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Kitten Won't Stop Nursing

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
The neighborhood cat adopted us and had her kittens in our house. She had 2 then another one was born some time after that. The last kitten is the smallest one and the first one is the biggest. They are about 7 wks old now and the biggest one has been weaned for a couple of weeks now. The Middle cat followed shortly after. (though they still nurse from time to time...I think for comfort or to help them sleep). The smaller one is the issue, she doesn't want to eat regular food. All she wants to do is nurse. The momma cat doesn't seem very comfortable with this so I am trying "force" her to eat, but without much success. She prefers the milk. What can I do? I'm afraid if I give away the baby she will starve do death without the mom. Also, what's a good time remove them from the mother?
post #2 of 16
How awesome of you to take in this cat and her babies! I can't offer much help on the nursing situation, but I can tell you that most people find them homes at 8 weeks, but it's better if they stay with mom 10-12 weeks if it's at all possible! My babies will be 7 weeks saturday! They are so much fun, so enjoy them!!!
post #3 of 16
My cat Nikki gave birth to three kittens last year. Somehow the oldest (Angel) was the last to be weaned. At seven weeks she refuse to eat wet or dry kitten food, she would only eat from her mom's nipples. At eight weeks I decided to put some wet food on Angel's paw and lips, she hated it. I continued to put wet food on her lips and paws until she got used to the taste. Finally at 9 weeks, she ate the wet food. It took her till about 10 1/2 weeks for her to graduate from her mother's milk to wet/dry food.
post #4 of 16
I think there was an animal study done a long time ago (forgot which animal it was ) that says the longer they suckle the stronger their immunity is. So I think it is nothing to worry about.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by conbark
The neighborhood cat adopted us and had her kittens in our house. She had 2 then another one was born some time after that. The last kitten is the smallest one and the first one is the biggest. They are about 7 wks old now and the biggest one has been weaned for a couple of weeks now. The Middle cat followed shortly after. (though they still nurse from time to time...I think for comfort or to help them sleep). The smaller one is the issue, she doesn't want to eat regular food. All she wants to do is nurse. The momma cat doesn't seem very comfortable with this so I am trying "force" her to eat, but without much success. She prefers the milk. What can I do? I'm afraid if I give away the baby she will starve do death without the mom. Also, what's a good time remove them from the mother?
Since it is preferable for kittens to stay with the mom until they are 10-12 weeks of age...I would give her a couple more weeks. Are you planning to have mom spayed?? Please make sure that mom is kept strictly indoors only until she has been spayed as she can get pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth. Additionally, I would highly recommend that you not give the kittens away.

http://www.cathobbyist.com/articles/...yist/Free.html

I would also encourage you to check to see if you can have the kitten fixed prior to going into their new homes and charging the spay/neuter fee to the adoptor. There are lots of low cost clinics in California:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/stca.html

Katie
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Good news! Not long after I posted, Princess started eating food. I had to hand feed her for the first couple of days but I think tasting the food really got her to like it. All the kittens still nurse from time to time to help them sleep mostly. Mama cant' seems dried up. (she's got her shape back).

I do have another question: I can't seem to get rid of their fleas. The most seems to be the host since I cannot find any on her but the kittens always seems to get them again within days after bathing. How can I permanently rid them of these pests?!
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by conbark
Good news! Not long after I posted, Princess started eating food. I had to hand feed her for the first couple of days but I think tasting the food really got her to like it. All the kittens still nurse from time to time to help them sleep mostly. Mama cant' seems dried up. (she's got her shape back).

I do have another question: I can't seem to get rid of their fleas. The most seems to be the host since I cannot find any on her but the kittens always seems to get them again within days after bathing. How can I permanently rid them of these pests?!
I'm assuming the entire family is indoors only. Since the kittens are only 7 weeks of age, I would discuss with your vet whether it is safe to use any flea products on them. For now...I would use a flea comb to remove the fleas from the kittens. There is this shampoo that is stated to be safe for kittens over 6 weeks of age:

Adams Flea Off Shampoo

Also...if mom is done nursing...you can set her up for her spay appt. Make sure she is kept indoors only until she can be spayed.

Katie
post #8 of 16
Can a mother cat be spayed if her kitten still nurses occasionally? Or does her milk HAVE to dry up first?
post #9 of 16
All vets do it differently. I had a mother spayed a few weeks ago and she still had 2 babies that would nurse on the very rare occation. The incision was about an inch long and they still suckled a few times after that. See what your vet says they will do.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMeowgi
Can a mother cat be spayed if her kitten still nurses occasionally? Or does her milk HAVE to dry up first?
It definately depends on the vet...I would certainly ask yours if he/her would spay a cat that was still lactating.

Katie
post #11 of 16
Thanks.

They're Humane Society girls that I'm fostering. I just called and they won't spay Momma yet. Shoot.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMeowgi
Thanks.

They're Humane Society girls that I'm fostering. I just called and they won't spay Momma yet. Shoot.

Did they say why they wouldn't? I would be interested in knowing what other vets think -- mine won't spay until the queen is absolutely no longer lactating at all. And as long as there is a kitten stimulating the milk to drop, it will keep dropping.

There was a post here recently -- sorry, can't find it at the moment -- regarding this same issue. I have never had any personal experience with this method, but a couple of breeders I know suggested using a tube sock on a girl who won't stop allowing kittens to nurse. Cut off the toe of the sock and slip it over her back and belly area blocking off access to the nipples.
post #13 of 16
Oh, that's a great idea (tube sock). I'm not sure how she'd tolerate it but I could give it a shot. I'd really like to get her spayed at the same time as the kitten because they're both going to the same home (yay!!!) so it would be nice if they could go to their new home together. Do you know how long it takes for the milk to dry? If I can get it to dry by Tuesday, they should be able to spay her, too.

They didn't really say why they wouldn't spay the Momma. They just said they can't if her kitten is still nursing.
post #14 of 16
I found a cat, who was pregnant and after she delivered she immediately went into heat. My vet advised me to have her spayed when her kittens were only 6 weeks old and still nursing. She said the stress she was under due to being in heat was too stressful on her body. I had her spayed and as advised fed the kittens with kitten formula for another month. She also continued to nurse them when she came home and continued to do so until her kittens were 2 years old. Now, she occassionaly only nurses 2 of the 4 kittens and they are 3 1/2 years old now.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami
Now, she occassionaly only nurses 2 of the 4 kittens and they are 3 1/2 years old now.
It's a comfort thing.
post #16 of 16

Yes. They might continue to do this all their life, you  have nothing to worry about, unless they are not eating solid foods.

Has her milk dried up?

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