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Stubborn (?) Kittens

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I hope I am doing this right. I am in need of advice on two 91/2 week old kittens I have left from a litter of 3. (Big brother has gone on to his new home. ) The problem is weaning them. One is actually eating a little on her own. She will take a few bites of wet food and is definitely drinking the Mothers Replacement Milk. Hmm--Guess I only have one stubborn (?) kitten. Any way, he will drink the Mother's Replacement Milk but absolutely refuses to touch ANY kind/brand of food. Not wet, dry, or mixed with the replacement milk. Not even TUNA FISH!! (The real thing) I have tried every brand of food I can get my hands on. I have separated them from mama several times for as long as 12 hours. When they are separated from mama they will not eat or drink anything at all, regardless of how long they are separated from her. She is quite willing to nurse them and will even call them to her. She (Mama) has been through one heat cycle already and I know she is getting close to going through another one. I have homes for waiting for both of them. In fact the male kitten ( the one who refuses to eat any solid food) is going to be joining his brother.
I have tried everything I know plus all the things that have been suggested by the vet. ( I have called several of them) Any suggestions? Thank You!!!
post #2 of 8
I have found with kittens that are difficult to wean that one of these two methods will usually work for me.

1. I will make a thin gruel of smelly food and KMR and rub on nose or dip nose in. The kitten will lick it off the nose. I repeat the process until they start lapping it from the dish.

2. I will put a chunk of canned food in the middle of the dish and KMR around and on top of canned food, as kitty is lapping I will mix some of canned into area she is lapping from or offer the canned food from my fingers and slowly lead the kitty into the middle of the dish.
post #3 of 8
I agree with the mixing, how soupy did you make it? Maybe make it REAL thin and see if that gets them started?

Also, chicken or turkey babyfood (make sure no onions in the ingrediants, but there usually isn't) mixed in or spread on top also helps.

Also, letting them lick it off your finger while slow, can get it started.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick responses to my question. I have tried both methods in a variation and they did not work. I did notice the little one who is eating solid food seems to have a bit of trouble with chewing, which I guess explains why she only nibbles at the food. She sure does try though. She doesn't like it if it is too mushy. The other one I just don't know what to do with though. He sniffs at it like he's really interested but walks away from it. He did actually swallow the food I put in his mouth this morning instead of spitting it out so I guess that is progress? Oh well I'll just keep on trying. At least he comes running when I put a saucer of replacement milk down.
I wonder what would happen if I went ahead and sent him to his new home with his brother. Do you think that he might actually start eating if he doesn't have mama around? Maybe being around just his big brother will influence him to eat solid food? He is drinking the replacement milk more than he is nursoing at this pint. I'm not in any hurry to let him go but if it would help him out then I would be willing to try it. Any thoughts?
post #5 of 8
It would be irresponsible for you to send a kitten who wasn't ready to a new home. You must keep this one until he is eating consistantly on his own. I understand your frustration, but honestly, a week or so more isn't going to make that much difference. As an aside, I would also keep the litter mate if these two were going to the same new home. Sending them together will make the transition into the new home easier for them both.

As for suggestions to help him along ... I normally confine the babies away from Mommy while I am introducing them to solid food. I mix the canned pate-style kitten food with a little warm water to make it easier for little mouths to lap up, but at the age of your guys, this shouldn't be a problem. Stop putting in the milk replacer and just put down the canned pate-style kitten food in a saucer. It is my bet that the little guy will eat it and love it within the week and both can go to their new home by week's end. Just be patient a little longer.

Best of luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance to you,

post #6 of 8
if the mother is still willing to let her kittens drink from her, then i might just leave the kitten be. was the stubborn kitten the runt of the litter? cuz if he was, it may just be that he isnt ready for solid food yet. the kitten may even still need the mother's milk--because with most of my experiences the mother will wean the kittens when they need to be-i would just wait until the mother has totally weaned the kitten
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sherry here with her size 9 foot in her mouth. I discovered something yesterday when I stopped by Petco. I have been buying my replacement milk from one of the local pet supply vendors and thought that KMR was the same thing as I was buying but....it's not. I found Step2 KMR, read the info on the can and bought it. I mixed some up this morning with a bit of a thicker consistency than the thinnest consistency on the directions. Well my stubborn little kitten started lapping it up!!! Soooo...I am going back to square one and try ito start weaning him with it. I am going into town to buy some baby food this afternoon so that I can mix it together. I don't want to move too fast on this one so I am asking how many days or feedings I should wait to change the consistency and/or start mixing the baby food with it. I do intend to read back through all of the responses I have received but I am still open to suggestions. I apologize for being so dense.we can just chalk it up to my age . Thanks againfor all the wonderful advice. Have a wonderful and Blessed day!!! Buh Bye!!!

P.S. Oh and the other little one is eating better on her own all the time. I think that if I send her on to her new home where she does not have mama, grandma, and auntie trying to eat her food she will be fine. She actually is showing signs of being a little porker when it comes to eating. Sure do hate tolet her go though....maybe I will wait another day or two......hmmmm
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Dear Curious, Not only is he the runt of the litter he was the last one born. Sure doesn't stop him from being the liveliest, and orneriest one of the litter though .........He is sooooo funny and soooo cute, I call him my Little (silent) sTinkerpot.....We have an older cat named Busy, but this one makes her look lazy!!!! Gots to go...ta ta for now
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