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Kittens, oh my

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am a complete novice at kitten rearing. I have always had many cats in my home but never any from birth. I can honestly say, this has been a wonderful experience for my children and myself. We had lost two of our kitties in the past year due to old age, one was 17 the other was 15. That was very hard on all of us, we don't view our cats as "pets" but members of our family. Now, we have three more members of our family and I need to learn how to assist taking care of them.

I do have questions.

One of my kittens is a runt. She has already been to the vet for an eye infection. She is my favorite kitten. Her name is Meatloaf. Her littermates are very aggressive and she gets little food. I have tried to bottle feed her but she won't take it. Last night, I held her and she licked my finger. Should I make kitten gruel for her? She is three weeks old.
post #2 of 12
Get something for her, and take advantage of that finger licking.....get the food on your finger and let her lick, slowly lowering your hand to the food/drink. At three weeks she should be able to lap a bit
post #3 of 12
Try to lay her to momma when the siblings are asleep.

If it wont work, you must give her extra yes. Best is to have a real kitten substitute milk. KMR is the best brand. Royal canine has also a decent and rather cheap. There are probably also others brands.

With with licking from finger. Sure, you can use it in some wariation. But best is a real KMR.

What is the kitten-gruel recipe you talk about?? Please tell us.

Some homemade kitten substitute milk are ok. Some of them are even made on gruel...


Good luck!
post #4 of 12
At 3 weeks old she should still be nursing. Is her mama with her or are you bottle feeding all of them?

For bottle feeding, I know you can get the replacement milk at the pet store, but we've had much better luck using goats milk if you can get it. Five of mine were bottle fed due to their mamas' dying, and they liked the goats milk much better. Of course, it helped that MIL had goats so it was free.

You can also try putting milk on your finger and let her lick it off. If a bottle doesn't work, try a syringe and just put a little in at a time.

At that age, she really doesn't need kitten food yet. You can try baby food. MIL had a kitten that wouldn't nurse and wouldn't take a bottle but thrived on baby food. Beef or Chicken is the best....no pork.

Making a mush out of dry kitten food and kitten milk, at this age, would be a last resort but it may work. Just heat it up in the microwave and let cool. The dry food will absorb the milk and you can crush it down like a paste and finger feed her. She needs to get something in her so whatever works for you.

Also, call the vet and see if they have any suggestions.

Obviously, I'm not an expert and hopefully you will get some better advise.

Good luck, and let us know how it's going!
post #5 of 12
The finger lick can be done with even liquids, if you dont mind getting messy
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all!

Thanks for the responses.

I have tried to get her to nurse with mama alone but mama cat will nurse for a couple minutes then walk away, dragging the kitten until suction is lost. Is that normal?
post #7 of 12
At 3 weeks it is not normal for Mom to do that. Usually starts happening around 5-6 wks when the kittens teeth are getting bigger (I'd be fed up too ) but by that time they are starting to eat food so dont need to nurse nearly as much.
Does she only do this to the one kitten? Could have something to do with the kitten being ill, and the smell of the vet on the kitten (unless Mom went with you). Or maybe she is just not the best Mom...nothing wrong with that but you are going to have to supplement the kitten with KMR or something similar for a couple more weeks. You can mix it with canned food or baby food chicken like someone said to make a "soup". If it will lick off your finger, use that to encourage him to lap from a shallow dish or saucer. Offer some every 3-4 hrs if possible. It would also be a good idea to weigh the kitten regularly to make sure he's gaining weight. They probably weighed him at the vet so that could give you a starting point.
Good luck with your little ones!! I would love to see some pics
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by allfurlove View Post
Good luck with your little ones!! I would love to see some pics
I will post some soon. They are a rather odd lot of kittens. The mama is black and white and the papa is orange/yellowish. One kitten is calico colored the other two appear to have Siamese markings. I would be interested in learning more about the genetics of Siamese cats.

I do have a pic of Aberdeen. She was the first to open her eyes:



Kittens are alot of work. Its almost like having three more kids .
post #9 of 12
Oh my gosh, she is really cute!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Instead of starting a new thread, I just thought I would continue here.

I have more questions. At the present time, I have the kittens exclusively in my room. My problem is I am allergic to cats. I have built up immunity to my other kitties but since the kittens came along I have felt miserable. In time, I will be fine with them, its just living in such close quarters with them has sent me into asthmatic spasms. I am a cat person. My doctor says cats are fine as long as they are not in my room.

They will be five weeks old this coming Tuesday. At what point should I introduce them to my other cats? My other cats, save one, are all indoors. Mama cat has already put that one cat in her place.

I am working on weaning them from mama. Only one kitten shows any interest is solid food and that is the runt. She is actually eating some babyfood from a dish. None of the others show any interest in solids whatsoever. Any ideas on how to get them interested?
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zohdee View Post

I have more questions. At the present time, I have the kittens exclusively in my room. My problem is I am allergic to cats. I have built up immunity to my other kitties but since the kittens came along I have felt miserable. In time, I will be fine with them, its just living in such close quarters with them has sent me into asthmatic spasms. I am a cat person. My doctor says cats are fine as long as they are not in my room.
Oh Gosh! Gevalt!
Lucky you have already done the worst part. Otherwise I would send you a very strong NO NO, yeah even forbid you.

Im a big advancer of cats and allergics, as there are much an allergic cat owner can do to keep them. As you apparently did being very successfull with it.
But kittens and fertile cats are more allergy-giving then others.
And extra caution for astmatics issues. People do die of astmatic fits...
Thus, being an asthmatic allergic and having the kittens and the mom in your own bedroom?? Urrk...
This is NOT according to Hoyle...


Now, some advices. Try to have clean air. A good air-cleaner is much useful. Otherwise have some window open... Keep everything as dustfree as possible, including a low-dust litter. Take dust away often, preferably by wet wiping. If you use a vacuum cleaner, do have a HEPA-filter. Bathing the cats (may be plain water) is very useful. Do not smoke. Live healthy (good food, lots of vitamines, no drugs, only a little alcohol. NO SMOKING). After petting the cats, dont touch your eyes, mouth or nose: do wash your hands.
Do always have your allergy medicines handy, if a fit is approaching. Preferably some good cortisone-preparate.
And of course, no cats in your bedroom...


Good luck!
post #12 of 12
Stefan has given you some good advice. This article may have a few more helpful tips for you.

http://www.thecatsite.com/Health/223...t-Allergy.html
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