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OUCH! Bottle feeding hurts!!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
OH boy! My babies are now about 4 1/2 weeks old now and I am still bottle feeding, simply because no matter how hard I try, I cannot get them to eat solids or lap the milk from a bowl, platter, whatever. My male kitty, Bumpa, is beginning to get very aggressive while feeding. I don't believe he is being mean or trying to hurt me, however, my hands are covered in claw marks. When I give him the bottle, both of his front paws are clawing at the bottle as if someone is trying to take it. He ends up clawing at the bottle and my hands. In addition, he tries to bite the nipple, rather than suckle, bite the cover, bite the bottle. I can't figure out why. He seems so overexcited while feeding sometimes. I have tried over and over and over again to get him to eat solids. I have bought hard food, soft food. I have diluted it, warmed it, given it cold. I have served it on jar lids, in ramekin dishes, back of a spoon, scoop of a spoon. I have served it from my finger, smeared it on his face and paws. I have tried kitten food, baby food, raw food. Nothing is working!

I will continue to bottle feed if that is what he needs right now, but oh my, my hands hurt so much from all of the needle like punctures.

Any advice?
Thanks
Sherry
post #2 of 14
My little baby is going through similar now. She's about the same age & she automatically grabs at the bottle whenever you feed, as if it's the last drop of formula on earth and she MUST have it!!

She's eating any other type of food that she can fit into her mouth though, too. lol

What worked for me is wrapping her in a towel when she started getting really "pawey" at the bottle. It saves your hands but she can still knead.

At that age, your babies should be able to go almost 8 hrs. between feedings. If you keep them full all of the time they are less likely to take to the solid foods. Try being an hour or so late on a meal, then offering the solids. Warm the food so it's more palatable & stronger smelling, and mix some formula into it.

I know, some babies are slower than others to take to solids. This one of mine was taking little bits of scrambled egg & suckling yogurt at 2 weeks! But it sounds like yours just aren't quite ready yet to give up the bottle.
post #3 of 14
Yeah, I would try the towel approach - Not too tight so they can still wiggle underneath it but your hands don't get massacred in the process!! Also you could try to clip the nails with the nail clipper - But only a very small amount just to take off the very tips.
post #4 of 14
Sherry,

I remember those days. I am allergic so I literally wanted to rip my hands off my body. I know everyone is different but Aveeno cream (not the lotion) worked well for me. I just kept it nearby and used it throughout the day
post #5 of 14
Try making the hole in the nipple bigger. I suspect he is frustrated because the flow of milk replacer is too slow for his preference.
post #6 of 14
They are really young and should still be on the bottle for at least another week or two. Don't rush them off it. Wear a pair of garden gloves when you feed. or if you have help and know the correct way to trim their claws, trim them. But if you have never done it before on such a small kitten, don't attempt it. You don't want to cut the quick
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarstow
OH boy! My babies are now about 4 1/2 weeks old now and I am still bottle feeding, simply because no matter how hard I try, I cannot get them to eat solids or lap the milk from a bowl, platter, whatever. My male kitty, Bumpa, is beginning to get very aggressive while feeding. I don't believe he is being mean or trying to hurt me, however, my hands are covered in claw marks. When I give him the bottle, both of his front paws are clawing at the bottle as if someone is trying to take it. He ends up clawing at the bottle and my hands. In addition, he tries to bite the nipple, rather than suckle, bite the cover, bite the bottle. I can't figure out why. He seems so overexcited while feeding sometimes. I have tried over and over and over again to get him to eat solids. I have bought hard food, soft food. I have diluted it, warmed it, given it cold. I have served it on jar lids, in ramekin dishes, back of a spoon, scoop of a spoon. I have served it from my finger, smeared it on his face and paws. I have tried kitten food, baby food, raw food. Nothing is working!

I will continue to bottle feed if that is what he needs right now, but oh my, my hands hurt so much from all of the needle like punctures.

Any advice?
Thanks
Sherry
My advice is to get used to it sherry..... ...claw marks come with the territory........good luck though....the pain will me very much worth it once you see how healthy and happy your kits are in the end....
post #8 of 14
Jake from my last orphaned litter did that. I had 4 to feed and he would scratch, claw and bite to get at the bottle. The trick that worked for me was to sit cross legged on the floor with a towel in my lap. I'd plant him buttside down on the towel with his head facing away from me. He was slanting upward and fed the bottle from an angle pointing towards him. For some reason, it made it harder for him to claw me. Once he had a few cc's in him he would settle down and I could switch to others.

And interestingly, I thought mine were really old when they wouldn't get off the bottle until they were 8 weeks old. Talking to a kitten rescue group last week, the oldest kitten that wouldn't wean for them was 12 weeks. Yes, they pampered him, but 4-1/2 weeks could be a long way off from being weaned.
post #9 of 14
My wee girl was a late eater too at 7/8 weeks.
In the end it was an emergency vet stay that got her eating but before that I would mix in a couple of teaspoons of fine kitten food with her milk after making the hole bigger.
post #10 of 14
My little kittens couldn't WAIT to get their paws, snauts and pretty much everything else into canned kitten food (the pate kind) even though they were only 1 month old. They had to be separated from their momma (vet's orders since momma had cat flu) and there I was fretting bout where I could get KMR. We thought they wouldn't want canned Fancy Feast, but heck they ripped right through it making sucking noises and seeming terribly happy with it!

My surviving Wukong refused to eat soft food later when he was reunited with momma. He leaped right onto hard dry crunchy kibble with so much gusto, and he's been on it ever since. It's weird really... seems like he just can't wait to grow up!

Anyway, my advise is to wear gloves or something which protects your fingers.... Kitty can still express his joy at getting milk, and you can still have intact hands.
post #11 of 14
I used the towel approach but I also wore gloves that the kittens seemed to like (even tho I once did this in JULY, lol) There is no need to rtush them - they will grow up too fast before you know it and you will look back on these days with much fondness. Enjoy them!! You could also clip their nails and that will also get them used to that procedure so it is not something they learn to dislike later. I have even taken emery boards to kittens' nails and that actually worked quite well - it did not hurt them, they thought I was playing, it helped them adjust to having thei nails done as a routine thing and it helped any possible targets of the nails, lol (including my hands as well as my curtains, )


Have fun!!
post #12 of 14
LOL yeah they grow up SO fast...

Do clip their claws only if you know how to. If you're afraid of hurting kitty, better get someone who's done it before to help out.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well at least I know I am not the only one with a kitten who thinks every feeding is his last. I took the towel suggestion, only instead of wrapping him, I put it over my hands and then held the bottle. This seems to be working. I don't dare clip his nails as I have never done that before. Quick question . Have any of you every used the nail cover things they sell at Pet Smart? They come in various colors and sizes. They are made of plastic I think and fit over their claws to prevent damage to furniture and such, but still allow the cat to use their claws. I was thinking about trying those.

Anyway, thanks for the tips!!!

Sherry
post #14 of 14
Hey Sherry...trimming the kitten's nails shouldn't be a problem...I did it with my 2 fosters. It actually helps to get the kitten familiar with that strange implement that will be trimming their nails throughout their lifetime. Just cut off the tippy top (sharpest area). Don't go too far down..but by blunting their nails..it should help with the feeding.

Katie
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