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Uncapable Mother of Kittens - Day 3 and More Questions:

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
To rebrief everyone quick - we have a first-time mother cat that had 4 kittens the night of the 5th.

Yesterday after I found that one did not make it, I learned that the mother cat is either not producing milk....or something isn't right and the kittens are not able to nurse. The mother is their with them all the time, but things just aren't working.

We bought KMR and a bottle which perked them right up, but I almost had to force feed them - they do not, and still do not grab onto the small, narrow nipple of the bottle and WANT to eat. You have to force them by wetting their mouth and wait for the few and far between meow to get it in their mouth.

I have been doing this steadily, and even through the night (1:30 am, then again at 4am), but this morning another one did not make it.

Very disappointed as I've never had this problem before.

So now there is only one left, which is even going to be more difficult for him because of the lack of mutual body heat.

I have a meeting today at 9 that will last a couple hours, but when I get back should I take the last kitten and the mother to the local cat hospital?
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat109
To rebrief everyone quick - we have a first-time mother cat that had 4 kittens the night of the 5th.

Yesterday after I found that one did not make it, I learned that the mother cat is either not producing milk....or something isn't right and the kittens are not able to nurse. The mother is their with them all the time, but things just aren't working.

We bought KMR and a bottle which perked them right up, but I almost had to force feed them - they do not, and still do not grab onto the small, narrow nipple of the bottle and WANT to eat. You have to force them by wetting their mouth and wait for the few and far between meow to get it in their mouth.

I have been doing this steadily, and even through the night (1:30 am, then again at 4am), but this morning another one did not make it.

Very disappointed as I've never had this problem before.

So now there is only one left, which is even going to be more difficult for him because of the lack of mutual body heat.

I have a meeting today at 9 that will last a couple hours, but when I get back should I take the last kitten and the mother to the local cat hospital?
I'm soooo sorry to hear about the loss of a second kitten.....if it were me, I would take the mom and the surviving kitten to the vet. Please keep us posted.

HUGS.

Katie
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
thanks - why on earth won't the kitten eat??!!!
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat109
thanks - why on earth won't the kitten eat??!!!
I'm not sure....however I know your frustration. I had a kitten who had pneumonia....I tried desperately to save it's life but it refused to drink KMR and in the end it died. I was devistated. Just remember that regardless of what happens...you have done all you could for these little ones.

Kaite
post #5 of 18
There could been something wrong with these kittens that we can't see that could epxlain the not eating. I would go to the vet and see if they can give you the materials for tube feeding. You are doing everything you can, no matter what happens these kittens were warm and loved and that means so much. Thank you for doing everything you have.
post #6 of 18
You have done a great job it is good to see peopleout there with kind hearts to help out..
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Got back from my meeting and the last remaining kitten is still alive and doing fairly ok. I was honestly just surprised he's still going (and he was the runt).

Latest report: Called a vet - they said if the mother isn't producing milk there is nothing they can do. They just suggested getting a schringe to force feed the kitten. Just a few minutes ago the kitten (not named yet - 'will be called Fighter if he makes it) WAS trying to nurse, and I could hear him trying to get something out of mommy. Likely the mother's malfunction.

Off to get a schringe and keep trying.

Another thing: the kitten barely meows, if ever anymore. I'm assuming this is a sign of weakness?

Hopefully the schringe works better than that bottle.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
The schringe is working better - maybe just easier to control. If they kitten only takes in tiny amounts at a time, I suppose this is still progress? Never at any point has the kitten grabbed on and started drinking ambitiously - its always a forced thing. But I will say he has a lot of resistance in him, which equates to energy and thats good.

At drops at a time with the schringe, how often would you feed him?

And, I don't believe he has even used the "men's room" yet - the mother IS cleaning him still, all over - I know they need to clean their bottom to stimulate movement, but nothing yet.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat109
The schringe is working better - maybe just easier to control. If they kitten only takes in tiny amounts at a time, I suppose this is still progress? Never at any point has the kitten grabbed on and started drinking ambitiously - its always a forced thing. But I will say he has a lot of resistance in him, which equates to energy and thats good.

At drops at a time with the schringe, how often would you feed him?

And, I don't believe he has even used the "men's room" yet - the mother IS cleaning him still, all over - I know they need to clean their bottom to stimulate movement, but nothing yet.

Typically you won't "see" anything if mom is doing her job during those first few weeks (which is a good thing).

I know the vet said there is nothing they can do if she isn't producing milk...but I'd want to take her in just to make sure there isn't anything wrong. I would also plan to get her spayed soon so that she doesn't go back into heat.

Katie
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
So how often should I be feeding him you think? Like I said I have a little schringe now and he only consumes a few drops at a time, so I was thinking every hour or so would be good.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat109
So how often should I be feeding him you think? Like I said I have a little schringe now and he only consumes a few drops at a time, so I was thinking every hour or so would be good.

Birth to 1 week: Feed every 3 hours (8 feedings per day)

From 1 to 3 weeks: Feed every 4 hours (6 feedings per day)

From 3 to 4 weeks: Feed every 5 hours (5 feedings a day)

From 4 to 5 weeks: Feed four to five times a day.

Total Formula required per day
Birth to 1 week: 24cc

1 week: 32cc

2 weeks: 54cc

3 weeks: 80cc

4 weeks: 104cc

5 weeks: 128cc

As a guide, a kitten should drink about 8cc's of formula per ounce of body weight per day.

I would feed every hour if he is only getting a few drops.

Katie
post #12 of 18
I would seriously consider asking your vet about tube feeding the little guy. It's not that hard, and can strengthen him up so he can use the bottle better.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
What is tube feeding? Something I can do?

I've got him on my desk right now, wrapped up. He's still going - and drinking, but you can't believe how little. I have a ONE milliliter schringe and I've probably given him 20 units of that.
post #14 of 18
tube feeding is passing a tube right into the stomache and then using a syringe on end to push the food right in-its fast since theres no struggle of getting kitten to eat/swallow. Vet could teach you how to mark size pass tube and make sure your in stomache. RJ
post #15 of 18
he should have 32 ml a day broken up in 8 feedings so 4 ML each feeding..... but with 20 ML already doesn't sound like he is doing too bad.
post #16 of 18
About half of the kittens I have raised by syrenge(sp) have to be force fed, the only thing some of them wans IS momma. It sounds like you have a great start, just don't give up on him. And I STRONGLY dissagree with that vet. There are things you can do, like what you are doing now. I would suggest calling another vet and asking them.
post #17 of 18
I think the 20 so far sounds on target...
post #18 of 18
The last litter of orphans that we fed wouldn't take to a bottle and we resorted to a syringe. You need to be VERY careful when using a syringe as you can push too much in and drown them. Get one that is loose where you don't need to do a hard push. Once the kitten figures out that the syringe is a food source, he will suck in the fluid and control it on his own. If the syringe is hard to plunge, they can't suck on it as well. Ask the vet for a couple of samples of syringes and you will find one that works well.

I'm so sorry to hear about the 2 little ones that didn't make it.
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