weight fluctuation in young kittens/feeding questions

laccueildeschats

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Hello all. Some background : I'm fostering a sweet girl who just had her babies. I've fostered kittens/cats in the past but never new borns so bare with me.

She's pretty young, the shelter thinks maybe a year? And she had two litters one after the other before the rescue was able to get her. Poor thing was skin and bones. She had 8 kittens, unfortunately 3 didn't make it (one still born, 2 faded within the first couple of days).
The surviving kittens are now 11 days old. I weight them twice a day, in the am and pm. I don't necessarily weight them after a feeding. They've been gaining weight steadily, (from 80-90g on the 4th to 191 - 212g tonight). However iv noticed that a couple (the smallest) will lose between 2-4g in the evening compared to their morning weight and the next morning will have gained more (Ex one was 187 last night, 195 this am and 191 this pm).
I'm wondering if the fluctuation is normal? Should I supplement everyone with kmr a couple of times a day just to make sure their weight gain is constant?

They seem otherwise healthy. Their eyes are open now, they sleep well between feedings, not too much crying, and mama is a good mom, eating really well, drinking lots and staying close to them.
Thanks for your help!
 

Sarthur2

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A bit of fluctuation is normal, but I think supplementing them 2-3 times a day would help them and ease mom’s burden in providing enough milk for 5 kittens when she herself is skin and bones.

In fact, giving mom a dish or two of kitten formula daily will help provide the extra calcium she needs for nursing. She may also enjoy scrambled egg, plain, full fat yogurt, and boiled chicken and broth cooked with just salt to help her to gain weight.

The kittens should weigh 8 ounces at 2 weeks; 12 ounces at 3 weeks, and about one pound at 4 weeks, so the runts in particular may need extra.

Thank you for fostering and please keep us updated. It’s wonderful that you are helping this poor mom through her final litter.
 
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laccueildeschats

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A bit of fluctuation is normal, but I think supplementing them 2-3 times a day would help them and ease mom’s burden in providing enough milk for 5 kittens when she herself is skin and bones.

In fact, giving mom a dish or two of kitten formula daily will help provide the extra calcium she needs for nursing. She may also enjoy scrambled egg, plain, full fat yogurt, and boiled chicken and broth cooked with just salt to help her to gain weight.

The kittens should weigh 8 ounces at 2 weeks; 12 ounces at 3 weeks, and about one pound at 4 weeks, so the runts in particular may need extra.

Thank you for fostering and please keep us updated. It’s wonderful that you are helping this poor mom through her final litter.
 
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laccueildeschats

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Thank you so much.i did try to get mama to snack on formula, mixing it with wet food, canned salmon,treats, but she is not interested at all lol. I'll try to scrambled eggs, chicken and yogurt trick. She does eat a good quality kitten food, and lots of it, plus wet food when she feels like it (I tried several types and she seems to get bored of it fast).
I'll work on feeding the smallest ones starting tomorrow to assist on weight gain.
 
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laccueildeschats

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Ok so the little ones gained more weight this am. I still tried to feed them and they are not having it, I'm worried about them choking so I will try again later. However mama chills with me when I weight them so I just put the small kitten to the snack bar and she let it feed extra. Is that a good thing or detrimental to the others? I'm just giving mama extra attention, treats and love when she feeds the small one.
Also I found that putting mamas fav treat in a dish with kmr makes her eat it all so that's great, she's had about 2 table spoons total. I'll keep it up she seems to enjoy it.
 

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Ok so the little ones gained more weight this am. I still tried to feed them and they are not having it, I'm worried about them choking so I will try again later. However mama chills with me when I weight them so I just put the small kitten to the snack bar and she let it feed extra. Is that a good thing or detrimental to the others? I'm just giving mama extra attention, treats and love when she feeds the small one.
Also I found that putting mamas fav treat in a dish with kmr makes her eat it all so that's great, she's had about 2 table spoons total. I'll keep it up she seems to enjoy it.
If I interpet your info correctly, they ALL gain slightly above 10 g a day? If so, extra supplenting really not necessary. 10+ a day is counted as sound raise, especielly if they were smallish to start.... The fact some kittens adds 20+, as we hear some kittens do with other moms, is sooner an individual trait than a necessity for all.

ps. Fluctuations during 24 hours may happen, its OK, main thing is the overall 24 hours gives a steady raise, of preferably 10+ grammes.
The fluctuations is the reason why its best to always measure at the same point in the day... So everything is same as usual, and thus, comparable.

So, if you supplement the kittens, its really to help momma more than a necessity for the kittens.

