One day old kittens...I'm over my head.

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
Hello again everyone...
I am so very over my head and need help.

Yesterday late afternoon my resident animals' vet (he is also my ex boss) called and said a lady brought in some baby kittensbshe found in the garbage.

There were four altogether, one white one died shortly after being brought in. Dr. said they were all covered in maggots, but the white one was the worst off, gasping for breath and gurgling when he came in.

He thought of me because I recently rescued a pregnant momma and had kitten supplies, and he remembered I used to take care of kittens years ago when I worked for him. They didn't know how to take care of such little babies and couldn't find a rescue. I haven't fostered babies in 15+ years.

So really having no other course of action, I brought the kittens home.
There are 2 boys, one black and white and one grey and white and one grey girl.

These kittens were born, I think, in the past 24 hours. They're tiny...the vet said the white ones umbilical cord was still wet but the other ones were dry.

The first feeding went well....I used a 3ml syringe with a Amazon brand miracle nipple. They drank fast...now I'm thinking too fast. I hope I didn't get any milk in their lungs.They all ate between 2 and 4 mls each (of KMR mixed with pedialite).
I did think they were dehydrated because their gums were tacky but since read that that is not a good indicator. So I might have messed up there too.

I have been feeding them every 2 hours, once or twice after one hour.
They've been eating from 2 ml to 7mls, to no rhyme or reason..sometimes more sometimes less

I just feel like I don't know what I am doing.
These babies are so tiny and fragile I've only had a neonate this young once and it was only one and easily 17 years ago. (Although he did survive and he was my first actually and I had NO idea what I was doing)

The grey girl is definitely more quiet then she was earlier the past two feedings. She ate 4 mls during the 4 am feeding and only two at 6. She has not yet lost weight but is hovering at 113 past two feedings. Definitely not as hungry as the first few times.

The black and white boy is the most robust, eating heartily and steadily gaining weight. The grey and white one is also eating well, but not gaining weight as fast.

The problem is is that I only had a few 3cc syringes and realized half way through the night that you can't reuse them. The Petag bottles I had I messed up when trying to put a hole in and now squirt milk from the side.

I think the hole in the off-brand miracle nipple is too big and flows to quickly when attached to a bottle. Maybe even too big for a syringe but at least I have some control over that. I'm not sure what else to do....not sleeping makes making decisions so much harder.

I will go get more 3 cc syringes from my vet when they open at 9. I'll bring the kittens too so he can check them over but he is not experienced in neonate care so am not sure how much he could help.

I'll be looking for someone more suited to do this extremely fragile work, I'll ask my vet to do the same. Hopefully I can find someone more experienced then me who will give them more of a chance.

Grey/white - 8 pm 113g. 4ml, 3ml, 6ml, 3ml, 6ml

6:30 am - 116g

Black/white - 8pm 96g 3ml, 2ml, 5ml, 6.5ml, 2ml, 3ml
6:30 - 108

Grey girl - 8pm 106g. 3ml, 1.5ml, 5ml, 4.5ml, 4ml, 2ml
6:30 am 113g

They've peed each time, at first almost a light brown color but now pale yellow.
2 pooped normal poops for such babies, but very little. The girl has not pooped yet.

I guess I am hoping for any advice from people more experienced then me so I can give them the best chance. I'm scared of not finding someone better suited, it is kitten season after all.

They are in a box in my bathroom with a heating bad and the heat on. I do have 2 kittens and their mom running around and have been a little nervous about disease spread. I've been washing my hands and actually change my clothes before leaving the bathroom.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
Oh, I wanted to add that the kittens were very cold when they came in according to my vet. He slowly brought their temp up and washed the maggots off them. They were clean when they came to me. I had a thermometer but it was definitely too big to use on a kitten so I do not know what their temps are.
 

StanAndAlf

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
333
Purraise
366
I don't have any real advice, but I will say this:

Breathe. No seriously. Take a deep breath. You are doing the best you can, and quite frankly I think you are an absolute saint for trying to help these little ones.

