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Help Introducing solid food plz

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I went and got the Kmr formula, but kyle got regular wet cat food...is that ok??? or does it have to be kitten?

Now Yuki and Hitomi are almost 5 weeks old.
How often should they eat and how much?
post #2 of 20
Kitten food is what they need, be it wet or dry.
Make sure you get a good, quality brand and have dry food out all the time for them if possible.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
Kitten food is what they need, be it wet or dry.
Make sure you get a good, quality brand and have dry food out all the time for them if possible.
I agree and I would add that you can start them with a soupy mixture of canned kitten food and KMR, if they seem to balk at the thick texture of the canned. It is a super messy process at first, but you will be surprised how quickly they realize solid food is yummy and good!
post #4 of 20
The KMR is for kitten that don't have a mother cat to nurse from. If they are getting enough from their mother, you don't need it. Keep it, return it, or you can give it to a local rescue group, they can always use things like that.

If you give them dry kitten food, at least for the next 2 weeks or so, I'd suggest moistening it with some warm water. You could even add some warm water to the wet kitten food too, and mix in some dry (as long as there's enough water to moisten that too) or not, depending on your personal choice. The kitten food is good for the mom until she stops nursing.

At their age, I'd put out some food 3 times a day if you can, 2 if that's impossible, with a bowl for the momma and on a dinner plate for the kittens. I would suggest putting the plate on some laid out newspaper. At the beginning, they will probably spend more time walking in it and rolling in it than they will eating it. lol

And then don't worry about it. The mother knows when it's time for then to be weaned, and she'll start pushing them away from her and teaching and encouraging them to eat regular food. So don't worry if you see them try to nurse and suddenly she gets angry at them and pushes them away. That's normal. She'll do it more and more until they are weaned completely.

The only time you may need to step in and perhaps feed them separately from the mother is if she doesn't want to wean them (a problem I had--that's why Rocky is such a Momma's boy). But that's the exception to the rule.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
The reason I'm concerned is because they are only 4 1/2 weeks old and their mom really won't have anything to do with them. This started after they had a visit to the vet, which was the beginning of this past week.

I can tell that one has lost wieght for sure and I have been home all day today and I have not seem them nurse at all and Yen hasn't even been by them to check on them since 10am this morning even if they start to cry for her.

They have slept all day long. Is this normal for their age...I thought they would run around and explore but they don't.
post #6 of 20
Under the circumstances, I would definitely supplement with the KMR and also try to get them to try some of the canned mixed with KMR.

Are you weighing them everyday? If not, it would be a good idea to start so that you can keep a close eye on them. They shold never be losing weight.

I would also call the vet and ask for their advice.

Good luck and please keep us updated.
post #7 of 20
I agree, if the mom is not feeding them, or feeding them enough, you might want to try a little kmr.

However, at 4 1/2 weeks, although a bit young, they are still old enough to be started on solid food and weaning.

I would suggest making sure the food is moistened with warm water if you use dry, or dilute the wet canned food with a bit of warm water too.

And start right away, even if you do supplement with bottle feedings of KMR, or getting them to lap it up themselves. At their age, you should be able to wean them rather quickly.

One question, are they using the litterbox yet? If not, do you know how to stimulate them to go to the bathroom? If not, I'd be happy to give you a site that explains it.

To get them interested in the food, if they are not, what I did was touch the tip of my finger to the food, then touched the front of their lips so they'd get the scent and a bit of the taste.

And yes, please, keep up updated!
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok, so these kittens really aren't interested at all in eating or drinking. I tried everything I have read on this site.

I put some food on my finger and yada yada and they still did not want it, even when i rub some by their mouth.

They also do not like the Krm. Could this have something to do with their cold??? I have cleaned their eyes and nose 3 times today(their eyes are opening again and they have stopped sneezing) and there is improvement. I will keep trying. Maybe as their colds clear up they will have more interest in eating. I know when I am sick I don't like to eat either.

They respond to plain warm water but that won't provide their nutrients. I just find this weird and the vet said just to keep trying.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by IloveSiamese
Ok, so these kittens really aren't interested at all in eating or drinking. I tried everything I have read on this site.

I put some food on my finger and yada yada and they still did not want it, even when i rub some by their mouth.

They also do not like the Krm. Could this have something to do with their cold??? I have cleaned their eyes and nose 3 times today(their eyes are opening again and they have stopped sneezing) and there is improvement. I will keep trying. Maybe as their colds clear up they will have more interest in eating. I know when I am sick I don't like to eat either.

