Kittens acting hungry all the time. updated

kamijo

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4 weeks ago a stray cat had kittens on my front porch in a hen house we have for our free range chickens and everything seemed fine. We kept food for her and she didn't seem to mind the chickens or us walking by to go inside. We didn't bother her and we would just normally sneak a look without touching the kittens when she was using the bathroom or sunbathing herself.

Around 2 weeks she suddenly began attacking the kittens, she would bite at them, hiss and finally when we said enough and took them we had to rush 2 to the vet as she had ripped them open. Both needed stitches and one of the two had a dislocated back leg and tail.

The vet knows I've had experience with caring for kittens as my 3 girls had their mother killed at 10 days old and I bottle fed them. So we agreed I would take them in, raise them and they would help me with finding them good homes.

They're 4 now and lately it seems like they're always hungry to the point that one ate the bottle so fast that he ended up puking. I've been using whiskas KMR with just a bit of Tomlyn Nutri-Cal for kittens. They normally down 2 50cc bottles at a time.

Before it was fine but now they're getting so they'll wake up 30 minutes to an hour after eating and scream until I feed them again, to which they eat like they've not had any food at all.

Here are their weights from the last feeding:

Boy 1: 424g
Boy 2: 463g
Girl 1: 453g
Girl 2: 396g (runt of the litter)

My worry is that the KMR isn't keeping them full. Should I switch to a different brand or get bigger bottles? I know soon I'll start weaning them (I started my girls between 5 and 6 weeks) yet I don't want them to fall behind or be hungry because they're not truly full.
 

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kamijo

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Have you tried giving them some wet food mush? They might be ready to start eating.
I tried a small amount a few days ago but it messed up their stomachs and there were some bad poop explosions...
 

lutece

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But they did want to eat it? Maybe try a different kind of food?
 
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kamijo

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But they did want to eat it? Maybe try a different kind of food?
Yes, they ate it pretty good. We tried mother and kitten can wet food we found at Petco.
I'll get something different and try them on it.
 

Willowy

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Any new food may cause some tummy trouble at first. Once their systems are used it they should be ok, you just have to tolerate the cleanup for a day or two. But yeah, at this age they need solids, formula only just won't cut it.

Try mixing the babycat with their formula, that's a good starter food. Fancy Feast also makes a decent canned kitten food.
 

Sarthur2

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Or mix Gerber turkey or chicken meat baby food in with the formula.

I have never heard of Whiskas formula. Is it the treat milk you are using? If so, there’s your problem. That is NOT real kitten formula. It’s treat milk. It does not contain the proper nutrients that kittens need to grow on, so it would not be filling.

Please buy a can of powdered PetAg, GNC, or Royal Canin kitten formula so that they get proper nutrition.

Also, how often are you feeding? Four week old kittens should eat every 4 hours, as much formula as they want, and they should weigh about 16 ounces at 4 weeks. On proper formula they should fill up sooner and not be hungry again an hour later.

Is their mother spayed yet?

kamijo kamijo
 

cataholic07

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Hmm yah it might be the milk, whiskas doesnt have KMR its just treat milk so its not the right milk to give. And honestly not even good to give as a treat.
 

lutece

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I have never heard of Whiskas formula. Is it the treat milk you are using? If so, there’s your problem. That is NOT real kitten formula. It’s treat milk. It does not contain the proper nutrients that kittens need to grow on, so it would not be filling.
That's a good point Sarthur2 Sarthur2 , I wasn't paying attention to the brand mentioned.
 

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4 weeks ago a stray cat had kittens on my front porch in a hen house we have for our free range chickens and everything seemed fine. We kept food for her and she didn't seem to mind the chickens or us walking by to go inside. We didn't bother her and we would just normally sneak a look without touching the kittens when she was using the bathroom or sunbathing herself.

Around 2 weeks she suddenly began attacking the kittens, she would bite at them, hiss and finally when we said enough and took them we had to rush 2 to the vet as she had ripped them open. Both needed stitches and one of the two had a dislocated back leg and tail.

The vet knows I've had experience with caring for kittens as my 3 girls had their mother killed at 10 days old and I bottle fed them. So we agreed I would take them in, raise them and they would help me with finding them good homes.

They're 4 now and lately it seems like they're always hungry to the point that one ate the bottle so fast that he ended up puking. I've been using whiskas KMR with just a bit of Tomlyn Nutri-Cal for kittens. They normally down 2 50cc bottles at a time.

Before it was fine but now they're getting so they'll wake up 30 minutes to an hour after eating and scream until I feed them again, to which they eat like they've not had any food at all.

Here are their weights from the last feeding:

Boy 1: 424g
Boy 2: 463g
Girl 1: 453g
Girl 2: 396g (runt of the litter)

My worry is that the KMR isn't keeping them full. Should I switch to a different brand or get bigger bottles? I know soon I'll start weaning them (I started my girls between 5 and 6 weeks) yet I don't want them to fall behind or be hungry because they're not truly full.
I'd say they are ready for a little wet food/KMR mush. In a small bowl, mix the KMR with water and add a tiny bit of the food to the bowl and mix it. Then pick up the kitten and smear a little on its muzzle and it should like it off. Then dip its muzzle in the food (be careful not to get food on its nose!) and it will lick it off. It will soon learn how to eat.
 

