Putting weight on a thin kitten

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amethyst

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We just took in a thin kitten last night, I'm guessing 8-9 weeks based on teeth, eyes, and size (she is 868g or roughly 1.9 lb) that was freezing and starving. Long story short a mother cat and kittens were dumped at a shop out in the country and this one and the mother seem to be the only two that made it through the recent cold snap. Anyways, we named her Freya and what I am wondering is if just kitten food (currently giving kibble and wet food) will be enough or if there is something else I should be giving her. Last night she was pale and cold to the touch (to be fair she was out in -30C temps :coldcat:) , she wanted to explore but was also kind of out of it, mostly just wanting to eat, drink, then sleep. She is warm, her toe beans have pinked up and she is acting like a normal kitten today but you can easily feel her ribs and spine when you touch or pick her up. To be clear she will be going to the vet and dewormed, just wondering any tips in the mean time.

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catapault

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What a charming little princess! You have saved her life. And where is the mother cat?

I think kitten food, wet and dry, is the best choice right now, with dry left out so she can eat / snack as she wants. Even though she is estimated at about 2 months, do you think some milk for kittens, offered a couple of time a day, just warm (a drop on your iner wrist feels tepid) might give a little extra boost.

I look forward to your updates about sweet Freya.
 

Deacon Blues

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A trip to the vet for a checkup and feed her some good quality kitten food. She will plump up quickly. She is beautiful by the way. Were you able to help the mother?
 
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amethyst

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The mother cat is still there, my husband just left food for her. That way just in case there still are other kittens left we aren't taking the mother away. He wont be back for a few days (he is away at work) so that is the best we could do for now. There are buildings there, and she might even be able to get through the snow to the other side of the trees to a nearby barn (next property over) were I think the other cats he as seen around the shop might live, so with food the mother might hopefully be ok for now.
 

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will be enough or if there is something else I should be giving her.
You can get her wet food made for kittens and wet food is full of nutrients and proteins to aid her growth and keeps her hydrated. Also, you can get her the KMR milk replacer to boost up her nutrients that she needed when she did not get from momma cat. I supplemented KMR milk replacer for my boy when he was rescued at 3 - 4 weeks old and he was very scrawny and weak at that time.

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Sarthur2

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I hope you can check on the mother cat and leave more food in your husband’s absence. If there are more kittens, they need to be saved along with the mother cat.

Perhaps you can coordinate with the shop owner regarding leaving food and checking. If, in time, there are no more kittens, you can bring the mother cat home (or also with any remaining kittens). The situation sounds dire due to weather.

Perhaps a straw-filled bin could be set up for the mom and any kittens to use as shelter until you have a better idea of what’s going on.

Thank you for caring!

amethyst amethyst
 
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amethyst

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I hope you can check on the mother cat and leave more food in your husband’s absence. If there are more kittens, they need to be saved along with the mother cat.

Perhaps you can coordinate with the shop owner regarding leaving food and checking. If, in time, there are no more kittens, you can bring the mother cat home (or also with any remaining kittens). The situation sounds dire due to weather.

Perhaps a straw-filled bin could be set up for the mom and any kittens to use as shelter until you have a better idea of what’s going on.

Thank you for caring!

amethyst amethyst
Driving out there myself is not an option (I don't drive and the place is over a half hour drive away), but the job didn't take as long as they thought and my husband was home last night. He left more food and then we headed out there today. Sadly no sign of anymore kittens today, he saw a kitten yesterday morning though so he will check again on Monday.

I got a bit more information, and luckily the situation is not as bad as it first sounded, at least for adult cats, the mother cat and I'm guessing her sister (similar size and they were hanging out together) were inside the heated shop. The mother apparently belongs/belonged to one of the teenagers that works there, and he is the one that dumped them outside then left for a job up north :argh:, so my husband will need to talk to him about the adult females (from the sounds of it he doesn't want the kittens since people were asking around the shop if anyone wanted kittens), we might take them in to get spayed at least. I also saw at least one of the other shop/yard cat when there that I has lived there at least a few years (so clearly cats can survive the winter there). To be a bit more clear it's a "shop" as in a workshop/garage with outbuildings where they store equipment as well as park and do work on the work trucks and semis when they aren't out on a job. It's also where the main office is, kind of "home base" where the crew drive to then hop in work truck to head to jobs for the day (or days if far away). People are coming and going from the shop even on the weekends. The owner doesn't seem to care about the cats one way or other, they are just there, kind of old farmer mentality of the cats live outside and hunt/take care of themselves. The cats do also have access to the crawl space under the heated shop as well as under another heated building so even if they are tossed out of the shop they do have somewhat of a place to go. I think for young kittens though that was just not enough when it got freezing cold. The barn is not that far away either, you can see it on the other side of the trees but they do need to go through snow to get there, or walk a fair distance around.

