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Discussion Starter #1
In an earlier post, I mentioned how we took in a semi stray (she lived out of a truck shop my boyfriend worked out of) that was pregnant. We brought the kittens home a few days after they were born to be raised in a safe environment. She was very stressed out for the first few days, but did eventually come around and has been very good about us being around the kittens, holding, snuggling, and generally being pests.

The kittens were born on September 6. We weigh them every other day and they are currently all between 350 - 375 g (but I'm not sure what they 'should' be, we just weigh them to be able to catch if they aren't gaining enough weight quickly to be able to intervene).

Mama's appetite and food consumption is starting to concern me.

The guys at the shop fed her scraps and whatever kibbles they could scrounge up. When we found out she was pregnant, we bought her meat which she thoroughly enjoyed, BUT, she wouldn't eat the good stuff and would consume basically friskies. Once we brought her home, we attempted to add in some better options into her food, but she wouldn't go for it. We reluctantly conceded as she is going back to the shop once the kittens are adopted out and chances are she won't be able to continue with a better quality diet.

She did have a healthy appetite for the first 2 weeks, but since the start of the weekend, its been waning. She's been eating kibble and picking at her meat, but I don't have much of a comparison of before pregnancy.

Now, this might answer my own question, but we have had company (some planned, most unplanned) over the last week. Perhaps the extra noise could be disturbing her and stressing her out?

At what point should I be concerned, OR, is this (gradually eating less) a normal thing. She's drinking and using the litter box well.

Am I just being paranoid??? This is my first litter :)
 

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You should be concerned. Nursing mothers have a HUGE caloric requirement. If she isn't eating the house down, she's likely to lose weight very quickly and may stop producing milk and/or become very ill herself. If company is upsetting her, keep the company away until she goes back to the shop. Also, put her in a part of your house that is quiet and undisturbed except for when you go in to socialize the kits.

If calming and quieting her environment doesn't trigger her to start eating better very quickly (within the next 24 hrs), you should take her to the vet for a checkup. She will go downhill fast if she doesn't eat abundantly while nursing. Also, you should be feeding her a kitten food while she's nursing, because kitten foods are more nutritionally packed than adult cat foods, and she needs all the extra nutrients she can get for milk production.

Oh, and if she hasn't been dewormed recently, that most likely needs to be done, as well.

Thank you for taking her in and giving her a safe place to raise her kits. Since this is your first litter, you need to understand that it's very important that the kits remain with their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old.

Laurie
 

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You may want to try a high calorie nutritional supplement like Nutri-Cal or getting kitten milk replacer for her. I know that she's feral so putting Nutri-Cal in her mouth might not be feasible but perhaps you could put it on the food she's eating.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The additive is a great idea. I can't see it being a bad thing to have on hand.

She ate well while I was in the room with her and it was quiet in the house. I must have answered my own question about the noise level in the house.
 

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I second the need for her to be eating kitten food, and giving the kittens and momma cat some milk replacer is also a great idea. Hopefully now that it's quiet, her appetite will pick up again. :) If not, the momma and kittens may both be in for some trouble and momma may need to go to the vet if possible to get her there. If the kittens aren't gaining, they may need to be bottle fed. Hope this helps. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:
Company left yesterday morning. She's had two quiet days.

Kittens are still gaining weight (and getting cuter, if that's possible).

I'm arranging for a home vet to give her and the kittens a check up hopefully early next week.

She didn't like the stainless steel bowl, but seemed okay with a plastic tupperware container. She likes it best off a spoon or my fingers while she's nursing. Apparently she knows what she likes.
 

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Hah I think most cat's know what they like, or at least what they do NOT like... mine certainly do! I'm really glad mama and babies are doing so well!! :) You should post pictures of the increased cuteness!!
 
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