Already feeling over my head...

vince

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I had an adopted stray about the age of the kitten in question and used a flip-top plastic storage box about 3" x 8" x 10". That was low enough for my little girl to get in and out with no problem and worked fine until she could negotiate a regular cat box with no problem. You can get one at one of the big box hardwares or a department store.
 
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evertiro

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Ok; good news (mostly) today. His last feeding yesterday, I finally managed to get him to take more than .5ml in a sitting... he took a full 2ml! Contextually, that's about his average per day for the previous day and a half. Even better, it wasn't a long, drawn-out debate like it has been. He only fought until I got the syringe actually in his mouth, then he went to town on his own. On a whim, tried to bottle feed again this morning (with a syringe handy just in case). He absolutely went to town and actually made it through about a full tablespoon before calling it quits. Progress!

Even better, when I finally took two minutes (ok, 45 minutes) to run to the store and get food for me (been a day and a half since I managed more than a protein shake), he decided that was the ideal time to finally use the bathroom. We're still working on his understanding of where is (and more importantly is not) appropriate for that. Two days ago, he couldn't even functionally walk (didn't have enough strength in his rear legs... was more like dragging himself around); last night I put him in a big old box while I ran to the bathroom (the front door was open for ages while we were having some work done), and when I got back he was on his hind legs about half an inch from literally climbing out of the box!

Today's biggest problem... If he's not in direct physical contact with me, he whines non-stop. And I mean non-stop. If I give him the chance to actually climb on me, he stops whining instantly. Problem is, holding him doesn't cut it, putting him in my lap doesn't cut it... the only way to make him stop crying is to actually lie down on the ground and let him climb all over the place until he finds a spot he likes. Usually takes him about five minutes to decide he's comfortable, then he'll sit there purring happily until his next feeding time. Literally. And I can't move an inch without the crying starting again. Also literally. I had to deal with something for work a bit ago and actually timed it... he cried once every two seconds for an hour and a half. Non-stop. Only stopped when I finished with work and actually lay down on the floor and let him climb on me again. Please tell me this phase doesn't last long... I can't go without eating or working forever, and my back can't take lying on the floor all day every day!
 

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evertiro

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Aww, he thinks you are his mom. He’s a baby and needs to know you are close. This phase lasts for awhile.

Try making a sling to wear and put him in it near your heart beat. Make sure he can breathe though. You also might want to put a soft stuffed toy in his crate or box.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QS82Y4N/?tag=thecatsite

T-shirt Cat Sling - petdiys.com
Good ideas! Brings up yet more questions though... First, is there a big difference between "cat" and "kitten" toys?!? I hadn't even considered that, but there's "cat" vs "kitten" everything else... Second, he doesn't spend much time in a box at the moment. Mostly because it's easier to work at 15% efficiency and have him calm than listening to him cry nonstop forever. He does a little exploration, but not much yet. Is there such a thing as "too much freedom" at this age? I'd assume encouraging him to explore/play/etc is good regardless, but I'm no expert!
 

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He is really young to be away from his mother and is probably suffering from separation anxiety. Kittens that have lost their mothers too soon are really vocal and needy. If you have a hoodie wear that back to front and let him sleep in the hood while you go about your day.
 

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evertiro

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Well, we've made progress... all day yesterday, he consistently ate 15ml every ~3 hours. Today we seem to have gone backward. He's only willing to take about 3-4ml every three hours today. He's not lethargic, still running around, mewing, and getting into trouble (at least as much as the last few days), but darn it, it still feels like I'm doing something wrong. Did order some proper kitty toys last night. What I currently have is much more geared towards adults, as that's all I've ever had... though it's spectacularly entertaining watching him try to figure out toys that are half his size.
 

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Kittens will eat like little pigs, then back off for a day or so. It all depends on their rate of growth. Just like we humans can be hungrier some days than others. Don’t force it!

He sounds wonderfully healthy and happy. Kittens like little play mice and balls, but quickly grow into adult cat toys. 😊
 
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evertiro

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Kittens will eat like little pigs, then back off for a day or so. It all depends on their rate of growth. Just like we humans can be hungrier some days than others. Don’t force it!

He sounds wonderfully healthy and happy. Kittens like little play mice and balls, but quickly grow into adult cat toys. 😊
Doesn't make it less terrifying! To make it worse, he spit up a little bit of the formula at an early feeding today, then wouldn't take more than the tiniest bit of food at any one feeding until about an hour ago.
 
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evertiro

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Do the questions ever stop? If a kitten is capable of lapping, should it be encouraged to do so? He made an absolute mess when I was feeding him earlier, and in the time it took me to grab extra paper towels, he happily lapped up the whole puddle. I mean it wasn't a lot of formula, but it wasn't just one drop either... I didn't expect to see that kind of behavior this early?
 

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Sure, if he can lap let him lap. It will make it easier to introduce solid food that way too. You can mix some kitten wet food with formula to make a kind of thick soup for him to lap up.

He's adorable! Glad to se the little guy toddling around.
 
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evertiro

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Sure, if he can lap let him lap. It will make it easier to introduce solid food that way too. You can mix some kitten wet food with formula to make a kind of thick soup for him to lap up.

He's adorable! Glad to se the little guy toddling around.
Thanks! Toddling might be understating it... he's tiny, but in the last 36 hours he's learned to seriously move! It's absolutely adorable too... I work from home and he spends pretty much all day within about six feet of me. If I leave the room for a minute, he'll go about exploring, but no matter where he is in the room, he's between (and then on) my feet the second I open the door. And he's a climber. Like won't stop climbing half the time.
 
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evertiro

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So... anyone have any suggestions on how to clean a kitten by yourself? He pooped for the first time (didn't expect that yet either), and promptly decided it was something to play with. Not eat. Play with.
 
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evertiro

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Warm wet wash cloth is best, unless he needs a full bath in the sink. If so, use blue Dawn and warm water and dry him thoroughly.
Wash cloth and dawn was what I did (before even asking). He was having none of it and it ended up taking as long as me showering twice (with significantly less water usage but still!). Granted the second he was dry he started purring and didn't let me put him down...
 
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evertiro

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A few days without a post, that's a good sign (on my end anyway)! We've made a ton of progress this week. He's has grown a bit (not a lot, but it's noticeable), and is getting increasingly independent (though sometimes he just has to have that cuddle time... or is that me?). I also just realized I never actually told anyone here his name! He's not nameless, I promise! His name is Onyx, and he's pretty close to spot-on with the litter box now. In fact, if he needs to use it and can't figure out how to get to it, he actually lets me know! Of course, letting me know means crying pitifully until I bring him to it, but still. Eating has gotten easier (and he'll ask for food too at this point... usually only a few minutes off from when I planned to feed him anyway, but I'm taking the acknowledgment of needing food and the ability to make it known that he wants food as a good sign.
 
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evertiro

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He weighed in this morning (that's a thing we do now) at 450 grams and has spent the whole day playing (he understands toys finally!) and trying to escape (because kittens explore). So far so good!
 
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