A bit of an update on Freya, she got her first dewormer today and we picked up some more wet food for her. She has diarrhea and did throw up yesterday (so far not today), so hopefully the deworming will help.
 

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Thank goodness you were able to save this one! It sounds like it would not have been okay. Every life counts. I hope you can help spay the mother cats and find the other kittens. They probably all have the same issues. Survival is so hard for cats like that. I know the farm mentality and having cats as mousers but in order to have energy to catch mice, food must be supplemented because hunting is not enough, especially during winter and when kittens drain the mom. Outdoor cats have shorter lives. Poor Freya! She is very lucky to have you and she is precious! I bet she would love to have a sibling or mom to snuggle up to. Is she still staying cold? I often carry kittens inside my jacket when they need a little extra love or warmth. Having my heartbeat next to them really helps. I have shirts with large pockets and have made an apron with pocket that I wear over my shoulder, under my shirt, to have the kitten close to my heart as I do chores. They usually snuggle down and sleep very contentedly when they are up against me. You have my gratitude for all you are doing for these kitties. Your husband too! :goldstar:This one will be very bonded to you. Hoping for much better times for the others. Maybe they will get saved too. Shame on the one who dumped them!
 
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amethyst

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Can you rescue the mother cat and her sister and get them to a shelter to be spayed and re-homed?
Unfortunately shelters around here are packed to overflowing with cats and kittens right now (one apparently currently has over 75 kittens just in the newborn to 4 months range, not counting older cats), they are no kill shelters so they have wait lists to take in cats. I do feel bad, I really do, but there is only so much I can do. The best we can do right now is provide food, I can also make a couple of those straw filled bin houses. The two adult females are not, from what I could see, in immediate danger of dying right now, they are lean but I would say the mother is about a 3 the sister about a 4 on this body chart http://bearcreekvet.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/BCS-Cat-1.png . I already have 14 cats (most are rescues), well now 15 with the addition of Freya, I'm stretched pretty thin, I'll figure it out if there are more kittens, since with them it's life or death (if any are still alive), but I do think the adults are going to be ok for now. I honestly would have taken the two adult girls if I didn't already have so many cats, I was holding and petting them, they are sweet. 😞 At most we can try to save up to get them spayed if the guy at work will let us (I really don't want to get accused of stealing cats or getting them spayed against the "owner's" wishes or something) but we really can't keep them. We don't have discount spay and neuters around here, so it will be a few hundred dollars each. I've already got one of my own cats that we plan to get spayed in a little over a week.

Thank goodness you were able to save this one! It sounds like it would not have been okay. Every life counts. I hope you can help spay the mother cats and find the other kittens. They probably all have the same issues. Survival is so hard for cats like that. I know the farm mentality and having cats as mousers but in order to have energy to catch mice, food must be supplemented because hunting is not enough, especially during winter and when kittens drain the mom. Outdoor cats have shorter lives. Poor Freya! She is very lucky to have you and she is precious! I bet she would love to have a sibling or mom to snuggle up to. Is she still staying cold? I often carry kittens inside my jacket when they need a little extra love or warmth. Having my heartbeat next to them really helps. I have shirts with large pockets and have made an apron with pocket that I wear over my shoulder, under my shirt, to have the kitten close to my heart as I do chores. They usually snuggle down and sleep very contentedly when they are up against me. You have my gratitude for all you are doing for these kitties. Your husband too! :goldstar:This one will be very bonded to you. Hoping for much better times for the others. Maybe they will get saved too. Shame on the one who dumped them!
Freya is warmed up now, she likes to cuddle but also seems to like sleeping in the self warming bed by herself too. I have 14 other cats so when she is ready she'll have other cats to play with, including a 9 month old kitten I got earlier this year (not a rescue just a kitten I got for free). I do carry Freya around too, she isn't the first kitten I've rescued or even the youngest. Three years ago we took in 5 orphaned kittens that were only about 3-4 weeks old, those are my babies they are very bonded to me. Before that we had a stray cat have kittens under our house, then got hit by a truck on the road and killed, they were around 4 weeks as well and I still have two of those though they are getting up there both are about 15 and a half.
 

