Originally Posted by IloveSiamese
I'm just wondering if I'm freaking out over something I shouldn't. I've been over edge since last weekend. I never saw them nurse before either, but they were fine when I just left Yen to her kittens. I will continue to keep a close eye on them, but maybe Yen doesn't want to be around them because I'm trying to take over too much and maybe because they don't need to eat as often as I think they should.
To be honest, I think this is a very strong possibility. If you can get her to take over as much as possible it is better for the kittens. Their mother's milk has antibodies in it that no catfood, babyfood or anything in the world has, and they will be healthier stronger kittens and cats in the long run.
You really only need to feed them 3 times a day. They are really tiny and have little tiny bellies. And though they may not be eating because of their cold, they also may not be eating if she did nurse them. They might not have been hungry at that point.
But mother cats can be affected by others fussing over their kittens too much. Many animals, and sometimes cats (although not as often) will reject a baby if a human touches it because it changes its scent.
I think it is a very good sign that she is taking care of them when they are confined together and left alone. She might be trying to tell you something. Perhaps you can buy, rent or borrow a cage that is big enough for everyone, including a litterbox, and just keep them together. She might take over more and more. The more she does her thing, the better off the kittens are. And that way if she does get on a maternal roll, you don't have to interrupt her for the Miss Kitty room (that is cute lol).
Just keep a watching eye, and ear. One of the signs that kittens are not getting enough to eat (if weighing them all the time is a problem) is if they seem to be crying for food all the time. I would probably recommend seeing if putting them in the cage and just leaving them there (maybe supplementing the feeding once a day with something that is liquid to make sure they don't dehydrate) and making sure Mom is keeping up her end.
Don't forget that once they are confined together the kittens will push themselves on her to nurse, and she will be forced to stay there and probably get back with the program. The little ones are quite demanding when it comes to their nipples. lol
But if you do this, do it as soon as possible, because the less she nurses, the less milk she will produce. The more they try to nurse from her, the more her milk production will be stimulated.
and then put in a dish of wet food mixed with some baby food 2 or 3 times a day, and leave them to themselves. I think confined in a cage, it will work.
In all honesty, if I had the situation you have, that would be exactly what I would do.
I sitll have to say also that I am not terribly confident with what that vet has said and done. Especially when he didn't seem that concerned about hydration. Just a gut feeling I have. Especially at their age. I could see trying this with adults, but kittens that age sustain the stress of dehydration, etc., as well as adults. I think they should be cured as quickly as possible.
I wouldn't take them to another vet just yet though, since that seemed a bit traumatic (but even if you have to, if you had the cage, she'd probably pick up taking care of them within a day if you just confined them together and left them alone).
I would still suggest that you try a local rescue or animal welfare group. Not only could they give you some excellent advice (they come across this zillions of times), they might even be able to help you with some real hands-on help, perhaps lending you a cage, or other strategies they have found to work in the past.
This site will give you a listing of animal welfare groups, just look up your state or province.http://www.petsmart.com/adoptions/partner_list.shtml
And remember, bottom line, they've been doing this for how many thousands of years, mostly without our help, and know what to do. We are there to help in case there are problems, and then to just love and pamper them. And let Mom do her job.