hand rearing and weighing newborn kittens

lutece

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I don't think these soft sided enclosures slide around nearly as much as the puppy pens that are made of panels and don't have a bottom. The soft sided enclosure has a zipped on bottom panel that is in full contact with the floor. It will also be held down in place by the litter box that you will have inside the enclosure, and any other stuff you might have inside. I don't find that it is extremely easy to push around.

If you do find your dogs push it around, shelf liner is a fine suggestion, or a piece of yoga mat (I use cut up old yoga mats in my house to keep furniture from sliding).
 
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kimmycup1

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My kittens are now 23 days old and I've always had trouble getting them to eat a good meal. Sometimes they'll eat great, maybe 15 ml, then other times I can't get them to eat more than 3-6 ml. It fluctuates a lot and last I weighed them, the largest kitten lost a few grams which is unlike her. I've been feeding them every 2-3 hours the last couple of days to try to get them to eat more. I have nutrical, but I'm not sure how to give it and I'm not sure if they need the amount it says on the tube or less since they are young. I'm going to try to put some on my finger or their nose and see if they will try it.

I have chicken baby food(just chicken, nothing added) would it be safe to add a tiny bit to their formula to see if that will help? And should I follow the directions for nutrical or give them less? They are all active and about a pound already, I just worry when I see them not eating much and not gaining or losing weight.
 

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If they are all weighing a pound they are way ahead of the game and have been getting plenty! Kittens are not expected to weigh a pound until they are four weeks old, so if they eat less here and there it is because they are full or on a plateau, and the kitten who lost a few grams probably just had a growth spurt. The key is to see an overall consistent growth pattern, which you have.

I would not give nutrical at all, nor would I put chicken baby food in their bottles. Wait until they are between 4-5 weeks old and you can try the chicken baby food.

Here is a helpful video:

 
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kimmycup1

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I just checked and I was a little off on their weight, the biggest is just under a pound at 453 while the smallest was 416 grams when I weighed them this morning. The second biggest was 428 and she's been having the most trouble with her weight, but she almost always gains enough in 24 hours. I do worry when someone doesn't gain or loses in 12 hours but I know they will mostly likely gain in a 24 hour period. I am a worrywart but it's getting a little better as they get older. The girls have teeth growing in, I'm not sure about the boy because he's a little more feisty but I'm sure he'll be getting his soon too.

I have watched that video many times, Hannah Shaw's(kitten lady) video's have helped me tremendously. I've been following her since last year and have learned so much. I have whole earth farms wet kitten food ready for them when they are older, and I have non clumping litter ready for when I set up their playpen, which will be tomorrow.

They still sleep most of the time, but like to play when it's feeding time. I usually have to wake them up to feed them, is that normal? I worry they don't eat enough yet they don't wake up crying to eat so I hope that's a good sign that they are eating plenty.

If they are all weighing a pound they are way ahead of the game and have been getting plenty! Kittens are not expected to weigh a pound until they are four weeks old, so if they eat less here and there it is because they are full or on a plateau, and the kitten who lost a few grams probably just had a growth spurt. The key is to see an overall consistent growth pattern, which you have.

I would not give nutrical at all, nor would I put chicken baby food in their bottles. Wait until they are between 4-5 weeks old and you can try the chicken baby food.

Here is a helpful video:

 
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kimmycup1

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I also wanted to ask, how long should I wait before I introduce them to other cats? I've been extra careful with these three since they didn't receive colostrum from their mom, so I just wanted to know how old they should be before I let them near my other cats.
 

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I would wait until they are a month old, then under your supervision and for short periods of time at first. Use your judgement, but in my experience adult cats accept tiny kittens much more easily and readily than they do other adult cats.
 
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kimmycup1

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I would wait until they are a month old, then under your supervision and for short periods of time at first. Use your judgement, but in my experience adult cats accept tiny kittens much more easily and readily than they do other adult cats.
I was thinking around 4 weeks, I just worried about germs being spread even though my cats are healthy. Most of them have been around kittens so they're used to them but I do have a 1 year old who was sick as a kitten who the other cats did not accept later on so I'm hoping these guys can be her buddies.

One of the kittens did not eat at her last feeding, and this is the second time in 2 days that she refused to eat. Can kittens be finicky when the first teeth are coming in? She's acting normal otherwise, and ate 10ml 3 hours before. She's never not eaten before so that's why I'm thinking it's her teeth
 

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I think your guess is correct! Like human babies, they get finicky when teething. She’ll be okay! 😊
 
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kimmycup1

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Just wanted to update that the kittens are now 4 and a half weeks old and doing great. I've been putting turkey baby food in their formula and they love it, I will try wet food next and they are using the litter box now. The only issue I'm having is with weighing them. I bought a new kitchen scale and I bought the biggest one I could find for a good price, but it's still small and the kittens don't sit still so it's really hard to get the proper weight because when they move, the scale's numbers go crazy. I can stand them on the scale but they are getting a little big for that, I've tried a large container but they still move around too much. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to buy a new scale as I just bought a new one and just want to get a more accurate reading.
 

