Bottle Feeding Kittens

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

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  • #867169

    Shelby
    Participant

    Hello all! We just took in 3 young kittens yesterday, and I had a few questions if anyone is willing and able to answer them! (I apologize in advance if these have been asked somewhere before- still getting used to the forum and learning how to navigate everything!)

    1) We have no idea how old these little ones are. Their eyes are open, but not fully, and their ears are partially unfolded. We weighed all 3 and they weigh (in ounces) 7.1, 7.7 and 8.7 respectively. They can’t quiet walk yet, but crawl around pretty well. Any guesses on how old these little ones might be?

    2) Pooping. We have sucessfully gotten all 3 to urinate a very decent amount after each feeding (it is a light yellow color if that means anything!). I assume that urine is a good sign and means they are not dehydrated? (Someone please correct me if this assumption is wrong!) We have had them since yesterday (4/14) at about 3:30pm. So far none of them has pooped. Suggestions or ideas on how to remedy this (we are stimulating the anus area, but having no luck so far)? How often should kittens this size be pooping?

    3) Feeding amount and technique. All 3 right now are eatting about 2 syringe fulls (1ml/cc size) at each feeding. The feedings have been about 3 hours apart. Should they be eatting more (or more often?) We are getting food into them, but 2 of them have been much more difficult to feed than the 3rd one (they squirm, try to crawl around, have trouble latching etc.) Any suggestions or tips on how to more easily make sure they are getting a proper amount? So far they are all still very lively (when hungry and not sleeping) and have not shown any signs of lethargy or listlessness so far. I am taking all this as good signs?

    Any tips or information would be a wonderful help. Thank you in advance! 🙂

    #867172

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    http://messybeast.com/handrear.htm

    Bottle Babies

    Helping a kitten to eliminate

    http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-How-Old-a-Kitten-Is

    I posted some links for you that are full of information and will tell you most of what you are asking. It is scary trying to hand rear kittens because there is no one fast rule, except they have to be kept warm in order for them to be able to process their food. You haven’t had them long enough to worry about poop, and peeing is easy to get them to do. Just be patient and keep trying, they will eventually poop.

    If you have them on powdered KMR, it tends to constipate, the liquid KMR tends to cause diarrhea. I have used goat’s milk with great success and it is a complete food on it’s own. You can also alternate KMR and goat’s milk which I did with my last kitten with success also. You can find it in the refrigerated milk section at the grocery, or in the baking aisle in cans which is concentrate (mix 1 to 1) or the powdered which you mix according to directions. It doesn’t cause any constipation or diarrhea and contains probiotics to keep their gut healthy.

    Get the bottles (I used PegAg found at Walmart and TSC farm store) and cut an X in the nipple. I know the instructions say to use a hot pin to make a hole–trouble is when you pull the pin out it seals up the hole and a kitten will practically turn it’s head inside out trying to suck milk from it. Then they give up which is not good. You should be able to turn the bottle upside down with milk in it and it have a steady drip.

    Hope this helps, good luck and we are here whenever you need us!!

    #867176

    Shelby
    Participant

    Thank you so much for the links! I’ll be reading through those tonight! 🙂 It os definitely challenging! The youngest we’ve taken in up until now was 3 weeks, but these guys were in a bit of a pickle and I figured at least us taking a stab at it would give them a chance!

    We are definitely being cautious about keeping them warm. I have a fleece blanket over their kennel (just not covering the door part) to try and help keep some heat in, and they also have a towel on the bottom with a SnuggleSafe heater in the middle and a fleece blanket over the heater (and room to move around the heater if they get too warm). So far I THINK it seems to be doing the job (sadly the only thing I don’t have is a thermometer to keep track of their temps). We did have one sucessful poop this evening, thank goodness! The other two I am taking you advice and being patient (or trying to, haha)!

    We had one can of KMR liquid and a can of the powder. We are finishing up using the liquid now (their next feeding will probably finish the can). After that they will have to be on the powder. I will definitely look into the goat’s milk! Having something to alternate with the KMR sounds awesome! The one poop we did get was mushy, but nothing that overly concerned me, however I believe they were being given the powder only from the person who passed them along to us, so it may be that having the powder first, and then the liquid helped balance out the constipation/runs issue? I will definitely be keeping an eye on it regardless, so thanks so much for the tip!

    I will stop after work tomorrow and see if I can find some bottles! We had one single one that was given to us with the kittens, but unfortunately we made the needle mistake and the nipple ended up ruined as we tried to correct the issue. 🙁

    This definitely helped, so again, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I feel so much better knowing there’s others out there who have gone through the kitten struggle and are willing to help an overly anxious new kitten mom out, haha! 🙂

    #867182

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    I think you are right about the powdered KMR then switching to the liquid, helped to solve the constipation issue. A soft mushy sort of toothpaste consistency and yellow is what you will get until they start eating solid food. I like the alternating KMR/goat’s milk regimen for me–peace of mind they are getting good nutrition, hydration, and pooping regularly.

    I always put a heating pad on low, wrapped in a blanket and then a place to crawl away if they get too warm. Whatever works for them for the first 2-1/2 to 3 weeks or so until their bodies can regulate their own temps.

    I have bought the bottles also online from chewy (not trying to recommend a specific website) but it came with a couple of bottles, different size tips, and it gets to you fast. Just a consideration if you are having trouble finding them where you live. This is kitten season and I have gone all over town trying to find bottles, only to see that they are out of stock!

    Keep us posted!!

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