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Supplemental Feeding Litter of 8

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm fostering a mama cat that gave birth almost a week ago to 8 healthy kittens. Mama has been a very attentive mother. She is eating well; MaxCat kitten wet food, Innova Evo dry (for kitten/growth), and I'm also giving her KMR on a daily basis. All kittens have been steadily gaining weight; most have averaged close to one half ounce per day. However, the smallest kitten has been averaging closer to a quarter of an ounce weight gain per day, so she has been lagging behind her siblings. She does however, seem quite vigorous and healthy.

I have attempted to take opportunities when mama is available and the other kittens are sleeping to place this little one up to mama's nipples for extra feeding time. I have also attempted to supplement with KMR via a bottle; however, she seems totally disinterested in the bottle and I have not been very successful. I imagine if she were an orphan, the bottle feeding would be more successful, but the bottle is competing with mama.

With 8 kittens to feed, I imagine mama and the kittens would benefit if some supplemental feedings were accomplished. Any ideas from you experts out there how to entice these kittens to accept a supplemental bottle, or do you think it is necessary? Thanks!
post #2 of 5
8 is a large litter to be sure ... and supplementing is worth it to preserve Momma's resources. I would suggest you keep trying with the bottle and of course, allow Momma to eat all she wants whenever she wants.

Best of luck,

post #3 of 5
Please keep us posted on how your litter is doing. I'm glad you are keeping a very close eye on that tiny baby!
post #4 of 5
I have rarely seen a kitten take the bottle, I have more success with a syringe. They dont like their mouths pried open, but they love the KMR, and nose around looking for more! Right now I am removing the other kittens, not far, just in a little cat bed where the mom can see them, and letting the runt have private nursing sessions. This is helping him a lot.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. Today the kittens are 10 days old. All but the smallest have averaged weight gains of 1/2 oz. per day or just above. Weight gain for the smallest has averaged about a fifth of an ounce under that, so not too far behind. In fact, in the last 3 days she has gained 2 oz., so she is picking up steam. When I have the opportunity to observe the "horde" nursing, I try to get her on one of the best producing nipples and guard her position. Most often she is nursing on the nipple located furthest up the chest, and I have read these nipples produce less than those located lower on the belly.

So as long as the kittens are gaining sufficiently and mama cat is handling the demand, I'll just keep monitoring the situation. If I do need to try supplementing again, I'll give the syringe a try.
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