One week old kitten growth

Venetia

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Hello!
A stray cat has given birth in a flower pot on my balcony. She gave birth to three kittens but unfortunately on Sunday morning one of them died. The other two seem to be doing okay in general. The mom also seems more attentive than first as I see her cleaning them a lot more frequently (first few days I hadn’t seen her doing t at all) but shes also leaving them for longer stretches of time (3-4 hours) a few times per day.
now my problem is that I weighed the kittens this morning and one of them has not gained weight since yesterday. It’s currently 203 grams which I’ve seen it’s normal but is it okay for it not to have gained weight? The other has gained about 10 grams.
I‘m really worried as I really don’t want another kitten to die. I also have no previous experience with cats or kittens so I’m feeling very lost right now.
 

StefanZ

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One time not gaining isnt alarming, but prepare yourself, get the gears home, KMR in powder or goats milk, a little syringe or a dropper, etc, --- a heating pad or an IR-heating lamp, etc. And read on here and look on youtube instructions. And if its not better tomorrow, take charge and handfeed - as you are OK with that, even if not experienced.


The momma accepts you being there and helping out?

Ps. What country are you in?

V Venetia
 
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Venetia

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One time not gaining isnt alarming, but prepare yourself, get the gears home, KMR in powder or goats milk, a little syringe or a dropper, etc, --- a heating pad or an IR-heating lamp, etc. And read on here and look on youtube instructions. And if its not better tomorrow, take charge and handfeed - as you are OK with that, even if not experienced.


The momma accepts you being there and helping out?

Ps. What country are you in?

V Venetia
Thanks for answering!
I did buy everything when I first saw the kittens in case the mom had abandoned them. i took the kitten that died to the doctor and he told me to try to supplement the feeding if the mom is away for long. So I tried feeding them all but i couldn’t do it. I watched videos etc but they just wouldn’t open their mouth to take either the bottle or the syringe. I really hope it’s better tomorrow so it doesn’t have to rely on me.

Yes the mom is rather calm. I take food and water to her in the pot cause she won’t go to it if it’s outside. She has hissed at me and hit me with her nails but it was only when I touched the now dead kitten in order to bring it closer to her to nurse.

I‘m in Greece. Unfortunately we have a huge problem with strays.
 

di and bob

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The dropper can be gently inserted into the side of the mouth and one drop delivered at a time, very small amounts, to make sure the kitten doesn't choke or aspirate the KMR. It's normal for mama to leave for a while, she is most likely a first-time mother and doesn't know what she is doing. the kittens could have been slightly premature and that is why one died. or was in the birth canal too long. if the kitten hasn't gained weight the next day, start the feedings. Remember on tummy, never on the back. Make sure mama has plenty of food so she doesn't have to hunt. She is scared and unsure of herself. The kittens MUST be kept warm too. You will do fine, we all had to start somewhere. We will help you. a kitten should gain around 14 grams per day if nursing from mama. I hope you can make her comfortable enough to nurse longer. all the luck!
 

di and bob

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I wouldn't do anything that would increase her stress. unless you can get her to warm towards you. She may follow the kittens inside. But if she has never been inside, she won't go. See if she will enter the house by herself at first, if she will, a safe room would be ideal as suggested above.
 
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Venetia

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When I tried to feed them, they kept squirming and turning their heads away from the syringe. Even when one of them ate the milk from my finger and hopefully realized what it was, it wouldnt eat it. It kept squirming and mewing until I left it alone. I tried feeding them from the side as well but again the kept turning away. Any advice on that?

yeah keeping them warm is another thing I’m worried about. If it’s really cold I bring them inside until the mom comes back but I don’t know how to move them so the mom can come along. I put a nice big box with a blanket where I could also put a heating pad on the balcony on the first day and also put food and water in front of it but shes never even gone that way. Tomorrow is going to be especially cold and windy so I’m worried.
One day I went out just as she was coming back and she started coming closer and mewing at me. I stood by the food and beckoned her. She smelt it and left. That’s the only time when I felt like I might have some chance of moving the whole family.

Something else that worries me is that since last night she hasn’t eaten any of the food I offer her although she did drink water in the morning. She used to eat quite a lot. I don’t know if shes finding food somewhere else and that’s why she’s been leaving a lot more.

