Need advice for two three week old kittens... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice for two three week old kittens...

Greetings all...

A little background first. I worked as a vet tech for 12 years and raised several abandoned kittens during that time. So in most regards I have plenty of experience, and all the right equpment on hand. (Actually, to raise these two I added an "inverter" to my equipment, so that I can run a heating pad from the power outlet in my car. No more leaky hot water bottles for me!)

Yesterday, I came into possession of 2 kittens, and the rescue group that gave them to me estimate that they are about three weeks old.

The mother cat apparently had a neglectful owner who ignored a cut leg until it was so infected that it smelled. The owner finally took the mother somewhere for treatment, then abandoned the mother cat and her kittens at the clinic. The rescue group stepped in, and now the mother cat is on some hefty medications, and the kittens were removed so she can get well (and also to prevent the kittens from being exposed to the meds).

So, I have two kittens from a less than ideal start. They are doing very well, although one prefers to chew on the nipple rather than suck, which I have not seen before.

My first question regards fleas. When I worked for a vet clinic, we had a spray-on veterinary product that was safe for even very young kittens. But I can't remember the name, and that was 5 years ago so it may not even exist anymore anyway...what can I use? (Yes, I tried the flea comb with soapy water method, and did catch a few. But the rest are VERY tiny, and fast!)

Second, when should I worm these guys? Is there an over the counter product out there that is safe, and works? (I will be taking them to the vet at some point, but it will be a week or two before I will have the money.) I am drawing a complete blank on how/when I did this back when I worked in that world.

I am sure I will have some other questions in time, but that is all for now.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 06:20 PM
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The Urban Cat League shows in their video how to get rid of fleas and said they use capstar. We buy Panacur C for deworming. You can get it on the internet cheaper than at a vets.

Tough Love: Socializing Feral Kittens (Part 1 of 3) - YouTube

good luck with the kittens. You are so wonderful for taking them in. I hope the mom is recovering without problems.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 07:24 PM
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I'm pretty sure you can use regular dawn dishsoap and a bath to get rid of fleas on kittens of any age...another member had flea-covered kittens and did something like 3 baths to get rid of all the fleas. We don't really have fleas here...so that's pretty much all I've got, lol.

For working though I'd personally wait until 6 weeks unless they're really badly infested. That's what I always did when I was rescuing. I'd just wait until you chat with the vet on that one, and keep the babies away from any resident pets of course.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:21 PM
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In the past when I've had youngsters with fleas, the shelter has had me wait to give them capstar until they were 5 weeks old. And in the mean time, they've just told me to flea comb and use soapy water like you're already doing. I use strongid for worms and I start giving that to them around 4 weeks. It's 1 dose (.1 mL per lb, and a 4 week old should be roughly 1 pound) every 10-14 days x 3 doses. Make sure it's cat strongid though (they also sell it for horses and other animals).


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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OK, well the flea problem is diminishing. The flea combing seems to be cutting down on the numbers and we have put Frontline Plus on our other 3 cats. Hopefully we have nipped any big problems in the bud.

But now I have another issue. Two days ago I discovered one of the kittens "nursing" on the other. Both are boys, so I think you can see what was really happening. This explains some things that I had noticed earlier, but had no answers for...like why one or the other would simply turn down a meal periodically, and why one or the other had no pee to release when I cleaned him with a wet cotton ball.

For now, I am keeping them separate unless I can be right with them and supervise. I hate doing this because they enjoy each others company. But refusing formula because you have a belly full of pee cannot be healthy in the long run!

What an I doing wrong? Should I be feeding them more often? Less often? I am doing three hours between feedings, but that gets stretched to every 4 hours at night. I had this exact problem with my first pair of boy kittens thirteen years ago. I was able to sew little panties for them that shielded the area, and that helped a lot. But these kittens are already producing mostly formed bowel movements, both on their own and with my help. So panties would just be a terrible mess.

Thoughts? Anyone?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 06:53 PM
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I think the recommended feeding is every 2hrs....
I hope others will have some suggestions for you!

