momma cat rejecting litter of 5…what do I do!!

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  pussigato 1 month ago.

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  • #867361

    Mary Clapp
    Participant

    My grandson kitty just had her 5th kitten, she started to lay down to feed them, then just got up and walked away..naway..not feeding them nor keeping them warm..will not go near them…what do we do?

    #867362

    pussigato
    Participant

    Hi Mary,

    Welcome to TDKland.

    You have discovered that not all mama cats have maternal instincts so you have to step in, fast. I know this is a lot of information to take in and I hope you’re not overwhelmed. Mama cat may come back to care for her kits but watch her if she does.

    What Supplies Will I Need?

    You will need to have a warm, snuggly nest box for the baby or babies. Since the infants will soil their container, I usually look around for a cardboard box that is large enough for the gang.

    You will need a heating pad unless you live in the tropics. Warmth is especially important the first 14 days of a kitten’s life because they have not yet developed the ability to control their body temperature. During the first two weeks, kittens cannot shiver when they are cold. They will rely on your heating pad for warmth. Keep the pad under one side of the box and set it only on its lowest setting. With only one side of the box heated, the kitten(s) will be able to crawl away from the heat source if it gets too warm. This is very important because more rescued kittens die from overheating than from chill.

    You must feed the kits

    Now, you need to find pet nursing bottles and formula. Some owners find it easier to feed newborn kittens from a one or three milliliter syringe and switch to a bottle when the kitten is two weeks old. We purrfer Goats milk for kittens. Cats are lactose intolerant and can’t digest cows milk. Goats’ milk is full of nutrients, probiotics and gentler on their tummies. This can also regulate the poop. You can find it in the dairy section or the concentrate in the baking aisle. Mix the concentrate 1:1 with water or pedylite. If, at any time, they seem lethargic put a dab of Karo syrup or honey in their mouth.

    Pick up a small food scale so you can keep track of the kitten(s) growth and a notebook to record it in. Buy a few boxes of white, unscented Kleenex-type tissues and a few roles of paper towels. Never feed them upright as you would a human infant. Wet the outside of the nipple with milk formula to give it flavor. Then, gently insert the nipple into the kitten’s mouth using a prying motion while you apply pressure to the sides of the bottle to release a drop or two of milk. If milk bubbles out of the kittens’ nose it is flowing too rapidly from the bottle, you are holding the kitten wrong, or it is too weak to suckle normally. Most of the time, it is due to too large a hole(s) in the nipple or over feeding. I microwave a bowl of water and set the bottle in it to heat the formula to 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit before use. Be sure to always check the formula’s temperature by shaking a drop or two onto your wrist. Never put the bottle directly in the microwave to heat.

    Some owners find it easier to feed newborn kittens from a one or three milliliter syringe and switch to a bottle when the kitten is two weeks old. (Of course, the needle needs to be removed first)

    During the first week, feed the kitten every two hours. During the next three weeks, feed them every three hours.

    Boil nursing bottles and syringes between every use. Kittens that did not nurse on the mother for their first 48 hours did not receive the first milk or colostrum. After that time window, they cannot absorb it through their intestines even if you give it to them. These kittens are more susceptible to infections and diarrhea, so wash your hands well and beware of sour formula. That is why it is almost always safer to leave the kittens with the mother for at least a few days. If the kittens did not get their mom’s antibodies through colostrum, I often add antibiotic powder to their formula for a week or so.

    How Much Should I Feed?

    Newborn kittens during their first week need to consume about 32 cc of formula per day. That is based on an average kitten weighing 120 grams. Because normal kittens range in weight at birth from 85 to 120 grams, the amount of formula they should drink is going to vary.

    That amount should be spread out into about ten feedings, spaced about every 2 and-a-half hours round the clock. If the kitten is weak or stressed, it is even more important to give it more frequent feeding throughout the day and night.

    During their second week, an average kitten consumes about 55 cc per day of formula. You can already cut back on the number of feedings if the kitten is steadily gaining weight.

    By week three, the kitten should be consuming about 80 cc of formula per day; by four weeks 100 cc/day, and by 5 weeks about 125cc/day. By four weeks, the amount of formula the kitten consumes per feeding should have risen so that you get by with 5-7 feedings per day.

    Kittens that are hungry and need feeding will cry continuously, move their heads from side to side and suckle on each other or on objects in the nest box.

    Burping The Kitten

    After each feeding hold the kitten upright with its tummy against your shoulder and pat it gently until it burps, releasing trapped air.

    Helping The Kitten Eliminate

    Normal kitten stools are yellowish brown with a jam-like consistency. After every feeding, gently massage the anus and urinary orifice with a cotton ball or Kleenex moistened with warm water until they urinate and defecate.