I think its a very good idea to ask around for someone more experienced, if only for advice and guidance.

You can only do so much, so just believe in yourself and make sure to get some rest. You can't help anyone if you are running on empty. Best of luck, and would love to hear updates about your journey with these little ones!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
Thank you fornyour kind words and encouragement S StanAndAlf . They mean alot and you're right. I do take comfort in knowing that truly, I do do my best. It might not always be right, a bunch of it is guessing...but it is only because we want to help so badly.

And thank you sivyaleah sivyaleah , this time around I've gotten most of my info from that true kitten freaking hero. Wish we had her back when I fostered neonates aggressively (2000's)...THAT truly was mostly guesswork and word of mouth.
 

StefanZ

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
23,983
Purraise
7,683
Location
Sweden
Oh, I wanted to add that the kittens were very cold when they came in according to my vet. He slowly brought their temp up and washed the maggots off them. They were clean when they came to me. I had a thermometer but it was definitely too big to use on a kitten so I do not know what their temps are.
If you dont have such an modern ear termometer, you can feel them by fingers. They shall be warmish to your fingers, as cats body temp is higher.
Otherwise you can measure in the armpit of the foreleg.
Its a full celsius grade or 3F lower than in the behidn.


Im reading now your long first post, and try to write some more soon.
 

StefanZ

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
23,983
Purraise
7,683
Location
Sweden
Reading between the lines, I get the impression you are actually doing all right, and very apparently you do have a good idea what you shall do and what you shall look after.
The kittens weigh is pretty decent, must have birthing weights of slighly more than 100g. Good.

Kittens of 120 grames shall have 9 on 30g x4 = ie, here about 35-36 grammes a day. May have more if they wants, shouldnt have much less.

You you dilute the KMR powder with pedialyte; esp for the weakish girl. The glucose in pedialyte gives always some extra calories for free.
As she is weakish, you can try to have a droplet of white caro syrup on her gum, under her lip. Gives some quick energhy.

Ask this vet if he has access to glucose sugar / dextrose proper: it is even better than white caro syrup. Glucose sugar is oftherise difficult to find on open market in USA. We here in Sweden have it aplenty in every shop. Useful in baking among other.

Im a little surprised these syringes get bad so quickly. I suppose they are difficult to clean? And you dont dare too boil them off?

Can you get raw goats milk? If you can, try with this for the weakish one. May even help.


I wonder what is the danger they are possibly contagious. IF you were entirely sure they are non contagious, you could try with your momma cat.

Whom is she? If she is an rescued ex homeless / semiferale, so she has immunity system high above average.
So she could possibly manage risks whom an average family girl wouldnt manage...
 

StefanZ

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
23,983
Purraise
7,683
Location
Sweden
Ps. If there comes a moment, this weak kittens is too cold for feeding, or that weak the digestion has probably stopped, -" but she needs feeding for any chance of survival "-
in this moment you can proceed with pedialyte and this glucose sugar on the gum.
Because they dont need no digestation, they come into blood directly from the mouth and stomach...

Such a kitten wont thriwe nor grow on this, but may survive several days on this alone. Thus, it may buy you time.
If a kitten is dying so its dying, but if its "only" a crisis, this may help to pull the kitten through. The last line of defence, but works sometimes.
 

Sarthur2

Cat lady extraordinaire
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
32,315
Purraise
12,366
Location
Sunny Florida
How sad! Newborn kittens taken from their mama and thrown in the garbage.

Sounds like you are doing just fine, and you’ve gotten great advice already!

Do ask your vet for clavamox suspension to have on hand in case a kitten does aspirate milk into the lungs and needs meds.

Order more Miracle Nipples. Also, add a couple drops of olive oil to the feedings. It helps aid pooping.

Is the mama cat with the kittens still producing milk? If so, can you put the kittens with her occasionally?

