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Discussion Starter #1
I was not sure where the appropriate place was to put this, please let me know if otherwise.

I have a question about bottle feeding.
I recently adopted a 3-4 week old kitten from a friend/acquaintance. She was found in their yard by their dog, no mother cat in sight. The dog apparently was moments from eating her.
Anyways, I am a bird person. I rescue and sometimes work out of a bird organization, hand feeding them, so this kitten thing is still a bit new to me.
Each time I feed her, she bites the nipple so hard that she practically rips them in half. I don't want them breaking off, so I have to replace the nipple each feeding which adds up when I am feeding her about every 4 hours.
For being so little, she is quite aggressive. Growls, scratches and goes crazy at feeding time.
Any suggestions or is this normal?
Thank you in advance.

I've also started to introduce her to Fancy Feast kitten food mixed with formula.

Here's a couple photos of both my daughter and I feeding her.. This is after she has calmed down when her belly starts to get full.
 

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Try putting the milk in a saucer and see if she will lap it up on her own. You may try mixing some kitten milk and kitten canned food and see if she will eat. I have a little foster right now that I though was going to die because I did not see her nursing and refused the bottle. Turns out she had weaned herself and was already eating wet cat food from the mom's dish. If this does not work maybe using a plastic dropper would work. It will be slower but she won't be able to bite through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She will eat some wet kitten food in a saucer if I mix it with her formula, but she is still very dependent on her bottle. The woman that gave her to me was also feeding her bits of chicken human baby food which she accepted.
I have some syringes that I had left over from hand feeding some Conures not long ago, tried that but she would not take it. I was too nervous about aspiration, so I didn't force it. She'll take the bottle fine, but bites down on it so hard and chews.
 

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When my kittens had a URI, I mixed the KMR kitten milk with canned pate' cat food and they lapped it up or took it from a syringe when their noses were stopped up. The larger the syringe, the easier it is to fill their little tummies up. I had a bunch of 6ml syringes and I would fill up about 5 or 6 per kitten and put them in hot water to warm them up then just do an assembly line feeding on my lap for the 3 kittens that needed it. Two of them I fed like this for over 2 weeks!

Don't make chicken (baby food or chicken bits) a full meal because it's not nutritionally complete for cats/kittens. Welcome to the forum, BTW!

One of my kittens is aggressive about this at feeding too, but does not go after the other kittens, just growls. I make sure I have enough bowls down at feeding time so it's not over crowded. You will get more inside her with syringes (10ml if you can find them).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I will definitely try more wet food. I figured she was probably at the stage where she could have more, but it's trying to get her to take it, she sees the bottle and comes running.. or the best that she can lol before she falls over.
She is high energy, very active and just getting into the hang of playing with toys.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Today I decided enough was enough after she bit the tip of a brand new nipple off within 5 minutes and swallowed it. I've tossed the bottles and put her on wet food mixed with formula in a dish. I'd guess she is about 5 weeks old and she seems to handle it alright, although she sucks the food off the plate and stands in it which results in a washcloth bath after. She's filling her belly though, pooping well on her own although the new food gave her the runs at first but she's adjusting and seems more solid now. (I'm a poop watcher after owning ferrets for years). I have a little digital scale that I use for soap making so I'll keep an eye on her weight.
 

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Thanks, I will definitely try more wet food. I figured she was probably at the stage where she could have more, but it's trying to get her to take it, she sees the bottle and comes running.. or the best that she can lol before she falls over.
She is high energy, very active and just getting into the hang of playing with toys.
That happened with my syringe fed babies, too. They would not lap it up but insisted on the syringe. I started squeezing out a bit onto a small dish on my lap after their first few mouthfuls of syringe food and they eventually started to lap that up off the dish. It was an easy transition to the floor from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
She is doing amazingly well. Eating from a dish on the floor, wet food mixed with formula. She is not drinking water yet, and with high temperatures right now, I am offering her formula as often as she wants it to keep her hydrated. AC is running, but doesn't seem to do much good when it's over 100 degrees.

Her napping with a full belly. I am still having her sleep in a playpen.

 

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What a Cutie Pie!!:p
Glad she's doing well with the change over!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
She is super teeny, but a little handful and into everything already lol
My ex was over earlier looking at my AC and she decided to try to climb his legs while he was wearing shorts.. Luckily he is an animal lover.
She absolutely hates her playpen and cries when I put her in it, but with her size and the size of my house, I'd easily lose her. I figure when she is old enough to climb out on her own, that's when she will be old enough to not be in a playpen for sleeping.
 

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Are you able to keep her confined to one room? or a section of a room like maybe part of the kitchen? Use anything you have - cut up cardboard boxes - to make blockades. She is too small to jump, so you can make them low but big, too, like 6 x 6 or so. Room to move around and still able to see you.

You are doing a GREAT job with her!! Glad she is on solid food - it will keep her satisfied longer. I could gradually increase the solid food proportion until she is on it completely by 6 weeks or so. Mixing with KMR is good and will give her all the moisture she needs until then. She'll start drinking water on her own.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The playpen is big, I'd say about 5' x 4' and 3' high. She is only in it for sleeping, and it's in the main living room where I have my desk and the kids play their games. So when she wakes up, she sees us and cries and I let her out.
I'd let her out for sleeping, but my home is over 3,000 square feet, we have reclining furniture a lot of hidden nooks something her size could easily fit into. I've already lost her once, an hour later I found her sleeping under my antique record player. That was a scary hour though :)
When she is awake now, we all keep an eye on her and someone knows where she is at all times, usually she is with one of my two older kittens though.

This is where I have her playpen right now, but I've since added another section to it and made it a little bigger. I took the picture while sitting at my desk, so I can watch her.
I've had to do a lot of baby proofing lol

If I have to leave the house though, or run to town I have one of my oldest kids watch her or I put her in a kennel until I get back.

 
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