3 Day Old Kitten Care Help

jessteroni

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Hello everyone, on Tuesday 7-28-20 I came across a newborn kitten in my barn. It’s typical for me to come across kittens as their mothers move them around in the hay but this little guy was sitting in the middle of the barn floor and kind of cold.

I let him be for another hour, hoping to see the mom at least show up but she never did. I took him home and set him up in a box 75% is heating pad with a towel over top of it, 25% is just towel. I did add a little washcloth in with him and he likes to snuggle up with it. I started feeding him KMR every two hours after he warmed up. Started with ~2ml as he was literally born that day.

I had to start feeding with a syringe because I couldn’t find a bottle at the store in my town. I got a bottle yesterday and he does great! Latches and sucks great. It’s just a little hard to tell how much he’s drinking since the bottle is in 15ml increments(goes to 45ml) I let him eat until he stops and then try and get him to take it again, he usually does once more and I can see he’s drank at least 2ml. He does seem to want more as after I put him back in his box he tries sucking on the towel or my hand if I put it in there.

His first pee with me was very very dark so I knew he hadn’t eaten barely any, if at all. Later in the night the color eventually became clear. He had a couple tiny hard poops Tuesday and Wednesday and today he had a huge solid but mushy one, like at least an inch long.

I don’t have a scale yet, it’s coming tomorrow in the mail. But at work we have a mail machine that gives oz. (not sure how super accurate tho) He weighed 79.3 g on Wednesday and 83.2 g today. I’m assuming maybe he was the runt of the litter and maybe that’s why his mom left him out.

My main questions are, should I be feeding him until he stops searching, am I feeding him enough? How much should he poop a day and what should it look like?

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated, this is the first kitten I’ve ever had to take care of. Thanks!!
 

Sarthur2

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It sounds like you are doing an excellent job so far! Thank you for saving him.

Based on his weight, he needs a minimum of 24mLs of formula each 24-hour period, so every two hours would mean 12 feedings of 2mLs. He can always have more, and needs more as he grows.

The rule of thumb is 8mLs per ounce divided by number of feedings. Example: If he’s 83.2 grams, that converts to 2.93 ounces, which I rounded to 3, then multiply 3x8mLs to get 24mLs divided by 12 feedings to get 2mLs per feeding. He should gain a minimum of 6-10 grams a day (more is fine too).

Formula poop should be toothpaste consistency. His sounds good.

Here is a very good feeding video:

Syringe Feeding — Kitten Lady

You may want to order Miracle Nipples as they are most like mom’s:

Miracle Nipples

Or:

Amazon.com : THE MIRACLE NIPPLE for Pets, Original Pkg/2 with Miracle Brand Oring Syringe : Pet Supplies

You must feed around the clock (which means through the night), and does he go to work with you?

Feed tummy down and slowly so he does not aspirate milk into his lungs. :)

P.S. His “searching” is instinctual. He’s seeking mom’s nipple to latch and suckle for comfort. You can soak a corner of the washcloth in milk and direct him to it. Perhaps he will learn to suckle that for comfort. Make sure it’s not terrycloth as the threads can come loose and cause trouble.
 
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jessteroni

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@Sarthur2Thank you so much!
I do take him to work with me and he’s being fed consistently every 2-2.5 hours around the clock, at least 2ml each time.

I was a little worried about his weight but then I read that sometimes kittens won’t seem like they’re gaining much for a few days and all of a sudden they’ll put on a lot. I weighed him this morning and now he’s 96.5g!

The main thing I’m worried about now is his tummy seems a bit big? I read that a big tummy can mean parasites so I have been checking his poop and there’s nothing out of place. Is it common to have a chubby tummy or should I be worried?
 
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jessteroni

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The big round tummy is normal for healthy kittens! Depending on body type it is bigger on some kittens than others. I doubt he has parasites. Has he lost his umbilical cord yet?
He still has his umbilical cord, but it’s very dried up. I’m thinking within the next two days it will fall off.
 
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jessteroni

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Okay I got a real scale in the mail today and lil Nugget weighs 3.6oz! I’m so happy to see him gaining weight.

Curious how much he should be pooping? He pooped a good amount last night, about an inch long, and the same amount around noon today.

Also before I drive myself crazy worry about his little belly, does this look normal after feeding? Picture doesn’t do it justice, he is a bit wider than below.
6C5A6C02-B3D0-4332-872E-DC8638DE555C.jpeg
 
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jessteroni

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Just a little update and a question.

Nugget now weighs just over 150g at 1 week!

His umbilical cord hasn’t fallen off yet, I did trim it yesterday because it was all the way down to his tail, and I read that the longer it is the longer it may take to fall off? Should I wait a few more days before worrying about it?
 

Sarthur2

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I would wait. They usually fall off on their own. Is it drying out well? Is there any redness, irritation, or swelling at the naval site?

Congrats on him weighing 5 ounces! Are his eyes starting to open yet? If not, they will soon. :)
 
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