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Need some feeding advice for 4 week old kittens

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I posted a similar question about a week ago and didn't get many replies. This is a revised question...

the orphaned kittens are 4 weeks or so. They can eat from a dish but make a horrible mess. I expect that, they do better when I feed them individually but that takes so long to do. I put down a glopy mixture of water soaked dry kitten food so it turns to soggy mush basically and I add some Whiskas catmilk to it to make it creamy. I put it down and they eat/make their little mess. Do I still need to suppliment them with a bottle too? Do I assume they are eating their fill of food or do I need to really sit and watch to make sure. I ask becuase when they see me they freak out and want to come to me and don't eat the food. So I put it down and walk away so they will eat. If I pick up a bottle and offer it to them, some will just chew the nipple, some will drink the whole bottle if I keep offering it to them. If they are chewing the nipple should I assume they really aren't able to suck and make sure they eat enough from the dish? But then they are sticking their noses too far into the food sometimes and they sort of sneeze/choke on it...

This is my first time with little babies. I was feeding KMR but I just ran out and I was thinking I don't need to continnue on that since they are healthy weight and already 4 weeks.

Basically I do the feeding ritual 3 times a day. Place down a bowl of food as I mentioned earlier, wait about 15 minutes and then offer them each a bottle. When should I stop with the bottle?

Thanks everyone!! Sorry this was so long and repetitive.
post #2 of 9
I have a similar question - more along the lines of "how much do I feed" so I'll be watching with interest
post #3 of 9
I'd stop the bottle as long as they're eating a good quality dry food, but I'd supplement it with a quality wet food, like Authority or Euk.

Depends on how small the kittens are at this point, but in general, you could try offering them food 3-6 times a day. But I'd leave a bowl of the dry food (not wet) in with them all the time so they can start munching on that.
post #4 of 9
About a year ago I rescued 5 kittens at 3 weeks old with their momma. Their mom was so skinny she stopped producing milk, and we had to feed the babies. We gave them Wellness canned food mixed with KMR and Wellness kitten soaked in KMR. They werent able to eat without making a mess, but I think a good test of if they are getting enough food is if their bellies feel full after they are done eating. My kittens always looked like little balloons after they ate....LOL. If they are able to eat wet food/dry food soaked it is time to stop the bottle. Good luck!

P.S. IMO Wellness or Felidae is the highest quality wet food/dry food out there and I recommend it over Euk or Authority. Not trying to step on peoples toes, but when a food contains by-products and corn like Eukanuba I dont recommend it. Just my personal opinion. Its better then Meow-Mix, but not the best.
post #5 of 9
When I have foster kittens I feed KMR until they are 6 weeks old. Until they are 5 weeks old I still bottle feed twice a day. They also have dry food soaked in KMR until they are 6 weeks old. From 4 1/2 weeks on they have dry food in the cage at all times with them. Though they usually just nibble on it.
post #6 of 9
I never bottle fed babies, but I have raised several foster litters recently. At 4 weeks, most kittens are nursing A LOT! I think it is too young to stop bottle feeding them. I know they look so much bigger at 4 weeks, but they are still very fragile. You have done so well, and I think you should continue to baby them.

Maybe in another week you could drop one bottle feeding in the middle of the day, so they are encouraged to eat more kitten chow. But at 4 weeks I think they are too young to give up the bottle!
post #7 of 9
Four weeks is way to young for them to stop bottle feeding. Don't push them to solid food so fast- they still have at least two weeks of bottle feedings. Once they start gnawing on the nipple, almost chewing it in half that is your signal they need to begin wet food.
post #8 of 9
Hello Jen. I would continue with thw KMR untill they are six weeks to avoid future stomach problems but I know the bottle feeding takes time.
When ours were four weeks my husband taught them to drink their KMR from a little bowl. They had each one bawl and I warmed it as before but they drank it them selves. That saved a lot of time.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you to everyone who replied. You have all been very helpful! What I have been doing in the past few days is leaving dry kitten food out all the time, I bottle feed them 3x per day, two of them do not do too well on the bottle, they just chew it so I put a plate of iams kitten wet food and mixed with either whiskas catmilk or KMR and a little warm water to heat it up. They lap that up a bit. Their bellies feel full except the runt Tiny is still awfully small. He flat out rejects the bottle so I will either use a syringe or else put a plate of catmilk/KMR/water down mixed with wet kitten food and he drinks that.

I also found that the healthier little tabby who I named Zachary is great with the bottle but is also suckling on the Tiny the runt. So Tiny's, um, bits are a little red. I have Tiny seperated. I just washed him up a bit down there with warm water and I have him in a seperate crate with a heat pad under it. He is just so small... I don't want the others picking on him.

I will keep you all updated. They go to the sanctuary Saturday so tomorrow is my last day with them. I will miss Zachary, I really like that little guy.
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