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One week old kitten not gaining weight!

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition with Dr. Rachel Boltz, DVM' started by 8andcatting, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. 8andcatting

    8andcatting Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 18, 2015

    I have 3 mother cats in my care who all gave birth to a litter of kittens within 3 weeks of each other.  One mother has almost 4 week old kittens and the other two gave birth within 2 days of each other, so I have 3 one week old kittens and 4 almost one week old kittens.  The one week old kittens the mother wants nothing to do with them.  She took care of the first kitten when it was born, but I was there for the birth of the 2nd and 3rd and she didn't clean them off, so I figured there was something wrong with them, but I cleaned off the second kitten anyways and it started gasping for air so I vigorously rubbed it like the mother would normally do and it started crying.  My mother did the same for the 3rd kitten.  The mother never wanted to feed them or clean them or be anywhere near them, so I took them to the mother cat who has 3 week old kittens and she ate the placentas and cleaned them up and they started eating from her except for the kitten that I helped save.  So I started bottle feeding that one for the first 2 days of his life and he took to the bottle really well.  Then I would put him back in with the mother cat and he learned to feed from her, so I stopped bottle feeding him.  He eats and eats and eats.  He is always eating. I check on him several times a day and if the mother cat is in the box he is eating, when she's not there he is sleeping with the other kittens.  His temperature has not gone down, he is not moving away from the other kittens to be by himself, and he cries and is mobile when I pick him up, he is not acting lethargic or weak.  But he is not gaining weight.  I do not have a scale to weigh him on, I am just going by the size of him compared to the other 2 kittens born into this litter and the kittens born 2 days after he was.  They are all bigger than him and after he is done eating his stomach doesn't bloat up like it should.  He just appears thin all the time.  I have tried forcing him to take the bottle every once in awhile to make sure he is getting food in him, but he won't nurse from the bottle, I sort of just squeeze it to make the milk come out so I know he is getting some nutrients in him.  I am thinking of getting a medicine dropper so he won't have to suckle on the nipple from the bottle, I can just squeeze some formula into him so I know he is getting something in his stomach.  The thing is, he eats like a pig, why isn't he gaining weight?  I see him suckling and he is always eating if the mother cat is in the box so it's not like he's too weak to eat, he fights for his favorite nipple and latches on for a good amount of time and when he is done he falls asleep.  What could be making him not get the full belly after eating and is there anything I can do?

  2. StefanZ

    StefanZ Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    Sep 18, 2005
    The same question in the Pregnant and kitten forum, where I did gave some advices.   I hope dr Boltz has more suggestions  :)

  3. dr rachel

    dr rachel TCS Member Guest Expert

    Oct 10, 2016
    What teat is he suckling on?  A front one, or a back one?

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