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As long as they are all eating and pooping well, and appear to be growing, there’s no need to weigh them anymore. 😊
 
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kimmycup1

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Just wanted to update and add some new questions because I am once again in this situation. My kittens are 11 weeks old and are doing great, they're all over 3 lbs, unfortunately mom got pregnant right away and just had her babies a day and a half ago. She was doing great, but they were attacked last night and lost 2 of the babies. I took the 3 remaining kittens, but they are very small. I haven't fed them yet as they were just nursing and I will try to get mom(we tried already but she took a kitten out of the carrier and ran, luckily I was able to get it back), I can't leave them outside to get attacked. We don't really know what happened but I think it may have been a male cat, luckily mom looks okay. So since I just went through this I'm pretty much all set, but my last 3 babies were much larger and healthier. My question is, I have leftover petag KMR, but it was so expensive that I bought another brand called nutri-vet, and I'm not sure how to go about switching from one brand to another. I have enough petag for at least a few days, then I'll switch to nutri-vet. how do I go about switching without upsetting their stomachs too much? I think I will have a rough time with these guys, I'm not sure they'll make it, but I will do my best and try to get their mom.
 

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I’m concerned about this entire situation. The babies have a mom and need to be with her. Mom needs trapping and spaying. As you’ve already seen, the situation quickly repeats itself, especially as this appears to be the same cat who had babies in your garage last April, this April, and now a third time just 11 weeks later. Why is the mom cat not yet trapped and spayed?

What are your plans for this set of nearly 3-month-old kittens? Will they get vaccinated and spayed or neutered? Re-homed? It’s time to take care of their needs. The female kittens will themselves be fertile in another couple of months.

I am concerned about the the future health and welfare of all of the kittens and especially of the mother cat, all of whom need fixing to put an end to the constant breeding.

The Cat Site is a pro spay and neuter site. I urge you to find a way to trap the mother cat immediately to put her inside with her kittens and then spay her, and if not, to spay her right away to prevent more pregnancies and kittens. I don’t mean to be harsh, and you do a very capable job with the kittens, but the cycle needs to stop.
 
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kimmycup1

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I'm 100% for spay and neuter. Every cat I've owned has been either spayed or neutered, I've never had one of my own indoor cats have kittens. This is a feral cat who randomly showed up and has stuck around. I do not drive, and live in a rural area with the closest shelter almost an hour away. I live with my parents, and I've tried getting my mom to help to trap and spay her, but she isn't very interested in helping me.

My family has had cats my whole life, I'm an experienced, responsible owner and don't really need any lessons except for when it comes to neonates. My mom loves this cat and considers her her pet, but doesn't listen or help when I've told her she needs to get spayed.

She was left with one kitten last time, and when she lost her, she immediately got pregnant. I didn't even have time to think about trapping. And no, she was not the cat who gave birth in my garage last April, it was her sister.

I know she needs to get spayed; I've known that since she had her first litter. With no shelters nearby, and no way of transporting myself or the cat, there isn't much I can do. My 11 week old kittens have gotten vet care and will be spayed and neutered soon.

I just wanted to know about the KMR in case I can't get mom. This is not my home: I just live here with parents and I do most of the care for the animals. I don't have a lot of control and I know it's a terrible situation, one that I'm tired of dealing with. I don't want to see this cat go through another pregnancy and if I had gotten some help, these kittens wouldn't have to be going through this.
 

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If you can trap mom, is there anyone else who can drive you or the mother cat to be spayed? How do you get the kittens to the vet for vaccines and spays/neuters?

As far as changing formulas, I would introduce the new formula now so that if it causes a problem, you have the old formula to fall back on until you can get more. Often, changing formulas makes little difference after a day or two, and sometimes kittens do better on a different formula. I’m not familiar with the new one you bought so I’m not in a position to know its reputation. I do know that kittens do well on PetAg and I use it exclusively. I think you’ll need to experiment here to see how the kittens do, but unlike switching wet cat food brands with older kittens where you mix the two through the transition, I would not do that with formula for newborns.
 
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kimmycup1

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My mom helps with the vet. Ours is about 25 minutes from my house, and since I can make appointments, it's easier for me to get her to help. I don't have anyone else who could help drive the mom.

I wanted to finish up the petag since it was a huge container and so expensive, I didn't want it to go to waste. I thought about alternating between the formulas, but I don't know how their tummies would take it. They are eating pretty good, but I did have 2 of the kittens last time dealing with constipation and with the male it was really bad. I don't know if the nutri-vet would be any better, I just bought it because it was much cheaper and had good reviews on chewy. I definitely want to finish the petag kmr, I just don't want to cause any issues with them when I switch
 

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Can the vet you take the kittens to spay the mom cat? Trap her, then make the appointment, and it’s done.

Perhaps add oil to the formula to avoid the constipation issue.
 
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