I have six 2 1/2 week old kittens. Momma cat is running out of milk for some reason and I was curious if I should try bottle feeding or if they are old enough to do a substitute milk formula and see if they can lap it up in a bowel.
I haven't raised kittens, but I see you haven't gotten a reply yet. Sorry, but I couldn't find a definite answer in my cat books. Only that they're weaned in between four and six weeks. I'd guess the best thing to do is to bottle feed substitute kitten milk formula. If they're still nursing at that age, I doubt they'll know how to lap it up, yet. Good luck!! Maybe someone else who knows more will read your question. :wink:
It is good that she was able to nurse them so far. You can help her along by bottle feeding them with KMR. That stuff can get expensive - I had to nurse 7 (rescued) kittens once so it was overwhelming. I was doing it every 3 to 4 hours. The kittens should get a certain amount of milk, within a certain amount of time , depending on how old they are.
Is the momma nursing at all still? I know it will be hard to estimate how much they eat from their momma and how much to substitute with the KMR.
You can observe how much she can feed and try and rotate the kittens so they all get the same amount from their momma. Then start bottle feeding them in the order they finished eating. It is very important not to overfeed - when a kitten refuses to eat - it means he's done!
Start feeeding the runt. This way it will become stronger. You may have to switch all the time wich kitten gets milk first because "the hierarchy" can change. Just remember = whover the runt is, he/she will get to eat first!
Now- you will have to weigh them every day to make sure nobody is getting less than they should, therefore losing weight.
You will go through a lot of nipples, depending on how many kittens you have and how voraciously hungry their momma will leave them for you :wink:
Or you could start bottle feeding first a certain amount, starting with the runt and then pass them along to momma to finish. It is up to your circumstance.
Their momma will start weening them hopefully in a week and a hallf, more or less, and she'll make life easier for both of you. You can start feeding them kitten canned food. Feed the momma the same stuff so she can regain strength. They'll eat/lap together like a family .
I hope you'll consider having her spayed asap after this ordeal.
Here is the link to the site I have used the chart from. Scroll down to that part and there you have exactly how much a kitten should weigh & eat at a specific age. http://www.kittencare.com/askKC_Feeding_Kittens.html
Have you dewormed them yet? Make sure you don't use anything over the counter because it might endanger your kittens. Your vet will give you the appropriate medicine for that, or for fleas as well, if necessary.
They are incredibly delicate at this age
I thinkt you should bottle feed them with milk formula. I also recommend KMR. You can try to get them do drink the formula from a plate, but I wouldn't count on them being able to get enough of formula in that way. You can mix the formula with some wet food when they're 3-4 weeks old. I'd recommend you try to get them on solid food from 3 weeks of age since their mother doesn't have milk for them all.
I know puppies not kittens! Haha, I know they are similar but it's always better to ask first.
Momma is still feeding them, just not as much as I, and I’m sure they, would like. They are all a pretty good weight or so I thought, all but one of the kittens are over the weight in the chart you sent me hehe.
As far as spaying, yes lol. I didn't have the money around the time she got outside as I had just lost my job and my husband was getting ready to go to Iraq so I was pretty broke... unfortunately she was to far along when I brought her brother in to be fixed and they suggested that I just bring her in after she was done weaning the babies. So believe me, that was the plan before any of this happened. I was overly worried as she was really too young to be going through this. But she’s a good momma and healthy so at this point that’s all that matters