Kittens not gaining weight after 48 hours

TheNoob

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We have a cat who had a tumours removal surgery a bit more than month ago.
She gave birth on 6th May (2 days ago).
We got 2 kittens in a matter of an hour, and then nothing for several hours.
Vet checked her and established there is one more kitten "stuck". So they did C section and got the kitten out successfully. That 3rd kitten is fine.

Summary:
Cat had a tumours removal surgery 1 month ago.
We got 3 kitten. 2 got out normally, 1 through C-section.


Weights:

1st day:
Kitten 1: 97g
Kitten 2: 96g

2nd day:
Kitten 1: 92g
Kitten 2: 95g
Kitten 3: 101g


3rd day:
Kitten 1: 87g
Kitten 2: 95g
Kitten 3: 97g


Mom doesn't have much milk. She has only 4 nipples available. 2 of 4 nipples are shaved and they're not going for those 2 nipples at all, altho Vet said those 2 have the most milk.
And we're not sure if she is having enough milk.
We're trying to nurse all 3 kittens.

Kitten 1 never goes to the nipple. He doesn't suck at all. We try to help him out and position him but he doesn't go. And he is losing weight slowly.
Kitten 2 and Kitten 3 are always on nipples and fighting for it, but it seems they're not gaining weight.
 

Sarthur2

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This is an emergency situation! You need to begin supplementing immediately with a small 1-2mL syringe and kitten formula. Mom’s milk supply is inadequate due to surgeries and anesthesia and you must hand feed these babies or they will starve to death and you will lose them.

Right now, they need feeding EVERY hour until they begin to gain 6-10 grams minimum per day, then you may be able to go to feeding every 2 hours but not until they stabilize.

Their weights are dangerously low right now, and this means feeding around the clock and THROUGH the night until they stabilize. They’ll still need night feedings once they stabilize but not every hour like they need right now. If and when they stabilize in a few days they may feed fully from mom, or you may have to hand feed until they wean completely to soft foods at 5-6 weeks depending on mom’s milk supply.

They are never to be fed on their backs; on tummies or upright only and go slowly to allow them to swallow and breathe while feeding. You do not want them to aspirate milk into their lungs. It will kill them.

Here is a helpful video:

Syringe Feeding — Kitten Lady

You may want to order Miracle Nipples:

Miracle Nipples

If you have no kitten formula tonight, get some tomorrow, but for tonight use a can of evaporated milk and add an egg yolk, a pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of sugar, mix and feed.

Put drops of milk into the sides of their mouths slowly. Take your time until each kitten gets 1/2 to 1 mL of milk, or more if they want it. Repeat hourly.

Keep us posted and prepare to lose sleep to save the kittens.

T TheNoob
 
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StefanZ

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Excellent advices above, just to second them. Its a Red Alert situation, esp with kitten nr 1. The others are a shade less alarming. Yellow alert!

The birthing weights are pretty decent, but as they tend to go down, its clearly something is grossly amiss...
The first day its common they may go down a couple of grammes, but as it doenst improve the second day... Big alert.

Very good you are on them weighting them! Helps you being observant.

I will add, if you can get raw goats milk, it is good. You can blend this with KMR in powder. Instead of the usual 1 KMR : 2 water, you may give 1 part KMR, 3 parts raw goats milk...

Also, some glucose sugar / dextrose may be good for nr 1, to give him some energhy and so his blood sugar doesnt get too low. In USA it will typically be a droplet of white caro syrup on the gum, inside of the lip....

Be sure the weakest is nicely and cosy warmed up, as he tends to not be with momma as much. You can cangooro carry him at your chest, or use an IR-heating lamp... Perhaps you can borrow from a neighbour?

T TheNoob
 
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TheNoob

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Thank you so much both for answering!
We do have some kind of IR-heating lamp. We managed to get 2 kittens out to a foster cat who gave birth at same time, to a person who really cares about cats.

I will keep you guys posted
 
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TheNoob

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The kitten that is left with us (nr 2) doesn't really want to bottle-feed or syringe-feed much. He seems to be momma's nipple, but he is not really gaining any weight.
Any tips to get him to bottle feed better?

Also, the 2 nipples that seem to have more milk are still unused, I guess because they're shaved...We don't know what to do.
 

Sarthur2

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You’ll just have to continue to syringe feed. Many kittens refuse the bottle when they have a mom. Has this kitten gained or lost weight?
 
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TheNoob

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He doesn't want to syringe feed :(( we're trying a LOT. Any ideas?
Seems he sucks on momma, but only on 2 nipples, and I am not sure how much milk he is getting.


