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mum not letting babies nurse

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
mum is showing no intrest in kittiens other than to move them round the room she is not letting them nurse what shall i do i have bottle fed each of them but each only took 3-5mls
post #2 of 33
She needs to be put in a carrier or very small bathroom, door shut. She is acting as a nervous mother that has no idea what to do. It is not good for the kittens but she dosen't know that.

I saw your other post.. Don't worry about food, water, and bathroom for now. You can let her out periodically for these things. If you don't have a small bathroom she needs to be confined to close quarters wtih the kittens until she figures out what her role as mom is supposed to be.
post #3 of 33
get her in a large dog cage or in a laundry room. i find bathrooms to be full of odd un cat like smells and can be seen as a stressful envirnment. they are also very trafficy so they have smells from people coming in and out and may even have people actually coming in and out too frequently. i would use the laundry room maybe even put in a load of wash and drying. the repetitive sound will sooth the kittens and the queen. if you are still having trouble after 24 hours of the nest being more confined i would approach your vet with your queries you may need to take the kittens in for incubation and hourly feeding.
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
i put them all in our small bathroom i checked on them after half an hour and the runt was bleeding s/he has a torn ear and a puncture mark i have removed the babies as i fear for there safety i have contacted the vet who said there is not alot i can do baby is ok wounds have clotted i need to feed them hourly and i need to keep an eye on mum to make sure she does not get mastitis
post #5 of 33
Oh Michelle, I hope that things get better from here, poor things have had a rough start. She only had 3 right? That might turn out to be a blessing if you end up feeding them. Hopefully mom settles down and does her job. I'll keep yout little gang in my prayers.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
thank you i could cry im so tired myself as i didnt sleep again last night the poor babies i just hope i can get them through this i dont know enough at the moment about hand rearing kittens
post #7 of 33
First of all, something is very much spooking this cat so that she feels the need to cart them around to find a better place to hide and/or protect them. What do you have as an actual nesting set up for this girl and her babies? Do you have a dark closet or cupboard where you can place a box for her? You will need to place her food, water and litter in whatever space you choose, so make sure those are in there - don't allow her to come out for them as that gives her an opening to continue moving them around. Make certain you are not reaching in and checking on them all the time unless you hear signs of distress from the kittens. Give her enough time to settle down with them. Don't go in and keep checking, just back off and let her do her job. But if she doesn't calm down or begin caring for the kittens after 4 hours then of course you will need to continue feeding the babies - here is the link to an excellent kitten-care site - www.kitten-rescue.com - there is a wealth of information there for you on how to care for kittens orphaned or otherwise not being cared for by the queen.

Now, secondly, this behavior can also indicate a queen who might be feverish or who might not have yet dropped milk. I sincerely believe that a vet visit and thorough exam of this queen is in order here if she doesn't settle in and begin caring for the kittens - best off not to take kittens with unless vet says to bring them in with her. I would never dream of taking neonates into a vet's office, but that's just me, no matter what my vet said to do.

Third, you need to calm down too. Once you have Momma and babies settling in, go off, fix yourself a nice cuppa and take a little break from them. Remember to breathe and try to think calm, positive thoughts which do not add to Momma's stress level. Put on some nice, quiet classical music, dim the lights in the room where Momma is located and leave her alone.
post #8 of 33
Oooh thats rough . Just read everything you can on hand-raising kittens. It will be hard to have to feed them every hour. I hope they do ok...
post #9 of 33
Oh, you poor thing. Do you think the puncture mark on the runt is from mom being violent? Ruby tried to kill her runt as soon as it was delivered (she wasn't really breathing), but we took her away for a while and got her going. There was never a problem again. Have you completely separated the mom from the babies on the advice of the vet? Did he talk about perhaps reintroducing them for short periods of time while supervised, just to see how she reacts and hopefully taking the load off of you? Also, don't forget to stimulate the babies to go potty in the time being. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. Good luck.
post #10 of 33
Oh, how I sympathize with you!

