but urinates every time I stimulate him. How often should I expect him to defecate??

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated. I am very nervous...I know the odds are against this little one...

thank you
post #2 of 19
Hi Tara.
This was my go to when I rescued my Teddy, it let me know how much to feed him and how often:
http://www.kitten-rescue.com/bottle_feeding_kitten.html

Teddy normally defecated once a day as a baby. Just keep on feeding the little guy.... You can use a syringe, eye dropper, or a bottle to feed the KMR, which ever you find easier. Keep the little one warm and don't be nervous. You're doing a good job! I know I was scared to have such a little one totally dependent on me, but it get easier once you fall into the routine.

Keep us updated!
post #3 of 19
I also learned as I went with two orphans. It will get better.

To keep them warm I made rice socks. You may be familiar with these from working at the vet office. You fill a clean sock with uncooked rice, tie the end and heat in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. I wrapped a towel over my sock so it had a rough texture they could crawl on like mom cat.

When I was watching tv I would put them on my chest inside my shirt and wrap a blanket over me. That way they feel you breathing and your heartbeat. There is a fake stuffed momma kitty that does these things. May be called "snuggle kitty" ?

Hang in there!! I know you must be tired.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello again and thank you for the quick replies! Right now he lives in a little cardboard box in between two wash cloths. He has two gel packs that I am using to keep him warm. I warm them up in the microwave each time he eats. The litter was also about a week premature so he is so tiny.

He did poop again, but without stimulation. I got him out to feed him and he had poo'd all over himself and his blanket; his stools are pretty runny I am assuming that is normal since he is obviously not taking in anything solid. That will make his 3rd poop since about 11:30

I am concerned he may have aspirated some formula. This morning one of the girls at the clinic was feeding him with the owner's bottle and I think the hole in the nipple was too large and some of the formula started coming out of his nose. I have of course gotten him a different bottle but I ocassionally hear him make a little clicking noise, however I can hear clear breaths as well.

I have actually only had the little guy for about 12 hours (and yes, I am already exhausted and I haven't even made it through the first night!). I am falling in love with the little fellow, it is amazing how much his manorisms are like a "real" cat..lol.

I am not keeping him, I am not keeping him, I am not keeping him, I am not keeping him.....
post #5 of 19
I don't know anything about raising orphan kittens, but Good Luck!!! Many vibes for you and the little kitty.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well we've made it through the first night with only a few minor hitches. No more poop, but he still urinates every time I stimulate him (before and after feeding). I am getting to learn that he is done eating when he 'passes out' lol If he is still wiggling around after he lets off the bottle that means hes still hungry. If he goes to sleep that means he's had enough.

Also, and I feel SO stupid and irresponsibe and all the other mean things I can tell myself, he wiggled right out of my hand last night while I was preparing his bottle at the 1:30AM feeding and took a header in the sink (about a 10 inch fall) I thought we really had a problem for a second as he just kind of set there stunned for a few seconds, but slowly he came around and was using all of his legs normally and scooting himself around on the counter and he ate a big bottle and was back to being just as wiggly and rambunctious as ever. So hopefully I dodged a bullet there...again I feel incredibly stupid and irresponsible..lesson learned. He is so strong for his size when he wants to be!!

Sorry for all the posts. Just nice to tell someone who's been there...
post #7 of 19
No need to apologize for posts; that's what the forum is for. We definitely want to keep hearing how it goes.

And, as you know, hand-raising a kitten is truly a herculean labor of love. We have members here who have done it, often with no previous experience with cats, let alone kittens. And it can be heartbreaking, because things can go wrong.
post #8 of 19
I raised a bottle baby Lucky. I found her on the lawn maybe an hour old. I was nervous and stress too. I think you are doing a good job. It is a little rough for the first two weeks, Then things settle down. The only suggestion I have is to keep some, pedilyte (sp?) on hand Lucky got diaharia (sp?) and started to get dehydrated. This can happen very quickly. The vet suggested giving her a bottle of pedialyte. She went from lifeless back to her normal self in an hour. It quickly rehydrates them. It is a rehydration formula for infants. I also so told myself I wasn't keeping her, That was a year and a half ago. She is sleeping on my lap right now. She stole my
post #9 of 19
I raised 3 of them a few years ago. They are alot of work but once get to be a few weeks old they are so much fun!! I took mine everywhere with me, they even went to the rodeo, LOL Good luck!!!
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darling Poodles View Post
I raised 3 of them a few years ago. They are alot of work but once get to be a few weeks old they are so much fun!! I took mine everywhere with me, they even went to the rodeo, LOL Good luck!!!
We took Lucky everywhere too. She went camping when she was 10 days old. She even went shopping in the city.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you again for all the replies of support. At what age do I get to start spacing the feedings out a bit? I am now going on my second night and this is truely exhausting. I can't imagine having to try to do more than one. Just one by himself takes about 30 minutes per feeding to warm up the bottle, stimulate him to pee, feed him, then warm up his gel packs, snuggle/burp afterwards.

