orphan kitten health question

babytrio

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My cat had babies then died almost a week later in her sleep. I'm not sure why but it seemed natural. Anyways, there's three of them. I've been giving them formula mixed with water heated to body temperature. Two of them are super healthy but I noticed that one of them is much fatter. He/she looks bloated and has gotten diarrhea once. :( their tummy is a little harder and makes rumbling noises when she's eating. I think s(he) might have to far t or something. Is there anything you guys can think of to give her(him) that might be easier on the tummy?: (
 
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babytrio

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I don't have money for a vet and I need some idea to help her in case something is wrong :'( ty
 

aedrinark

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Try goat's milk. Fresh from a certified herd, if possible. Canned will do. I prefer it to kitten formula.
 
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babytrio

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Is it better? I am only worried about one of them :( I cried over it lol
 

momto3cats

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Maybe that one kitten has a hard time digesting the formula? What brand are you using? Goat's milk is good if you can get it, it's gentle on the kitten's tummy.  Also, try mixing a little bit of plain yogurt with their milk, the good bacteria in it can help digestion. Be sure to mix up the formula fresh each time, don't let it sit out and re-use it as it can start to go bad quickly.

You can also try giving baby gas drops with simethicone, if the kitten is gassy or bloated. "If the kitten should bloat or become colicky add a few drops of infant anti colic drops (simethicone, Equate Infants’ Gas Relief, WalMart Stores Inc.) to the formula and experiment with a new nipple, another feeding technique or different brand of formula." from here: http://www.2ndchance.info/orphankitten.htm
 
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reba

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You haven't been around in a few days, but hopefully they're all doing OK.

Have you watched the videos on the internet about bottle feeding - some are great, some are horrible - one of the best one's I found was from Maddie's Institue:


You can also try the daily kitten website to post questions

Here are a few things that I thought made for a successful bottle feeding experience:

1.  Have you been over to your shelter?  I took the kittens I discovered over there and, since I agreed to foster them, they looked them over and gave me a lot of the formula.

2.  What formula are you using?  I found the KMR was the best and there's been a lot of postings that the brand from Walmart (hartz I think) isn't very good.  If not that, then the GNC formula they sell at pet smart seemed OK.   I read the Hartz from Walmart causes a lot of problems so I'd avoid that if at all possible.    Mine didn't do well at all on the pre-mixed so I stuck to the powder.

3.  When you say body temperature, what do you mean.  There's so many things to check when you do this!  I would stick the bottle in hot water (don't put it in the microwave) to warm the milk, shake it and then sick a thermometer in there (make sure it's in the center of the milk and not on the sides) until it was 100 degrees and I was very careful not to over, under heat it.

4.  Don't mix the milk up in advance, bacteria grow very quickly.

5.  Sterilize everything.  Meaning after you are done feeding boil some water in the microwave and pour it in the bottles, let it run through the nipples and caps, thoroughly was and dry everything. 

6.  Getting the right size hole in the nipple was a PITA - GNC sells a package with several nipples - most of which are too large and are dangerous.  

7.  I fed them every three - four hours around the clock for 3 weeks.  Tough I know, but it was worth it.

8.  Keep a chart of when they poop.  You need to know if they are constipated and you'll never remember who pooped when.

Everything you do matters, so don't thnk it doesn't matter if you feed them less frequently or don't clean everything or use the formula you mixed before.  It matters.  The fact that they look OK isn't how you judge how you're doing -  it's whether you did things carefully and on a set schedule.   If you're not or can't (and I can see how many people just wouldn't have the time or resources) I think the kindest thing is to turn them over to the shelter or a rescue.

At any rate take care and hope things are going well. 
 
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babytrio

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Update: your advice has been very helpful and digestion wise they seem to be doing better! They're thriving but I noticed milk is starting to come out of the nose of one of them :( they're eating normally?
 

helsic

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Update: your advice has been very helpful and digestion wise they seem to be doing better! They're thriving but I noticed milk is starting to come out of the nose of one of them
they're eating normally?
It's not normal that the milk come out from the noses. After feeding make sure you help them burp. The same way you'll do with a human baby, they can't burp by themselves so the gas will stay in their tummies and they may feel very unconfortable and get sick. Rub their tummies and pat their backs after you feed them. Don't force the feeding, if they don't seem to want to drink more, don't force them otherwise they'll puke. Be sure they're warm before eating, if the kitten is cold he won't be able to eat properly and it would get sick too. Kittens are such a fragile dearly things, you should be very careful with them. It's a lot of work I know and is hard but please don't give up on them. I raised two kittens that way, it was really hard we barely sleep in a week because of the feeding every 5 hours... now the kittens are 6 months old, growing healthy and getting bigger every day!!!
 

reba

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Hi Baby,  thanks so much for updating us.  :)

Yes helsc said, them inhaling milk into their lungs is  a e danger and so it's very important that you don't force the milk in or feed them on their backs.  Here's a resource that has some pictures (scroll down to page 3):

http://www.yourspca.org/file/documents/Caring-for-the-Orphaned-Kitten-feb-2014-2.pdf

That's why getting the right size hole in the nipple is important as well.  Plus the nipples wear out.  Do you have a car?  I would go over to the shelter and they would cut the holes in the nipples for me (they gave me bottles as well.) 

Oh and it's important to get the lumps out of the formula.  I had a little strainer I poured it through after I stirred it up.  I always mixed a little too much because  that way I didn't have to tilt the bottle up so much (again I was worried about them inhaling the milk).   What you throw away isn't going to amount to much in terms of cost believe me. 

OH gosh I forgot to mention about the burping, yes that's important as well.  Also if think they inhaled milk turn them upside down and pat them on the back immediately.

My routine was to:

1.  mix up the formula, strain it, put it in the bottles

2.  stimulate them to pee or poop, record it in the chart

3.  heat up a measuring cup full of water in the microwave (not to boiling)

4.  stick the bottle in there for maybe a minute, pull it out, shake it a bit

5.  stick the thermometer in the milk with the tip in the center and check

6.  either put it back in the water if it was below 98-100 degrees or let it cool off if too hot

(this is what usually took the longest and because I had three as well I had to reheat the water each time)

7.  feed the kitten (less is better than more so don't force it)

8.  burp the kitten (always got a kick out of this, just like human babies!)

9.  put kitten back in nest (do you have a heating pad in there or some source of heat, it should go in half the nest) my nest was big clear plastic tub from walmart.

Not sure if you have a car, but the shelter was really helpful.  I just explained that I had found these abandoned kittens and would foster them but I needed help. 
 
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