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Handrearing help!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I work at an animal shelter and 2 boxes were dumped with 2 families of kittens.
1 mother and her 4ish day old kittens are in intensive care at the vets, but the 2nd mother escaped, leaving us with 4 young kittens.
We tried to foster them in but the other mother was aggressive already to her own kittens and rejected these utterly.

I arrived in yesterday and the 4 babay kittens had been placed with a nursing mother and her 5 kittens.. who are very il with cat flu!!
I went mental and took them out, as that mother is ill, and has had 1 kitten die, and 1 was dying yesterday.

I'v taken them home and have a bit of experience with handrearing but not this young.
One kitten opened his eyes today.. any idea on age?

I have been feeding them every 2.5 hours with 1 part cimicat to 3 parts water, and they are feeding well, but how much to feed?
We were instructed to feed 3mls at work, but these kittens are taking 7.5 before I stop them.
I am reading let them drink what they want, so do I keep feeding until they refuse it?

Also since yesterday evening only 1 kitten has defecated which is worrying me, will I add 1 drop of veggie oil to the milk?

I have a teddy hot water bottle in with them to keep them warm and they are urinating great.

Any tips?

Here's my little angels..
post #2 of 19
Hi, I think you have to rub them gently with a soft cloth under their tail for them to poop on their own.
Newborn kittens cannot eliminate their bowels or urinate on their own, you will need to help them. You will need a baby wipe or soft cloth. After feeding…:

* Urinate the kitten by gently rubbing frontal area with a baby wipe or soft cloth. Hold them over a towel on your lap while doing this.
* Burp the kitten by gently rubbing belly or delicately tapping on their back.
* “Poop†the kitten by massaging the abdomen and bottom.
* At 3 weeks of age, introduce a litterbox in the corner of the kitten’s cage. Use regular litter - NOT scoopable. While eliminating the kitten, hold them over litterbox. Also, place messes made in carrier in the litterbox to encourage kitten to use. Let the kitten walk in litter - this will spark their instinct to dig and cover their messes.
* Make sure the rear end is clean! Use baby wipes or damp cloths. If area becomes red or irritated, place a small amount of neosporin ointment to heal.

Before introducing the full-sized litterbox, try a shoebox lid or other low sided box that is easy to climb in and out of. Remember, the kitten should be pottying a few times a day."

post #3 of 19
This site will help you with any questions you have regarding taking care of orphaned kittens:


Thanks so much for fostering this litter.

post #4 of 19
I would not use neosporin on a raw rectum. Not a good idea for a young kitten. You do have to stimulate them to get them to pee and poop. Use a cotton ball that has been soaked in warm water, place it near the rectum and gently run in a circular motion around the rectum with the cotton ball. Keep it warmed by dipping it in water as the warmth aids in elimination. Stimulate them before and after they eat, and be sure to burp them as well. I am not sure what you are feeding them (never heard of the product you named) but KMR is what they need, kitten milk replacer. If you overfeed them, they will get diarrhea- if they just opened their eyes they are about five to ten day old. They need to stay warm, and the best heaters are ones you can make with minute rice, and old sock and a microwave. Fill the sock halfway with uncooked minute made rice. Tie off the ends- nuke the sock for 30 seconds, then tuck the warmed sock in around the kittens- you get about 2 hours of heat that won't burn newborn skin. Keep the kittens out of drafts, and keep them warm. The website that Katie gave you is one that three of us put together off this board in an attempt to help people that find themselves struggling with this type of situation. Please let us know if you have any more questions- and best of luck to you and this litter
post #5 of 19
To answer your other question: kittens open their eyes about 10 days old.
post #6 of 19
Your new babies are beautiful
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi, yes I have been rubbing gently the abdomen and gential area, and they are peeing fine, but the solid black one is the only one pooping.
I am toileting them before and after feeds yes, and cleaning their paws faces and bottoms after.

Cimicat is the best KMR here, (ireland) Its specifically for kittens and low in lactose etc.
I got it off the vet 3 weeks ago, because I have just finished handrearing my baby charming dipodils, their mother was supposed to be sterile, but she wasn't She ran dry when they were 4 days old and the size of a peanut lol
LUckily all 5 survived thanks to cimicat and many sleepless nights.

I'll probably be an insomniac after all this handrearing

I'm about to read that link now, thanks very much
I'll ask afterwards if I have any further questions.
They all have full bellies now and are asleep with momma teddybear and daddy elephant hot water bottle lol

Btw here's my baby dipodils if any of you are wondering what they are.. they are quite rare.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey, already have questions
The site is brilliant help btw, thanks so much for taking the time to put it together.

It says too much feed will cause diarrhoea, so how much is too much?
I'm afraid I don't know cc's, only mls.. how do these translate?
I'm using 2.5 mls syringes.

Also it says 1-3 weeks feed every 4 hours, so am I feeding too often?
I am tending to wake up every time I hear a squeak and cuddle them and find out what they want :p

From the description of normal faeces, it seems the black kitten at least is healthy.I shall concentrate on the anal area after the next feed.. but don't worry I won't make it raw or force it, i'll see if anything happens..

