3 week old kittens, trouble eating

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Kittyzee 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    I am fostering 6, 3 week old kittens. They were orphaned by there mother at 1 week old, since she could not produce enough milk for all of them. Since then, they have been getting bottle (sometimes syringe) fed. They have been doing great until a couple of days ago, they refuse to eat. It’s almost like they’re being stubborn about it, gnawing and refusing to take the nipple. I have been force feeding (carefully) them for the past 3 days! Also, they’ve been getting Pedialyte 3 times a day so they don’t get dehydrated. I don’t know what to do, it’s too early to start soft food. Do I continue to force feed until they are old enough? Any tips on how to get them to eat? Any help would be wonderful!

    Edit: they are getting fed about every 3-4 hours



    Add some of the juice from wet food, or get the pate style wet food that is very, very fine and mix it with their milk. This added to their milk should give them the ‘lift’ they need to bring them out of their funk. You could try putting some on your finger and letting them sniff it, or a tiny dab in the roof of their mouth, not enough to make them choke. You have to get food down them any way you can, even if it’s by your finger, dropper or syringe. If not, their blood sugar levels drop and they become lethargic and die. You can rub some honey or syrup on their gums to perk them up, then try and feed them.



    Just wondering if they are getting a good flow of milk from the teat. Possibly try a teat with a bigger hole or very carefully with a knife or sharp pointed scissors open the existing hole slightly. If the flow isn’t enough for them without having to really work for it then they get slow at sucking and mess about.



    After reading your other post on the weak kitten, I tend to agree with MS…sounds like they aren’t getting the milk out of the bottle. I recommended you cut an X in the nipple. It’s true if they don’t get anything out of it, they tend to act not interested. This is scary because they will lose interest, and become lethargic, which is life threatening.

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