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Having second thoughts about fostering kittens...long

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just picked up my first litter Friday to foster and I am having doubts. I have 3 indoor cats I rescued as feral kittens which are now about 6 years old. I recently found myself going to the humane society on the weekends looking at kittens. I went last weekend and fell in love with a kitten which I am still kicking myself some for not adopting. I kept telling myself I don't need 5 cats and I don't know if I want to go through the transition period with my crazy calico. I told myself this as I went back the next day with my mother to show her only to find out the kitten was now on hold pending adoption, once again I was happy and sad.

I started reading this message board and the petfinder board. I found myself more and more going to the rescue and urgent sections. I decided since it was kitten season I would offer to foster kittens for some of the local rescues. I picked up four 4-5 week old kittens from one of the rescues after talking about it for several days. Maybe it is because I was lucky when I found mine that they were completely weaned or that I have never had to deal with a litter this young before without a mother cat, but I just feel like I may be in over my head. Maybe I am overthinking it which I have a tendancy to do and I am overly concerned when I shouldn't be.

First off the kittens don't seem to eat or at least not as much as I would expect them to, but I haven't had kittens especially this young in years. Maybe they are eating when I am not in the room but the wet or dry food and the kmr never looks touched. When I am in the room, they cry a lot. I assume part of it is they are looking for their mom but I assume the other part is since they are hungry. If I put them in front of the KMR they will drink very little then walk around crying some of them won't even touch the kmr. I picked up a bottle tonight to try just to make sure they are getting some food and two of them took to it some, but the other two wouldn't touch it. I even tried baby formula as was suggested to another member on one of the forums which they also wanted nothing to do with. I am just concerned and wondering come Monday when I go back to work if I am doing the right thing. I am almost to the point that I think taming ferals would be a lot easier because at least I would know they were eating.

Any advice or suggestions?
post #2 of 6
I would try posting this in the pregnant cat and kitten forum and I am sure a MOD there as well as some of the more informed members will be able to help you, as I know I can be of no help to you in this area. But one thing I can say to you is: Don't overthink it right now, you know these kitties need you and you are going to do a wonderful job for them. This is new to you and you are not expeted to know everything instantly and atleast you are searching out the answers instead of sitting there and letting them suffer if there were something else you could be doing. You are doing great, just take a deep breath and enjoy the babies!!!
post #3 of 6
I will move this to the pregnant cat & kitten forum where no doubt you will recieve some excellent advise from our members
post #4 of 6
Don't give up yet, you are just having new-Mom-jitters!

If they don't like the bottle, try a syringe (no needle of course). Put the kitty on its belly, with the head tilted back, and drip some warm KMR into them. At 5 weeks, they shouldn't need KMR, but maybe since they have no Mom they are immature.

Also, call the rescue for advice. They should be able to help mentor you through this tough period. I have had many scares and close calls when fostering, and without TCS and phone calls to the rescue, I don't know what I would have done.

When I have kittens, I like to sit on the floor with them. They generally crawl all over my by 5 weeks. You might want to lay a blanket on your lap so they don't scratch you or your clothes, then pile them in your lap. Give them lots of pets and loving, since they don't have a Mom they will need your extra care.

You can do this! (But it is MUCH easier if you get a Momma cat with the babies! LOL!)
post #5 of 6
Go to the grocery store and buy several jars of human baby food, chicken or turkey meat only -- no vegetables or onions. While you are there, also pick up a package of the small, dessert-sized paper plates. When you get home, warm a jar of the baby food in a bowl of hot water. You want the food to be warm but not at all hot. Pour it out onto the paper plate and offer it to the kittens. My guess is they will snarf it up quickly and readily. If they do not, then smear a blob of it on your finger and offer it to them that way. Just keep lowering your hand closer and closer to the plate until they are eating from the plate and not your hand.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I ended up taking them back to the rescue tonight since now the tabby developed diarrhea in addition to the tortie.

Yeah I sat and played with them for an hour or so every 2-3 hours. They would come running out crying everytime I opened the door to play. If I set them by the KMR they would drink some but then walk back crying. They would also eat a little dry out of my hand but wouldn't touch it really in a bowl or on a paper plate. I tried everything from plain yogurt to baby food both chicken and turkey. They also wanted nothing to do with AD with or without KMR. Two of them seemed to like the Iams kitten wet food that is in the individual packets but these two always were the easiest to get to eat.

The head of the rescue said she had the same problem but then they had started eating on their own which is why she gave them to me. She told them to bring them back also due to the diarrhea and the fact with work I won't be home as much as I would like with work. She may call me in a week or so if they are truly eating on their own or if she has an easier litter to start with. I am hesitant to keep a mom with litter due to my cats. They already rush the room when I open the door but I had the kittens in the private bath.

Right now my goal is trying to convince my mom to take a feral litter from another rescue but I am still waiting to hear back.
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