They respond to plain warm water but that won't provide their nutrients. I just find this weird and the vet said just to keep trying.
Yes, it definitely could have to do with their not being able to smell.

Have you tried putting it on their paws to see if they will lick it off?

The thing is, you really, really need to keep them hydrated. So do not give up with the water...and I would make some homemade pedialite and give them that instead.

To be honest, I think it is time to call the vet. It does not take long for dehydration to set in (especially with sick kittens). They can literally go downhill in a matter of hours, so it is very important that they get fluids and nutrients.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have phoned the vet about thier cold and the kmr. He said to make sure the Krm is room temp and isn't too cold from being in the fridge. He also said they are old enough to start being intoduced to solids.(nothing you guys didnt already say)! He was happy to know that they are getting better in reguards to their cold because he thinks that they may not want to eat because of the blocked nose and they will not be able to breath that well if they are eating.
I have kept up with the water and cleaning. The more I keep their eyes and nose wiped, the better they do. I am still trying with the krm.

OK, I went and got a carrier type thing and put the kittens in there and then got yen and locked them in together. She didn't freak out to my surprise and she started to clean them. I had to let her out to use the Miss Kitty's room after about an hour. I think that they nursed for a little.

Now that Telaryn is feeling better I can lock them in the bathroom with the space heater to keep them warm.

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.
post #11 of 20
The only way you can be sure that they are eating enough is to weigh them daily. (using a gram or ounce scale) They should gain, never lose, every day. Maybe that would make you feel better and help you relax too?

Sounds like the carrier idea is a good one. Good luck to you!
post #12 of 20
Yen probably smelled the vet on them and that's why she has been standoffish towards them.

I would get some human babyfood at this point ... chicken or turkey meat is what I use ... and warm it in a bowl of hot water. Don't want it too hot, but enough to make the aroma more appealing. I don't know of a lot of cats who aren't interested in baby food.
post #13 of 20
Very good idea gayef! I didn't even think of baby food. I agree, very few animals turn away from the meat baby foods. Not sure why, it smells nasty to me, LOL.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
I think the carrier was a good idea, she has been in there with them for nearly 2 1/2 hours. *whew* And I just sent Kyle for some baby food. I think this may work along with all the cleanings I have been giving them.
post #15 of 20
Good luck to you, I know how frustrating it can be when you know things are 'wrong' but you have no idea of what to do. Been there, done that.
post #16 of 20
Patience is the key here. Just be persistant in offering the baby food. I smear the whole jar onto a dessert-sized paper plate, get down on the kitchen floor (it is vinyl and easy to clean), get a dollop of the baby food on my finger, put my finger up to the baby's mouth and smear a little on the outside of their mouth. They normally lick it right off and as they are, I put my finger right in there as they lick. Once they are taking the food off my finger, I slowly move my finger down towards the plate as they continue to lick - once at the plate, they begin licking the plate instead. It works nearly every time.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
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.
post #18 of 20
Thats ok, you can still mix in the KMR with the wet food. I'd get a few cans of kitten food tho cause it has more vitamins, etc. for growing kittens.

Just remember that kittens survived on adult food for centuries
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well I left them together all night, back under my bed! They come out on their own now so this is easier to check on them.

Something to be concerned about is their lack of engery? They don't cry very often to be fed. I only heard them twice yesterday.

I really hope they don't want to take food or drink because they aren't hungry.

This morning there was great improvement from yesterday!!!! I clean their eyes and nose then feed them individually at about 11am. Yuki drank 1 1/2 tsp of krm but still no interest in baby food. Hitomi only had 2 ml though. As I was feeding both of them, it seemed to bring out the stuff that is in their nose and eyes. Yuki can now breath well out of her nose again!! I feel that this is a fight and as long as I keep up with trying that they will get better.

This helps ease my mind that they won't get dehydrated. Oh yea and I know they for sure pee lol. Cuz last night when I was putting them into the bathroom they peed at the same time on the towel I layed down and then they peed on my this morning.

Is this a good sign that they are getting enough to drink??????
post #20 of 20
I am new to this kitten stuff as mine are only 1 week old but it sounds as if you are doing a FANTASTIC job! This site is amazing and it is wonderful to have so much support. Vets are caring yet it is their job whereas for the people visiting this site, our cats are our lives!

Hang in there! They will be grown much too soon!
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