Feral gave birth and we got them

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tandl

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That's quite an armory on the wall. Does somebody in your house do paintball?
lol no, they are all Nerf guns. The wall was made several years ago when he was really into them; now he’s more into his video games but whenever he has friends over they still get used, so we leave the wall up. Not that any of them ever put the guns back up…that ends up being me!
 
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tandl

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Question about eyes—most of the kittens are beginning to open their eyes. One kitten is not, and when I picked him up to get a better view, his closed eyes have a goopy crust. Is this a normal stage of the eye opening or signs of an infection? Should I try to gently put some warm water compresses on or leave it be?

photo below of this kittens eyes.
2nd and 3rd photos are just cute. Ember was right outside the carrier drinking water and her tail flicked back into the carrier. One of the kittens saw/felt/smelled it and ended up scooting up enough to be right on top of it. Then fell back asleep. Awwww

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Norachan

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One kitten is not, and when I picked him up to get a better view, his closed eyes have a goopy crust. Is this a normal stage of the eye opening or signs of an infection? Should I try to gently put some warm water compresses on or leave it be?
They do look a little yellow. Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 swears by a compress made of cold Chamomile tea, which is very soothing to inflamed eyes. You could also ask your vet for some medicated eye drops or cream. If it is an eye infection it will probably be contagious, so it's a good idea to have some drops or cream ready. I find the cream easier to apply.

Don't try to force the kittens eyes open though, just apply the medication and let it seep through the lids.
 
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tandl

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A little update—everyone is doing well. I did do the chamomile compresses on a couple of the kittens eyes, and then moved to an antibiotic ointment and everyone’s eyes seem much improved. We had to go out of town this weekend for family party and of course I was nervous, but mama Ember and our great cat sitter kept mama, the kittens and our other cats doing well. Ember has free reign in the bathroom and the larger room outside of the bathroom, and has not tried to move the kittens which has been a relief. She nurses every couple of hours but spends most of her time outside of the bathtub now. As the kittens will be 3 weeks tomorrow, I think I need to make a litterbox available soon? I have some low-sided cardboard flats from cat food shipments, and I have the paper crumble/non clumping litter. Should I put the litterbox right outside the kittens carrier in the bathtub? Or should I go ahead and move the whole set up to the smaller pet play pen in the larger room? I had received advice on here earlier that 3 weeks would be a good time to move them into the larger space, so wasn’t sure if doing that in conjunction with access to the litterbox would work, or if should keep them in the bathtub with access to the litterbox first for a bit longer. Including photo of what the current set up is—bathtub is not big but I could add a small litterbox right outside of the carrier they hang out inside now.
Also another photo of the smaller playpen that I had in mind forwhen they needed more space. As always, thank you! Feels like it has been a lot longer than 3 weeks in many ways!
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Sarthur2

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It’s definitely time to move the family to the bigger room and setup. In fact, the kittens will not be happy for long in the playpen. They will want the run of the room.

Adding litter boxes is wise, but they may not use them quite yet until they move to soft foods.
 

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we started with a litter mat - it was a rubber mat that you put in the bottom of the tub or shower so you don't slip and it was maybe 2 feet long. Pour a small pile of litter, we used wheat to be soft for new feets, in the center and let her explore. Then gently put her on the pile right after she ate. She had it down in just a few times. The advantage to starting with the mat is the kitten does not have to learn to climb the side of the litter box with a full bladder. Kitten POV. Yes, I know you see the problem.

We went to the box in a week.
 
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tandl

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It’s hard to believe the kittens are already 7 weeks old! They now have complete run of the room and have distinct, funny personalities. Mama Ember is hanging in there too. I will be very interested to see how she reacts after she is spayed and we release her back into the backyard.

My question today has to do with getting these kittens to eat wet food. They are completely not interested. They will nibble on some dry kitten chow, and sometimes they’ll try Embers food. She likes Fancy Feast grilled/gravy varieties which I consider the junk food of cat food, but as she’s a feral mama trapped inside, I will let her eat whatever she wants!

I have tried many brands/flavors of kitten pates. I started with putting some KMR out in bowls, and most of them ignored it. There is one kitten that laps that up fairly consistently but that’s about it. I then tried the KMR second step and a couple will lap that up but it’s not consistent. I tried the KMR mixed with a small amount of pate. I tried the KMR mixed with a lot of pate. I’ve tried pate without KMR. Tried heating pate up, tried serving it room temp…
And usually it remains untouched. I admit, with feeding 15 cats inside our house and 5-8 ferals outside currently, wasted food bugs me because our cat food bill is a LOT each month.
Ember is still nursing, but it’s hard to tell how often . Now that they have free reign in the big room, the camera misses a decent portion of the room. Kittens are full of energy and within normal weight ranges so at least she seems to be nursing ‘enough.’
Is it a waiting game at this point? Just a matter of when their brains and tummies are grown enough? Should I go back to just offering KMR in a bowl, and then work back up only once all kittens are reliably interested in that? Or just keep offering wet food several times a day and see if their interest comes in during the next couple of weeks?
I had hoped we would be further along in the weaning process as I was hoping to get everyone spayed/neutered at 10 weeks old.
Thanks for any suggestions/info. We’ve never had a litter with mom; so our youngest fosters were 6 wks but ate wet food easily.
 

Sarthur2

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Actually, the Fancy Feast Classic pates (not grilled, not gravy, not slices or chunks - just classic pate) are first ingredient meat. I have used the Fancy Feast Classic pates for over two dozen years. It’s all my cats eat, and all my kittens have been weaned on it.

So try the pates and see if they’ll take to it. Most kittens are eating kitten chow softened in KMR and eating pate wet food by about 8 weeks (while still nursing). I think they will come around soon! They are moving more slowly because they have mama. They should stay with her for the full 10-12 weeks if possible.

Also, if you give uneaten wet food to your outdoor cats it won’t go to waste.

Do you think Ember wants to go back outside?
 

StefanZ

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In Sweden its common we give them (raw) minced meat for fiirst solid food. NOT from pigs, must be cows or other animals. (in Sweden we dont have Auyesky? disease in pigs, but abroads it may vary).
 
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