3 week old kitten defying odds and confusing first time cat mom

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  UrbanSidhe 2 months ago.

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  • #861291

    Jasmine
    Participant

    First a bit of background: my fiancé’s friend was feeding a pregnant stray at his apartment and a few days later found her on the side of the road and two newborn kittens in a bush. Knowing nothing of cats, he called us and we became the proud parents of two furry jellybeans, one black and one grey. A few days and 2 vet visits later, the black one passed away of unknown illness or defect (sorry for the sads, I promise this is relevant).

    The grey jellybean is now 3 1/2 weeks old and is gaining weight steadily, but it seems like he’s ahead of the curve in some areas of development but behind in others. What I mean is he could purr almost immediately, he’s been chewing at the bottle for over a week, and he’s starting to avoid the heating blanket already. But he refuses to even try to lap up formula or the wet food slush that I’ve seen suggested for weaning. He’s also been super constipated most of his life and doesn’t seem to be using the bathroom on his own at all yet. Between this and conflicting internet sources on when to wean and litter train I’m pretty confused.

    My other question is whether it would be okay to let him start playing with my 3 month old kitten soon. I’ve been keeping him away from her for hygiene/immunity purposes (and because when she did encounter him, she mistook him for a mouse toy and tried to bat him around). But I’m very worried that without his sibling he’s had no true cat interaction in his early life and his social development will start to suffer.

    #861304

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Hi Jasmine, welcome to TDK! So sorry for the lost of the sibling kitten and very happy that you have a survivor to the sad story of losing mommy too.

    It’s totally possible, in my experience to have a kitten who is doing all the milestones early while others are behind. Remember, that the guidelines for hand rearing are general ones and are only meant to give you a general idea when you might expect them to do certain things–so they are not set in stone.

    I would make the wet food/formula gruel and put it in his bottle, and open up the nipple which will help him learn the taste of the wet food and give him some added nutrition. It should also help with his constipation, as most times kits that are constipated benefit when they start getting wet food.

    Don’t fret about the litter box. At this age, he’s still pretty small yet to understand. But the wet food may help with this also, it may give him a greater sense of urgency to go and to go on his own. Make sure that you have a box that he can get in and out of easily and to use non scented litter, and preferrably non clumping clay for starters. Put one of his poops in there and when you put him in let him smell the spot where his poop is and take his paw and scratch in the litter. He will finally figure it out.

    I don’t know if I would expose him to the older cat just yet, he’s still pretty small. I would make sure when I did, they would both be supervised. At his age, it’s not going to benefit him having an older sibling that’s 3 months old, but once he is able to move around on his own and is interested in actually playing, using the litterbox, eating on his own, is plenty early to let them learn how to be siblings. They will have a lifetime of living together, don’t rush the few weeks that he will need to develop fully.

    Bottle Babies

    http://messybeast.com/handrear.htm

    How to Introduce a Second Cat

    #861317

    pussigato
    Participant

    Concats Jasmine,

    It’s so good to read when peeps rescue kits. I’m sorry about the sibling-some kits aren’t meant for our world.

    Here in TDKland, we recommend Goats’ milk for kittens. Cats are lactose intolerant and can’t digest cows milk. Goats’ milk is full of nutrients, probiotics and gentler on their tummies. This can also regulate the poop. You can find it in the dairy section or the concentrate in the baking aisle. Mix the concentrate 1:1 with water or pedylite.

    Mix up the gruel like KZ said using Goats’ milk. You’ll see him slurping it down.

    Also, a smidgen of mineral oil in their formula can usually help them poop. You can put a dab of Neosporin on his bum if he gets sore. Here’s a video showing how to help him poop.

    I agree with KZ, he’s too small to be introduced to his sibling. They can be in the same area, but should be separated. Lil Jellybean should be in an enclosed nest so his sib can come up to him but not hurt him. 3 months isn’t that old and his sibling is probably rambunctious. Being around you and his sibling will cover any gap in socialization.

    Thank you for becoming new purr parents. Hopefully, we’ll see both of your jellybeans as our Daily Kitten.

    PG

    #861324

    Jasmine
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice, guys. I forgot to mention that I’ve got the kitten in a small kennel with the bottom of the sides blocked off so the other cats (we have several in the house) can see and smell him but can’t get to him. I started him on wet food slush in his bottle this afternoon and he’s eating it but he’s eating a little less than normal. He doesn’t seem to like it much, maybe I’ll try a different kitten food. All I had on hand is a can of science diet I meant to give to the other kitten, Tiny. She’s actually calm compared to her biological brother who’s still in the household, so I’m doing controlled visits before feeding him so he can see her and the other cats cleaning themselves and such. My 2 year old cat has zero maternal instinct, but so far has been really good with the new additions and even cleaned him for a minute earlier.

    #861386

    Lori
    Participant

    I am trying to change from KMR to goats milk but I have only found the powder goats milk, is this the same as the concentrate listed above???? I know it says 1:1 mix above but the container calls for 2:1 ratio so want to make sure I am using the right product and mixed the right way 🙂 as always thanks for all the help.

    #861390

    pussigato
    Participant

    You mix the Goats’ milk 1:1.

    #861396

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Follow the directions on the container of powdered goat’s milk–I don’t have any on hand at the moment, or I could tell you for sure. The liquid concentrate mix is different. I like the powder because you only have to mix up what you need for a day or two. When you open a can of concentrate and add water, you have to get it used before it goes bad. When the powder is mixed with water it’s smells good and fresh, I store it in a container with a lid and then fill my bottles as needed at mealtime.

    #861401

    pussigato
    Participant

    Sorry. We usually recommend 1:1 with water or pedilyte but if the instructions are different then go with them.

    #861402

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    GOATS MILK MIXING DIRECTIONS:
    Mixing: scoop enclosed (1 scoop = 2 Tbsp). Lightly shake can before each use. 1 cup: gradually mix 2 unpacked level scoops (28g) Meyenberg goat milk powder with about 3/4 cup of warm water. 1 quart: gradually mix 1 cup (112g) Meyenberg goat milk powder with about 3 cups warm water. Makes approximately 3 quarts whole goat milk. Serving & storage: best served chilled. Keep mixed product refrigerated. Use within 5 days. Store unused powder tightly sealed in a cool, dry place for up to 8 weeks.

    KMR mixing directions:
    Directions For Mixing Kmr ® Powder. Gently stir or shake 1 part powdered KMR into 2 parts warm water (a part is a teaspoon, tablespoon or cup). Do not mix more KMR than can be consumed in 24 hours. Do not use a blender.

    #861809

    Lori
    Participant

    So my P-nut is finally eating well and litter trained for the most part but he won’t drink water yet. He is eating a high quality wet kitten food and I put a little goats milk in it, so he has some fluid intake since he doesn’t drink water. Do I need to bottle feed him more milk? any tips on getting him to try water?

    #861811

    UrbanSidhe
    Participant

    My bottle baby is just now learning to drink water. Watch your kitten around damp showers and glasses with condensation on them. He should start to show interest when he’s thirsty.

    When you start noticing that he’s licking showers and glasses, get a bowl of water and do exactly what you did to get him to eat from the bowl. Stick your finger in the water then let him lick it, then lead him to the bowl. Worked for mine.

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