Kitten won't take bottle or syringe

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
REMOVED VIDEO

I've written about my kitten woes in a previous thread about aspiration, but I wanted to start a new thread and see if I can get some help.  My smallest, sick kitten is totally refusing to eat.  I can get about 1 cc down him drop by drop, but after that he refused to even swallow.  I've tried 3 or 4 bottles and syringes.  Suggestions?  I've uploaded a video of trying a feed, first with a bottle, then with a syringe.  At the 45 sec. mark, he actually sucks for about 2 seconds, then quits. He is aversion to being fed.
 
Last edited:

Sarthur2

Cat lady extraordinaire
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
29,973
Reaction score
9,954
Location
Sunny Florida
Just watching, the kitten appears healthy and interested in exploring. It may need a burrito wrapping to stay still enough to eat. . :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
This little guy is about 12 days or so.  He has/had aspiration pneumonia.  He isn't growing nearly as fast as his siblings, but is still alert. 
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
Could also use advice on one that will.not.poop.  Running the bum under water, tapping, wiping, suppository.  Nothing for 5 days. 
 

catwoman707

Advisor
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
7,666
Reaction score
2,230
Location
Vallejo, CA
Okay first of all, do they have a mom or are they orphans?

My advice will vary depending on the answer.

I can see from the clip that he is allowed too much choice and freedom.

Rather than hold him, keep him down on the table, that will help in itself because a kid this age feels unsafe when held so they flail a bit.

Plus it will give you better control.

With your left hand you want to hold his head/neck, not tight but hold it, either push up under chin to raise head or pull back on scruff to raise head.

It's much better to hold syringe between fingers with thumb controlling plunger like giving a shot, work syringe into the side of his  mouth and put a couple drops into his cheek at a time. It gives much better control.

Each feeding try the bottle first if you are their momma, so after a few times they will take to the bottle. Kittens who have their mom but need supplementing will never adapt to a bottle so need syringing.

Now my big question here is, what makes you say he has/had aspiration pneumonia?

There is no cure for pneumonia in babies, within a day they die. 
 
Last edited:

catwoman707

Advisor
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
7,666
Reaction score
2,230
Location
Vallejo, CA
Okay so sick kitten never had pneumonia, the vet was mistaken with this. The antibiotic is fine to continue regardless since the sneezing tells me what he heard is not from the lungs but throat. Small baby it would be easy to mistake without confirmation from an x-ray.

8 day olds can not recover from pneumonia., period. It's very difficult even for a grown adult to recover from.

It's important to not dilute this one's KMR, he is behind now since he was not eating well for a bit. 

They really need to be weighed with a gram/ounce scale to monitor the correct amt to feed per day.

For every ounce of weight, they need 8mls of KMR per day.

So a 5 ounce baby needs at least 40 mls a day. This is how you will know the baby will do well and gain enough to thrive. It's tricky to not keep track of weight.

For instance, if not being weighed, maybe gains 2 or 3 grams a day, in time this WILL catch up to him and turn him around heading downhill, it's simply not enough nutrition for correct growth and development.

They are growing the fastest they will ever grow in their lives, so it's critically important that they get enough.

Regardless of whether or not they want it.

Constipation  can happen due to going from moms milk to KMR.

Stop diluting the milk, this should only be done for short periods otherwise they go too long without proper nutrients.

I can explain how to give an enema. It's simple.

Take a 1 ml feeding syringe, and fill it with a mixture of very warm water and mineral oil, 50/50. Put a bit of oil on the syringe tip.

Insert the tip into baby's butt and slowly push the solution in. Continue adding drops of oil in to the bottle as well.

This will work. If not the first time around, and it can take a full day or more, then repeat this if nothing within 2 days.

He'll go. They always do, if not after the first time, by the second time.

Are they kept warm with a heating pad? This is placed under a towel and set on low. Leave a small area where they can scoot off of the pad if they get too warm too.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
I have the syringe, but no mineral oil.  Would olive oil work?  Sick baby is eating pretty well.  I went to a  5ml syringe and that seems to help how he was latching.  Eating 3-5 mls each feeding, typically eating every 2 hours.  I am mixing his KMR with pedialyte.   

