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Partially Premature Litter Or Just Runt?

Discussion in 'Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care' started by Bratcat31, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Bratcat31

    Bratcat31 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2019
    Hello!
    I have a foster momma cat who gave birth super early this morning. Overall the kittens and momma look pretty good. Everyone seems to be eating OK (I give mom food in her box ever few hours and babies are quiet and content) and acting OK (moms mostly alert and babies are moving and squawking when expected). But, there are a few oddities.

    1. 3 of the 6 babies are small with one being very very small (58 grams, 71 grams and 77 grams) while the other 3 are all in the high 80s to high 90s in weight
    2. Mommas nippled are almost floppy. They do seem to be firming up a bit, but they seem pretty hard to latch onto.
    3. The shelter vet saw her a couple days ago and said she wasn't making any milk so she likely still had a couple weeks to go.

    Is it possible/does it sound like she got pregnant at the beginning and end of a cycle so wound up with some full term and some not full term? Could that mess with her milk production at all? And lastly, what's the likelihood the teeny tiny one will make it? It seems pretty danged feisty, and this litter doesnt fight over nipples like my last one did, but gosh it's really really small.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. StefanZ

    StefanZ Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    You will prob need to supplement feed the smallest one.
    Perhaps also rotate even if they dont fight much.

    Can you get raw goats milk?

    And yes continue to closely monitor the weights every 12 hours pn the three minors. 24 on majors.
     
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  3. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Hi! Welcome!!

    It's possible, yes. I don't know about the milk production situation though.

    And as mentioned, supplement feed that tiny one to try and help it put on some weight and growth :)
     
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  4. Sarthur2

    Sarthur2 Cat lady extraordinaire Staff Member Advisor

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    How are things going today? Any weight under 90 grams indicates prematurity and it will be iffy if they can make it. Have you been able to supplement feed with kitten formula or goat milk? The tiny kittens will surely need it.

    Please keep us posted! :)
     
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  5. Bratcat31

    Bratcat31 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2019
    Hi! Sorry on the long response delay. Been swamped between work and trying to kitten nanny.

    Overnight three kittens had small gains, 2 stayed steady weight and 1 lost 2 grams. I was up a few times overnight to do some monitored nursing for the two little ones and I did a small supplementing session this morning based on the shelters guidelines for the teeny tiny baby. It sounds like I may need to do more than 2 a day supplementing so I'm also having them help me out on the logistics with that since I've never bottle fed, well, anything frankly.

    Plus side, moms milk is definitely coming in now and a few of her nipples have lost their floppiness. Hopefully that will keep up and between her getting going and me supplementing we can see some good turn around.
     
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  6. StefanZ

    StefanZ Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    A good daily raise is 10+ grammes a day. So so far nobody of them is totally out of the woods.
    The smallest is excused if she raises less, 5-6 grammes a day. But I have seen healthy prematures whom added their brave 10 grames a day them too!

    What you wrote sounds promising, momma seems to get milk in, and you are keenly aware both about watchfully weighting, and the need to supplement more often, and all in all - more.

    Momma is always nicest, so if momma has milk and they are strong enough to suckle, they will always get into themselves some mommas milk, even if you supplement them for their daily needs.
     
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  7. Sarthur2

    Sarthur2 Cat lady extraordinaire Staff Member Advisor

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    Yes, you’ll need to supplement the smaller kittens several times a day until they are out of the danger zone.
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  8. ArchyCat

    ArchyCat TCS Member Super Cat

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    Can you feed mom cat kitten food? Either/both kibble and meat? Maybe a saucer or two of Kitten Milk Replacement a day? The kitten food will provide her the calcium, fat and proteins she needs for milk production.

    Also you can use KMR to supplement the smaller kittens. Use the powdered form, you can mix up the amount you need.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
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  9. Bratcat31

    Bratcat31 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2019
    Momma is on all kitten food and has been since I got her 2 weeks ago. Canned food is Whole Hearted Kitten, dry food is Royal Canine Babycat. She has access to food and water at all times and is eating like a champ. She also drank some KMR that I brought in this morning for the babies.

    Currently I'm planning to weigh and supplement if needed 4x a day. I've done two session so far with 2 different kittens and pretty sure I failed miserably. Not weight change on the first and Momma certainly was NOT impressed with the second. I was supplementing him because he lost weight and just wouldn't latch before momma jumped out of the box. He gets some (very little - I'm bad at this) milk in him, starts squallering and getting annoyed. Momma comes over plucks him right out of my burrito/hands and puts him back in the box with her. Now, he's nursing. ‍♀️‍♀️

    Appreciate any tips or tricks. First time doing any supplementing.
     
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  10. Sarthur2

    Sarthur2 Cat lady extraordinaire Staff Member Advisor

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    ArchyCat, Furballsmom and Bratcat31 purraised this.

