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Nursing & Bottle-Feeding Question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
A mother cat recently had five kittens and is nursing them. The kittens are approximately 2-3 weeks old. Is it okay to assist the mother with KMR/bottle-feedings?
post #2 of 12
Yes but is it really needed are any of the kittens much smaller then the rest?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank-you for the quick reply.

The kittens look good so far. The mother doesn't look so great. She is very thin and it is soooo hot here in NY. Real feel has been over 100 degrees for days now.

I really just want to make sure the kittens are getting enough formula. These are outside...semi-feral...semi-not-so-feral cats.

I see the mother come & go...mostly she is with them but again, just want to make sure they are getting enough to stay healthy.
post #4 of 12
No worries.

If you are worried about either party it can't hurt to supplement. Especially in that heat it must be hard for the mother.
post #5 of 12
That seems like a real good idea. It will give her a little bit of a break, and help tame them even more!
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, I went out to feed the adults and brought a bottle of KMR with a towel for the little ones. To my surprise, the little ones took the bottle immediately. Between the five of them, they finished an entire bottle.

More surprise, the mother cat bonked me while I fed them. She actually, sat with me and watched while I bottle-fed her babies...very cool

Going to devise a cage of sorts and bring these little ones in over the weekend. It is breaking my heart that they are outside exposed to everything & anything. Hopefully, all will be healthy and when of age, I can find some good loving homes for them.

Thanks for the ideas and will keep you up-to-date on kittens & mother.
post #7 of 12
Please bring the mom in as well. She just sounds like she needs a cool place to hang out with her family and a vet visit. Please do not separate the family- this is not a good thing-
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Will do my best to keep them together. Trust me, I would prefer that the mother do most of the work right now, being that the little ones are so young.

Since my last post, my neighbor called to let me know that the kittens are walking all over the place in the back. Not good. There are stairs, nooks & crannies, etc. I put them all back in their box and hope that they settle down. Wish the mother would keep a better eye on them.

With her last litter, 1 of the kittens wandered off never to return. That is when I brought in the remaining litter and eventually adopted them out.

Will let you know how it goes.
post #9 of 12
It would be much better to bring Mom and everyone indoors, especially if Mom is friendly. Only about half of kittens born outside survive to 12 weeks of age so this is really the most vulnerable time for them. There's only so much Mom can do to keep track of her babies once they've become mobile. If you've ever tried to keep an eye on a handful of preschool-aged children at the playground, you know what I'm talking about!

Formula is okay but it's no substitute for Mom's milk. Nature is amazing in how it provides for babies - even malnourished mothers can still make perfectly good milk for their babies. But you're right that it's tough on Mom. The best thing you can do for this situation is to give Mom more premium kitten food to eat and plenty of water to drink. That way she'll be healthier and will be able to take care of her babies better.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Fed the adults like normal this morning and found all five kittens huddled under a bbq. Gave the mother dry & wet kitten food but it is very hard to keep the other adults out of her "special" serving.

Bottled-fed all of the babies with mother watching again. One little boy had one eye glued shut with crust so I brought him in and wiped his eye gently with warm water & washcloth. Glad I have some Terramycin on hand...applied a bit to his crusty eye.

I noticed they sort-of gnawed a bit on the nipple and am wondering if maybe a little kitten gruel would be okay? They seem to have tiny little teeth and I am estimating they are 3-weeks of age.

All ears have popped-out and eyes are blue. Looks like 3 boys & 2 girls. They are able to walk around but noticed they are a bit shaky.

Interesting how all the adults seem to keep close to the babies including the two adult males of the colony. Teamwork
post #11 of 12
If you think your mom cat is not feeding the kittens enough I would help her with other formula....Gulp I think it is called but not to sure...I hope this helps
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am assisting the mother with some bottle-feeding for her babies...using KMR. I am feeding the mother premium kitten food...dry & wet mixed.
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