Thank you all for the help by the way! I really appreciate it! Normally I would have friends and family helping but now because of Coronavirus I’m stuck in the house alone.
 

di and bob

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Keep an eye on her to see if she's losing weight. She may be sick or have an infection. Not eating and losing weight is an indication of this. But she may lose weight when nursing too. I would try different foods, some cats, especially outside ones, like hard food. She may be eating somewhere else. She may even have a home somewhere. One way to tell if the kittens are eating enough (besides weighing) is to listen to them, restless screaming kittens are hungry. if they are quiet and sleeping they are fine. If you think you have to feed them, wait until they are meowing.
 

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Continue offering mom food each day, but she may be accustomed to foraging. You’ll need to wrap the kittens like a burrito with only the head sticking out to keep them from wiggling. Then hold tummy down on your lap or in front of you on a pillow or table, and feed drops from a dropper or needleless syringe in the side of the mouth. Allow time for kitten to swallow and breathe in between. You can also gently hold the head between 2 fingers to keep kitten still. Try this and you should get more success!
 
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Venetia

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Mom has started eating again I think the hard food did the trick cause she’s been demolishing it every time I give it to her!
the kittens are generally very quite. Even when she’s away for long theyre Just sleeping peacefully so maybe theyre not that hungry?
Ill weigh them again tomorrow and joe for the best!
 

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Kittens whom have mom, are often reluctant to handfeeding. Bottle is very difficult for them, a syringe or dropper is easier...
Momma leaving kittens a couple of hours is normal for free living cats, because she must find food - to forage. Healthy kittens usually manage OK, but of course, with such friends they really dont need no enemies... The weaker tend to perish.
So its good you are keeping the kittens warm. As momma is apparently accepting you handle them, as long you do it carefully and with respect, its a good sign.

Ah, Greece. If you find raw goats milk its even better than most kmr. And can you find glucose sugar / dextrose? Its useful in some emergencies, but difficult to find in USA. American rescuers and vet tech uses white caro syrup or honey instead, its not as good but it works.
 
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Venetia

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Both kittens had gained about 12 grams this morning and the mom keeps eating and drinking a lot. I’m really hoping things will continue this way !

Kittens whom have mom, are often reluctant to handfeeding. Bottle is very difficult for them, a syringe or dropper is easier...
Momma leaving kittens a couple of hours is normal for free living cats, because she must find food - to forage. Healthy kittens usually manage OK, but of course, with such friends they really dont need no enemies... The weaker tend to perish.
So its good you are keeping the kittens warm. As momma is apparently accepting you handle them, as long you do it carefully and with respect, its a good sign.

Ah, Greece. If you find raw goats milk its even better than most kmr. And can you find glucose sugar / dextrose? Its useful in some emergencies, but difficult to find in USA. American rescuers and vet tech uses white caro syrup or honey instead, its not as good but it works.
i think I might be able to get my hands on dextrose. What would I need to use it for?
 

StefanZ

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Both kittens had gained about 12 grams this morning and the mom keeps eating and drinking a lot. I’m really hoping things will continue this way !



i think I might be able to get my hands on dextrose. What would I need to use it for?
12 grammes a day is a good raise!

Re dextrose, Im reusing another answer of mine:

Also, get home glucose sugar /dextrose. If you cant (its difficult to find in USA) you can use white caro syrup, it contains much glucose. Honey is too an alternative.
Likewise, Good if you have Pedialyte, best is flavorless pedialyte for children. It contains salts and glucose.
Why? 1. Glucose sugar / caro can be used to give some extra strengh for weak kittens whom lost energhy. just put a droplet on their gum. Or smear a sweet solution on the gum.
2. You can dilute powdered KMR with pedialyte instead of water - gives some extra calories for free.
3. If there is emergency, say they kitten too cold for normal feeding because it cant digest properly, you can give some pedialyte or glucose sugar water solution. This doesnt need to be digested, so it works also in cold kittens or in kittens (and humans!) where the digestion has stopped. Its no remedy, but it will buy you some time till the body is warmed up or the antibiotica has began to work.


Ps, pedialyte you can make your own, essentially to mix dextrose with some salt in water. This works for both humans and weak kittens.
 
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