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Hi! There are some types of food that can make that baby to gain weight in a safe way.
It’s important to know that cats need to gain weight gradually btw.

-
Milk for kittens/formula: this will encourage her growth since at that age some cats still drink milk from their mom.
- Kibble for kittens: even though I personally dislike feeding cats exclusively of kibble, this type of food can be implemented if mixed with wet food.
- Wet food: this will likely make the cat gaining more weight as well as keeping it hydrated. Also it’s very mouth-watering for cats!
- Cat yogurt / Salmon Oil: this is just supplement for cats, not a whole meal but in fact, cat yogurt and salmon oil have prebiotics and this can encourage to your cats health.
 
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amethyst

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I forgot to add, they have apparently done stray cat round ups at the shop in the past, cats getting dumped is very common. I'm guessing the shelters are just too packed right now, even the local vet that acts as the impound for town is full. So there is a real chance that if we don't, someone else will eventually scoop them up and take them to the shelter later when the numbers at one of the shelters is down enough for them to take them in. It's hard to get full answers or know who to talk to that might know anything, since there is a mix of people coming and going there, the different work crews that mix and match depending on the job, the office staff, as well as a couple people that rent space there too.
 
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amethyst

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Freya is doing well, eating lots and gaining weight, her eye is cleared up and she seems to be feeling better after the first round of dewormer. I think I may have misweighed her the first time though, otherwise she gained 6 oz in the first 3 days. :headscratch: She went from 1lb 14 oz (868g) on the 9th to 2lb 5 oz (1043g) on the 12th. Or could she gain that much just from re-hydrating because she was pretty dehydrated when she got here. Either way she now weighs a more healthy 2lb 10 oz (1200g) when I weighed her this morning.

She finally seems to have the energy to go explore the house, but does not like the dogs (they are big dogs and I think that scares her) and trying to fit in with the rest of the cats. Mostly hissing and a few swats but nothing serious, and I think a few a jealous of her. I think now that she has more energy they will come around to seeing her as a new playmate, she was mostly just sleeping and eating before.

There have been no more sightings of the other kittens, which is sad we can't save them all, though my husband is still upset he didn't just scoop them all up when he first saw them. There is sadly always going to be more cats then we can save though. My husband has set up a few feeding spots around the shop and out buildings, but it looks like people are allowing the cats into the heated shop, either people have given up or the cats are getting better at staying away from people, (they apparently get excited when they hear my husband though) so that's good since they kept getting tossed outside in the cold at first. :( It has warmed up a bit for now, but it's not even technically winter yet and I do live in northern Alberta, the worst of winter is still yet to come.

Here is another pic of her from yesterday you can see her eye is better. 😊
20221117_094111.jpg

Also in case anyone is curious, this is the mother. She is a tiny cat, the other one isn't much bigger either, I was able to hold both in my arms at the same time.
IMG_20221118_104126[1].jpg I think the owner/abandoner is back on a job up north (he doesn't always work on the same crew as my husband) so my husband hasn't been able to ask about the cats. I'm not even really sure what he should say, he doesn't want to end up being thought of as the guy that will take in cats people don't want (we really can't afford that). He isn't even telling anyone he is feeding them or that he took in one of the kittens (I honestly don't think anyone cares so he isn't going to get in trouble for it or anything like that).
 
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amethyst

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I think I may have been a bit too worried about her when she first arrived, lol. She is grow well and now looks and acts like a normal 10-12 week old kitten. She is up to 3lb (1360g) now and nearly doubled in size, it's like she is making up for lost time.

FreyaStanding.jpg

On a side note, my husband is going to try to catch the two adult cats and bring them home. The trick is going to be getting both at once, the mother cat is very friendly so should be easy to get but the other one wont even come near without her sister, so grabbing the mother and getting the other one later is unlikely to work. Apparently my hope that they were being let in the shop was wishful thinking, they are just getting better at avoiding people, when caught they are literally being tossed out the door (not put outside, thrown). :censored: They are friendly cats they don't deserve that. :disappointed: Some people shouldn't be allowed to have pets.
 
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amethyst

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Update on the adult cats...
The more skittish (but still very friendly once she realizes you aren't going to hurt her) adult cat was taken to the impound/local vet which will adopt her out or send her off to one of the rescues. My husband is on his way home with Freya's mother (I think he wants to keep her).

I'll just have to come up with a name now... :think:
 

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Oh, I'm sending all my thoughts and love to the skittish kitty. Good on your hubs, nice work!! ❤🙏❤🤞❤
 
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