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Need some help with hand rearing

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, we've got Misty and kittens back, 2 didn't make it, so there's only 2 left, about which I can't allow myself to mourn just yet, I'll probably have a good cry and post some feelings another time.

Right now I have to put all my energies into hand rearing the surviving 2, as Misty unfortunately isn't really interested. Maybe it's how she had them, who knows.

We have to feed them CIMICAT 2 hourly at 1/2 a 5ml spoonful each.

I could really use some tips on how to get these tiny lovely babies through this.

Please help us if you can.

Thank you all.
post #2 of 16
I have no experience with hand rearing, hopefully our breeders and rescuers can help soon.

But I did want to give you an anecdote that may help your heart. One of the breeders on the board went through something similar to what Misty did - an emegency c-section. Like Misty, the mama cat had no interest in the babies, but only for a few days. Once mama cat got over the trauma of surgery, she took on mothering duties again.
post #3 of 16

I am sorry about the loss of the two kittens. Is Misty not at all interested? Do you have some canned cat food around? Put a small (and I mean small amount of cat food on your fingers, and tap the top of one of the kitten's head with those fingers to put the smell there. place the kitten next to Misty and see if she will lick the top of the kitten's head. (Misty may still be in shock, but she needs to nurse these babies, because it is HARD work to nurse, and stimulate the bowels every two hours) Try that and see if she is interested.

If not, keep those babies very warm 95 degrees is best. Don't use a human heating pad, or heat lamp, see if you can find a pet heating pad, but place the babies in a nice safe warm place and keep your eye on them.

Place an old towel in your dryer, let it cycle to get warm, take the towel, and place it in the crook of your arm, lay the kitten on it's back and offer the bottle to the kitten. (Make sure the nipple is pierced on the bottle, as they don't come pierced) Feed the little one as close to your heart as you can (it helps to calm them down)

Once the kitten is done taking the formula. You need a bowl of warm water, and a soft cloth. Take the cloth and get it wet in the bowl of water, wring it out, and wrap a portion of it around your finger. Using your finger, with the kitten in an upright position, supported by you, start making circular motions first on the tummy then on the rear end. Keep the cloth warm with the hot water (it helps stimulate them faster) they will usually let loose in a matter of minutes, but please keep stimulating until you see stool and urine.

If you have double sink, the best way to do this is put a pan in one side for the kitten and to catch the waste, swing the faucet to the other side and start a steady stream of very warm water going there. Keep dipping the cloth in the water to keep it warm (you need to create the same warmness a mom cat's tongue has) until the little one has peed and pooped. Then wrap the kitten up in a towel, sit with it and cuddle for a few minutes and go to the next kitten to do the same thing.
post #4 of 16
I forgot to add that if the kittens do not seem interested in the bottle, if you have some Karo syrup in the house, rub a very small amount on their lips, then once they open their mouth go ahead and place the nipple in their mouth and see if they draw on it.

You can email me at maryanne@thecatsite.com if you like. I have raised a lot of orphaned kittens and will help you all I can.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much Hissy.

I do have some good news, since bringing them home, Misty has been watching me handle and feed the kittens, I've been using little syringes the vet gave us, and anyway she first came up to me for a cuddle while I was holding the kittens. I softly stroked her and showed them to her. She suddenly started to lick them of her own accord! Then she went away.

But now, she came back and as I speak, she is lying on her side, letting them suckle and cleaning them.

I am so much happier because one of them, the bigger one, looked pretty weak and wasn't reallymoving around. As soon as he got onto a nipple, I had to help him get the idea and opened his mouth, placing it on the nipple (the other little one found a nipple immediately) but then after he/she (I don't know yet I was too in a tizzy to even ask) suckled and then he pooped a little and she cleaned him, he's been wriggling away nicely, just like the other one. Just needed some mother-love!

I am feeling really relieved. We still have to extra-feed them because the vet said she hasn't got much milk, but at least they've got their mummy back. She just needed to be home with HER mummy and she's ok.We have them on a hot water bottle, covered in ttwo blankets, I hope this is ok.

Thankfully it is nice and hot in London at the moment!

I still will probably need help, it is pretty intimidating seing these lovely totally dependant babies and having their lives in your hands!

Thanks again
post #6 of 16
Oh that is great news!!!!!! Yes you will have to supplement feed them, because the shock of the operation has dried up some of Misty's milk, but thankfully she is nursing and caring for them! My heart is turning cartwheels of joy right now. I know full well the enormous weight of responsibility of feeding every two hours around the clock as well as stimulating the bums to do their business. Keep them in a large cardboard box, away from drafts. That will keep mom focused on them and also stop them from falling out all over as they get stronger. Also, baby kittens *scent* identify the mom's nipples. They will return to the same nipple all the time now, so don't try and move them to another nipple, it will just frustrate them, as they want the nipple they scent identified.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
That's really good advice Hissy, thanks. I just thought I'd show you the prrof of the pudding as they say, the photo isn't great but you get the idea!
post #8 of 16
awww I wanna see more pics!!
post #9 of 16
awesome linka! I am so happy for you! Also when you handle the babies, wash your hands between each kitten. Wear the same shirt every time so they will get used to their scent mingled with yours. Good luck- they are sweet! Did the vet think they were preemies?
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Nope apparently the vet thought they were overdue and spent too long in the uterus which is why the other two died!
post #11 of 16
I'm really starting to not like vets! I'm so sorry about the other two little babies I hope your remaining two will be good and healthy!
post #12 of 16
It's not the vet's fault Valerie. These things just happen sometimes.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, they do seem to be doing a whole lot better since mummy has taken them back!

I actually told my vet on Friday, FRIDAY, that I thought Misty had been in stage 1 labour already for 24hrs, he just said to keep an eye on her to see if she's distressed, when I called back on Saturday to say still nothing had happened but that she was crying and nesting and pacing, he asked me whether she was straining, I said I wasn't sure because, she wasn't actually tensing her whole body, she never did right up until today afternoon, I wanted to bring her in but he said Saturdays are busy and there was no point because she just had to get on with it. So I rang back today because I had noticed her anus opening and he finally saw her, but by then it was too late for my poor little miny and mo

To be honest I think he just thought I was a neurotic owner so only half-listened to me before.

I may have to change my vet.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hissy, you are probably right, it would be so easy for me to blame him right now, especially because I've been blaming myself all day...the what ifs...

I guess over the phone it's hard for him to diagnose properly, it's just that I wish... nevermind, very silly place to go...hindsight!

Like I said when I look at the 2 little survivors, I do get a bit weepy about the other 2 poor little babies and I want to be angry at someone...anyone, myself or the vet included.

But it is terribly true that things just happen sometimes, I guess because I called him so often I hoped he'd pick up if something was wrong, which was why I wrote every sign Misty had, down on paper and then told him, because I know so little, I wanted to make sure that everything was normal, so I put all my trust in him, and even though it's true you can't blame it still hurts a bit because I tried so hard to do everything right and inform the vet of any changes.

But like I said, hindsight is silly, so looking forward...to the growing of these two little angels!
post #15 of 16
Iinka, how are mum and babies doing?
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for asking Tania,

They're doing sooooo well, the kittens are putting on weight and we're off to the vet's today, I'm hoping they'll say we don't need to supplement quite do often, or so much as they don't really want it anymore.

Misty's a great mum and she obviuosly adores them, as we do, they are funny and sweet and VERY fast, except when they're feeding because then they're little quiet mice and fall asleep at the nipple more often than not! LOL

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