4 wk old kitten will no longer bottle feed and hasn't started eating wet food

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Claire 3 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #830181

    Claire
    Participant

    Hello,

    I have (I think) 4 week old kittens which I’ve fostered for two week now. They’re just becoming agile and have little teeth about 1/8″ long. I’ve been successfully bottle feeding them since I got them from the rescue org. One will eat wet food + nurse, the other will only nurse (vigorously) and the third one, the largest and a male now is refusing to nurse (was vigorously) and just whines and bites at the bottle and won’t eat but just a tad of wet food mixed with formula if I hand feed it to him. I’m concerned because he has hardly eaten any formula for the last 2-3 feedings. I bottle feed them every 4-5 hours and each time they’re taking about 15-30 cc’s. I’m scared he’s going to get dehydrated. Any ideas? Thanks for your help!

    #830191

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Claire, I have had this happen before, so what I did was cut the end off the nipple. Mix wet food with the formula to make a runny gruel. I fed it to the kitten that way insuring they get enough liquid plus the nutrition from the wet food. It doesn’t take very long for them to taste the milk mixed with the food to perk them up. Hope this helps!

    #830197

    Claire
    Participant

    Hi and thanks so much for the reply. You know, they have wet food, dry food and water available but I just haven’t seen this guy eating any. He is active and playful, just not feeding much from the bottle anymore. I like your idea which I think would work if I had a kitty willing to take the bottle but he’s just become so finicky. You know, I’m starting to wonder if he’s just growing out of the bottle, maybe has been nibbling on the dry food, getting water too and is just having transitional digestive issues. He’s now over a pound and I guess if he’s still active, alert and purring here an there, perhaps I’m freaking out for nothing. Ugh! I’ll be so happy when they’re all eating on their own. Thanks!

    #830210

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Claire, 4 week old kittens are too young to ween from the bottle. Usually, they are fine at 6-8 weeks…some like to nurse longer, some, not so much. Since you haven’t said that you have seen him eat, it would be hard for me to assume that he is. A young kitten can ‘crash’ quickly without proper nutrition and blood sugar levels. I’m not trying to scare you, but I would definitely try and get food and milk in him whether he likes it or not. I know this sounds mean, but his life may depend upon it.

    #830228

    Claire
    Participant

    Thanks so much Kittyzee, no I need to know what to do and that’s what I was afraid of. Maybe I’ll try to feed him every 3 hours. I had been stretching it out because I had read on a reputable site that once they are about 4 weeks old that you feed them four times a day. It’s so strange because two days ago he was really taking the bottle well. I keep trying to determine if he’s dehydrated by pulling up the skin behind his neck to see if it’s lose (rather than springing back) but it’s hard to tell. I’ll just keep forcing him to feed no matter if he whines and bites at the nipple and I’ll do what you said and mix some wet food with formula and feed it to him in the bottle with a bigger hole in the nipple. Thank you :-))

    #830229

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    You’re welcome Claire, please keep us posted on how he’s doing. I don’t know if you need this or not, but here are a couple really good sites for helping with hand rearing kittens. I have used them many times and they are loaded with really good reliable information.
    http://messybeast.com/handrear.htm
    http://www.safehavenforcats.com/newborn.htm

    #830242

    Claire
    Participant

    Wonderful, thanks so much. I’ll check them out.

    Hey, I tried something – I noticed that when I’d set him up for the bottle, he would be eager, alert and whining probably because he just couldn’t get any milk out of it. This was confusing because he was such an expert nurser and the others were having no problems. I just figured that maybe he was having digestive issues but last night I tried something new. Instead of feeding him like I was before (bottle straight in the mouth) I put the bottle in the side of his mouth and since he wasn’t sucking, I had to gently squeeze the milk in. Guess what, I got him to take about 20 cc’s and this morning he did about 29 cc’s. I think it’s his teeth! Whatever works…. just so glad that he’s in his bed sleeping with a full belly! Many thanks!

    #830244

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    I’ve had that problem too Claire. Kittens sometimes (especially as they get older) get frustrated not being able to get milk out of the nipple fast enough. They grab, cling, chew bite and generally tear your hands up! I then cut the very tip off and carefully regulate the milk flow by tipping the bottle down or up so as not to have them aspirate the milk into their lungs. This has always seemed to help them, and once they get their tummies full, they calm down and sleep. Don’t forget to ‘burp’ him, by putting him on your shoulder and patting his back. Most kittens will burp causing less tummy distress and gas.

    #830258

    pussigato
    Participant

    Hi Claire,

    When you get a chance, send us pics of 4 wee kittahs.

    PG

    #830287

    Jeankit
    Participant

    Paws crossed for Claire’s wee foster.
    Thanks KZ for helpful info.
    Bumping for newbies – add tags.

    #830350

    Claire
    Participant

    Hello there 🙂

    Ok I’m lame… how do I post more photos of my kittens?

    #830719

    pussigato
    Participant

    Sorry for the delayed response, Claire:
    Re: Photo
    You need to access an online photo app. I use photobucket.com. You set up a free account and copy your photos into your library. To the right is a “share links” Select “direct” and it will copy that photo and you paste it to an open chat on TDK. I’m not sure how Shutterfly works but you should be able to upload photos there and copy/paste through shared links.

    By the way, how are your kits doing?

    #831120

    Claire
    Participant

    Hi there P,

    Oh thanks so much for the response. I’ll do that next time I guess because I had to give the kitties back to the rescue org. because we’re going out of town but I did get them through the bottle feeding stage and so the next person will have it made as long as they stay healthy. I hated parting with them! One day when I can get a cat, I guess I’ll get an adult cat anyway because there are so many that need homes. See you all again next time I foster kitties! This site and participants have been so immensely helpful :-))

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