New to being a Kitten mom

Melissa0904

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I had a semi-ferrile cat show up a couple of months ago. She eventually warmed and let me pet her. I started feeding her. I also noticed her belly was a little big. After about a week I knew she was pregnant. Mama cat isn't much more of a kitten herself. I am thinking this is her first litter. About a week ago, I moved her to the workshop. She was HUGE. Two days ago she gave birth.... to 9 kittens! The last one was stillborn... thinking she went to long from 1-9. The weights ranged from 2.7oz to 3.7oz. The two smallest ones (2.7) have to really scrap to find a teat. I have been supplementing them from the first day with KVM. All of them had really good results except the two smallest ones. They all gained about .5 oz except the smallest two but they did gain (.2 oz) One of them has an extremely difficult time latching but I have noticed her latching twice. I didn't supplement them but about 5 times the first day. Should I do more? I haven't ever done this before. She has got to be hands down the gentlest sweetest mama. She is very attentive and definitely attentive. The first day she was scared she was going to hurt them. Also, mama cat has a little loose stool but she did eat ALL placenta's. She will also not let me move them to change her bedding. She did during birth (I wanted to keep them dry and clean) but not since she has stopped giving birth. She picks them back up and puts them back in the tote. She does let me feed them but I can tell she is a little leary, especially when they start meowing. I pet her and reassure her they are fine. Yesterday while I was weighing she was out of the container and tried to get her kitten from me. LOL I put him back immediately. I think yesterday she was searching for a place to move them. There really isn't anywhere out of the way (Thank God). I feel like a new mama myself! Do they like bigger containers? Like maybe a kiddie pool? Is there anything else I should be doing? BTW, she will be fixed just as soon as she can be and all of the kittens will be as well before rehoming. She hasn't been dewormed or any shots at this point. Is it safe?
 

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Bless you! Without this help more than the one stillborn kitten would not be here today.

Other, more knowledgeable people will offer their experienced help. In the meantime - feed mama cat as much wet food as she wants to eat. Leave dry food out for if she feels snack-ish. Kitten milk is good for her too, a saucer or two a day. She needs the calcium, fats, protein to replace what she's feeding the kittens in her milk.

Maybe step up feeding the two smallest ones - when the larger kittens have nursed and are napping see if you can put the two little ones to mama, to latch on and nurse without the competition. It's astonishing how powerfully those kittens can starfish out their paws and push, claiming "This is MY nipple!"

Smaller nest box is fine right now while the Kittens are still so small. They need to snuggle up to mama to keep warm as they cannot yet regulate their body temperature.

So glad to read your nice report. Now it needs illustrations . . . any pictures of mama and babies?
 

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Definitely continue supplementing the two smallest and any others who may need it several times a day for now. Eight kittens is a lot for any mother cat to nurse, and the bigger kittens always push away the smaller ones.

A kiddie pool would be awesome and give everyone more room. Do not let mama kitty outside until she is spayed though or she could get pregnant again or even disappear for 2-3 days while in heat. Cats can go into heat within a couple weeks of giving birth.

Feed mom well - several cans a day plus dry food 24/7 and water. Litter box nearby.

She sounds very sweet! Her diarrhea should clear up soon. Probably caused by birth, hormones, and eating 9 placentas. Cats really should only consume about 4 of them.

Keep us posted on their progress, and thank you for caring for them! :)

Melissa0904 Melissa0904
 
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Melissa0904

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Bless you! Without this help more than the one stillborn kitten would not be here today.

Other, more knowledgeable people will offer their experienced help. In the meantime - feed mama cat as much wet food as she wants to eat. Leave dry food out for if she feels snack-ish. Kitten milk is good for her too, a saucer or two a day. She needs the calcium, fats, protein to replace what she's feeding the kittens in her milk.

Maybe step up feeding the two smallest ones - when the larger kittens have nursed and are napping see if you can put the two little ones to mama, to latch on and nurse without the competition. It's astonishing how powerfully those kittens can starfish out their paws and push, claiming "This is MY nipple!"

Smaller nest box is fine right now while the Kittens are still so small. They need to snuggle up to mama to keep warm as they cannot yet regulate their body temperature.

So glad to read your nice report. Now it needs illustrations . . . any pictures of mama and babies?
 

