Bottle feeding - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-03-2007, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
Kitten
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5
Bottle feeding

Ok, no sooner does one problem get resolved, does the full moon pop up another.

My younger new mother gave birth on may 30th. Like I said, I was worried about her spastic attitude unlike my other devoted mother. She doesn't appear to be producing milk very well, but is still nursing her kittens. They appear to be swallowing and getting milk, but she jumps up and tries to get out of the room even if they are not finished. I always prompt her to finish her feedings, and she does, but she isn't as concerned about their cries as my experienced mother is.

They all appeared fine last night, but not this morning. I checked in to find one passed on during the night, and one was very listless. I tried to bottle feed him, but he passed on in my hands. I didn't even get a chance to give him any type of sugar.

I tried to allow the other mother to nurse, which worked only one time, before both mothers realized what happened and panicked. I put all back to normal, and have been supplementing the kittens with formula feedings. Mom is still "nursing", but her breasts just don't feel like they have much at all.

Do you have any suggestions to proper feeding and techniques to get them to latch on? Sometimes, they just latch on easily, other times they chew on the nipple and swallow the formula with each chew.

I have stimulated urination in each one, but no feces yet. When should I expect that?

Should I continue every two hours as I have been, or allow more time for mom? Is there any way to stimulate her milk production considering she is nursing them still? Am I going to take away from her production by supplementing them?

Sorry guys, I thought I had it covered when I allowed them to mate. I didn't expect for every situation I haven't encountered to happen all at once. It was defestating to lose those little guys. I don't wan't to lose anymore.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 02:14 PM
Sol
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,169
Instead of writing it all myself, I'm taking the liberty to copy from http://cats.about.com/cs/kittencare/ht/bottlefeed.htm.

1. Prepare your supplies. Sterilize the kitten-sized baby bottles and nipples in a boiling water bath for about 5 minutes. Cool before using. Place a large towel, a rough-textured washcloth and a bowl of warm water on a table next to a comfortable chair.
2. Fill bottle with desired amount (see tips) of commercial kitten milk replacement such as KMR, or an emergency formula if you can't get to a pet food store right away. Warm the formula by placing the bottle in a bowl of very hot water, then test it against your forearm. It should be 95° to 100° fahrenheit, or approximately body temperature. Test the nipple to ensure the flow is just right.
3. Sit in the chair with the towel folded in your lap. Place the kitten prone (face down) on your lap. Make sure the kitten is warm before feeding. Feeding formula to a cold kitten can cause serious digestive problems. Without raising the kitten's head, place the nipple in his mouth. He should start nursing right away. If all goes well, let him continue nursing until finished. Do not overfeed.
4. If the kitten does not start nursing right away, or if he seems to have trouble getting the milk, check the nipple again. It should not drip milk when held upside down, but should drip given a small amount of pressure. It may also be helpful to stroke his head or gently pet his back to start his nursing reflexes, but once he gets the idea, he will nurse readily.
5. Much like human babies, kittens may need "burping" after nursing. This is best accomplished by holding one hand under his abdomen and gently patting his upper back. Not too hard - you don't want him to vomit. If he doesn't burp right away, go to step #6.
6. The mother cat will stimulate her kitten's elimination by licking his anus and genital area with her rough tongue. You can emulate this process with a warm, damp, rough washcloth or dampened paper towel. It may take a couple of feedings to see results, so don't despair if he doesn't defecate right away. Urinating may take a bit longer.
7. Your kitten will want to sleep after nursing, so put him back into his bed to let him sleep undisturbed.
8. Your newborn kitten will need approximately 32 cc (1.1 oz.) of formula a day, divided into 9 - 12 feedings a day, depending on his size and condition. Count on feeding him every two hours or so, around the clock, for starters. Yes, it's a demanding job, but intensely rewarding to watch your newborn develop and grow.

Tips:

1. In a pinch, if you can't get kitten baby bottles, an eye dropper will do. Be very careful to drop only a very small amount on the kitten's tongue to avoid aspiration of the formula into his lungs.
2. Weigh your kitten every day, on a food scale covered with a clean cloth. He should gain 1/2 oz. ever day for about the first two weeks.
3. Buy several bottles and nipples, then sterilize and fill a number of them at once, and refrigerate. Warm as needed, following the directions above.
4. Proper positioning of the kitten is critical. Raising his head may cause aspiration of the formula into the kitten's lungs, which could be fatal.

What You Need:

* Commercial Milk Replacer
* Nursing Bottles & Nipples
* Soft towels
* Coarse wash rag
* Paper Towels
* Kitchen Scale


I'd definately recommend to feed every second hour. Keep an eye on the tummies. As long as they're not hard/bloated there should be no problem with the "no feces thing", the mother might be doing the deed herself. I've bottlefed one kitten in my last litter and the mother took care of all the urine and feces.
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