Cat gave birth to underweight kittens

Zara12345

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Hi! So my cat gave birth today to 5 kittens. Two of the kittens weigh around 90+ grams. One weighs 81g and the other 2 are weighing 60+ grams😔. The average weight of these kittens should be from 85 to 87 grams so I understand that 2 of them are very underweight. Can you please give advise on how I can help these kittens? All kittens are suckling but I am still worried for the underweight ones. We have formula so do we start on that? Also what nutritious foods can I give momma to help her increase her milk production? We prefer to feed our cats a natural diet like boiled chicken and wet food as opposed to dry food which we avoid as much as possible.
 

Caspers Human

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Get some kitten formula and feed the hell out of them. As much as they will eat. (Drink?)

Feed the mother, too. She needs to replenish her reserves after having kittens. Her supplies are likely depleted and she probably needs the extra nutrition. Kitten formula is okay if she'll take it. Mix some of it with her regular food if she'll eat that way.

Feeding formula to the kittens is a good idea because it will take some of the burden off the new, tired mother and allow her to recover so that she can better care for her kittens over the long term.

It's good that you are trying to feed your brood a natural diet but, right now, the most important thing is to get sustenance into those little tummies as well as you can, circumstances permitting. A good quality dry food mixed with kitten formula will be okay for the short term.

You can go back to feeding your usual diet after the storm has settled. :)

Good luck with your new brood! Here's to looking forward to the pitter-patter of little feet! :)

Thoughts and prayers be with you! :heartshape: 🙏
 

StefanZ

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Hi! So my cat gave birth today to 5 kittens. Two of the kittens weigh around 90+ grams. One weighs 81g and the other 2 are weighing 60+ grams😔. The average weight of these kittens should be from 85 to 87 grams so I understand that 2 of them are very underweight. Can you please give advise on how I can help these kittens? All kittens are suckling but I am still worried for the underweight ones. We have formula so do we start on that? Also what nutritious foods can I give momma to help her increase her milk production? We prefer to feed our cats a natural diet like boiled chicken and wet food as opposed to dry food which we avoid as much as possible.
The most important is you weight them in grammes. The smallest every 12 hours. If you see they are adding soundly 6+ grammes every day, you prob dont need to supplement feed them. If they dont raise, do supplement them.
Its not uncommon although they suckle, they are too week to get in something for real.

Be sure the smallest dont get chilled out, for example, if you must handfeed or weight them... An IR warming lamp may be useful. You perhaps have some neigbour whom had lizards, or is rheumatic - and can borrow you such a lamp?

60+ is little, but not desperately so, so with a little luck and work, they do have a good chance.


My favorite supplement to recommend is goats milk. Much safer and better than pasteurized cow milk... and cheaper than kmr.

Raw goats milk has some potential advantages - it comes too from an alive momma, and can be used for the kittens; either as it is, or mixed with the kmr.
Instead of the usual 1:2 powder water, so 1:3 powder goats milk.


Ps, No Hartz products. They are of very uneven quality. And preferably not ready made PetAG KMR. Although theirs powder KMR is good.
 
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Zara12345

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Get some kitten formula and feed the hell out of them. As much as they will eat. (Drink?)

Feed the mother, too. She needs to replenish her reserves after having kittens. Her supplies are likely depleted and she probably needs the extra nutrition. Kitten formula is okay if she'll take it. Mix some of it with her regular food if she'll eat that way.

Feeding formula to the kittens is a good idea because it will take some of the burden off the new, tired mother and allow her to recover so that she can better care for her kittens over the long term.

It's good that you are trying to feed your brood a natural diet but, right now, the most important thing is to get sustenance into those little tummies as well as you can, circumstances permitting. A good quality dry food mixed with kitten formula will be okay for the short term.

