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How much to bottle feed a 4 wk old kitten

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have a friend that has a few motherless kittens that are 4 wks old. They don't believe in keeping their animals inside and let the momma out this morning. She was hit by a car I have told them a thousand times this was gonna happen
How much should she bottle feed them or can she try some KMR in a bowl? I may end up taking the kittens but don't think I can handle it right now.
post #2 of 12
I don't have an answer, but I'm so sorry that happened. Someone with experience is sure to drop in soon!
post #3 of 12
Since the kittens are already 4 weeks old I wouldn't do the bottle feeding. Are they eating wet or soft kitten food yet? If they are they can eat that food mixed with KMR and I would only do maybe two bottle feedings a day with them. Do you think Keller would be ok nursing the kittens? How many kittens are there?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
There are 3 kittens but I am not sure about taking them in. They let their cats roam outside and I don't think they vaccinate or have tested for FIV/FLV. I think she could manage with only a few feedings a day. Maybe this will teach her! About how much should they get each feeding? I know Keller's babies will be 4 weeks on Tuesday and they still nurse a lot.
post #5 of 12
I am bottle feeding 2 almost 3 week old kittens,and wow! is it work! I would not let them feed off of Keller either, not unless you get them tested for fiv/felv first ( and I would test them all not just one to be safe) Normally, it is recommended that you give 2 tablespoons of liquid formula for every 4 ounces of body weight per day. For very young kittens, you will need to divide their total daily amount into six equal sized feedings, and yes, this does mean during the night, also!! As the kittens grow, the number of feedings and their frequency can be decreased. Also as they grow, they can let you know better when they are actually hungry. Kittens that are not getting enough nourishment may cry continuously, suck on each other or on themselves.
post #6 of 12
At 4 weeks the mother would also still be stimulating them to pee and poo. They're probably ready to start litter box training, but will still need some help for a week or two at least.
post #7 of 12
They should be able to lap from a bowl at 4 weeks, but I'd just watch them...sometimes you have to dip their little faces into the milk for them to get the taste on them
I hope they are alright!
post #8 of 12
I would wait until they are steady on their feet to introduce a bowl of formula.Also DO NOT dip their face into it! They could aspirate it into their lungs.I would start introducing the litter box now though.Also make a paste of chicken baby food( no onion or garlic) baby rice ceral(plain) and kmr, let them (if they will) lick it off your finger...this will let them get the hang of lapping food and formula up.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by proudmamiof4 View Post
I would wait until they are steady on their feet to introduce a bowl of formula.Also DO NOT dip their face into it! They could aspirate it into their lungs.I would start introducing the litter box now though.Also make a paste of chicken baby food( no onion or garlic) baby rice ceral(plain) and kmr, let them (if they will) lick it off your finger...this will let them get the hang of lapping food and formula up.
I would agree with that. They will likely need bottle feedings even as a supplement for around another couple weeks. As in -weening.

You can try rubbing that paste PM mentioned on their lips or their gums, inside their mouths a bit.... so they get a taste of it.
post #10 of 12
Maybe this will help. www.kitten-rescue.com
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skimble View Post
Maybe this will help. www.kitten-rescue.com
I would go check out that website - should offer some guidelines.
post #12 of 12
Buy KMR and use the guidelines on the cannister for a starting point, then adjust based on how much the kittens demand. They will tell you how much they want to eat, but if they just lost their mom, it will take a few days to adjust them over to formula. Chances are they will have some digestive problems when they are transitioned over to formula - they will either get very loose stools or become constipated.

At 4 weeks old, they are usually eliminating on their own. Most kittens start to do that about 3 to 3-1/2 weeks old but some take longer. Keep a litter box close to the kittens nesting area and have her stimulate them with a soft cloth or large cotton ball while in the litter box. Not only are you getting them to go, but you are teaching them to use a litter box. My orphaned adults are meticulous about using the litter box.

At 4 weeks old they are close to weaning, but don't be surprised if they are not ready yet. There is a lot of good nutrician for them in KMR, and even if you can get them to eat wet (talk to a vet about K/D formula which is very soft), mix it with KMR. If they don't see an adult lapping, they don't always know what to do when presented food.

4 weeks old is such a crucial learning stage in kittens. Your friend is now their mom and is going to need to think like a cat mom to teach them what they need to know if life. Not an easy thing.
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