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My 3 week old kittens sleep

Shayfury

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My 3 week old kittens sleep around 4 to 4 and a half hours between feedings. They eat anywhere between 15 to 20 ml of kmr at a time. Are they sleeping to much??? Everything I've read says different things. Hoping someone with a lot of hand rearing experience sees this.
 

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Kittens do sleep a lot, but the most important thing is that they get all the milk they need each day based on their weights and appetites. A 3-week-old kitten should weigh about 12 ounces and would therefore need a minimum of 96mLs each 24 hours. If broken into 6 feedings four hours apart, the kitten would drink about 16mLs at each feeding (more if they want it).

It sounds like your kittens are likely in this ball park, but it’s okay to wake them up to eat if need be. It’s very important not to miss a feeding.

They need to gain about 4 ounces a week, and weigh about 16 ounces (one pound) at 4 weeks, 2 pounds at 8 weeks, 3 pounds at 12 weeks, and so forth for at least the first 6 months, and plenty of food the entire first year. :)
 
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Shayfury

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She is doing much better! She had to have surgery, and we are now waiting to get her stitches removed hopefully Monday. She gets to spend time with them and wants to nurse but can't. She's also dried up now according to the vet. She will sometimes sit next to me and clean them a little while I feed them. Love them all, but can't say I wanna repeat this experience ever again lol. Fostering one or two is one thing but 6 is literally exhausting.
 
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Shayfury

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Ughhhh! I have a kitten that is eating a lot less! I'm not going to lie im so anxious all the time with these kittens. I dont want to give up, but I'm dang near broke and I still have so far to go. I think the kitten is sick from his siblings trying nurse on him. Dehydration seems like a never ending battle with all of them. What do I do!? When is it time to give up? How do I alleviate the anxiety of loosing one? Cat mom wreck! Also we have some debate going on here about subbing a feeding with just water. Husband swears the vet said this. I dont remember it. Has anyone ever heard of this?
 

di and bob

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At three weeks old, your job is just about done. In another week they may even want to eat solid food! They should be fed every 4-6 hours at that age. If they are dehydrated, add more water to their KMR and maybe try to get in an extra feeding. they may not like just water, so mixing it with what tehy are eating should help. I know you are about burnt out, but it is almost over! try to give the kitten that is not eating an extra feeding, wake him up if you have to, maybe get a fluffy toy the others can try to nurse on. Separate them if you have to so they don't hurt him. Wipe some honey on his lips, it may give him extra energy to nurse. At 4 weeks you can mix some wet food in KMR and put some on their lips with your fingers. After they lick it off, lead them to the plate. They should start peeing/pooping on their own at 4 weeks too. So please try to hang in there, it will be better soon!
 
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Shayfury

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Thank you so much for the encouragement. I really needed it this morning.
 

Sarthur2

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If the kittens are suckling on his genitalia, he must be separated. They can damage his penis, and it may be very sore right now. If he does not feel well he may not be as hungry.

What surgery did mom have?

As Di said, hang in there!
 
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Shayfury

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They removed one of her teats entirely. It turn gangrene. Im making kitten diapers as we speak so they can still be around each other lol.
 
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Shayfury

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😭😭😭 more then one kitten isn't eating as much. I feel like I'm wasting the vets time, but we have an appointment im the morning.
 
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Shayfury

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Well I've done all I can think of. The entire litter is taking less milk at feeding time then they were. Im back to every two hrs of force feeding most the time. Im at a loss for things I can do.
 

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I am so sorry for you. I hope the vet can figure out what is wrong. Can they spend more time with mama? If she is not supposed to be nursing, maybe wrap her abdomen in a cloth so the kittens don't hurt her. What are their weights and what are you feeding them? I know goats milk, available at a Walmart, is very good for kittens, maybe that would help. Have you tried getting them to lap up some milk or thinned down food on their own? Mama should be able to help with going the bathroom too, you could present her with one kitten at a time and see if she would clean it. I'll pray for those little ones......
 
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Shayfury

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We put mama with them as much as we can, doing exactly as you said. They all weigh around 350g. Instead of waking them I'm going to feed them at they're normal time of 4 hrs and hope the wait makes them hungrier.
 

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They are a LITTLE underweight, but not bad, they should be around 350gms on the low end to 450 on the high. so as you can see, they are normal, just on the low end. You are doing fine. I think that is a good plan, the ones that aren't hungry might benefit from a little honey on their gums, it might perk them up. Definitely let mama take care of the cleaning and making them pee/poop, that would leave you free to concentrate on feeding. I would put each one with her when they are done eating. Feed them every 4-6 hours now, hopefully, a little more. One more week and I'll pray they start feeding themselves a little. You are a great 'mama', won't be long now, the end of round the clock care is coming!
 

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They are right where they should be for 3 weeks. If they are not acting sick, then they may just be at a plateau for a day or two. That happens.

How much less than usual are they eating? Are they losing weight? If they are not losing or are staying the same they should be okay. Just feed every 4 hours and see if their appetites pick up in a day or two.
 
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Shayfury

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They're all eating about half of what they were. 20ml vs 10ml last feeding. No weight loss yet. Thank you guys so much for the encouragement.
 

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