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Rescue Momma and Kittens... Advice Needed Please!

post #1 of 666
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, its me from Wild and Wonderful Animal Rescue here again. I was approached with an emergency situation this morning. A stray momma with 8 kittens... Born on Sunday, "they need to go, or I am taking them to the pound". So this evening I will be picking them up. I need some advice with them! I figure the move is going to stress out momma and the babies, how can I reduce the stress? Also I will be picking up KMR because I figure I will need to supplement them, and I am going to set up a box in a room by themselves with some heat pads, does this sound good? Thank you guys! I have never taken in kittens this young!


post #2 of 666

They need to be moved inside a carrier, not in the box in the picture, unless you have a dog crate big enough to slide the box into. That would be the ideal and least stressful way to move them actually. You just don't want mom to panic and jump out and run away or hide.

KMR and syringe is a necessity. So is a scale. It is the only way to track 8 kittens daily, as there will surely be a couple of runts who need supplementing.

Have you read this recent thread about a mom and 9 kittens? It will help you loads!

Room to themselves with a heating pad on low under the blanket sounds good. Mom needs her food, water, and litter nearby. I suggest a larger box than the one pictured.
post #3 of 666
Thread Starter 

I have one of the bigger carriers that opens from the top that I plan on bringing them back to me then. I have a few people donating me KMR and my veterinarian office is going to give me syringes. Can I get a kitchen scale at Walmart? And I have a Medium dog crate, can I place them in that in a bedroom by themselves? Or should it be a box? I am not sure if I can find a box big enough. Thanks!

post #4 of 666
Yes, Walmart carries digital kitchen scales.

The medium dog crate sounds fine. 😊
post #5 of 666
Thread Starter 

What is the best way to track their weights? I feel like I am going to weigh them but I won't be able to tell them all apart until they are older since there is so many of them!

post #6 of 666
You can use a different color nail polish or Sharpie pen on the tail tips of the ones who look alike, until you can begin to tell them apart.

Regardless, however, of who is who, the ones who gain the least will need supplementing on any given day.
post #7 of 666
Thread Starter 
Ok! I wasn't sure what was safe to use! They are here! There are orange ones and grey ones lol all of the grey ones look a like and so do the orange, until they get older that's the only differences! They took to syringe feedings very well! I fed them when they got here because momma was settling in and ignoring them for a bit. They do have fleas, how soon can I give a dawn bath? And what can I use on Momma that would be safe? Thanks!

post #8 of 666

Oh, how precious!

It is not safe to bathe kittens this young. I recommend that you put a tube of Advantage II on mom's neck. It will kill her fleas and most of theirs.

Then repeat in 2 weeks. In 2 weeks you can also use a syringe to put a drop or two (tiny amount) on each kitten's neck. That and washing their bedding in hot water should eradicate the fleas.

It's cheaper if you buy Advantage II for extra large dogs. It's the exact same stuff, but one tube will treat multiple cats. The cat dosage for 5-10 pounds is .08mL.

I'm glad you read the thread on the 9 kittens so you can see the importance of rotating and supplementing. It helps mom out too.

Glad to hear they took easily to syringe feeding. Do you have their weights?
Edited by sarthur2 - 9/9/16 at 5:21am
post #9 of 666
Thread Starter 
I did not get initial weights on them last night but today when I get home from work I will paint some of their nails so I know who is who and get some weights for them!
post #10 of 666
Perfect! 👍
post #11 of 666
Thread Starter 

So I was able to weigh them today and syringe feed them a couple of times and paint their back nails so that I can identify between them. I did not separate them yet because I worked 16 hours today then got home, fed and weighed them went to sleep and had to go back to work, so I left them all with Momma but I will separate them when I get home from work tomorrow morning! I am concerned... Momma does not seem to be feeling well at all. She isn't litter trained yet- she was a stray apparently- which isn't an issue but her stomach is really upset and she has diarrhea EVERYWHERE. I am currently feeding IAMS kitten food, canned food, and a dish of KMR. When I came home today, she drank a lot of water and KMR and seems to be eating fine. She also has had a crusty discharge from her eyes since I got her yesterday, She had it when I picked her up and I wiped them off but she had some today too. Do you think I should take her to the vet? I would hate to take her away from her babies and stress her out if its nothing serious... I didn't know if diarrhea was normal in cats that just had babies recently or not and if discharge from her eyes was something to be concerned about, thank you for your help! I feel like a huge worry wart with them!

post #12 of 666

Yes, there is a bit of concern here. The diarrhea could be from eating all the placentas. If she ate all 8, that might explain it. What color is the diarrhea?

Her crusty eyes indicate a possible infection. Do you see green or yellow discharge? Have you cleaned her eyes with a warm, damp cloth?

The fact she is eating and drinking well is good.

