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weaning orphaned kitten

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi i just joined think this is a great site! I have a orphaned kitten who is nearly 4weeks old. I got her when she was a only few days old. She is doing ok but need advice on how to get her to lick. I am trying to wean her but she wont lick from my finger or the bowl just tries to suckle so is ending up with her nose in it which i know is bad for her, and when should she wee and poo by herself i am still doing it for her? Any advice would be great thanks.

post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 
Also she doesnt poo very well and when she does go it is a dark green colour, i spoke to the vet and she said to start weaning her she i very happy otherwise bright and hungry!
post #3 of 23

Take a pea size bit of wet food on your finger and gently open her mouth, rubbing the food on the roof of it.

Then offer the pea size from your finger and see if she will lick it. If not, repeat step one. Do this every couple

hours and eventually, she'll understand that she needs to lick and bite to get her food.

To get her to drink, put some KMR in a very low rimmed bowl. Dip her mouth by pushing on her head. Be careful

she doesn't get a snout full. She will lick the liquid off her mouth and most will get the idea. If not, dip her head again.

If she walks away, try and again later.

Good luck and welcome to TCS!

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice will give it a go have tried with the milk already and she just tries to suckle it so ends up getting it up her nose! Will keep trying she has just started to bite my fingers so might get some food in then

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Have tried putting the food in her mouth with some success she is trying to eat it but still just suckling and will not lick milk just gets very stressed because she cant suckle it. She is still not weeing herself and struggling to poo she is also very small for her age only weighing 170g at 4 weeks.... really worried that she isnt progressing as she should but dont know what to do :(

post #6 of 23

Keep toiletting her - put her on the litter tray straight after - keep bottle-feeding.  Kittens with their mothers are often only starting to explore solid food at 4 weeks and most of their nutrition comes from suckling.  You have done very well to get her this far.  Kittens learn a huge amount by watching their mothers, your kitten can't do that.


You are right though that she's very small for her age compared to kittens raised by their mothers.  I don't know if bottle-fed kittens tend to be smaller or not, but are you feeding her as much as she wants?  Does she feel plump and firm and heavy for her size or is she rangy and thin-feeling?

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

She feels a little thin but worry about over feeding as she struggles to poo i am feeding her every 3 hours with milk shes having 3mls also giving her water every other feed (cooled boiled water) and offering meat through the day. She is starting to run now has more energy, is licking a bit more (my face) but not milk or food still suckling and having to give her lactulose to every 3 days to help her poo

post #8 of 23

3mls per feeding is very little, she should be having at least 12ml.


At 4 weeks they need about 100ml over 24 hours and generally 4 hourly feeds are enough.

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thankyou so much everyone for the advice she is about half the size of most 4 week olds so am giving her 5 mls in her bottle and putting another 10 mls in a dish (allowing for waste) which she has started to lick not suckle at last!:) she is very content now i am also feeding her every 3 hours atm as she starts to take more and eat more meat i will extend it. Thankyou all again i really feel we are progressing now i am soo glad i found this site! Wil get pictures on soon :)

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ok been on the extra amount of feed since last night and she is loving it, only thing now is her stomach is huge and hard is this ok?

post #11 of 23

The tummy should get be big and round after every feeding. My bottle baby Lucky didn't fully wean until she was 9 weeks old.

post #12 of 23

She will probably  need to be wormed soon. Strongid is usually a fairly safe one to use. Did she ever have fleas? If so, you may

need to treat for tapeworms as well.

Looking forward to pics :)

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

She is doing good tummy seems to have got used to the extra food just me panicing! :) i did worm her when she was 2 weeks old and it made her very poorly am reluctant to do it again, have got a new wormer now from the vets called panacur dont think i can get tape worm medicine until she is 12 weeks? A warning to anyone in the uk the wormer that made her poorly is called beaphar worming syrup said it was for 2 weeks old its new in the pet shops the vet said its best to get panacur you can get it in a paste or liquid i got the liquid as its hard to get my finger in her mouth and as she is so small thats what was reccomened. You can buy it from some pet shops that have a licence. Saw some dirt on her think its flea dirt but cant see any fleas though how can i treat her?

post #14 of 23

Vets are reluctant to use things like Revolution on such a young kitten. Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they are not there. If she has flea dirt...she has fleas.

Personally, I would rather treat them because fleas can cause anemia in young kittesn and transmit tapeworms. You may want to make sure she is "on the mend" for  a few days

but I've used Advantage on kittens as your as 3 weeks which targets only fleas. There is a "Profender" now available which is topical to kill tapeworms.

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that have looked around online and decided to use the flea comb for now till shes older. She is gaining weight well now, still cheating (suckling) a bit when she eats but is managing well. Still not weeing herself yet holding her over the litter tray will keep trying! :)

post #16 of 23

Bathing kittens using Dawn dish soap helps kill fleas too. We wash ours, let them dry, then comb them out with a flea comb to get any survivors from the bath. Our older ones don't get baths every day so they get combed at least once a day. The littler kittens HAVE to get baths every day (they get quite gross, especially when eating canned food! I think they try bathing in it while eating laughing02.gif)


And out of our 4 4 week old kittens, only one refuses to even try canned food or to lap up formula. Go figure it's the one who's the biggest/oldest of their group rolleyes02.gif and go figure our runt's the one who eats canned food like a normal cat instead of crawling through it army man style!


Also for the pooping troubles, try adding a little Karo syrup (corn syrup) to the food. It's helped all our constipated babies to be able to poop (and most of them usually start using the litter box and not needing stimulation after that too. Probably an odd coincidence but we'll take it!)


And our little ones are all between 226-311g give or take a little (probably a little more, haven't weighed them yet today) but all have round plump little bellies and are happy as clams. From what we hear the momma's a small one herself, so we just have a tiny group of kittens. Our older group though is HUGE!!! Felix (who I got from the feral colony the older 3 came from 7 years ago) easily is double the size of the ferals. It seems they stay smaller outside than inside because his parents weren't that big and both him and his sister we took in are huge. Could just be a coincidence, but I think the fact we took them in helped them get so big. Took them 2 years to fully grow too! And my cat Ruby who we got at 4 months and is now almost 4 has just recently grown again!


Good luck with the baby! Glad to hear everything's going well!

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 

Wow sounds like you have your hands full! Thanks for the advice it all helps! :) I am a very very proud mummy she has had a poo and 2 wees in the litter box and went and found it all by herself such a big girl :) I weighed her yesterday and she was 240g! I couldnt believe it little piggy she is now going 4 hours between feeds and takes herself off to bed when finished playing still enjoying the heatpad to get cosy Will be putting her pics on in a hour or so :)

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 





400 Meet Baby :) from this to..... this! :)    400



400                                                   400

post #19 of 23

I love her color! Such a cutie! And yeah, 7 kittens is a handful but I love it and definitely love that we're keeping Thunder (the kitten in my avatar) he's just so sweet and after our big scare a couple days ago, I don't think I could part with him.

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks she is really thriving now :) I have put lots of pictures on my profile too. Will love to see pictures of your kitty as he grows :)

post #21 of 23

Oh there will be lots of pictures! I tend to go overboard with the camera on animals haha

post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 

some updated pics of Baby, she is doing great running around everywhere and getting very big!





post #23 of 23

Congratulations.  It's such hard work caring for them when they are so little.  I have 2 that I am still bottle feeding and I can't get them to eat food.  We aren't sure how old they are but they are just over a pound so I know they need to start eating soon.  Your baby is adorable!

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