I don't have much to add, except I agree that something is stressing momma. You may just have to step in and continue attempting to nurse the wee ones if Momma won't. Please keep us informed!
post #11 of 33
aww, this must be difficult for you... I hope everything works out soon!
post #12 of 33
I had a dog that killed part of her litter(we USE to be breeders).Our Vet suggested we take the babies from her and ONLY under STRICT supervision, let her nurse them.I kept our babies in the garden tub with a heating pad on low and only let her nurse them while I sat right next to her.It wasn't the best situation, but they got what they needed from Mom and I didn't have to fear her killing any more.
If she is harming the kits,I would call your Vet ASAP!!! And ask what they suggest.
Good luck and do NOT beat yourself up about this.,...........it's NOT YOUR FAULT!!!
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
ive done everything i possibly could i left mum alone with babies ive let her move them to a different place to begin with because she gave birth in the front room behind the tv but she would just put them in different places and would just leave them cry i put her in her room last night the box room and i sat on the stairs to listen she went between scratching the door down to moving babies i left her to it for an hour but the babies were crying and when i checked mum had moved all the babies out of the box to different areas in the room. this morning i sat and petted mum and tryed to encorge her to nurse the babies but as soon as i put them near her she got up and walked away.i left the room to see if she would go back and she got on the windowsill downstairs and remained there for a good hour even when babies were crying she hadnt nursed them since the early hours i didnt want them to get cold we have wood flooring throughout the house so i put them in the nesting box with aheat pad after i had bottle fed them. all had lost weight since birth. everytime i check on them mum follows me and looks in and either goes for an attack or walks away. its a bit like when she brings a bird in she pounces with teeth and paws. i tried the small bathroom which is dark quite and away from the main house i put bed food water etc in with her i could her the baby crying and went to check and there it was covered in blood i had rang the vet and was told i could leave it to nature or hand feed them. mum is showing no signs of illness she is not looking for the babies she is just herself.she delivered all the after births etc.
as for the kittens they have taken tothe bottle very well and are taking between 3-5 mls everyhour i have stimulated there bottoms with damp cotton wool and all are doing number 1 and 2s i shall continue to let mum in and see them supervised and hopefully or maybe wishful thinking she may regain a positive interest. please keep us in your thoughts and prayers thet the little one get stronger day by day
thank you to everyone for your advice
post #14 of 33
i know this is horrible to think. but nature can be cruel... could it be that the mother senses something you don't know about the kittens health wise. survival of the fittest does play into a lot with theses things. i think it would be best for you to get a home visit from a local vet practice. to check the kittens and check the queen. this just seems much more serious than an over the phone consult. i'm speaking as a vet nurse. it would be in the best intrest of the kittens to have a vet out to you so if need be you can put the kittens in a correct and incubating envirnment for them to settle down. the stress alone could be deadly to them at this stage. not to mention it's making you so stressed as well!
post #15 of 33
I agree with ocicat_steph. If Momma is attempting to injure the kittens, she may very well sense that something is wrong in some way either with them or with herself ... she may not have the resources to properly care for them or she may be sick herself. At the very least, perhaps consider relinquishing the Momma and babies to a rescue or shelter more prepared to deal with this emergent situation.
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 
i shalll see if the vet will come out today. to check them all over. all appear fine to me all breathing and doing there buisness and are all feeding well there all very lively including mum.
when you say the resources to care for them what do you mean?
post #17 of 33
Originally Posted by michelle mayall
i shalll see if the vet will come out today. to check them all over. all appear fine to me all breathing and doing there buisness and are all feeding well there all very lively including mum.
when you say the resources to care for them what do you mean?

good to hear they are doing ok. my fingers are crossed for you!

if one was to go into respiratory distress or have an infection they would have medical attention. also most vets have a incubator in their practice for young animals to stay warm like they would under their mother.
post #18 of 33
Just a couple of reminders, in case you're unsure of the specifics.

Feed kittens once every 2-3 hours, which is around 8 feedings a day for the first week. The kittens must receive 24 cc's of formula a day minimum. Remember to nurse kittens on their bellies, and never on their backs. Kittens must be burped after feedings. Keep the kittens warm...this can be done by creating rice socks (see instructions on www.kitten-rescue.com ). Keep them in a warm box lined with blankets or towels. A cold kitten will not eat!

