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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Need help ASAP

I found another feral kitten just outside my house. It's more or less 3 days old and has been abandoned by its mother so I decided to take it in. I've been monitoring it for 8 hours already as well as feeding it formula every 2 hours but this kitten doesn't eat at all! I don't know what I'm doing wrong, maybe it's the formula temp or the way I feed it? I'm afraid it might starve itself to death.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 02:12 PM
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Have you found what is wrong? Is the nipple large enough? You may want to try cutting tiny slits in the nipple end so more formula flows. He may be weak and not able to suckle well. If the mother abandoned it there is usually a good reason, sick, weak, etc. You may need a vet to intervene. Formula temp should be no more than 100 degrees (body temp in cat). You could try using a liquid syringe to get some formula onto it's tongue and see if it laps it down. DON'T squirt it down it's throat, just to the inside of the mouth. Let the kitten do the work of getting it down.

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Last edited by Marcia; 08-29-2013 at 02:15 PM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 02:34 PM
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When kittens are very young, their digestive systems don't work if their body temperature drops too low; if this happens, the kitten will not eat and assist feeding will not be affective. You need to warm up the kitten asap, as kittens this young can deteriorate very quickly! If your kitten does not begin eating on it's own very soon, you may have to take it to the vet to be tube fed.

This site has some good information on handrearing, including creating a set up using a heating pad that will keep your kitten from getting too cold or overheating. Hand Raising & Bottle Feeding Orphaned Kittens

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Last edited by dt8thd; 08-29-2013 at 02:36 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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@Marcia, I used a syringe and she seems to be taking down the milk. As I was feeding her though I noticed that her lower belly (the area below her navel) seems discolored in a blueish- grey.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 03:44 PM
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Josh, can't help with that. May be trauma, I just don't know. If you feel unsure about this poor baby take her to a vet just for an evaluation. She may start to bounce back once the nourishment hits her system. Poor thing - I hope she makes it. Pic?

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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This is her. She's a cute little girl. I'd be heartbroken if she doesn't make it. It's currently 5:00am here and I just finished feeding her. She seems to be getting used to hand feeding but I'm thinking of switching to a bottle because as I was feeding her using the syringe, I noticed that she was trying to suckle on it.
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I thought a pic of her face was in order hahaha


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 04:52 PM
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Josh, She is just an itty bitty cutie!
All Paws crossed here for you!

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 05:00 PM
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AWWW!, yes, I know what you mean. We get SO attached so quickly don't we?! Yes, try the bottle again. It will get more into her (are you sure it's a her?) and nutrition and strength is what we need right now! How about a hot water bottle to keep her warm? Or a heating pad on low under many layers of blanket (direct contact is too hot). Use a warm wash cloth to stimulate her anus and imitate licking all over her body, too. LOTS of work with new kittens but it's worth it. Keep us posted, you're doing a great job dad!!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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7Cats2Dogs, thank you! I'm really hoping she'll make it.

Marcia, I'm almost certain that it's a she. I don't notice a penis and I see some teats around her lower stomach area but I'll be sure to keep tabs on that.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 06:37 PM
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All cats have nipples, just like all people do. Nipples don't do any good in indicating gender.

You wouldn't see a penis if it was a male, cats - especially kittens - are tough to tell apart sometimes. That being said, the majority (+75%) of orange cats are male since it's a sex-linked color. I'm not going to go into the details of it, and it is possible your kitten is female if her mother was orange.

Anyways, how to tell them apart: Sexing Kittens - tips and hints to determine the sex of your kitten or cat.

To completely over-simplify things ( ) when you hold the kitten facing away from you with their belly facing the ground a male's rear will look like this : ( two dots, with a space between) and a female's will look like and upside-down exclamation point (a dot, with a line just below it).

I'm glad your kitten has started suckling, sometimes the difference between formula and their mother's milk is too big for them to catch on quickly. I've found kittens prefer Just Born formula, and don't tend to like other brands...you can cheat and add a TINY (less than peas sized) drop of corn syrup to the formula to sweeten it if the kitten becomes fussy again. It's a good trick to get them going if you need to, but if the kitten is eating fine it's better not to.
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