27 March, 2012 at 12:42 am #50659
I’m new here,& am hoping this will become a great resource for all the things I come across in the future. Right now I really need advice from people who have experience with 2 week old kittens!
A little about me…I have always rescued pets since I was a little kid. It’s just in my nature (heart). Last June I decided I might as well make an official business out of it & opened a small no-kill animal rescue. It has been a huge learning experience. We partner with the local kill shelters & 99% of the dogs & cats we take in are off the euthanasia list.
Last night, the HS called & explained that they have 2 – two week old kittens that just came in & they were closing. None of the other rescues would take them & they asked if I would. Once they explained that if I said “no” the kittens would be euthanized that night, I agreed, even though my schedule is overloaded & I have a full house. Because as you will learn, I am a big softy.
So late last night I was at Petsmart buying baby bottles & formula. I have never raised kittens this young & really need advice (!). The formula can is not specific on feeding, & all the internet research I have done still leaves me with many questions. If anyone out there has experience with 2 week old kittens, I would LOVE to hear from you!
Here’s my questions (so far):
1. How much should I feed & how often?
Black kitten is 6.05 ounces (171 grams)
Tabby kitten is 5.25 ounces (150 grams)
2. How long do you rub their little bottoms before & after feeding?
3. I have read that you need to sterilize the bottle in between feedings. Is there any other way besides boiling? Also, Is that really necessary?
4. Should I wake them to feed?
Again, they are approx 2 weeks old. Their eyes have just recently opened,they respond to my voice (I have learned singing to them calms them down), & they walk around, although wobbly.
Hope to hear from you guys soon! I am just winging it!!!27 March, 2012 at 1:19 am #725197
Hi SH! Welcome to tdk! We try to help as much as we can
1) In my experience, at 2 weeks old, they need to eat 2-3 ml every 2 hours. Please make sure they are warm before you try to feed them, if their body temps are low, they cant digest their food and they’ll get sick.
2) I’ve added some tags for you. The triangle method will lead you to a youtube video that shows how to stimulate them. The messybeast tag will get you to a website that has a very comprehensive overview on hand raising kittens. Typically they pee a lot – before and after their feed. Poop doesnt happen as often, every 2-3 days is normal, but no longer than that though. Formula tends to constipate kittens, so watch out for that.
3) I didnt boil the bottles – I soaked them in water I boiled from the kettle for a few mins. In a pinch I’d put them in a container of water and blast them in the microwave for a few seconds. But at the end of every day they do need to be sterilised properly. I would just leave then in a sink full of hot water, with some bleach in it, and then rinse them out really well in the morning. You will find out that formula REALLY doesnt keep well – on a hot day it can go off in 45 mins, so you do have to be careful with it.
5) Yes, you do have to wake them up to feed. Their blood sugar crashes very easily, and then they dont want to eat, and it leads to a struggle to get them back to wanting to eat. Little and often works best.
I hope this helps you. Please ask as many questions as you want. If they are walking around,, no matter how wobbly, they are probably closer to 3 weeks old. That means 3-4ml of formula every 3 hours (means you get to sleep a bit longer )27 March, 2012 at 2:43 am #725198
Hi, SH, wow, you are definitely our kind of big softie! Skyron has given you brilliant advice, above. I would only add that these videos are wonderful for helping to raise orphans, there is a ‘chapter’ or short film on almost everything (guesstimating their age, feeding, pottying, weaning, flea baths, making a nest for them, first vet visit, medicating them etc:
And these sites are also very good but messybeast is definitely the best. The last one has a feeding chart:
Also click on the pink tag ‘orphans’ (top right hand corner) for loads of previous threads from people raising orphans. Best of luck!27 March, 2012 at 6:08 pm #725199
Thank you for responding! I am glad to hear that having a BM every 2-3 days is normal. I read on some sites that they should be having a BM after every feeding (even the Vet tech said that), but others said it could be longer. I was getting worried. I have been doing crash courses on the internet to learn as much as I can. I want to do right by these little babies, & with kitten season starting, it will come in handy. I read that the powder formula can constipate them, so I have started watering it down more. I also read that I can add 3-4 drops of veg oil to their bottles to help them have a BM. So I will start doing that too. I only have olive pomace oil, & I assume it does not make a difference (someone stop me if it does!) I have had them since Sunday night & it is now Tues morning & they have not had a BM & I have been worried. So thank you for throwing in that it is normal for them to have one every 2-3 days! It’s nice to hear it from someone who has experience raising little ones that turned out fine (the vet tech did not appear to be confident in what she was saying). Just about all the pets that I foster are constipated for the first few days they come here. Stress can do that. Most of these babies have been through a lot, & they don’t know me, or know how I will treat them. I am assuming the kittens will be just like the rest & have normal BMs once they get settled in & learn this is a happy place where they are safe.
Thank you for the links. Some I have read through, but I definetly still have more reading to do. I will try to watch the videos, but my computer does not do well with that.
Also, Sometimes they wake up & cry for about 20 seconds, then go back to sleep. Is that normal? Should I be doing anything when that happens?27 March, 2012 at 6:17 pm #725200
If they are just crying a little then going right back to sleep, they may just be looking for reassurance that they are safe and loved. Or they may be exercising their little lungs. Make sure they are warm enough and cuddled together, stroke them lightly and talk gently to them when they do that. If mama cat was with them, she would just pull them closer and give them a little lick.27 March, 2012 at 10:15 pm #725201
I forgot to mention this, and I dont know if any of the websites mention it – but you need to burp them after they’ve been fed, just like human babies. Gentle circular rubbing on their backs works really well.
As for the crying, it could be anything on a very long list of possibilities, but I think cbm is onto the right reasons28 March, 2012 at 7:46 pm #725202
Whew, these little ones are wearing me out. They do cry a lot. I was originally feeding them every 4 hours, but after reading Skyrons first post, I started doing it every 3 hrs. They still cry a lot. Some of it I do think is that they want reassurance or attention. After I feed them & they are laying in my lap purring, once I put them back they cry for quite awhile.
Now that I am waking them up to feed, it seems to work better. They seem to quiet down faster & go right back to sleep. I think I am going to switch to every 2 hours though & see how that works. They still cry in between feedings. Sometimes for a long time. They are sure getting a lot of exercice for their little lungs, lol. I don’t think I am feeding them often enough.
I am also going to sit them in some warm water & massage them today to see if that will get them to have a BM. Tonight will be 3 days since I had them & they still haven’t gone…
I’ve nicknamed them the screaming monkeys because, except for a short time after they have fed, the are always crying & don’t stop moving around, & they are pretty good little climbers. I really have to keep my eye on them!
I do burp them. That is probably my favorite time with them. I cradle them in the crook of my neck & pat their little backs while they purrr away. Thank you for throwing that in though to make sure I know. I need all the advice I can get!5 October, 2012 at 6:38 pm #725203
How did it go? I have two 2 week old’s now.
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