New foster mom… asking for advice!

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Gia 2 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #861466

    Gia
    Participant

    Hi everyone! My name is Gia. I recently became a foster mom to 4 abandoned kittens. A friend contacted me and told me some landscapers found some pretty “fresh” (lol) kittens in the bushes next to their office building which is unfortunately extremely close to a main street and highway). They hadn’t seen the mom in hours, and were worried–especially if she were to come back and try and move them across the street or worse, the highway. I took the kittens and planned on setting a trap to get their very feral mom to get her spayed and released. When I was on my way back with the trap, I got a call that mom had been found on the street…she’d been hit and dead for a while 🙁

    Soooo… that’s how I acquired four 3 day old kittens. I called a few of the shelters in the area, but being as it is “kitten season” and the shelters are overflowing with cats, no one would take them. I was told by several shelters that they would be euthanized if surrendered due to their age and the lack of individuals having the time and resources to bottle feed four 3 day old kittens round the clock. Knowing the odds of them surviving were against them, I couldn’t live with myself knowing I didn’t even try to give them a chance to live.

    Long story short, they are now 2.5 weeks old and everyone is alive so far! Luckily I’m a special education teacher and have summers off, so I’ve been able to give them the 24/7 care they need. It has been extremely exhausting, but so rewarding to see them thriving and growing. I plan on getting them all fixed before finding them new homes. Anyways, I’ve been lurking for quite some time on this forum and have used many individuals’ advice on several occasions throughout my foster mom journey so far, so I figured it’s time to officially join and introduce myself!

    I do have a question hopefully someone can help me out with: The babies are starting to suckle on their siblings private parts 😳 Is there anything I can rig up for them to suckle on to redirect or discourage this behavior? I don’t want them getting some sort of illness from the germs.

    Thanks in advance!!!

    #861467

    Adrian
    Participant

    Hello and welcome! Those kittens are very lucky they were found by someone willing to foster them. Being a foster mom is very exhausting but extremely rewarding (I found my baby at 2 days old, she’s now 9 weeks and thriving!)

    It is pretty normal for kittens to suckle on their litter mates so there isn’t much you can do about it. Just try separating the kittens when you see them suckling or maybe put in a stuffed animal as a “surrogate mother.”

    Keep up the good work!!

    #861469

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Hi Gia, welcome to TDK! I’m so glad you decided to foster these little ones, without you, they would have had no chance at all. So sorry for momma cat, that makes me sad to hear her fate.

    But sounds like you are doing well so far. Like Adrian said, it’s hard to keep them from suckling on each other, but putting small stuffy toys in their nest, also I cut pieces about 12 inches square of nubby fleece for them to lay on because they love the ‘nubs’ to suck and knead on. If that doesn’t stop them, then you will have to separate them until the suckling on each other stops because they can get sores from the others’ sucking.

    Keep us posted on their progress! We love success stories!

    #861475

    Gia
    Participant

    Thank you guys so much for your responses! I put a big stuffed octopus in there today after reading your advice…they seem to like sucking on the legs. Hopefully they’ll keep doing that!

    Also… They are eating six times a day. The 7oz kittens are eating 9.3cc’s each meal, and the 6oz kitten is eating 7.3. They eat well, go to the bathroom, and then take a nap… However, they’ll wake up as soon as they hear me moving around and start screeeeeeeching… and it’ll last until I take them out. Do they need more socialization now? Is it normal for them to cry like that?

    #861476

    pussigato
    Participant

    Yes, it’s normal for them to cry like that because you are their hoomin and they missed you. Are you the only purrson they ever see? If so, you might take them out to see other people or invite them over. The more people the better socialized they’ll be.

    #861478

    katzenjammer
    Participant

    I have no advice – I leave that to our resident experts on fostering such wee kits.

    But I want to say “Welcome” and add that you are awesome for taking in these babies. Sad about mamma, but her babies have a purrfect chance at a good life, thanks to you! The image of the octopus stuffy, with 2 legs apiece for each kit is both wonderful and so creative! 🙂

    #861486

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    LOL, good on you for the Octopus idea! I’d get a pic of that while they are still so young!

    Yes, they just want to be with you and they will holler for you because they know when they do, you pick them up. Oh how I love rubbing little kittens on my face and chin to make them stop crying… 😛 you don’t have to you know, they will eventually settle down. But the more they are handled and the different scents that different people have that touch them, teaches them not to be afraid and to be comfortable around humans.

    Be especially careful of really young kids, stress the importance of gentleness and how to hold a kitten.

    #861500

    Gia
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for your advice! I guess I’m just being super paranoid about germs and such… I know they’re so fragile, the last thing I want to do is contribute to them getting sick somehow 😛

    I took some pictures with the octopus! 😀 I just can’t figure out how to embed them into to post…

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  Gia.
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by  Gia.
    #861507

    pussigato
    Participant

    Most TDKers use photobucket.com. You set up a free account, upload pictures, select “Email & IM” link then on our site open “img” link in above bar.

    I, too, want to see pictures of your wee kits.

    #861534

    Gia
    Participant

     photo IMG_7025_zpsovwyhgcx.jpg

     photo IMG_7022_zps3xam7cgg.jpg

    #861535

    Gia
    Participant

    hopefully that worked!

    #861544

    pussigato
    Participant

    I had to search for your cutie pie kit. He was snuggled up with his Octopus.

    😀

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