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Melissa0904

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The kittens are now 6 days old. Their weight progress is pretty good.

Nubbin born - 2.7 Now 5.3
Griffin born - 3.2 Now 5.6
Ally born - 2.9 Now 6.1
Milo born - 3.4 Now 5.7
Zelda born - 3.7 Now 5.7
Ollie born - 3.4 Now 5.9
Lil Bit born - 2.7 Now 4.2
Masha born - 3.7 Now 6.1

So at first Nubbin was having trouble latching on but finally got the hang of it. The "chubbies" have their particular spot and boy do they starfish out and paw their way! I am concerned about Lil Bit but have stepped up the feeding today. I backed off from 6-7 feeding supplements to about 3-4 over the weekend. I think I really need to concentrate on Lil Bit. Everyone kicks him off. Poor fella (I think fella, not a Calico so I can't really tell.) Mama cat has been especially sweet. She goes outside and follows me wherever I go. Today though, she moved the kittens. :-( She moved them to such a tight spot she couldn't nurse so she tried to move them back... I helped her. I think she is starting to get irritated with my help. LOL I don't supplement all of them and I dare NOT take any away from her. She knows. She is also a very picky eater. She is eating way more temptations than I want her to but again she is picky. I think I have tried every variety of wet food. So far I can get her to eat the Fancy Feast flaky tuna and shrimp which looks really disgusting. But she likes it, just not all of the time. She seems fairly healthy tho. I worry about her moving the kittens to concrete. I think their body temp would drop too low.
 

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Weights are good; just watch Lil Bit. :)

Where are mom and kittens nesting now? Do they have enough space?
 
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Melissa0904

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The kittens are now 6 days old. Their weight progress is pretty good.

Nubbin born - 2.7 Now 5.3
Griffin born - 3.2 Now 5.6
Ally born - 2.9 Now 6.1
Milo born - 3.4 Now 5.7
Zelda born - 3.7 Now 5.7
Ollie born - 3.4 Now 5.9
Lil Bit born - 2.7 Now 4.2
Masha born - 3.7 Now 6.1

So at first Nubbin was having trouble latching on but finally got the hang of it. The "chubbies" have their particular spot and boy do they starfish out and paw their way! I am concerned about Lil Bit but have stepped up the feeding today. I backed off from 6-7 feeding supplements to about 3-4 over the weekend. I think I really need to concentrate on Lil Bit. Everyone kicks him off. Poor fella (I think fella, not a Calico so I can't really tell.) Mama cat has been especially sweet. She goes outside and follows me wherever I go. Today though, she moved the kittens. :-( She moved them to such a tight spot she couldn't nurse so she tried to move them back... I helped her. I think she is starting to get irritated with my help. LOL I don't supplement all of them and I dare NOT take any away from her. She knows. She is also a very picky eater. She is eating way more temptations than I want her to but again she is picky. I think I have tried every variety of wet food. So far I can get her to eat the Fancy Feast flaky tuna and shrimp which looks really disgusting. But she likes it, just not all of the time. She seems fairly healthy tho. I worry about her moving the kittens to concrete. I think their body temp would drop too low.
Weights are good; just watch Lil Bit. :)

Where are mom and kittens nesting now? Do they have enough space?
She moved them back to the pool. Or rather I did. She had one she was trying to get back in the pool but she is so gentle with them she was scared to jump so I ended up putting them back in for her. The one thing I did notice was the soothing classical music was off and I turned it back on and she seemed more calm. Is that a thing??? I turned it on when I put her in the workshop a week before she had her babies. I am bummed that all the babies didn't hit their doubled weight. I will keep trying. Lil Bit is gaining but taking him a bit to catch up.
 

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Melissa0904

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Help!!!! When I went in to feed just now mama cat had thrown here biggest kitten into another box. I had to find her. Mama was laying with other kittens. Is this normal?
 

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Thrown?

Sometimes mama cats will move a kitten and nurse it separately (not sure why), but they really need to stay together. Keep an eye out.
 
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Melissa0904

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Thrown?

