4 week old kittens with lots of questions! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

I moved into a new apartment with my pregnant cat September. Abby is part siemese and she was a runt. She looked like she was less then one month pregnant when she had them. She was just over 2 months. She had her babies September 19th. They are adorable. They have the pointy teeth in and they are playing with eachother.

One problem is that Abby is so small that only 3 kittens can drink from her nipples at once leaving two crying. Not only this but her nipples are really big and saggy now. If I stand near her she will look at me and cry whiny meows as they feed. Almost like she is asking for help. I looked on the internet about introducing kittens to kitten food. Some said to crush up dry kitten food for them to nibble on on their own time. I was watching them eat it. Some were ok. Some had no interest. One had interest but choked on a piece and tries to cry for help to breath. I rubbed his throat until it went down. He did it again the next day. I then added cat milk formula to the food to make it sagy and warmed it. BUT they were in such a hurry to drink it down that they put their noses in and breathed in the milk.

They drink it normally if I hold them back a bit and only let one at a time so they dont harm themselves. Is there an easier way?

I want to help Abby out as much as possible.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 12:36 AM
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

Very adorable kittens!
I suppose they are a little too old to supplement with a bottle of KMR (kitten milk replacer), but you could give them canned food. Just mash it around the edges of a plate and let Abby clean up whatever they don't eat. Some kittens will begin to eat solid food (canned and very TINY pelleted dry food) at 4wks and some take a little longer, like up to 6wks, with around 4-5wks being the usual.

I like the Eukanuba kitten dry food because it is small round pellets that don't get tuck in their throat. It sounds like you were mashing up dry food whose pieces would be too big (normally) for a very small kitten? I would just find a kitten dry food that has very small and rounded shapes so they are easy to swallow with no chewing. It is also not recommended to moisten dry food with water or KMR unless you remove the wetted food after about 20min. The problem is the moisture activating any bacteria on the dry food and it multiplying and growing if left out to do so when the kittens don't eat all of it at once. Anyhow, I've always kept the Euk-kitten dry food available and fed canned food several times a day with a shallow bowl of water available, too.

Best of luck with them!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

Thanks for the info.
The first kitten picture is the kitten that chokes on the food. The food had three points. It is made for kittens and it was the only available kitten food at the time. I tried adding the cat milk. They enjoyed it alot. So did Abby. That was the problem, she ate it with them. Some still have no interest. It also seems like Abby is giving up on feeding them. I try to put her in the closet with them. (Walk in closet that I put some cardboard up so they dont get out at night) They are content but for Abby being a first time mother, does she think Im doing her full time job now?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 09:28 AM
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

When I first got my three fosters they were 4 weeks and had no mama (outside feral). I knew the normal kitten kibble was going to be too hard and large for them so I gave them kitten wet food and would soak the kibble in warm water and only give it to them once all the water had been absorbed by the kibble. I'd mash the soaked kibble up a little and then gave it them. The next day I then went out and bought Royal Canin Baby Cat. It has really small kibble that they can deal with without a problem.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

I have adult wet food right now until I get paid on the 31st. Will that be ok? Even the juice parts? I have shredded tuna, shredded turkey with gravy, beef stew, and beef and liver wet cat food. Ill try soaking the kitten food in warm water. Its IAMS kitten food that I have now.

They pee when I pick them up though. Its not much, but its still there. They sometimes will roll on their back and when you rub their bellys they will pee. Are they wanting me to help them? Or do they just have weak bladders. I have not seen any poo yet. But do they need help with that too?

My boyfriends sister found a 7 week old stray that she took in. She has worms and poos on the floor. We put her into some litter and she started eatting it. So what do I do with my little guys and when should it be ok to start training them? Do I just put newspaper down? They play with anything I put down. Even the carpet in the walkin closet.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 12:17 PM
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

The pee-ing part is just a natural reaction for right now, they will grow out of that when they mature. Abby is probably getting tired of being a mom and is begining the weaning process, part of which I think is to feed the kittens less milk so they will be hungry when she presents them with other foods to eat. Canned adult cat food is okay until your payday as long as they are still getting some nursing time from Abby.
The Iams kitten food is (IMO) more suited for already weaned (bigger) kittens than for ones transitioning from milk to kitten foods. I would try to find a kitten food with much smaller kibble and no corners, edges or triangles. Rounded and small is the best shape for them.