This is his progress:

Day 1 (born): 96g
Day 2: 95g
Day 3: 95g
Day 4: 97g


He is not gaining any weight. Is this red alert?
 
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TheNoob

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Just to be clear, he was born almost exactly 3 days ago, altho I am writing Day 4.
 
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TheNoob

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Seems momma has milk, since he is mostly sucking from her, and we also saw milk next to the nipple. However, we don't know how much.
 

StefanZ

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The kitten that is left with us (nr 2) doesn't really want to bottle-feed or syringe-feed much. He seems to be momma's nipple, but he is not really gaining any weight.
Any tips to get him to bottle feed better?

Also, the 2 nipples that seem to have more milk are still unused, I guess because they're shaved...We don't know what to do.
Try to get out some milk from a good nipple, and smear it ON the nipple... Perhaps it helps. And or smear a little white caro syrup on that nipple. I dont know if kittens like sweet alike humans, but lets hope so...

Just an idea, it cant cost nothing to try it out, but may help.
 

StefanZ

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He doesn't want to syringe feed :(( we're trying a LOT. Any ideas?
Seems he sucks on momma, but only on 2 nipples, and I am not sure how much milk he is getting.


This is his progress:

Day 1 (born): 96g
Day 2: 95g
Day 3: 95g
Day 4: 97g


He is not gaining any weight. Is this red alert?
Yes, at least Yellow alert. He isnt loosing either, so its not that catastrophalic. and maybe even gains a little day 4. A break in the trend?
Still, its serious, and if he doesnt begin to gain soon, the spirale downhill will begin.... And its easier to do something NOW when its weighing, then when the spirale IS going downhill...
 
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TheNoob

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Try to get out some milk from a good nipple, and smear it ON the nipple... Perhaps it helps. And or smear a little white caro syrup on that nipple. I dont know if kittens like sweet alike humans, but lets hope so...

Just an idea, it cant cost nothing to try it out, but may help.
Thanks, it sounds like a good idea.

Thanks again for all the help so far! We appreciate it a lot.

This is first time we're dealing with newborn kittens, and this is stray cat that we "adopted" inside because of her surgeries and pregnancy.
 

Sarthur2

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I’m not sure how you are attempting to hold the kitten in order to syringe feed, but it’s not up to the kitten to refuse the syringe. The beauty of using a syringe versus a bottle is that you control it. The milk goes in whether the kitten suckles or not.

So try this: Wrap the kitten in a towel like a burrito, with only its head sticking out. Hold the kitten gently but firmly so that its head is still, and slowly give drops in the side of its mouth, letting it swallow and breathe in between. Once the kitten realizes it’s milk, it should fight less and drink more easily, but you are in charge, not the kitten.

If you cannot get milk into the kitten you’ll need to take it to the vet along with your supplies and let a vet tech show you how to feed. In fact, I think you should do this anyway. This kitten should weigh 115-120 grams by the seventh day. The kitten will begin to go downhill if it does not get enough nutrition to grow.
 
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TheNoob

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We had a vet over few times, he did showed us. I just wasn't aware that with syringe we're in control.
We had him some syringe this morning. He is at 99/100g right now. So it's a slow gain.
He is 4 days old now.
 
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TheNoob

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Is the raw goat milk good to feed him at this age? To gain weight?
 

gilmargl

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I have never had any success with the Royal Canin feeding bottle. The cat milk is OK and the bottle is good for measuring and mixing but this type of bottle and the nipples are much easier to use when feeding small kittens.
Just a word of warning: don't force more milk into the kitten than he can swallow! Milk should never get up his nose and into his lungs!

Good luck!
 

StefanZ

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Is the raw goat milk good to feed him at this age? To gain weight?
Raw goat milk isnt specifically good for gain weight, but its known as good food by itself, and potentially healthsome in some situations. Soothing problems in intestine tracts among others.

ps... Its extra good for orphans, as it comes from an alive momma.
 
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TheNoob

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I have never had any success with the Royal Canin feeding bottle. The cat milk is OK and the bottle is good for measuring and mixing but this type of bottle and the nipples are much easier to use when feeding small kittens.
Just a word of warning: don't force more milk into the kitten than he can swallow! Milk should never get up his nose and into his lungs!

Good luck!
Yeah, we're super cautious and stressed, and worried that something like that happens!

Thanks for the suggestion. We weren't prepared for any of this since we thought that mom will have enough milk...Vet said so.

Seems he is finally gaining some grams! He is at 102g now! 18 hours ago he was 97g.
 
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