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Bottle feeding 5 days old kitten

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
One of Kiera's kittens isn't doing too well... Loosing weight while the others are gaining. I'll try GayeF's suggestion of separating the other littermates to give him alone time with momma to feed tonight after work.

My question is on bottle feeding. I have tried a syringe, a dropper and a squirt bottle all with no luck. He is not interested in taking any of these things. Can't say I blame him - they are plastic... I tried to get a proper baby bottle but the darn pet store was out. I'll try again on monday at a different store.

So how do I get the little guy to drink the milk I have for him ?? He squirms around and tries to crawl away and swings his head from side to side. He really needs the supplement as he lost 15 grams this morning from yesterday's weight (took him 2 days to put on that weigth !) but I just can't get him to eat. Begging and pleading hasn't worked either...

It's so frustrating knowing that he HAS to eat and he just won't take it.

post #2 of 5
Little ones squirm & it is definitely frustrating.

I have bought many a baby bottle from the pet store...they come with different length nipples. I have found the little ones take to the bottle quicker by cutting off and/or making the end of the nipple opening larger than it is out of the box. Also, the formula...KMR...or something similar (not dairy milk) should be warm...not cold & not hot...but warm. I have also put a bit of the KMR on my finger tip and smeared onto their little lips...they usually can smell it and the next time that bottle/nipple comes close...they go for it.
post #3 of 5
Julie, he is used to Momcat's nipple and milk, so having a bottle will seem alien to him. You may have to get the vet to teach you how to tube-feed him. This can be a life saver sometimes.
post #4 of 5
go to your vet for a bottle, they have lots and can tell you the kind they have most success with.
post #5 of 5
The kitten needs to see a vet immediately. Weight loss in a newborn kitten needs to be taken very seriously.

I actually do not think the lack of a kitten bottle is the cause of the kitten's refusal to feed. Kittens do not recognize a rubber nipple as a source of milk any more readily than they would recognize a syringe tip. It's more similar to mother's nipple, of course, but not that much more similar. I personally use a syringe on all my bottle babies for the first few days because they need to have the tip inserted into their mouths and a bit of milk dripped in before they "get it" and start feeding on their own. They graduate to a bottle once they are eating well with a syringe.

The vet can give you a better idea of what is going on with him and will be able to give you pointers on bottle feeding. Feeding willing kittens is easy enough but feeding difficult feeders is trickier and the techniques for feeding them are much more easily learned through observation than through reading a description.
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