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Kittens suckling eachother constantly...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So my little rescue kittens are doing great. I did a search on the forums to see if anyone had asked this before and some people did but I'd like to get a little more detailed about what these orphan kittens are doing. First of all, I have 6 left, 3 kittens from the same litter all ended up with some sort of heart condition that caused them to suddenly pass away .
Now with the question:
I have 2 kittens in this bunch that will not stop suckling the others...to the point where they are stimulating the kittens to urinate and defecate all over their faces. I watched them just now and the single male kitten sucked the other kitten so much it urinated on his face but he kept on suckling it, almost like it was milk! He is getting more food at each feeding, atleast a good serving more than recommeded daily so he is certainly not hungry. One of the females does this but not to such a gross degree(she too is being fed extra) but she will not leave a particular kitten alone, I also stimulate all the kittens more than usual in the hopes that it will help. I checked all of their genitals for swelling or redness and they seem ok, should I just leave them in there with all the others or seperate them? Is drinking urine(the male definately is drinking it) bad for him? ewww, I know sometimes these things are not so pretty..I'm sure they'll grow out of it but I just don't want them to get sick. They are 3 weeks old.
post #2 of 13
Is it possible to get them with a momcat that either recently gave birth to just one or two kittens or who has lost kittens and may still have milk?

I would also start bottle feeding them more than you are, and even use the full kitten glop recipe found at www.kitten-rescue.com to help satisfy this need-
post #3 of 13
Me personally, it doesn't sound like they are getting enough food. Is there a mamma nursing at all? Sometimes when we had orphans this young, they had to be fed every couple of hours. How often are they being fed?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
They are being fed every 4 hours around the clock(they are approx. 2 weeks old)...their little tummys are sooo full! I am feeding them by measuring with a syringe and then putting it into the bottles. The smallest one weighs 130g, my vet recommends he eats 28ml/day split into multiple feedings. He is getting 38-40/day!! Same with the others..lot's of milk, if I give them more they may get diarrhea. One of them already has started to have softer stools since I increased their milk ration. I will try to increase it a bit more and only by 1cc each feeding to not over-do it. Sometimes the little boy will "wet" burp after feedings when I am gently burping him and I don't want him to regurgitate any milk when he does this. I'll continue to monitor them and slowly increase their food, they are being fed KMR should I really switch their food at this point to the glop? Oh and no other nursing queens around except one that had 8 of her own kittens 4 days ago, she doesn't need any more. A person I know offered her barn cat since it only had 1 kitten but this cat is outside and not locked up at night or any time, I'm not comfortable with that, and she isn't willing to bring it inside at any point. Anyways thank you again for your help, i'll let you know if the increased food helps, I'll give it 24 hours to see what happens.
post #5 of 13
Can you bump the feeding up to less but every 2-3 hours?
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
just fed them 2.5 hours since their last feeding...still trying to suckle. I'll feed again in a couple hours and continue monitoring them, luckily they are in my office so I am in here all the time and can watch them. Their incisors are coming in now too so i'm starting to get concerned about lacerations and such from this. We will see what happens I guess.
post #7 of 13
I think feeding them more often may help. Can you put in an extra towel to kind of give them something to curl up into...maybe create a little space for each kitten who is suckling too much? When we had to foster tiny babes that sucked a lot, a towel worked very well.
post #8 of 13
130 grams is extremely small for being three weeks old. They are most likely suckling each other because they are so desperate to grow. You are already working on it, HappyCats, but I think this suckling issue will go away once they finally get enough food. Good luck and I know this must be a lot of tough work.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
The 130g kitten I am referring to is one of my preemies...you may remember my post a few weeks back. They are very small but we figured they were atleast one week premature. They get weighed every 2 days at my vet clinic, and believe it or not..they are growing, it took about a week and a half for a noticable change in their weight. Anyways, I've got to feed some kittens so thank you!
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just wanted you all to see that these kittens do not look bad or anything, I truly am doing everything and more for them, they get excellent care by both myself and my vet. They have a "momma bear" that they snuggle with, soft blankets and a little yellow towel/washcloth as well that they lay on. I just didn't want anyone to be worried, they truly are ok. The dilute calico's come from a litter of kittens that have been struggling, they have congenital heart defects and I have lost 2. The vet could not hear anything on these last 2 so my fingers are crossed. She recommended that I put my preemies in with these kittens to hopefully help them grow better by the stimulation, interaction etc. it's important for them and I think it has been working. Anyways, enjoy the pics!

post #11 of 13
You are keeping them enclosed in a box with nice soft bedding right? You just pulled them out to take photos of them?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
That is their box! It is 2' x 1' approximately, I don't know how to convert metric. I take them out to feed them, that's it. You just don't see the box in the picture because I used the zoom on the camera. One half of the bottom under the box and under 2 towels and the fleece blanket is a small flat pet heater I ordered when I worked at my vet clinic for 5 years, the other half is just the fluffy blanketing so they have a spot to move away from the heater(which has a thermostat so I can set it at the right temperature) incase they get too hot.
post #13 of 13
Sounds like you are doing a very good job!
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