You can go back to feeding your usual diet after the storm has settled. :)

Good luck with your new brood! Here's to looking forward to the pitter-patter of little feet! :)

Thoughts and prayers be with you! :heartshape: 🙏
Thank you for the advice. I will do so but my foster friend (who taught me a lot about fostering) said that I should give the mother a chance as she is doing well (and she is) and also advised not to start on formula this early in their lives as it would also risk mom rejecting the kittens. I am just worried about this coz if it came down to that we wouldn't be able to feed them every two hours as we all go to work. However, I can feed them in the morning before work, in the afternoon and in the evening after 6 so will this work? And also could the mom possibly reject the kittens if I formula feed and what can I do to prevent this from happening? Thanks again:)
 
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Zara12345

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The most important is you weight them in grammes. The smallest every 12 hours. If you see they are adding soundly 6+ grammes every day, you prob dont need to supplement feed them. If they dont raise, do supplement them.
Its not uncommon although they suckle, they are too week to get in something for real.

Be sure the smallest dont get chilled out, for example, if you must handfeed or weight them... An IR warming lamp may be useful. You perhaps have some neigbour whom had lizards, or is rheumatic - and can borrow you such a lamp?

60+ is little, but not desperately so, so with a little luck and work, they do have a good chance.


My favorite supplement to recommend is goats milk. Much safer and better than pasteurized cow milk... and cheaper than kmr.

Raw goats milk has some potential advantages - it comes too from an alive momma, and can be used for the kittens; either as it is, or mixed with the kmr.
Instead of the usual 1:2 powder water, so 1:3 powder goats milk.


Ps, No Hartz products. They are of very uneven quality. And preferably not ready made PetAG KMR. Although theirs powder KMR is good.
Thank you so much for the advice🥺 Yes we will weigh them twice a day. When we first arrived to see our cat giving birth, we had no idea that she would be due so soon so we hadn't provided her with all the blankets; just a few small sheets to "show her" her birthing box. So when she had given birth a few of the kittens were getting cold so we had to set up a heating pad for a while and they're good now. Will try to find a lamp for the babies. I will try the goat milk too:)
 

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Thank you for the advice. I will do so but my foster friend (who taught me a lot about fostering) said that I should give the mother a chance as she is doing well (and she is) and also advised not to start on formula this early in their lives as it would also risk mom rejecting the kittens. I am just worried about this coz if it came down to that we wouldn't be able to feed them every two hours as we all go to work. However, I can feed them in the morning before work, in the afternoon and in the evening after 6 so will this work? And also could the mom possibly reject the kittens if I formula feed and what can I do to prevent this from happening? Thanks again:)
While I agree if they add its better not to handfeed them - because if you arent skilled there IS some risks. So yeah, the first hours are touchy, before you know they do add.

But no, there is no risk momma will reject them. A wild momma scared of you perhaps would, but none other. Nor they wont suckle because they are handfeed now. Suckle momma is always nice, so they will suckle and get from her something, even if you do handfeed.

And yeah, if you cant handfeed every 2 hours, handfeed when you can. And hope they get some from momma in the time you are away.
 
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Zara12345

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Mom and the other babies are doing well. Thank you all for the advice. However, mom doesn't seem to like the dry food very much perhaps coz she's not used to it as much as the wet food. But even still she isn't eating as much as we would like her to eat especially with a litter of 4. We feed her boiled chicken, beef, wet food packets, treats, a little formula and of course dry food which she has access to all the time but she doesn't like the dry food very much. Also she doesn't drink a lot of water so we're mixing homemade chicken stock in her wet food to increase her water intake. Is there anything else we can give her to add more fat, protein and water into her diet? Thanks for all the advice
 

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She eats much wet / non dry, so her water needs arent as big as a cat whom only eats dry... But good you are trying to be sure she gets enough with fluids. She needs lotsa.

Perhaps a water fountain?

My favorite to recommend is goats milk. Always an useful supplement and cheaper than kmr.

Some nice vitamine paste may help, cant hurt.

ps. Is the other, alive little one adding properly? How much per day?
 