Here is a helpful video:

Syringe Feeding — Kitten Lady

You can do this! :lovecat2:
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
I'm sorry I haven't had time to answer.
I'm losing the tiny girl right now...have tried the Karo syrup every three minutes fading kitten protocol, and she comes back for a bit and then goes back to really slow breaths. I feel like I'm prolonging the inevitable. Now I have to leave to open the chickens, so can't continue the Karo.

The other two are alert, very squiggly and mewly and and seem hungry but spit out the bottle after a few sips. I've just been feeding them a little but every half hour or so.
I'm tired and sleep deprived, literally am going on maybe 3 hours in 2 days, and I'm sure am not thinking as clearly as usual.
Damn, this is SO hard with such little kittens.
 

Sarthur2

Cat lady extraordinaire
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
32,315
Purraise
12,366
Location
Sunny Florida
Can you get them to a different vet? They can assess them and the vet techs can feed them, while you contact a shelter that can get them to a new foster so you can get rest.

I’m afraid all of them will fade if they do not get proper nutrition. Also concerned the tiny one who is struggling may have aspirated formula and is now dying from pneumonia.

It does not sound like this is going well. When you hit this point it’s time to hand them over to someone else.

C CntrldbyCats
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
She has passed. I don't know whether from something I did (or didn't do) or from whatever her sibling had that died as soon as they were brought in. I did give her amoxiclav last night (0.025 in a little bit of formula just in case pneumonia WAS starting.
I did try my best, but you always wonder if there was something else you could have done.

The other grey one, a boy, is doing well. I do feed them every hour or so, even if it's 2 - 3 mls. The grey one gained a good amount, now weighing 121 from 113 when I first weighed him (Thursday night). The black and white boy is also gaining weight, but is eating less of the two, he was 96g when I weighed him Thursday and now is 110. They are alert but seem like they need something. I will get them a stuffed animal soon, don't have any here. Hopefully it's just comfort they need.
The black and white kitten had a little when he pooped. My guess is that it's irritation, it was light red and literally only a smidgen, but do not see any outward open p 0
His pee is also a darker yellow then the grey one.
They have been pooping every time I stimulate them, do not remember whether this is normal or not. It turned from brown to yellow and the yellow is kinda formed by pellets? Will attach a pictue

I am looking for somebody and so is my vet. We are having trouble, either nobody calls back or does not have the ability to take care of newborns. Kinda why I ended up with them in the first place, because they couldn't find anybody else and at least I had a tiny bit of experience with neonates, albeit from 15 years ago.

Many shelters around here are a death sentence for newborn kittens. Most don't have staff that can take care of babies and are overwhelmed with kittens right now.
I do have one more shelter that is supposedly no kill I'm saving for last. Not sure what I'll do after that of it's a no go. I do know I desperately need to take a nap
 

Sarthur2

Cat lady extraordinaire
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
32,315
Purraise
12,366
Location
Sunny Florida
Mix the antibiotic into their formula for the next few days. It will help if they have a bacterial infection in their gut or colon, which may be preventing better weight gain.

Are you mixing the formula with pedialyte? That will also help. It does sound like these two babies are hanging in there, as they are slowly gaining.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
Is there anything I can give such a young kitten for constipation?
 

Sarthur2

Cat lady extraordinaire
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
32,315
Purraise
12,366
Location
Sunny Florida
Add 2-3 drops of olive oil to the formula. It usually helps to soften things up.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
Awesome, will do. Totally forgot about that.
I am happy to report that through a serious of pretty mind blowing coincidences, the two surviving kittens are going to an amazing, professionaly ran kitten NICU...modern facilities, incubators, vet techs AND vet on staff.
I mean, I'm still in a state of disbelief about how it happened...it's just one of those crazy 'it was meant to be' situations.
I'm driving them there tomorrow at noon...and it's only 25 min away!
Now I just gotta keep them healthy one more night...
 
Top