  11. ArchyCat

    ArchyCat TCS Member Super Cat

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    Bratcat31 -->. Sounds as if you are doing fine! Keep us updated on progress!
     
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  12. Bratcat31

    Bratcat31 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2019
    Midnight update (yes, I know its almost 2, I did say I was bad at this. LOL). So, first, the good news. 4 of the 6 gained 8-10 grams in the last 7 hours. Including my second smallest. YAY! The bad news, the other two lost 2 grams and 4 grams and my 4 gram baby looked half dead. I got them both up and moving again and after a LOT of trial and error on both our parts we got a 2 gram gain back on both. Based on the weight of my 4 gram loss it probably needed to get 3 grams back, but that just flat out wasn't happening.

    But, when I left momma was cleaning and caring for him/her (and the rest) so, though I'm not super hopeful my fingers are crossed. Thanks a lot @Sarthur2 for the video. Though it took quite a while for me (and them) to get the hang of it, by keeping a close eye and feel for the swallowing of the kittens I was able to get some of the weight gain back with no bubbles in noses. Also made me feel a bit more confident when it finally started going right. Not gonna lie though, I came real close to throwing in the towel a couple of times.

    Okay, off to bed so I can get some sleep before the morning round. Thanks for the help!
     
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  13. StefanZ

    StefanZ Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Re throwing in the towel: Praying for Gods help, helps me much in such situations. Not necessarily in a hope of a miracle, but the help to give me myself the strengh, the endurance, the patience to continue. it usually works, after a short while I can proceed as usual, sometimes even more focused...
     
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  14. Sarthur2

    Sarthur2 Cat lady extraordinaire Staff Member Advisor

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    Smear some honey or karo syrup on the kittens’ gums if they are listless, and even before supplementing as it gives a quick energy boost and may give the kittens more appetite.

    Yay for not giving up! So glad you're getting the hang of it now. It takes a few tries. Prayers help too! :)
     
    Furballsmom and ArchyCat purraised this.

  15. Bratcat31

    Bratcat31 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2019
    Okay, quick update. We lost one (not the runt) and so far the runt is doing OK. Still not gaining any weight from nursing (though he/she is trying) but is still feisty as heck. Plus, he/she didnt lose any weight this last stretch either which is a first for him/her. Got another 2 grams of weight into him with a supplemental feeding and put him back with momma.

    Other plus side, I overnight shipped a few miracle nipples to the house and that is helping a lot. Plus momma has been a real champ this whole time. Though she did reject the one we lost, she's helping a lot with the runt. Cleaning it and stimulating it nursing it. I have actually started feeding it closer to mom when I can because it seems to help calm him down. I feel like he just hasn't figured out the whole suck and swallow part of nursing yet. He sucks but forgets to swallow. Swallows but forgets to suck. Is that just cause he's so preemie?
     
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  16. Sarthur2

    Sarthur2 Cat lady extraordinaire Staff Member Advisor

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    Yes, that’s part of being a preemie. That’s why it’s touch and go. Hopefully he will make it. Sorry you lost one.
     
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  17. Libby.

    Libby. TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jul 12, 2019
    Oh yeah! this. Some canned salmon or mackerel from the tall can that has the bones would be a good supplemental and will give her the healthy fats the babies need. The kitten milk is a good idea too. I fostered a momma cat who came to me absolutely emaciated, you could see her hip bones she was so skinny. I was feeding her 5 meals a day to put weight on her and to help her milk come in. I was feeding her canned salmon and mackeral, poached chicken livers, boiled chicken and brown rice, scrambled eggs with roe in addition to canned cat food and kitten formula. But she needed the extra calories and the extra dense nutrients.
     
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  18. Bratcat31

    Bratcat31 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Yup, my last foster momma was less than 6 lbs and had 7 babies. Caring for momma is absolutely the first step to a healthy and happy litter!
     
    Sarthur2 purraised this.

  19. Bratcat31

    Bratcat31 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2019
    Morning update (I just assume y'all care. LOL). The runt (her name is Maya now) maintained her weight on her own all day yesterday and FINALLY figured out nursing last night. We went from 'one drop at a time' feeding to 'shes sucking so hard she is feeding herself' syringe feeding at the 2 AM feeding. And between the 2 AM feeding and this AM she put on 2 grams all on her own! For a total weight gain of 9 grams in the last 24 hours.

    I know we are still a LONG way off with a LONG way to go (shes still only 67 grams), and she still has such a low chance at survival, BUT we are at least taking some good solid steps forward and I'm grateful for that.
     
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  20. Bratcat31

    Bratcat31 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2019
    Correction, from before supplementing yesterday Am to after supplementing this AM the weight difference is 14 grams!!
     
    Jewely, GlitterKittie and Sarthur2 purraised this.

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