Rescue kitty and babies!

CAurora

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Hi cat friends, I’m a long time lurker of this site but finally decided to make my own account.

I recently rescued a stray cat and then found out after that she was pregnant (eek!). The kittens -there’s 5- are now 4 1/2 weeks old. I’ve been taking a lot of advice fromThe Kitten Lady on youtube, and they all seem happy and healthy. The birth was one of the most wonderful things I’ve experienced, and I’m having a blast learning how to be a good caregiver for mom and her babies!

Since they have their molars (at least some of them do, I haven’t been able to check all mouths yet lol) I decided it might be a good time to start offering them canned kitten pate, it’s wellness brand. Mom is currently eating that as well as dry kitten food. The thing is, I’ll set some out for mom and some for the kittens, and mom will eat her serving as well as theirs! I’m thinking maybe she feels as though they’re not ready to wean, but she also hasn’t been teaching them how to use the litter box, and I’ve had to set out puppy pads everywhere to protect my carpet. :( they just started using the bathroom on their own within the last few days, so maybe I’m just being impatient?

Mom does seem pretty young herself, maybe 18 months, so maybe she doesn’t have this mothering thing down 100% yet. Should I just be patient and trust that she’ll teach them, or should I intervene somehow?

pictured is mom-Milo, and a couple of the babies- Samson (White) and Frannie (spotted).
 

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CAurora

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ANOTHER THING I SHOULD ADD:

The kittens have two boxes in their room that contain feline pine litter. They do get inside the box to dig and play, but end up peeing on the puppy pads outside of the box.
 

tabbytom

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I recently rescued a stray cat and then found out after that she was pregnant (eek!). The kittens -there’s 5- are now 4 1/2 weeks old. I’ve been taking a lot of advice fromThe Kitten Lady on youtube, and they all seem happy and healthy. The birth was one of the most wonderful things I’ve experienced, and I’m having a blast learning how to be a good caregiver for mom and her babies!

Since they have their molars (at least some of them do, I haven’t been able to check all mouths yet lol) I decided it might be a good time to start offering them canned kitten pate, it’s wellness brand. Mom is currently eating that as well as dry kitten food. The thing is, I’ll set some out for mom and some for the kittens, and mom will eat her serving as well as theirs! I’m thinking maybe she feels as though they’re not ready to wean, but she also hasn’t been teaching them how to use the litter box, and I’ve had to set out puppy pads everywhere to protect my carpet. :( they just started using the bathroom on their own within the last few days, so maybe I’m just being impatient?
:hellosmiley: and welcome to TCS!

Thank you so much for rescuing this kitty family and for giving them a warm and fur-ever loving home and a safe sanctuary for them to live out their lives :clapcat:

A kitten needs to depend mother's milk till at least they are 8 - 10 weeks old as mother's milk is full of nutrients. You may leave some wet food for them but they still need their mother's milk. After that period of time, they'll wean off naturally.

Since you have them indoors, please keep them indoors and do not let them out especially the momma cat as she can get pregnant again and you don't want unwanted kittens. Once the kittens have weaned off round 8 weeks, please have momma cat spayed to prevent an unwanted pregnancy if she happens to venture out again but best is keep them indoors and not lest them roam. Now with the kittens and all, it is easier to have them kept indoors and there's no need to trap them again and it may not be easy to trap them.

Do keep us updated of the progress.
 
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CAurora

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Oh of course— I live in an apartment on the third floor so there’s no where for mom to go, not that she seems interested! :lol: Babies will be staying with me for quite a while longer. My question was more that mom keeps eating any of the food I set out for the kittens to explore in.. by the time they notice it and become interested, it’s gone. Is this normal behavior?
 

StefanZ

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I suppose she is used food is scarce, and you must eat when you can...
Moms tends to make sure there is food for her childs, but yes, here seems to be an exception.

Perhaps make sure her bowl is always full? So she knows she always has food.
 