A vet visit is a good idea. If you take her, you need to take all the kittens too. Once she's been seen, you'd be able to just call if you have future problems. Can you get her in today? Do you have a carrier that is big enough?

Can you post the kittens' weights please?
post #13 of 666
Thread Starter 

Thank you for responding! I have no idea if she ate the placentas since I got her after all of it happened. She seems better today... The diarrhea is just brown... no sign of any blood or anything in it. The discharge around her eyes is just a dark blackish crusties... do you think it ould just be like flea dirt? its just more clumped together than I have ever seen. So we might be having a new problem... I think she might be rejecting half of the kittens. Last night before I left from work she had moved half of the kittens to be under the bed with her and left the other ones in the box. I had returned the box before I left and she was in there feeding everyone. When I got home this morning she had removed the same ones and had them under there with her again, leaving the same ones in there plus she had pooped in the box with the other kittens (Diarrhea.) Thinking she had rejected them I immediately got them out and started feeding/stimulating them. Well then when I get done she came over because of them crying and cleaned them and started moving them under the bed with her... I let her do it because I figured they needed to be with mom for now. What should I do? I was planning on moving them all to my bathroom because I figured it would be easier to clean up if mom as going to use the bathroom everywhere, maybe if I do this she won't ignore some of them? I mean I was planning on splitting them into groups anyway, it just seems like she has already chosen the groups herself...

post #14 of 666
Thread Starter 









post #15 of 666

Can you please post the weights of all 8 kittens?

They get split up by weight, not by mom's preferences.

It also looks like you need a bigger box. Can you use a plastic bin without the lid? They make ones with low sides for storing under beds. They all need to be with mom all the time. It's also a lot of work for mom every time she moves them.

Once we know weights, I can tell you who needs what. You need to establish a routine of supplementing before and after work at least if they need it. With 8, some of them surely need it, if not all.

Mom needs to see a vet for her diarrhea. She needs meds since it's not going away. What color is the diarrhea? What is mom eating? Or did you take her to the vet today?

Has she been treated for fleas yet? Does the black eye crust come back after you clean her eyes?
post #16 of 666
Thread Starter 

The weights on day 5 in oz because that is what my scale measures in:

1- 5.0

2- 4.5

3- 4.0

4- 4.0 

5- 4.0 

6- 5.2

7- 4.0

8- 4.0


Day 6 (today)

1- 6.0

2- 5.0

3- 5.0

4- 5.0

5- 5.0 

6- 5.0

7- 4.5

8- 4.0


Today I supplemented Kittens 8, 7, and 2 several times. I am really worried about number 8 because he doesnt seem to be gaining anything... but is eating from the syringe like a champ! I am supplementing before and after work and a couple more times while I am home. 


Also when I had them in a bigger box some would get in a corner and mom would ignore them, it had seemed when they were in the box pictured they all at least were getting fed by mom. They are in a box in between the two sizes now and that seems to be working...


Mom seems to be doing a LOT better. She is eating and drinking more, I think maybe the move had just stressed her out and made her a little sick. She is eating IAMS kitten food, a dish of KMR, and fancy feast canned kitten food. The black eye crusties came back the first time that I removed it, but today it didnt seem to come back so I will keep an eye on it. Also I will be getting her some Advantage II tomorrow, I have been so busy settling them in and getting in a routine with supplementing that I didn't have time to get any for her. 

post #17 of 666
Okay. It looks like #6 lost weight. Can you supplement this one?

Your goal is for the kittens to weigh 8 ounces apiece at 2 weeks old. You've got 2 runts - #7 and #8.
post #18 of 666
They are cute! I am rooting for all of them to thrive! This many kittens is a lot of work but so worth it when everything goes well. With my 9 kittens, weighing was so important! I would really suggest getting a digital kitchen scale that weighs in grams. You need to know how many grams a day they gain or lose and digital is the way to go! Good luck with these cuties!
post #19 of 666
Thread Starter 

Thank you! I did get a little overwhelmed when buying a simple kitchen scale- there are a lot of them! lol I had picked this one because of the bowl, I thought it would be easier. I'll try to go get a digital scale!

post #20 of 666

Overall, their weights are good, but knowing gains in grams is easiest. You can always use a bowl of your own. Just weigh it first and subtract it from each kitten's weights.

Keep us posted! 😊
post #21 of 666
Thread Starter 

They are one week old today! Time for their weigh-in and more supplementing! Overall I am happy with their weights today, Some of them look like they haven't gained but I think thats due to my scale only measuring in oz so I can't see small gains. 

1- 6.5

2- 5.0

3- 5.0

4- 6.0

5- 5.0

6- 6.0

7- 5.0

8- 5.0








This is #1 with #8, my giant and my runt!


The older they get the mouthier and more attitude that they get!