    Be very gentle when you do this and don’t worry if no urine or stool is produced after every feeding. By the time the kitten is three weeks old it should be able to get by without your help.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=enJrSU-nqCc

    Good Luck and check back in with us.

    PG

    #867366

    Mary Clapp
    Participant

    Thank you Pussigato for the instructions…The momma cat ran outside..ioutside..i believe she has 1 more unborn kitty, Unfortunatly she still won’t take interest in the other 5 babies. This is her 1st litter, she is 1 year old. My other grandsons kitty had a litter 7 days ago..4 babies..we slipped the 5 rejected babies into her box, immediately she started licking them, taking care of all 5, but the kittens act like they do not know what to do, we kept putting them up on mommas tummy to find nipple, they would not attach. She’s gotten them warm with the larger kittens cuddling with them. I’m so hoping they will eventually nurse. Will let you know how they are doing in the morning. 9 kittens Mau be too many for her. Praying for a miracle.

    #867370

    pussigato
    Participant

    Unfortunately, many 1st time moms don’t know what to do and so leave their kits. I agree that 9 kits are too many for Mau. Make sure you feed her extra food and do try to get formula to help with the kits. Since the kits are having trouble suckling it would be all to easy for one to pass away.

    This is kitten season and vet. care can be expensive for many people. Here’s a link that provides information on low cost and/or free care for your queens. They may even have a foster mom who can take a few of the kits.

    Thanks for getting back to us and let us know how you’re doing. This is stressful for you too.

    #867374

    KYKAT 12 23
    Participant

    Years ago, when my cat Samantha had her 1 litter of kittens, the runt of the litter could not figure out how to nurse. I fed her kitten formula with a dropper for the first couple of days and repeatedly would put her at her mother’s nipple. On day 3 she finally figured out how to latch on and then nursed normally from there. I kept that kitten and she was my baby for 14 years. Good luck and I hope the kittens figure out how to latch. Just put them in the right place over and over and feed them as instructed above until they figure out how to latch on.

    #867383

    pussigato
    Participant

    How are you doing, Mary?

    #867387

    Mary Clapp
    Participant

    Unfortunatly 1 kitten is struggling..i did get formula, fed her the amount you said to, but its getting weaker by the hour. I got it to latch on to foster mom, it sucked a few times, then let go. I cant afford a vet..but I will check the sights you gave me. The real mother is having trouble also, she looks terrible, still bleeding, the vagina is still swollen like she’s been in labor and possibly given birth to another kitten outside. We have looked everywhere for the baby, cannot find it ?. She is back inside the house. We are keeping close watch on all kittens and both mommy’s. Thanks for all your help..

    #867389

    pussigato
    Participant

    Oh dear. I believe Mama is sick. There are two illnesses that effect cats. I’ve provided you with three contacts. Call them, tell them what’s happening and your financial situation. Some will provide financial assistance.

    Metritis
    Metritis (inflammation of the uterus) occurs occasionally, usually within three days of birth. parturition. The cat is much more obviously ill – she will be dull and lethargic, ignore her kittens, refuse food, and may vomit. A purulent, foul-smelling vaginal discharge is present along with fever. Abdominal palpation may cause the queen pain and the uterus usually feels thickened.

    Some cats with pyometra show no signs, or may show vague clinical signs like lethargy, fever, dehydration, and poor appetite, even if they are suffering from very advanced disease.

    Contact Arkansas Veterinary Emergency & Specialists


    http://afterhouranimalhospital.com

    Looking for Free or Low-Cost Veterinary Care?

    #867390

    pussigato
    Participant

    As far as the struggling kitten-get a syringe and force it to eat as much as you can but make it doesn’t aspirate (get formula in its lungs).

    #867398

    Mary Clapp
    Participant

    We lost 3 kittens last night ? . 1 is hardy and doing well with foster mom, we have 1 we are force feeding with syringe, it is on a bag of heated rice wrapped in a towel. I followed your instructions, and praying. The momma cat died during the night. We are very sad to lose her and her babies. Will keep informed on the 2 left…thanks for all your assistance…

    #867399

    Mary Clapp
    Participant

    We lost 3 kittens last night ? . 1 is hardy and doing well with foster mom, we have 1 we are force feeding with syringe, it is on a bag of heated rice wrapped in a towel. I followed your instructions, and praying. The momma cat died during the night. We are very sad to lose her and her babies. Will keep informed on the 2 left…thanks for all your assistance…

    #867401

    pussigato
    Participant

    I’m sorry too. Not every kit is meant for our world.

    That’s wonderful news that one kit is hardy and the little one is trying to eat. If either look lethargic you can put a dab of Karo syrup in their month. This will give them an energy boost and, hopefully, eating regularly.

    Thank you for working so hard to keep this gang alive.

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