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My mama cat is doing exactly the same! She literally eats every last bit and I wasn't sure either if she should be teaching them to eat from the bowl or they just learn themselves 😕
Frustratingly she is wanting to feed them less often even when they are hungry, I suspected she is maybe trying to wean them onto solids? Is your mama like this now? (Our kittens are 5wks) but they ain't remotely interested in food well apart from 1 who has taken to eating the odd dry food here and there.
Has for the toileting, I'm in a similar situation, they do sometimes use the litter box but more often than not are peeing on the puppy pads and blankets, Frustrating hey. Sorry I don't have any advise, I'm just on toilet watch and if I see them look like they want to go place them in the box and help them dig a hole, it works sometimes.
Do yours poop by themselves? I'm yet to see ours do that, my mama cat is obviously still doing theirs.
 
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CAurora

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She’s definitely feeding them less, but they never seem hungry.
And no, I haven’t seen any poops yet! Maybe that when they’ll start to understand. I have hope lol.
 
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CAurora

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My mama cat is doing exactly the same! She literally eats every last bit and I wasn't sure either if she should be teaching them to eat from the bowl or they just learn themselves 😕
Frustratingly she is wanting to feed them less often even when they are hungry, I suspected she is maybe trying to wean them onto solids? Is your mama like this now? (Our kittens are 5wks) but they ain't remotely interested in food well apart from 1 who has taken to eating the odd dry food here and there.
Has for the toileting, I'm in a similar situation, they do sometimes use the litter box but more often than not are peeing on the puppy pads and blankets, Frustrating hey. Sorry I don't have any advise, I'm just on toilet watch and if I see them look like they want to go place them in the box and help them dig a hole, it works sometimes.
Do yours poop by themselves? I'm yet to see ours do that, my mama cat is obviously still doing theirs.
Sorry, meant to reply to you — still getting used to the site lol. Mom is definitely feeding less but babies never seem hungry. She’s a very attentive, sometimes anxious mom, so as soon as she hears a cry she runs to them.
As for the poops, I a haven’t seen any. Maybe when they realize they can bury their poop they’ll understand that the box is the bathroom place? We’ll see 😬
 
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CAurora

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I suppose she is used food is scarce, and you must eat when you can...
Moms tends to make sure there is food for her childs, but yes, here seems to be an exception.

Perhaps make sure her bowl is always full? So she knows she always has food.
So mom gets canned food in the morning, and has as much dry food as she wants throughout the day. She does always have food available, but I think she likes the canned food more and gobbles it up as soon as she sees it! Today we got her a bowl of canned food, got her settled eating, then I brought out a smaller portion for the babies to sniff and maybe pick at — she immediately left her bowl of the exact same food to eat the babies portion. I’m thinking maybe meal times will just have to be more delicately supervised. :lol:
 

Kittycatcat

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Sorry, meant to reply to you — still getting used to the site lol. Mom is definitely feeding less but babies never seem hungry. She’s a very attentive, sometimes anxious mom, so as soon as she hears a cry she runs to them.
As for the poops, I a haven’t seen any. Maybe when they realize they can bury their poop they’ll understand that the box is the bathroom place? We’ll see 😬
So since I posted, the little boy who occasionally eats the odd dry food has had his first poo by himself, on his blanket and not the litter tray thankfully toothpaste consistency so easy to remove. Its going to be messy these next few weeks, good luck with yours, if you find anything that works in training them please do let me know 😉
Also with weaning has ours are of similar age.
 

di and bob

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They are not much interested in solid food at that age, and mama will keep cleaning them up when they poo until they start eating solid food. I always thinned down the wet cat food (pate) and put a small dab on their lips so they would lick it off, which usually got them started. They will make a huge mess before they get the hang of it. Get some small, dessert sized styrofoam plates and put their food on several of them. She can't eat off of all of them at once. Quickly put a dab on a baby's lips and offer them a plate. The plates can be washed in hot soapy water and reused.
 

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So mom gets canned food in the morning, and has as much dry food as she wants throughout the day. She does always have food available, but I think she likes the canned food more and gobbles it up as soon as she sees it! Today we got her a bowl of canned food, got her settled eating, then I brought out a smaller portion for the babies to sniff and maybe pick at — she immediately left her bowl of the exact same food to eat the babies portion. I’m thinking maybe meal times will just have to be more delicately supervised. :lol:
Maybe have the babies in a separate room when letting them explore the food? So Momma can't get to it before them. Good luck with whatever you end up doing.
 