Willowy

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Oh dear, yes, Whiskas isn't baby formula; it's just a treat. That would explain some of it. I wish Whiskas would put a larger warning on the package, because this isn't the first time I've heard of that happening. But anyway, switch to PetAg KMR (should be available anywhere Whiskas CatMilk is sold) or other brand of real formula, and mix that with some canned food and they should be a lot more content :).
 
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kamijo

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I've been caring for 4 kittens since they were 2 weeks old. At 5 weeks (she's now 7 weeks) Fallon one of my kittens became sick and fell into a coma. The vet told me that there was nothing they could do for her but to put her now. I refused as she had a strong heartbeat and was breathing normally. We took her home after agreeing to bring her back in the next day.

I kept her on a heating pad and together my mom and I took turns stimulating her by brushing her with a toothbrush and dropping small amounts of water into her mouth.

After 7 hours of being in the coma she slowly woke up. The vet was just as shocked as we were! They did some blood work and found her glucose had been too high and we decided to give her human baby food and to keep an eye on her.

We've had more vet visits with the vet saying she's improved but they're not sure what kind of damage the coma did to her brain and we can't afford the $1,000 it'll cost for CT scans.

For now she's eating, using the litterbox and is so sweet. Yet, I'm not sure what or where to go next. She has a horrible attention span which leaves me taking an hour to feed her at a time. She's wide open and if she's not sleeping then you can't keep her still. Putting her on the ground is a no no because she takes off faster then u can catch her.

Last night I slipped and busted my head open when trying to get to her before she made it under a chair and up into it. Sigh.

It's a lot and I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has had this happen before? Also she's not growing as much as her siblings anymore. They're all in the upper 680 to 750 grams and she's still in the 450s.

Again, if this isn't the right place to put this then please move.

Anyway, longshot anyone has dealt with this before but if you have any advice would be wonderful!
 

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FeebysOwner

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Hi! To me, it sounds like things are actually going fairly well. Use the food suggestions that Furballsmom Furballsmom has given you, and see if you can get her eating more routinely. And, ditto about the confinement! Some of her behavior sounds like a normal kitten, so if there are issues associated with her coma, you can bet it is not motor skills! Given what she has been through, it is not surprising that she is underweight compare to her siblings. Keep plugging away to get her to gain some weight and focus on eating - you can worry about the rest later. She is such a darling! Please keep us posted.
 
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kamijo

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Hi! Do you have a big dog crate you could put her into? Similar to this, sone even have two levels;

Frisco Fold & Carry Single Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate, 36 inch - Chewy.com

What are you feeding her now? She needs kitten milk replacer, I think, or kitten glop to help with more nutrients, until you can get her eating canned kitten food. Here are a couple recipes;
What To Feed - Kitten Rescue
I bought a playpen for them all and she stays in it with her siblings until they eat. She has no fear and will take off mid eating and I have to grab her and get her attention back on food.

The vet had us take her off KMR as he believed it was one of the things making her glucose shoot up. So I've been mixing in the juice from Whole Hearted kitten wet food into her human baby food.

She mainly eats ham with chicken juice, she can't seem to get enough of it.
 
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kamijo

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Hi! To me, it sounds like things are actually going fairly well. Use the food suggestions that Furballsmom Furballsmom has given you, and see if you can get her eating more routinely. And, ditto about the confinement! Some of her behavior sounds like a normal kitten, so if there are issues associated with her coma, you can bet it is not motor skills! Given what she has been through, it is not surprising that she is underweight compare to her siblings. Keep plugging away to get her to gain some weight and focus on eating - you can worry about the rest later. She is such a darling! Please keep us posted.

She's the sweetest kitten and I just want her to grow into a healthy adult!

Thank you!
 

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kamijo

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Did the vet test for diabetes? Personally, I would do a round of antibiotics since the most common reason for young kittens to fade is sepsis. http://kittencoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/white-Fast-Facts_Fading-Kittens-and-Sepsis_1-2017-white.pdf
She is still developing and kittens can heal surprisingly well so she may end up with fairly normal functioning.
He ran lots of tests which I can't remember them all but he did say she was okay other then glucose. He said it was very rare to have diabetes in a cat under a year old and that if we fed her the right diet she would improve on that front.

I just wasn't sure if her behavior was normal as he's never had a cat come out of a coma and said it was super rare.
 

Willowy

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Her current diet isn't balanced and I'm worried about her development. Just the juice from canned food isn't enough to add the necessary vitamins. Lack of taurine can lead to heart defects and blindness. If she's unable to switch to canned kitten food, ask the vet for a supplement recommendation.

If she gets really distracted at mealtime, perhaps feeding her alone in a smallish carrier with a towel over it could help her focus.
 
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