For the time being, I would keep Momma separated from the litter. And yes, try to get a house call from the vet today to check Momma and the kittens. As others have mentioned, there may be something wrong with the kittens, and she is rejecting them...this is the sad reality sometimes of kitten-rearing.

It sounds like you're doing the best you can. Keep on going, and let us know how the kittens are doing. If you need any help, don't hesitate to ask!
post #19 of 33
Okay. I just read on another kitten care site that a bottle-fed kitten (a 4 oz. kitten) should have between 9-12 feedings a day...8 cc's per oz. of body weight. This translates into 32 cc's a day, or 1.1 oz of formula. 5 cc's less than a teaspoon of formula, I believe, and since your kittens are only taking 3-5 cc's at this time (not a lot of formula per feeding), you should increase the frequency of their feedings...I would do every 45 minutes or so to ensure they are getting enough formula per day. If the kittens are weak, have your vet run you by some Nutrical, which is a rich nutritional supplement in paste form...he/she will tell you how to give it to them.

I really feel for you. I know you're doing the best you can, and I'll pray that the kittens thrive in your care. I would weigh them twice a day (a digital scale works well and is accurate), and chart their weights in a notebook. I would also document/record in the notebook how much each kitten eats, when, etc. Good luck to you!
post #20 of 33
Oh what a nightmare for you. I feel stressed just reading about your problem!! You poor thing. My cat is due any day now and i am dreading this happening. Well, all i can do for you is HOPE!! and that i will do XX
post #21 of 33
Originally Posted by Bluebells Belly
Oh what a nightmare for you. I feel stressed just reading about your problem!! You poor thing. My cat is due any day now and i am dreading this happening. Well, all i can do for you is HOPE!! and that i will do XX
Having a litter of kittens can be so unpredictable...all you can do is your best. Sometimes nature has a way of sorting things out, and other times, we must step in and help nature out! Good luck with your upcoming litter too!
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
i have called the vet and he is unable to do a home visit today the earliest would be monday as none seem to be displaying symptoms of illness he didnt feel it was an emergency the kittens are still doing well i bought soom didgital scales this morning as the other ones were not as accurate as id like so far everyone is gaining weight grey one is 92g mostly white is 94g and spots is 97g so far since 12 midnight grey has had 42mls mostly white 38mls and spots 37mls i feed them through the night aswell the formula i have recomends 150ml per kitten in 24 hours so were not far off i have them on a heat pad and have put rice socks around the edges i change the towels after each feed ( i warm them in the tumble for 5 mins) mum is eating drinking etc so far everyone doing well so i hope this continues
thankyou for all your support its feeding time now
post #23 of 33
Oh, I'm so happy to hear that, Michelle! Keep up the good work!
post #24 of 33
Michelle, I just saw this thread and wanted you to know I think your going a great job. All any of us can do is our best........I'm sending lots of good health kitty vibes for you all!!
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kittylover4ever
Michelle, I just saw this thread and wanted you to know I think your going a great job. All any of us can do is our best........I'm sending lots of good health kitty vibes for you all!!
thank you every day is a bonus we have passed the 36 hours mark now all have fat tummys and are feeding well mum has visited a few times today strictly supervised she lay in the box as i was feeding i put the baby id just fed with her she would have a lick and then go for the head at one point she had a whole head in her mouth id clap and say no and she would drop the baby then get up and walk away she hasnt hissed at them today im hopeing that if she sees them everyday that she will act as a role model when it comes to litter training
post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 
well some good news for a change mum has taken to feeding 2 kittens under supervision and is cleaning all of them as i was feeding during the night mum began to lick the baby i was feeding so i gave the baby to her and she took over i did this with all of them unfortunatly she does not like spot (nickname) she will hiss bite hiss and swot spot out the way spot is very fighsty and will climb all over and takes a while to settle. i will continue to feed spot and then let mum clean as she will do that and hopefully she will take spot back in time but im a happy grand kittie right now all kitties are still gaining weight so its all good
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 
post #28 of 33
That's wonderful news Michelle......but the link to the photo doesn't work!
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
it works for me but its the first part of the link havent quite got the hang of it yet
post #30 of 33
Oh ok......I clicked on just the first part! What a cutie!
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