Sometimes mama cats will move a kitten and nurse it separately (not sure why), but they really need to stay together. Keep an eye out.
OK. Thrown was probably not the right word but it was in a junk box. It appeared that way when I seen her alone in a box.. All is well. She kept them all in the pool until the wind really picked up, the she moved them all under a shelf. This time, I am leaving them there. I did put a blanket under them since it is concrete and I don't want their body temp dropping. So it seems like two lost .1 oz today. :-( it was the larger ones tho. I'm continuing supplementing and see what happens. Their little eyes are open. Adorable. The one I call fat head (nick name) hasn't yet. Perhaps because of his big head? Lol
 
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Melissa0904

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So I ended up separating today. 4 smallest one and 4 larger ones. I felt like they were not gaining enough. Actually one or two of them lost! I will rotate them out every couple of hours and supplement when I have them. I am not sure mama cat likes it too much but it HAS to be better on her to feed four instead of 8! I am forever grateful for this site. I wouldn't have known how to keep them alive. I read about getting them to pee and poop. I would have had NO idea!
 
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Melissa0904

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I am rotating every 2 hours except at night. I am leaving them with mama after 10ish. I noticed a huge difference in weight gain today, except for my two smallest ones. They are still only gaining .3 - .4 oz. The others jumped way up. They all gained on average of 1 ounce which is the largest weight gain I have seen. All of them have their eyes open, they have started purring, and they are urinating fine. Mama cat is wanting outside more. I have been keeping her in the workshop. I would leave the door open but I worry she would try to move the kittens outside. She isn't eating hardly anything I have given her. I have tried different brands of kitten food, hard and soft. I have boiled chicken. I have tried vienna's. She does love tuna but I worry about the mercury. There is one wet food that she will halfway eat. She wont eat any pate. I am at a loss. She also won't drink the KVM. I worry she will keep producing milk. She has to produce twice as much but isn't eating what I try to give her. Any advice?
 

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Do NOT let her outside. If she’s in heat she may take off for 2 or 3 days. Feed her the tuna. Better that she eats what she likes than nothing at all.

Is there light in the workshop? A window she can sit in to see out? I know she desperately wants a break but it’s too risky to let her out right now.
 
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Melissa0904

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I do let her out. She only goes where I go. It is the oddest thing. She didn't do that until after she had the kittens. I guess we bonded? She follows me everywhere! She does not stray out of my sight. Kind of like she is expecting me to protect her. She is also very particular about the kittens. If anyone goes toward the workshop she makes a bee-line back to it. There is light and there is a window but a little high. I did give into the tuna today. I didn't want to. I even fixed her fish sticks to see if she would eat that. :-) Nope. Just Tuna. I also gave in and got her the 9-lives dry food she ate when she was pregnant. Do they come in eat immediately after giving birth? I didn't know that.
 
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Melissa0904

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Do NOT let her outside. If she’s in heat she may take off for 2 or 3 days. Feed her the tuna. Better that she eats what she likes than nothing at all.

Is there light in the workshop? A window she can sit in to see out? I know she desperately wants a break but it’s too risky to let her out right now.
I have been thinking about what you have said. Would they run off from their babies if they are a good mama? Right now when I let her out, she doesn't go anywhere if I don't. I literally have to be in her sight. She follows me back to workshop when it is time. Now I am a little concerned....
 

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She’s not in heat right now. We have a current thread where the mom disappeared for a couple of days. The kittens were only about a week old. They had to be hand fed. She did return finally. Exercise caution!
 
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Melissa0904

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Thanks! I will keep that in mind. Bless her heart, she tried to climb a tree today, it has been awhile. I think she is re-learning everything. It didn't go to well. LOL
 
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Melissa0904

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My four little ones that I have been especially watchful and feeding them by bottle a tiny bit more than the bigger ones are more advanced. Ears are up, they hear, they began playing two days ago and move more, my four bigger ones are lazy and ears still down. The refuse to be bottle fed. I have one that fights me tooth and nail! Everytime! They just bite on the nipple so I am literally having to squeeze it in their mouth while they bite down on it with the sides of their mouths. The four little ones are quite well at it. I love watching their little ears move. So tonight after feeding, I was urinating them. While doing that, I noticed that Nubbin, one of the smallest ones born, though not anymore, has blood tinged urine. Normal? I am assuming it is a kidney thing? I try the defication but I can't get them to go so I leave that to the mama.
 

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He may have an infection and need an antibiotic for it. You’ll need to speak to a vet tomorrow.
 
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