Jj1008

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Hi! So my cat gave birth today to 5 kittens. Two of the kittens weigh around 90+ grams. One weighs 81g and the other 2 are weighing 60+ grams😔. The average weight of these kittens should be from 85 to 87 grams so I understand that 2 of them are very underweight. Can you please give advise on how I can help these kittens? All kittens are suckling but I am still worried for the underweight ones. We have formula so do we start on that? Also what nutritious foods can I give momma to help her increase her milk production? We prefer to feed our cats a natural diet like boiled chicken and wet food as opposed to dry food which we avoid as much as possible.
We’ve got two kittens were born 67/68g, and they are both caught up. I’d not overly concern if they are feeding well and gaining weight everyday (8-15g). Important to measure them daily.

As others suggested, having formula just as supplement is good anyways. Not to take them away from their mom, just complementary feeding. Hope they will do well, pls keep us posted.
 
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Zara12345

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She eats much wet / non dry, so her water needs arent as big as a cat whom only eats dry... But good you are trying to be sure she gets enough with fluids. She needs lotsa.

Perhaps a water fountain?

My favorite to recommend is goats milk. Always an useful supplement and cheaper than kmr.

Some nice vitamine paste may help, cant hurt.

ps. Is the other, alive little one adding properly? How much per day?
Hi! It's a litter of 4 and yes they're gaining weight steadily and mom is doing a good job. Thank you for the suggestions!!
 
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Zara12345

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Hi! My cat gave birth to kittens and today is day- 19. The kittens are almost three weeks old and as of today 2 out of the 4 kittens eyes are only half open. They are persian kittens and they have semi exotic faces so I am just wondering if this is the reason? However, 2 out of the 4 littermates already fully opened their eyes around 2 days ago.
A bit concerned about this.. can someone please advice what I should do? We have been cleaning their eyes twice a day to prompt them to open but there hasn't been as much progress as I expected. Thanks in advance:)
 

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I wouldn't start worrying yet. Two weeks is an average age for kittens to have their eyes open, which means some will be sooner and some later. I've seen kittens as young as 3 days old starting open their eyes, and I've seen others who were 3+ weeks old. One thing you don't want to do is force the eyes open as that can damage the muscles in the eyelids.

Can you post pictures so we can see what they look like? Both the wide open eyes and the half open eyes for comparison.
 

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Cats mate then ovulate so each individual kitten can be at a different state of development from its birthmates. I have had kittens whose eyes opened after 3 weeks. The important thing is: do NOT damage the unopened eyes! You might find this link useful:
 
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Zara12345

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Hi! 3 out of the 4 babies have their eyes fully open now. I think the 4th baby is also getting there soon🥰

I also don't have pictures of their eyes specifically because we can't carry them long enough to take pictures of their eyes without upsetting mom **sighh. She's almost 2 years but its still her first time being a mommy.. we believe it's the reason why she's so sensitive around her babies.
 
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Zara12345

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Hi!! An update: Kittens are doing so well. They are growing everyday and it's such a joy for me to watch them. However, I cannot get them to eat anything! They don't like food - at all. I've tried mousse, baby food, chicken.. they were completely refusing to try it. They're almost 6 weeks old now but they're not eating😥 We have had to hand feed pulsed kitten food with some chicken a couple of times a day but its still not sufficient for them I guess..?
By God's grace they're all healthy and well.. I just dunno why they're refusing to try food. Does anyone have any suggestions to get them to eat? I'll try anything.
Ooh and btw I must add mom is well fed; she gets her wet food twice a day, chicken, treats and dry food (24/7) but everytime we keep kitten food on the plate she finishes that too... sometimes she ignores her food and goes for the kitten food *sighh.
We were hoping that she would lead by example and the babies would learn to eat from her but not sure what to do in this case when she likes the kittens food more than her food? (Kitten food is basically pulsed royal canin kitten wet food, chicken, broth and kmr so it has the consistency of porridge ; I think my cats think it's treats).
 
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