For momma, if she doesnt like taste of kmr, you can try with goats milk... Its not better than a good kmr, but its cheaper - and tastes somewhat differently....

The mentioned full fat youghurt if nice; and also contains some probiotica bacteries.

But yeah, little darling whom already had 2 (or 3?) litters, and were more or less emaciated, she does needs help, and put into her everything you can...

A nice vitamine paste is also good... In healthy cats vitamine paste is seldom necessary, but in cases as here - it may be a good help.


Ps. 5 kittens isnt too much at the same sitting, especielly if she is a good and patient momma.
But if there is any fighing, it MAY be a good idea to rotate them; 2 of the smallest getting quality time with momma, while biggies sleep nearby, and swithch after a while.
 
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laccueildeschats

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Sorry. Trying to respond on my phone is a pain. So here's the weight gain from yesterday to this am from smallest to biggest. Yesterday am 192g, 198g, 206g, 216g, 220g. This am 198g, 217g, 229g,236g, 237g. And yes I weighted twice lol. everyone is gaining about 10-15g except the runt. We are hunkering down for a hurricane here but I will go to the store and get yogurt and goats milk. I'm in the Canadian country side but hopefully the organic section as things I can use.
 
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laccueildeschats

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Sorry. Trying to respond on my phone is a pain. So here's the weight gain from yesterday to this am from smallest to biggest. Yesterday am 192g, 198g, 206g, 216g, 220g. This am 198g, 217g, 229g,236g, 237g. And yes I weighted twice lol. everyone is gaining about 10-15g except the runt. We are hunkering down for a hurricane here but I will go to the store and get yogurt and goats milk. I'm in the Canadian country side but hopefully the organic section as things I can use.
Also mom went from 3.8kg after the babies to now 4.2kg.
 

Sarthur2

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I agree, they are all gaining quite nicely. Continue letting the runt get an extra feed from mom here and there and all should be well.

I hope you weather the storm comfortably. I live in Florida and we just dealt with Hurricane Idalia. Do keep us posted!
 

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6 g gain for runt is less than ideal, but not alarming... If you can manage to raise it by extra care, supplenting hopefully is not necessary. (handfeeding HAS some extra risk if unlucky). But yeah, if you dont manage to raise to better adding in a day or two, consider supplementing. Willy nilly, it may be necessary it there is just barely 6g a day many days running.
 

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Sorry. Trying to respond on my phone is a pain. So here's the weight gain from yesterday to this am from smallest to biggest. Yesterday am 192g, 198g, 206g, 216g, 220g. This am 198g, 217g, 229g,236g, 237g. And yes I weighted twice lol. everyone is gaining about 10-15g except the runt. We are hunkering down for a hurricane here but I will go to the store and get yogurt and goats milk. I'm in the Canadian country side but hopefully the organic section as things I can use.
Thank you! Yeah as StefanZ said, it's pretty much expected that the runt would gain less, but we don't want it to gain too little for too long. It would be good if you could keep an eye on it during feedings to make sure it's not getting pushed out the way by the bigguns, maybe cup your hands around it while it eats so the others can't get to it.
 
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laccueildeschats

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Thank you! Yeah as StefanZ said, it's pretty much expected that the runt would gain less, but we don't want it to gain too little for too long. It would be good if you could keep an eye on it during feedings to make sure it's not getting pushed out the way by the bigguns, maybe cup your hands around it while it eats so the others can't get to it.
I've been trying to do that, but I don't want to upset mum to much. The runt is now over 200g so im crossing my fingers she keeps up. Mum is getting yogurt, krm, kitten wet and dry food and plenty of water so hopefully
 
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laccueildeschats

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Lol those lil beasts just realized they have legs and started to ascend their nest box wall. I scrambled to fix it and sent the reply too soon. But yes hopefully mum will be able to feed everyone without me intervening too much.
 
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laccueildeschats

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Sorry. Trying to respond on my phone is a pain. So here's the weight gain from yesterday to this am from smallest to biggest. Yesterday am 192g, 198g, 206g, 216g, 220g. This am 198g, 217g, 229g,236g, 237g. And yes I weighted twice lol. everyone is gaining about 10-15g except the runt. We are hunkering down for a hurricane here but I will go to the store and get yogurt and goats milk. I'm in the Canadian country side but hopefully the organic section as things I can use.
Weights this am : 209g, 240g, 245g, 253g and 246g. So everyone gained at least 9-10g, including the runt. The biggest is only up 9g but still everyone except the tiny one is gaining weight and hit their 8 oz mark at 13 days. Tentatively happy and hopeful.
 
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