New Kitten Mommy

BlueAlice

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Hi all, first time kitten mom here. What an exciting, but nerve wracking time. A little back story, we took in a sweet stray that had been hanging around our apartment because the weather had gotten so hot...we had assumed was male because it was ginger, but the vet surprised us and SHE was around 8 months old and also pregnant! Vet said she seemed healthy and should be delivering within the month and she thought she felt 2 kittens...
Fast forward 5.5 weeks and she delivered 3 kittens. They are one week old today and I think doing ok, but I'm a worry wart...I have been observing a couple times a day and weighing each morning. One of the black kittens seems to not be latching on as well as the other 2.. they all have favorite positions and she is always kind of up by mommy cats arm pit. So far has been gaining ok, but was gaining over 10g each day, but yesterday gained only gained 10 even. Should I start to worry? Do their gains fluctuate normally? I'll post a pic of their weight gain so far. The larger black kitten always nurses near mommy's hind legs.
Thank you so much in advance for any advice; I've been reading so much on this site and it's been so helpful!
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BlueAlice

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Sorry about posting again before I've even gotten an answer, but I also have a question about nutrition for mommy cat. She had been eating dry kitten food and adult wet food. After having her kittens, she's definitely more into the wet food, and so I've increased that and also tried to switch this to kitten wet food, but she will not eat it (I've tried 2 good brands). I've also tried giving her a dish of kitten formula (made from the powder), both alone and mixed with food, and she won't touch that either. I'm mostly worried about enough calcium and protein to keep up her milk supply and keep her healthy. Any suggestions? Or is what she is having okay enough? Thank you!
 

Sarthur2

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You will be pleased to know that all 3 kittens are excellent weights - little piggies actually! All 3 are the size of two-week-olds already, with your smallest being about 7.5 ounces and the biggest over 8 ounces.

The goal weight for kittens is 4 ounces at one week, 8 ounces at 2 weeks, 12 ounces at 3 weeks, and a pound at 4 weeks. They should then gain about a pound a month for the next 6 months or so.

Therefore, their daily gains are just fine, and expect fluctuations.

As for mom, feed her what she likes. She seems to be doing well also. She’s enjoying the moisture in the wet food, as nursing cats need more fluids. Wet food overall is better for cats, though dry food available for snacks is good.

For extra calcium, take an egg shell, peel the filmy part away from the inside, and crush it into a fine powder. Mix 1/8 teaspoon into her wet food. She won’t know it’s there and it’s pure calcium.

Your larger “black” cat may be a tortie. If so, it’s likely female. The orange kitten will be a male, as it takes two orange adults to produce a female orange kitten. The black kitten could be either male or female. 😻

B BlueAlice
 
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BlueAlice

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Thank you so much for your replies; it's so good to have those reassurances! I will definitely do the egg shells for mommy cat and continue monitoring the littles. It's fascinating how coat color can also indicate gender; genetics is so cool. Mommy cat ended up with the name "Gizmo" because I assumed she was male lol, but I guess both of her parents were ginger too! 😊.
 

StefanZ

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I agree with may collegues.

These egg shells are very effective calcium source. Egg yolks very good nutrient!

Otherwise, you can also try with either goats milk, or youghurt. (plain, full fat youghurt). Or even mild cheese. Why, I have even known breeders whom used soft cheese as a treat... If she is OK with any of this, you can proceed...
 
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BlueAlice

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I'm happy to report that the weight gain was still good this morning ❤. Thank you all again for your responses and advice. Without this site to help me prepare, I sure would have been clueless! Here are today's pics I took when I weighed them.
 

Joelle and the kittens

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Sounds like you are doing everything right! Another option for extra calcium is cuttlebone, which is cheap and should be sold at any pet store. It's easy to scrape off some powder into their food.
 
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BlueAlice

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Good morning all, I've added the pics from yesterday (which I realize I had uploaded, but not posted, silly me).

This morning though, when I weighed them, the little fluffy black one only gained 9g, which is the lowest so far (though had gained 14g yesterday, so pretty good), but the other two gained so much more that it still worries me some. I do have the powdered kitten formula that I can make, which I bought before they were born just in case. If I were to need to supplement, do you need to then for every feeding, or would she still nurse on her own sometimes? I know it may not be needed for sure, she has almost doubled her birth weight (and probably has because the first weight was at about 10 hours old). I guess it's just wait and watch at this point? Thank you all so much for your advice.
 

Sarthur2

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Re-read my post #3. Your kittens are all huge for their age and doing just fine. No need to supplement!
 
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BlueAlice

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Sorry for asking about it again. I have no experience with cats, kittens, or their care.. especially newborns. I just keep reading how very important the weight gain and keeping them warm is, that I'm freaking out a little. So when I see one kind of falling behind the others a little, I don't know if I should expect that to continue, or if it's completely normal etc...and I just want to be prepared.

I really need to sit back a little more and just enjoy it, since this is the last time this will be happening, in our household anyway. I don't think we'll be taking in any more pregnant strays and all these babies are getting fixed when they are old enough. Gizmo's spay is already scheduled. :)

Thank you again
 

Sarthur2

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It’s okay! I just don’t want you to stress about it unnecessarily. And do keep checking their weights as anything can change quickly, but as long as they are gaining and meeting their milestones they should do great! Enjoy them! :lovecat2:
 
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