Is that true that microwaving kitten milk is bad?
I was worried so I'v been immersing the bottle in hot water to heat the milk if it has one cold and then testing on my wrist and elbow to make sure it isn't hot.

Thanks so much
post #9 of 19
This guide may be of help:

Birth to 1 week: Feed every 3 hours (8 feedings per day)

From 1 to 3 weeks: Feed every 4 hours (6 feedings per day)

From 3 to 4 weeks: Feed every 5 hours (5 feedings a day)

From 4 to 5 weeks: Feed four to five times a day.

Total Formula required per day
Birth to 1 week: 24cc

1 week: 32cc

2 weeks: 54cc

3 weeks: 80cc

4 weeks: 104cc

5 weeks: 128cc

As a guide, a kitten should drink about 8cc's of formula per ounce of body weight per day.

For example, a kitten that is only one or two days old, will need 24cc divided into 8 feedings, which is 3cc per feed. He may drink a little more or less but you'll know if he's receiving enough formula by monitoring his weight gain.

I had a litter that was also hours old. For aprromiately 2-wks I fed them every 2-hours (yes, around the clock). I really didn't adhere to a guid on how much formula...I was just so thankful that they would suckle from the bottle.

As far as elimination, you must stimulate them (simulating mother) with a warm damp washcloth and wipe gently...after they are bottlefed...and every time.

I have microwaved my formula but always tested on wrist to make sure it wasn't too hot for them.

It also very important that they stay warm. A mother cat can keep her babies at 120 degrees if she had to. Don't cook them or anything I had placed my newborns in a cardboard box lined with clean towels. On top of 1 side of the box, I left a heating pad on low and covered the pad with a towel--doubled it. You don't want the newborns to have direct contact with a heating pad...they are too young to move away if it gets too warm for them.

Cuddling them is great...you have become their mother. May sound a bit out there but I used to rub them against my face and hold them over my heart area so they felt warmth, breath and a heartbeat...again simulating their mother.

Wishing you luck with these guys & Bless you for taking the time to look after them.
post #10 of 19
Although I cannot answer all your questions....what I would do to warm up the formula is to first fill the bottle with the formula...then I would heat up a mug of water in the microwave and place the bottle of formula in the mug of water. This is the way I was told to heat up the formula...hope that helps.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Their water bottle is very warm but also cosy and not too hot because there's a teddy cover, they lie into it like their mammy.

I have a heat pad I could use but my dormice need it to stay out of torpor, and I was concerned about any cross infection between species.. despite all being healthy

They have a nice cosy cat bed with steep sides that is so far keeping their climbing at bay.
I have to admit i'v cuddled them in bed when they are crying and aren't hungry, gassy or need to wee.. that settles them
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
is cc the same as mls?
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
err sorry for all the questions.. just want to make sure I do everything right to give these babies as much as a chance of survival as they deserve.

I noticed one tabby has a wet bottom, its wee, but I toileted him loads after the feed, before too, and I thought they can't go by themselves?

I'v just l cleaned him up and toiletted again but is that normal or bad to happen?
post #14 of 19
It could be the kitten is being suckled by it's littermates, is it a boy? They tend to get suckled a lot. They can pee involuntarily and they can also get pushed to the bottom of the pile to get peed on that way. I always stimulate over the sink, and use a thin trickle of warm water. I put their rear into the warm stream and that helps them eliminate. I also tossed out the cotton ball long ago, and use my second finger- I stay off the rectum, just off to the side and pressing gently, I make circular motions with my finger, over and over. It works like a charm. I keep antibacterial soap close at hand and wash my hands between kittens.

If you microwave your formula it will spoil- I just mix it with warm to hot tap water- then take a jar and run hot water in the jar, put the extra filled bottles in the jar, and cap it. This keeps the formula warm and the bottles more pliable which means less air getting inside kitty's tummy. They will not eliminate every time they eat- you can try adding just a bit more water, or a drop or two of mineral oil to the formula.

The cc to mls question i have no clue- sorry
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that elimination idea, I'll try that next, so far 2 kittens have yet to defecate.
I'v just emptied their bladders.. heated their bottle and filled their bellies... ahh the silence

I suppose it could have been suckling.. yes it is a boy, all the abdomen fur was damp, but since I smelt urine I thought he wet himself.
post #16 of 19
i think ml and cc are the same. i did a search for a converter and this is what i found http://onlineconverters.com/kitchen.html

cc stands for cubic centimetre. if you look it up at somewhere like dictionary.com it says it the same http://www.answers.com/cc&r=67
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just took a few pics while they were out

There's their hot water bottle

Nice and cosy

Little tabby cuddled up under papa bear.. she's not squished they nestle underneath it.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello world

post #19 of 19
They are sweet- so are your other babies by the way. Good luck in the hand-raising. It is a challenge, but oh so rewarding in the long-run!
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