4 week old kittens not pooping

Meowskittens

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Hi I’m new here and I was hoping you could all help me.
On Thursday we were given 2 4 week old kittens (their mom had been in an accident and could no longer look after them). I have read up on how to look after kittens this age and my parents have had some experience with raising young kittens. They are a good weight (between 350 and 450).
Today and the last half of yesterday they haven’t been accepting food. Their last good feed was about 2 o’clock this morning. And they haven’t had a bowl movement since we have had them.
Any tips are welcome how we can better help these little babies.

below is a picture of the little cuties. The black one is a girl name Minor and the white and stripy one is a boy called Major
1597497009628.jpeg
 

Sarthur2

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Hi, constipation is not uncommon when kittens switch from mom’s milk to a formula. I recommend adding a few drops of olive oil to each feeding to keep things soft. What are you feeding them? How much and how often? Do you stimulate them to poop?
 
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Meowskittens

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Hi, I’ll try adding in the olive oil thank you.
We feed them every hours. During the night they are drinking about 12 ml (although during the day this goes down to about 8-10 mls). We are giving them Lactol kitten formula milk. And yes, after each feed we are stimulating them. They are seeing okay, just no BM as of yet.
 

Sarthur2

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The kitten who weighs 350 grams is only 12 ounces; and the kitten that weighs 450 is 15.8 ounces. Ideally, 4-week-old kittens should weigh one pound (16 ounces) at one month old, and continue to gain a pound a month thereafter.

My concern is perhaps they are not getting enough milk, and may be slightly dehydrated. This would make their poop hard. The female needs a minimum of 96mLs during each 24-hour period, while the male needs 128mLs of formula each 24 hours.

I suggest that you try feeding every 4 hours for now, including through the night, even if you must wake them to feed them. This means there will be 6 total feedings each 24 hours, with the female getting 16mLs at each feeding, and the male getting 21mLs each feeding.

Continue to add the oil as well. The more consistent feedings on a strict schedule should help them to grow, to stay hydrated, and to poop more easily. In another couple of weeks you can introduce wet cat food and things will get easier.

M Meowskittens
 
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Meowskittens

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Thank you. They don’t really like eating, should I make them eat (as in, keep feeding them until they’ve eaten what they need?) or just what they want to eat?
 

Sarthur2

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Most kittens eat really well because they are growing and hungry. I suspect they need time to adjust to their new environment without mom.

Never force feed, but I think if you get them on the schedule I recommended and stick with it, you will see their food intake increase fairly quickly. :)
 

Furballsmom

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Try a towel-wrapped ticking clock (to muffle it), a heartbeat toy or a purr toy. Low volume classical harp music (spotify has a collection called Cat In My Arms or there's KUSC . org ) can help kittens, and do you have a heating pad placed where they can get off of it if it's too warm, set on low with a couple towels over it?
 
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Meowskittens

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I don’t have a pad, do I need one? They have a pet carrier that they sleep in with a blanket. And it’s pretty warm where I am at the moment. I though they could regulate their own body temp at this age?
 

Furballsmom

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The trick these days is finding a clock that actually ticks! But they are out there. It's a VERY old trick! I remember my dad putting a water bottle wrapped in towels and a clock in a towel into puppy and kitten beds when I was little.
This is partly for emotional comfort and partly physical in case they're having any trouble with maintaining their own temperature. Since they're alone and missing mama, and are struggling a little bit physically sometimes it can be helpful.

Do you have a hot water bottle? or you could heat some towels a little bit (not too hot, and put an unheated towel over them) in a dryer - if they seem to like it, try that :)
 

Sarthur2

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They can regulate their own body temperature at four weeks. They should be okay. It’s the feedings and pooping I’m concerned about now. How are things going?
 
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