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Mom looks barely a year old, and a bit thin. Nursing is hard work. If you can afford it, she needs 3 cans a day for now. You’ll see her appetite decrease when she is no longer nursing and is spayed, but nursing moms need extra nutrition. This is why she’s eating the kittens’ food - she’s hungry, especially for wet food. You can also offer mom boiled chicken, yogurt, cheese, and scrambled eggs.

Kittens wean more easily at 6-7 weeks, especially when they have a mom. They have baby teeth right now. They will lose those and get incisors in a few weeks. Kittens will eat slurry from a flat plate when they are ready, some earlier than others.

You will want to start putting the kittens in the kitten sized litter box before and after meals, and at other times throughout the day. This is similar to weaning in that they learn the box quickly when they are ready, and it tends to coincide with weaning to soft foods. Like toddlers, they may still have accidents even when they know better. You may want to try a softer litter material, and Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract litter is an excellent choice.

Kittens are messy, but you will see improvement in the next couple of weeks on all fronts. Enjoy this stage as they grow up so fast! :)
 
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CAurora

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So since I posted, the little boy who occasionally eats the odd dry food has had his first poo by himself, on his blanket and not the litter tray thankfully toothpaste consistency so easy to remove. Its going to be messy these next few weeks, good luck with yours, if you find anything that works in training them please do let me know 😉
Also with weaning has ours are of similar age.
Going to the pet store here in a few minutes to get a wheat or corn litter. I wonder if they maybe see the pellets as a toy and need something “sandier”
to understand, as they play in the little box a lot! We’ll see! They’re also just learning this week, so I’m sure they’ll get it eventually.
As far as weaning goes, I put a bit of the canned food on my finger this morning and got some licks, and a few nibbles. I just have to supervise and redirect mom back to her bowl when she tries to eat the kittens’ food.
 

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Going to the pet store here in a few minutes to get a wheat or corn litter........./QUOTE]


Hey - perhaps hold on that for a little bit 'till you could get some 'expert' opinions on that?

You wouldn't want them eating it.......which, I think, could happen. It happened to me years ago with adult cats!
.
 

Kittycatcat

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Going to the pet store here in a few minutes to get a wheat or corn litter. I wonder if they maybe see the pellets as a toy and need something “sandier”
to understand, as they play in the little box a lot! We’ll see! They’re also just learning this week, so I’m sure they’ll get it eventually.
As far as weaning goes, I put a bit of the canned food on my finger this morning and got some licks, and a few nibbles. I just have to supervise and redirect mom back to her bowl when she tries to eat the kittens’ food.
I'm now thinking my choice of litter might not be the best one although they are using it occasionally. Mama cat has the sand sort but its clumping so I keep that in the bathroom so the kittens don't get to it as I know that's unsafe. Do let me know how the litter change goes.
As for weaning mine ain't interested yet even when offered by finger, it's strange how the little boy will munch some biscuits though, I thought wet food would come first.
 
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CAurora

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I’ve actually read that wheat and corn litters are safe for kittens, are they not? I’m no expert, that’s for sure!
 
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CAurora

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I'm now thinking my choice of litter might not be the best one although they are using it occasionally. Mama cat has the sand sort but its clumping so I keep that in the bathroom so the kittens don't get to it as I know that's unsafe. Do let me know how the litter change goes.
As for weaning mine ain't interested yet even when offered by finger, it's strange how the little boy will munch some biscuits though, I thought wet food would come first.
I just tried to get them to lick it a bit more and they weren’t interested. I did also find another pee puddle, well actually I sat in it before I saw it, soaked it up in a tissue and put it in the litter box. They’re all make their rounds to check it out now, so maybe I’m on to something!
 
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CAurora

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Alright just got off the phone with my vet, they said *most* (key word most, not all) of the time, any type of litter can be used for the kittens. Unless you have a particularly rambunctious kitten they won’t eat enough of it to be any more harmful than other litters.
Google is telling me that corn and wheat are safe since they can be digested, so I think I’ll start there as the clay litter still worries me a bit since I can’t have constant supervision on these kittens.
 
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