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Rekindling mother/kitten bond

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Early in September I took in a pregnant stray (http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=24511).

She gave birth on September 7th to 4 beautiful kittens. The smallest baby failed to thrive and passed away only 6 days after his birth. Since that time Charity has been taking very good care of the remaining 3 kittens....until this past week that is.

The kittens are not yet a month old but Charity has been increasingly aloof around the babies. At first she would feed them but crawled into boxes or onto the windowsill when she was tired of them. Lately though I've had to bribe her into nursing them by laying her down on the floor and petting her the entire time they're feeding. Oftentimes I can't even get her to sit still long enough for them to eat.

I've been experimenting with feeding them (http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=26101) but I'd really like for Charity to rediscover her maternal bond to them. Is there anything that I can do to help that happen? It breaks my heart to watch them chase her around the room looking for food, cleaning and cuddles I have no idea how she can just sit there and ignore their cries. Is all hope lost or could she still potentially step up and mommy them again??
post #2 of 2
Poor little darlings! I have seen this happen with young, first time mom cats. Very inexperienced, and young enough to want to play themselves and not take care of kittens! I have no advice on how to rebuild a maternal bond or even know if it can be done.

Just reread the feeding thread. If they are lapping the KMR from a lid (you might want to try getting a shallow, small ceramic saucer), your big issue will be trying to monitor that they are getting enough to eat. Whatever you use to feed them in, make sure you thoroughly clean it between feedings (dishwasher sterilization if you can do that). For transfering them over to real food, our vet recommends Science Diet A/D as a weaning aid. It is very mushy with no chunks of food to have to chew. Start by mixing a bit of KMR in the food (small bits). Mine didn't start eating it until they were closer to 6 weeks old, but then again, mine REALLY liked the syringe and were lazy about lapping and eating. I have never seen A/D at a pet store as I believe it is a prescription food that you can get from your vet.
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