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3 week old orphaned kitten..I am a new kitten Mommy with lots of questions!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am a new Mommy to a 2-3 week old kitten. He was found all alone in a warehouse - that is the only history I have on him. He is doing pretty well..I am bottle feeding KMR every 3-4 hours and he eats 1-2 T each feeding. He does chew quite a bit - could he be teething? Or just telling me he is all done? When he does latch on, he sucks it down like a champ.
He is pooping with and without stimulation. I do stimulate after he eats every time, but he poops a lot in his sleep..which makes him quite messy. I have found it is easiest to just rinse him off under the faucet. He doesn't mind that as much as me wiping him down and saves my hands from lots more scratches. (Ouch!! - any ideas for saving my hands??) I dry him off well after being rinsed.
Now for the concerns..
1. He shakes quite a bit. It is a full body shake, and is not ALL the time, but when he walks he shakes quite a bit and is not super steady. The vet mentioned distemper? What are the signs? Vet said he was too young to test, and that there is not treatment if thats what it is. I really hope that he is OK!!
2. He is not real steady on his feet, but is getting better. Is it normal for his back legs to be a little longer than his front? When he walks, his butt seems to be higher than the rest of his body..I think that makes him unsteady, too.
3. His poop is better than it was when I got him, but it is still runny and green-yellow and has egg-like things in it. My guess is that he has a parasite, but the vet said he is too young to test and treat. I should mention he is on an antibiotic called Albon and the vet said that this would cause runny poop.
4. My hands are a sore mess! His little claws are doing a number on them..any ideas to save my hands? I tried wrapping him in a towel, but that makes it worse because he claws at me to get out.
Sooooo...any advice would be so much appreciated! I have never owned a cat, but I am a Mommy to kids and doggies, and I am doing my best for this little guy. My kids and hubby love him as much as I do! I want to keep him healthy and give him a good life with us.
post #2 of 7
I am so happy you want to keep him with your family. Boy, where to start. I don't think 2-3 week old kittens are very good on their feet. I kind of doubt he is teething yet. It sounds like when he is done, he just wants to play with the bottle. It sounds like he is eating and eliminating good. Does he urinate as well? Hopefully, you are using warm water on him. As far as your hands go, gee I can't offer any advice on that. Maybe a couple layers of plastic gloves? I had kittens in March and I am trying to remember but I don't think that unsteady gait in a new kitten is a sign of distemper. When my little ones were trying to walk, their butts were high in the air and they would tip over all the time. Can't comment on the egg like things. Someone will come along who knows about that. Hope I helped a bit. I have always had grown cats come to me, so these kittens were new to me too. You have a great to be helping this little soul! Keep us posted.
post #3 of 7
As I am putting up and washing storm windows, I was thinking of your post. And it just occurred to me that my kittens didn't even open their eyes until 2 weeks. It just seems it is a bit irresponsible of your vet to mention distemper when the kittens are so young and IMO acting little kittens do, all wobbley and such.
post #4 of 7
I see you are doing marvelously well!
A good site for taking care of orphaned kittens is

That rinsing of the behind is good idea. Use lukewarm water - cats body temp is a little higher than ours.

Cant you clip his nails some? Should be ok[edit, no this suggestion not so good]
. Otherwise use gloves like Farley suggested. Thick plastic or some old gloves you dont care much about.

The eggs alike may be parasites. Probably the "broad" worm... Funny the vet talks about testing. He could see it himself in the poo... Ask you send alittle...

Back legs ARE usually longer then forelegs. Although most cats manage to go almost level - forelegs go straight, backlegs are usually folded a little.

Keep us updated!

Good luck!

ps. Welcome to the forums!
post #5 of 7
Hi, my name is Mary Anne and I own If you send me your address, (PM Me) I will send you a product that will save your hands and help this little one nurse.

Albon would be what I would have put this little one on, as far as distemper goes, he is to young to test, but if the runs don't go away and become more and more frequent, it is a good bet it is distemper. Keep him away from any other cats you might have at home. even vaccinated ones. Distemper is a nasty beast and kittens succumb quickly. The runs while he sleeps is a bit disturbing and makes me think distemper may be likely. If you are feeding cow's milk that is a no no- kitten formula is best. I would not recommend clipping the claws- the quick hasn't had time to form and you could nick the quick and he could bleed for quite awhile. Instead, go buy a pack of baby socks and slip them on over his front paws when nursing. Also be sure you aren't flipping him over on his back to give him his formula, he must have all four feet firmly planted on the ground.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all your support and knowledge! He is doing well.. starting to eat a little more at each feeding, and not doing as much of the chewing. He is exploring more when I put him on the floor, still wobbly but getting better. He does like to be right up against me or the kids..when he finds us he immediatly purrs and rubs up against us. He like to climb up us (with a supportive hand so he doesn't fall) and nuzzle our necks and he loves my husband's whiskers!
His poop is still greenish-yellowish and loose, but one time he had a stringy black one that was solid, so I think that is good. As far as the vet testing, she said she could test, but if there was anything as far as worms or parasite, it wouldn't show up yet because he is too young. And, it would be unsafe to treat him as he is too young. So I am trusting her..and doing a lot of hand washing.
With the pooping when he sleeps..I don't actually know if he is pooping in his sleep or if he wakes up, poops, then goes back to sleep. I am leaning toward the latter.
This forum is wonderful and the people on it are really caring - I feel honored to be a part of this! THANK YOU ALL! I will keep you updated, and I am sure to have lots more questions!
post #7 of 7
Glad things are looking up. Sounds like he fits right in.
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