I wanted to add, I've always used a clumping cat litter for all of my cats/kittens and I've never had a problem, though I have read where some people have had a problem with kittens eating it. When I fostered, I always kept them (mother and kittens) in a bathroom with a sleeping area, food, water and the litterbox in the bottom of my shower, which has a low edge for kittens to be able to get in/out so they could follow mom into the box and see where she 'goes'. Kittens learn very fast how to use a litterbox, though they are a little messy at first. You could also use a shallow tray and towels, just washing and replacing the towels every day. It means a lot of laundry, though...

I wanted to add something else, too.
I would not feed those tiny kittens any of the 'shredded' canned foods. I think some of the pieces may be too large for their tiny mouths/teeth to handle. Feed the 'pate' type of canned food, just mash it up around the edges of a plate, and/or add some water to it to make it mushy and easy for them to eat and lap up. See how they like to eat it, try it regular first and if they have some difficulty, add a little bit of water when mashing it.
Tip: Place a large towel on the floor and the plate in the center so any spills will be on the towel and you can use the towel corners to clean the kittens feet and faces.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 06:43 PM
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

I would try using just wet food or even wet food mixed with KMR for now. When they are eating that well try the dry again. A good small, round dry food is called Before Grain.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 10:20 PM
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

I had a few suggestions also. First off, I would use a pate style as someone else mentioned, but I always had better luck putting down a whole bunch and letting mum eat some too. If you mash it up on a disposable pie plate then they can reach it and also watching mum eat it will give them the idea.

As for feeding them catmilk it's more for adult cats. If you think she's not giving them enough milk you may need to supplement. KMR is good, but they don't seem to like it. Just Born is another brand that my fosters liked better, but their overall favorite was a homemade recipe.

Kitten Formula:
1 can evaporated milk
1 can water
1 egg yolk
1 tsp karo/corn syrup

Mum will enjoy it too, and it'll give her some extra nutrients (she shouldn't have much of it though). Plus she'll teach them how to drink it. Always warm it a bit before you give it too them, kittens shouldn't eat anything cold!

As for litter training them I use Swheat scoop for all my cats, but especially the kittens. That way if they do nibble it it won't hurt them at all. For a litter pan get just a low litter tray. Mum will teach them to use it, but for a few days they may just go wherever they are. You can also get a pie plate and put litter in it. They will play in the box, but if the litter pan is low enough for them to reach they'll be more likely to use it.

And yes, they will play with everything. If you give them a few small toys...or a box with a few holes in it, they'll love it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 01:59 AM
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

I found this page with lots of good information about bottle feeding kittens.
Hope the above link helps you and your cute furry babies.
Here's a snippet from the linked page. Blue highlight gives a rich formula to feed them -
Originally Posted by www.2ndchance.info
Bottle Feeding:
I mix my milk formula just before I use it. A good kitten-nursing bottle holds 2-4 ounces of formula. They generally come without holes punched in the nipple. I use a flame-heated needle to melt two small holes in the cap. The holes should be only big enough so that a few drops of milk drip out when the bottle is vigorously shaken. If too many holes are punched in the cap the kittens tend to inhale the formula rather than ingest it. Add two volumes of boiled water to one volume of powder. Mix it well so there are no clumps. Let it cool until it is slightly above room temperature. Feed kitten while they are resting on their stomachs. Never feed them upright as you would a human infant. Gently insert the nipple into the kitten’s mouth using a prying motion while you apply pressure to the sides of the bottle to release a drop or two of milk. From then on the kitten should suck on its own.

We all have a tendency to over feed kittens. It is much safer to give them a little less than they desire. Over feeding can lead to pneumonia when milk is inhaled into the lungs rather then swallowed to the stomach. It is much safer to feed smaller amounts more frequently than larger amounts less frequently. If milk bubbles out of the kittens nose it is flowing too rapidly from the bottle. This is usually due to too large a hole(s) in the nipple or over feeding. I microwave a bowl of water and set the bottle in it to heat the formula to 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit before use.

(... edit)

If you live in a part of the world where kitten milk replacement is unavailable then feed a mixture of l cup of milk, one tablespoon corn oil, three egg yolks and three drops of pediatric multivitamins. For reasons I do not know, reconstituted powdered milk or reconstituted evaporated milk seem to work better than fresh whole cows milk. Kittens have a limited ability to digest the lactose or milk sugar in cow’s milk. This can lead to bloat and diarrhea problems. This problem can be solved by adding lactase enzyme to the formula if it is available in your part of the world.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 07:54 AM
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Re: 4 week old kittens with lots of questions!

Actually I have a four week old cats and I want to know about her feeding chart

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