Also #7 has opened one of her eyes today! Is it normal for just one to open? I am excited for their eyes to start opening! Its only been a few days but they are growing up so fast!

post #22 of 666
Yes, it's normal for one eye to open before the other. 😊
post #23 of 666
Thread Starter 

Oh good! Does it sound like everyone is gaining like they should be? I definitely want to buy a digital scale that weighs in grams but I just spent most of my rescue budget on the scale I have now, formula for the babies, flea medicine and canned kitten food for mom, so what I have left I am wanting to leave in my emergency vet fund, so for now this scale will have to do! Everyone looks good to me, they are getting mouthier and moving around a lot more, I love watching them grow!

post #24 of 666

Can you return the scale you purchased and get one that weighs in grams?

It's impossible for me to comment constructively on weight when I cannot see gain or loss in grams.

The scale does not have to be digital, but it needs to show grams or tenths of ounces.

How often are you rotating? How often are you supplementing and how many mLs?
post #25 of 666
Thread Starter 
Hi All! Sorry I haven't posted an update in a couple of days, I've been so busy with these kittens, my other fosters, and work.
Today (10 Days old) Weights in oz
1- 7.5
2- 6.5
3- 7.0
4- 6.5
5- 7.0
6- 7.0
7- 6.0
8- 5.5

I have been worried about 8 since he hasn't been appearing to gain as much weight as everyone else. I have not been able to run back to the store to get a scale that measures in grams yet- I probably won't have time to until this weekend. Do you think that I should be worried about 8? Or do you think he is fine since he is gaining and not losing weight? He seems fine and is as active and mouthy as everyone else lol. Just not as fat. (although not skinny) Another question, I am working a 16 hour shift on Friday so unfortunately I won't be able to rotate them out every 2 hours. I plan on supplementing them before I leave and when I come back but I am worried that it might be a problem.. do you think that they will be fine one day without being rotated? Or should I try to find someone to come by a couple of times and rotate them and supplement them while I am gone ( I am not sure if I know anyone that can).
I am rotating about every 2 hours and feeding about 4mls each rotation- usually they will take that much before they start spitting it at me lol.

Otherwise everyone is doing awesome, about half of them have their eyes open, I got some pictures today but I will have to post them later! Thanks for your help!
post #26 of 666

The goal for 2 weeks is 8 ounces, so they are actually doing quite well!

Number 8 is behind. Four days ago he weighed 5 ounces, and today 5.5. A half ounce is only about 14 grams over 4 days. They should each gain a minimum of 6-10 grams per day. He gained 3.5/day.

My suggestion for number 8, besides supplementing him every chance you can, is that he always stay with mom and not get rotated out at all, so he is never deprived of an opportunity to eat.

It sounds like you have no choice but to leave the kittens with mom during your 16-hour day. I'm assuming they all stay with mom anyway while you work your normal shift and when you sleep. What profession do you work in that requires 16-hour shifts?

Just be sure to leave PLENTY of wet and dry food for mom while you are gone. You will have some hungry kittens to feed when you get home. They clearly depend on supplementing to help them grow.
Edited by sarthur2 - 9/15/16 at 6:10am
post #27 of 666
Thread Starter 

You originally said their goal was 8 oz for 2 weeks old, so I thought that everyone was still on track- except for #8. I picked up extra shifts before I got these kittens, I also work 7 day weeks, just to help fund my rescue stuff. My boyfriend is going to be home in the evening and he will rotate them/ supplement them a couple of times at least that day and I am trying to find someone who can stop by for a few hours that morning too. How much should I be feeding each time? Is 4-5mLs good for every two hours?


post #28 of 666

Oops! You are correct! The goal is 8 ounces at 2 weeks, and I corrected it above. My mistake! They are on track, except for the runt, who definitely needs to gain more, but appears healthy and active.

If 4-5 mLs is what they will eat, that's fine. It's likely what they need to top them off.

It's great your boyfriend can help. That is probably enough without anyone else coming in. Kudos to you for supporting your rescue! 👍

How is mama kitty holding up?
post #29 of 666
Thread Starter 

Momma is doing so much better than when I got her! She eats about 6 cans of Fancy Feast kitten food plus a lot of dry IAMS kitten food a day, she has really perked up from the overwhelmed, drained Momma that I took in a week ago! 

And great news! I just rotated the groups again and supplemented them all and #8 and he/she ate 6mLs this morning! Which I thought was great, then I weighed him/her this morning because I thought I might start weighing him twice a day to closer monitor and he weighed in at 6 oz! I'll update with everyone's weights this evening!

post #30 of 666
Ah, great news on the runt and mama! The more mom eats, the more and better quality milk she will produce as well.

So pleased to hear that the runt ate so well and has gained another half ounce! 👍
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