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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again, I have a couple of questions that I am going to consolidate into this one post. I hope this isn't too annoying.

First of all, I recently started feeding Penelope (4 weeks) from a dish instead of from the medicine dropper I was using. I was wondering if I have started this too early. The reason why I think that I might have is that she jumps right into the dish, covering herself in food and spilling a lot. That isn't the big deal, it is that she starts to sneeze as if she is inhaling the food to fast or getting it in her nose. Is this normal at first. It is very clear that she is still looking for the dropper because she sucks around the edges, and in the process sucks up some of the food, it takes a while but she usually eats all of it.

Also, anyone know how much approximately I should be feeding and how often? Any thoghts on this?

In addition, when will I know that it is time for her to start using the litter box? I still have to stimulate her to go to the restroom. I read elsewhere online that they usually don't need stimulation after 3 weeks.

Hehehe one more if you don't mind. I was wondering what she is trying to tell me when she cries a lot, is it that she is hungry or that she has to go to the bathroom. I just don't want to over feed her.

Sorry to ask so many questions. I have never had a kitten this young before and I just want to do all the right things to make sure she is healthy and happy.
 

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It is VERY normal for a kitten of that age that is beginning to eat solid food to stand it the food dish. It might also be a good idea to put her water on a saucer so it is a little flat and she can stand on it if she needs/wants to get a drink. I don't know the reason for this, but it is just what they do. I think my kitten completely stopped doing this at about 8 weeks. Although, at times she does put one paw in her bowl (now 13 weeks).

I'm not sure if it's the same during weaning, but kittens overall should be fed 3-4 times a day, as much as they will consume within about 20 minutes. She'll stop eatings when she is full and the food should be removed when she's done so that bacteria doesn't surface on it (which happens very fast).

As for the meowing...you are all she's got now and that's how she would have comunicated with mom. Try to get her on a decent feeding schedule so that she becomes used to her feeding routine. This will help you in realizing what her cries are for. If she starts crying around a meal time, you'll know it's a hungry cry.

You can start trying her with the litterbox now. Next time she does go potty put it in the litterbox so that she can associate that smell with what she is supposed to do in there. Don't be surprised if all she does is play in the litterbox at first, that is very common as well. Try to find her a litterbox that has very, very low walls, so she can get herself in and out of it. Try buying one of the small cheap versions (under 5 dollars) at petco that has walls just about 2 inches high. You can change it when she's a little bigger for whatever type of box you prefer later.

Another thing that may help is to put her in the litterbox after a nap, a long play session or about 30 minutes after she has eaten. These are usually the most common times she'll need to go.

It's quite obvious that you love her and you want to do everything you can for her. With that alone, you're on the right path. Your instincts will tell you if something doesn't seem right...everything else will come in time.

And, keep posting here with all your questions, you are NOT being annoying and we ALL have lots of questions. That's why we're here. :)
 

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Another thing you may begin to notice is suckling. Often when kittens leave the mother too soon (and even kittens who don't) they will suckle on things just as they would on Mom if she were still there. It's comforting to them. My kitten has taken to a fleece throw and she still sucks on it every night and has been kneading on it as well. If I pick her up and move her from it (even in the middle of the night) she'll find her way back over to it and continue this routine sometimes through the night.

It's very common and doesn't hurt them in anyway. A lot of us also have kitten/cats who do this on us as well. The suckling usually stops but the kneading tends to carry on into adulthood. I've been told it's an affection type thing and if you cat is doing this to you or on you - you should be honored that they are comfortable with you in that way. I think that is true.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for your replies. I didn't think anyone would actually take on the task of answering ALL my questions. I really appreciate the help. I am just wondering when my kitty will stop needing the stimulation to use the restroom. Naturally, I'd prefer not to have my hands covered in cat mess, so the sooner the quicker, but I definately don't mind doing it as long as needed.
 

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By four weeks you probably shouldn't have to do that anymore.
I wonder if maybe she's a little younger than you thought? You could also wait a little bit and see if she goes on her own. Maybe if you do stimulate her a little and put her in the box as she starts to go...she might pick up on what to do.
 
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