It has been suggested I switch to goat's milk for constipated kitty-- either plain or mixing up with egg yolk, yogurt and karo syrup.  Thoughts?    I have them in a cat crate covered with a towel with a heating pad.  There is space for them to move off the pad if they want.  Third kitty eats and poops great.  Thank you!  We can go to the vet tomorrow, but no one is open today.
 

catwoman707

Advisor
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
7,666
Reaction score
2,230
Location
Vallejo, CA
 
I have the syringe, but no mineral oil.  Would olive oil work?  Sick baby is eating pretty well.  I went to a  5ml syringe and that seems to help how he was latching.  Eating 3-5 mls each feeding, typically eating every 2 hours.  I am mixing his KMR with pedialyte.   

It has been suggested I switch to goat's milk for constipated kitty-- either plain or mixing up with egg yolk, yogurt and karo syrup.  Thoughts?    I have them in a cat crate covered with a towel with a heating pad.  There is space for them to move off the pad if they want.  Third kitty eats and poops great.  Thank you!  We can go to the vet tomorrow, but no one is open today.
Olive oil is fine to use for the enema.

Sick baby is still not getting enough milk though. I just know that all of your efforts can lead to heartache if things turn around, and we want to eliminate the chance of this happening.

It WILL happen if at 13 days old he is severely underweight, which also means undernourished too. It's the rapid growth rate. I won't keep carrying on about that now.

Are you using the premixed cans of KMR by chance, or the powder? Premixed seems to cause constipation, powder does not.

I know Stefan loves goat's milk and think may even prefer it. I use KMR, my number 1 choice. )Petag brand) Nothing wrong with goat's milk either, but I don't know that it will fix his constipation.

You mentioned the vet tmrw, not to discourage you at all, but don't be surprised if there is much less information from vet than there is here :) It's simply that vets don't have experience with tiny babies like we do.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
I am trying to get sick baby to latch on a bottle, I think he'll take more then.  How much should he eat per feeding?

Will do the enema in the morning and see how it goes.  I am using powdered KMR. 
 

catwoman707

Advisor
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
7,666
Reaction score
2,230
Location
Vallejo, CA
You've never given a weight so it's hard to estimate the right amt.

According to age, weight should be around 8 ozs for normal size, so lets figure 6 1/2 ounce weight.

About 50 mls per day, divided into how many feedings he gets.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
He is about 7 oz and got 48 mls yesterday.  So I need to up it a bit.  I will work on the bottle. Thanks for your help.  I really appreciate it. 

Constipated kitten would not eat the goat milk, so back to KMR. 
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
Update-- did the enema, nothing yet.  Will do another later today.  Sick kitty weighs 7 oz, so I am aiming for 56 ml of formula today.  He seems much better.    Bigger kittens weigh 8 and 9 oz respectively.  I am getting 65 oz or so into them each day, will try to increase the amount.
 

Sarthur2

Cat lady extraordinaire
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
29,973
Reaction score
9,954
Location
Sunny Florida
Really good news on the eating. Hope your little guy poops soon! Have you tried a tummy massage?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
2nd enema in.  Nothing.  Geez. 
 

catwoman707

Advisor
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
7,666
Reaction score
2,230
Location
Vallejo, CA
 
2nd enema in.  Nothing.  Geez. 
Remember I told you to give one, wait 1 1/2-2 days before doing the second one.

It takes time for the oil to loosen things up in there :)

Do not give another. 2 is enough, bet he poops within a couple days and continues pooping.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
Got it.  Thanks
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
No poop yet.  Will call the vet to ask about Lactulose or similar.  We've hit a snag with the 'easy' kitten.  He always been a frantic and agressive feeder, but he is becoming so agressive about the bottle that he is choking/gagging on the formula when he first starts eating.  This is hard stuff!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
6 hours after Lactulose, he pooped!  Yay! 

Sick kitty looks really good, eating 5-7 ml each feeding (feeding every 2-3 hours). 
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
Another big poop this morning. 
 

catwoman707

Advisor
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
7,666
Reaction score
2,230
Location
Vallejo, CA
Good news, I know you are surely relieved!

With or without the lactulose, he would have pooped, the enemas always work if given time.
 
Top