Advice Needed for New Kitten

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Riley 2 weeks ago.

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  • #863993

    Riley
    Participant

    Hello everyone. My name is Riley and I have recently taken in a young kitten (now ~4 weeks old) that was abandoned by her mother. For slightly over a week, I have been caring for the kitten: feeding her, taking her to the vet, giving her flea baths, and what not. I have named her Echo. She has been doing well, and the vet says shes healthy as of now.

    I just want to make sure I am raising her as well as I can, so I was hoping to ask a few questions for those of you who have experience raising bottle-fed kittens. I will just list them below if that is okay.

    Now that my kitten is 4 weeks old and she weighs slightly over a point (16.5oz), I have decreased the number of feedings from 5 to 3 as advised here. What is the best way to schedule these feedings? Should I do them every 8 hours (8:00 am, 4:00 pm, and 12:00 am)? Or should I do them more in correspondence to when she would normally be fed during the day when she is older (possibly 8:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 8:00 pm)? My only fear about the ladder option is that there will be too big of a gap between 8:00 pm and 8:00 am (about 12 hours) that she will not have any food.

    My next question is regarding whether or not I should still be stimulating my kitten to go to the bathroom. For the first week, I would stimulate her before and after she ate every time, but I now know that she is capable of going by herself. When she has to go, she will usually start meowing until I put her in her litter box (she has constant access to the litter box, but only goes if I put her in it). I also put her in there before and after eating. Should I still be stimulating her to go as well? And if so, how often? On a similar topic, she will sometimes fall asleep after drinking her bottle. Should I wake her up to go to the bathroom?

    Another question I have is, how should I teach her not to bite? I have been saying no and taking my hand away and sometimes I try to hiss a bit, but it does not seem to be working too well. Do you have any other recommendations, or should I just keep working on it?

    My last question is, how do I know when she is ready to roam my room without me watching her?

    Thank you in advance and any other advice is greatly appreciated. I am sure that I will have more questions in time as well.

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by  Riley. Reason: Clarifying title and tags

    #864006

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Hi Riley, your kitten sounds very well cared for! You are doing a great job!

    It’s great that she is using the litter box. Make sure you have one that is low enough to the ground that she can get in and out of on her own. You don’t need to stimulate her if she is actually going in the box–both poop and pee. Just put her in there and let her go on her own.

    I think that the feedings you have listed (I believe from Alley Cat Allies) is a little premature. A kitten isn’t fully weaned until around 8 to 10 weeks. So, I would try and introduce a little wet food mixed in with the formula to make a sort of gruel and see how she likes it. It will stick with her longer than just plain formula. The biggest problem about feedings so far apart is that a kittens’ blood sugar level can drop and they become lethargic and can die. If she is doing fine with what you are doing, then keep doing it. You can mess up a good routine by thinking you have to do everything by the book. You need to trust your instincts on this–and instead of dropping the feedings down to 3, try 4. In the morning, noon, suppertime, and before you go to bed.

    Make sure you have toys for her to play with for chewing and biting. She is a baby so she is teething. She will eventually stop biting, but it’s what kittens do. Chew toys and kicker toys and wands with feathers for her to chase and catch are great ways for her to use up energy and practice her hunting/catching/killing techniques. Your hands should just be for petting, and she will eventually learn this.

    http://messybeast.com/handrear.htm

    Bottle Babies

    #864008

    Riley
    Participant

    Thank you Kittyzee! I think the four feedings idea is much better than going down to three feedings so soon.

    I have gotten her some toys, but I think she is still learning to play with them, I also have one of the wand type toys you described, but she is still a little bit scared of it. Thank you for the advice with this. I will encourage her to play with her toys when she gets the urge to bite people.

    Thank you again.

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