I have two six week old kittens and their mom. She was a stray that showed up pregnant one day and gave birth the next so we took them all in. Over the past week or so (since the kittens were approx. five weeks old), mama has started to kick them away when they try to nurse or she starts to nurse and then kicks them off almost just as soon as they latch on. I took all of them to the vet for a check up when the kittens were approx. four weeks old just to get them checked out since they were strays. They all checked out healthy, and my vet actually said I could start giving them solid food then (she recommended Royal Canin Babycat and KMR). Well, I took her advice and tried them on it, but they just weren't interested. I have tried every day since (for 2 weeks or so) and they still only really nibble. As mentioned earlier, mama has only just stopped them from nursing.
I have tried canned food, dry food (for very young kittens), KMR, chicken baby food, you name it- they just aren't that interested. To be clear, they will eat a VERY little bit. but they will stop long before I think they have had their fill (only taking a few bites). I have caught one of them eating straight dry food.
I guess my questions/comments would be:
1) Is there anything out there that will whet their appetite enough to catch on to the whole regular food thing?
2) I feel like I have tried everything, and sometimes they will seem to love it, but I try it again and they turn their noses up and "bury" it. Financially, I can't afford to keep buying several different things to always have on hand for them depending on what their taste is for that particular day!
3) How much food should a kitten this age eat per day?
4) As they are eating a little bit every now and again, should I be worried? At what point do I take them to a vet?
My only other frustration is that no matter what I put down for them, within seconds mama cat gobbles it up. Even when I offer her the same thing, she eats theirs first and gobbles hers up! If I separate them, putting mama in another room, she yowls and the kittens get distracted and won't eat! I try to leave food out for them so it is always available, but she eats it all! Any advice??
Thank you in advance for your help. I have never had kittens this young before, so any advice is appreciated!