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 07:33 PM
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Hi when I rescued my kitty I was told to feed little and often. I made up a big jug of milk and kept it in the fridge then fed 20mls of milk and fed every 90 mins or so depending on their size they may not drink that much but when they do have warm full tummys they should sleep better together but if you do have to seperate them try adding a teddy or rolled up pair of socks for company for the boys they should snuggle up and go back to sleep. Hope this helps
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glassbird View Post
But now I have another issue. Two days ago I discovered one of the kittens "nursing" on the other. Both are boys, so I think you can see what was really happening. This explains some things that I had noticed earlier, but had no answers for...like why one or the other would simply turn down a meal periodically, and why one or the other had no pee to release when I cleaned him with a wet cotton ball.

For now, I am keeping them separate unless I can be right with them and supervise. I hate doing this because they enjoy each others company. But refusing formula because you have a belly full of pee cannot be healthy in the long run!
It actually isn't uncommon. Kittens don't just suckle for food, they also do it for comfort.
saw something ages ago specifically designed to prevent this, and it seemed very simple.

You need:
-a sock
-things to stuff into the sock...it will need to be fairly firmly stuffed, so 2-3 other socks.
-2-4 extra nipples from kitten bottles with NO hole! It's very important they have no hole. (You can usually buy 4 packs of nipples at pet stores or vet clinics)

Cut teeny, tiny holes - smaller than you think is necessary - in the first sock. Stick the nipple tips through the holes, the larger backs should hold them in place. Stuff the sock very tightly so the nipples can't slip out. Tie a knot in the top of the sock to hold it all together.

Tada! Multi-kitten smoother. They can suck on it now instead of each other, and when they start teething they can chew it to help cut their teeth.

I only had a single bottle baby, so I just gave him an extra nipple without the sock...but I think it'd work better and they'd feel more comfortable if they could knead it as well.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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I put them together for about an hour after feeding...at that point their bellies are full, and their bladders are pretty much empty. They sometimes play, sometimes just sleep. During the second hour I leave them together as long as I can watch them. If I can't watch them for some reason then I put them in separate areas.

I have created a 3 foot by 3 foot "playpen" in one corner of my bed room with toys, and a litter box, and several small towels. I also add a recently worn shirt of mine...they seem to find that extra nice to snuggle with. So if they need to be separated one goes in there and the other has free run of my room (with toys, litter box, and another shirt). I make sure that they take turns in the playpen.

Then I feed them and do the same routine again. That is the program at home. When I go to work, they each have their own crate, with towels and toys. I have to work when I am at work, so I can't supervise them...hence the crates. But I can look in on them frequently, and feed every three hours. Then we zip home, eat, snuggle, separate, etc.

I could try going back to feeding every 2 hours. But they seemed less interested in eating on that schedule. Maybe they were "snacking" then too, and I just did not see it. Eating real formula every two hours might be different (without snacking). But by three weeks of age (almost 4) do they need to be fed that frequently?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
It actually isn't uncommon. Kittens don't just suckle for food, they also do it for comfort.
saw something ages ago specifically designed to prevent this, and it seemed very simple.

You need:
-a sock
-things to stuff into the sock...it will need to be fairly firmly stuffed, so 2-3 other socks.
-2-4 extra nipples from kitten bottles with NO hole! It's very important they have no hole. (You can usually buy 4 packs of nipples at pet stores or vet clinics)

Cut teeny, tiny holes - smaller than you think is necessary - in the first sock. Stick the nipple tips through the holes, the larger backs should hold them in place. Stuff the sock very tightly so the nipples can't slip out. Tie a knot in the top of the sock to hold it all together.

Tada! Multi-kitten smoother. They can suck on it now instead of each other, and when they start teething they can chew it to help cut their teeth.

I only had a single bottle baby, so I just gave him an extra nipple without the sock...but I think it'd work better and they'd feel more comfortable if they could knead it as well.
A HA! This I can do! I bet they will still prefer each other if they are together, but I could make two and have one in the play pen and one (or more) on the floor of my bedroom! I am wicked crafty, so I can run with this! THANK YOU! (A kitten pacifier, why did I not think of that?)
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