I did see one post about giving pedialyte if he gets diarrhea..what consitutes "diarrhea" in a kitten? His poops are runny but again I assumed that was normal because he is eating a liquid diet.

I think he was purring this morning He will be 5 days old tomorrow, is he old enough to purr yet??
post #12 of 19
When Lucky had diarrhea , It was just leaking out of her. It was very watery.
post #13 of 19
I would check with the vet to be sure about the diarrhea. I remember that over feeding would cause runny stools.

Of my two one had a lot of trouble with runny stools and I switched to the Just Born brand of kitten replacement milk and he did much better. They are all so different. Maybe just ask the vet to be safe. Hang in there!
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraRose View Post
I think he was purring this morning He will be 5 days old tomorrow, is he old enough to purr yet??
They can purr almost as soon as they're born. It's a way to stimulate mom to produce milk.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skimble View Post
I would check with the vet to be sure about the diarrhea. I remember that over feeding would cause runny stools.

Of my two one had a lot of trouble with runny stools and I switched to the Just Born brand of kitten replacement milk and he did much better. They are all so different. Maybe just ask the vet to be safe. Hang in there!
I did a litter of 4 that was orphaned at 10 days old. Talk about a couple of sleepless weeks!

Get a good scale and weigh the kitten. I followed the general feeding guidelines on the KMR can and adjusted if the kittens seemed to still be hungry. We started feedings every 2 hours then gradually cut back to every 8 hours by the time they were 6 weeks old. I don't recall seeing any solid poop until they were about 3 weeks old.

Kittens also need to be burped after feeding. Usually all you need to do is massage their bodies to get them to do this. My husband and I had an assembly line to take care of them. We'd get the food and bath ready to go. DH and I would both start to feed them (1 per person), then I would switch over to the prompting to pee / bath routine. I'd stimulate them with TP (its soft and works quite well). I kept a warm bowl of water with a washcloth to give them a bath after each feeding. In the process of washing them, I would get a burp out of them. After the bath, they went into warm towels to dry and if they hadn't burped, DH would take them back and massage them thru the dry towel.

You may not have the problem with the formula spattered kittens like we had. When ours saw the food, they clambered over each other to be the first at the bottle and got them selves covered in formula most meals. The baths were essential to keep them clean. Even if clean, I encourage you to massage the kitten after feedings to get out the burp. Ours seemed to get a bit lethargic when we didn't get that burp out of them (their tummies obviously hurt).
post #16 of 19
LOL, we constantly dirty too, it was a never ending battle!! Mine were always sucking on each other, which made them go poo, which got ALL over them I think they had more baths in a few weeks than most cats have their entire life!!!!
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all the replies!! I have started pushing the feedings back to every 2 hours at night trying to save my sanity!! I did get a bit more sleep last night but accidentally slept through one alarm and woke an hour late to a hungry, VERY PO'd kitten!! He also had a huge BM last night and it was not watery, more like pudding consistancy.

One thing that he has started doing is after he is finished feeding his will suck on my hand or my finger while he is falling asleep. I tried offering him more formula a few times and he didn't seem interested, just wanted to suck on my hand??

I do burp him after he eats, he always has a lot of gas that comes up and I wonder if I am doing something wrong? The bottle I have seems to get sort of hep-locked with a bubble inside the nipple. What can I do differently to prevent this from happening??
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraRose View Post
I do burp him after he eats, he always has a lot of gas that comes up and I wonder if I am doing something wrong? The bottle I have seems to get sort of hep-locked with a bubble inside the nipple. What can I do differently to prevent this from happening??
I actually used a syringe rather than a bottle because mine wouldn't take to a bottle. Most people will warn against syringes unless you are ultra careful, as if you push in too much, you can drown them (like you mentioned about having formula coming out of his nose). My vet gave me some that were very easy to push and the kittens sucked the formula out of them - I never had to push the plunger on them. It eliminated virtually any air that could come along with the formula, and mine weren't gassy.

I can't help you with alternative bottles, sorry.

Congratulations on the firmer poop!
post #19 of 19
I used a syringe also until mine got older.
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