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Questions about Peanut, my 4 wk old kitten

1329 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  peanutsmommy
I don't know exactly how old she is actually. I bought her at our local True Value store (they have pets too) but she'd been brought in by someone. They said she was 6-7 wks old, but when I took her to a our small privately owned pet store in town, the lady there who knows cats well, (I've used for store for a few yrs now) said she's only 3-4 wks old. When I look up online she does act like a 3-4 wk old too and looks like the pictures I saw online. The first day she ate well from the dish, (crushed hard food and milk replacement) then the second day would only eat it off a spoon and the 3rd day didn't even like eating it off the spoon, so I got a syringe and went to just the milk and this is the 2nd day on just milk. I weighed her last night and she weighs just over a lb. (I used a kitchen food scale) On my intro post someone said to look for a high quality cann food, so I will look into getting one because she doesn't seem to always like the milk either. I am also going to buy a kitten bottle today and see if she does better with that because I had a softer syringe and she did really well with that, but it broke and the harder ones are hard to only give her a tiny bit and I fear giving her too much at a time and choking her or her aspirating it. She chews at the end, so I'm hoping will suckle on a bottle nipple. What should I look for in a good canned cat food? Should I be getting a kitten canned food or an adult one? What should I be looking for in the ingredients and the nutritional information?
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There is a kitten food that everyone I foster with recommends for is called Royal Canin babycat. It is very fine and has a "mouse" consistency that is good for very young kittens. It doesnt have the best ingredients, IMO, but if your kitten will take to it that is more important right now. As far as quality goes, the best in my opinion are Wellness Core(this is formulated for cats and kittens), Innova EVO(cat and kitten formula), Blue wilderness (Kitten). They are all high-calorie and high quality foods. The first ingredients listed should be chicken, turkey, etc. NOT chicken meal or by-products. Also keep away from corn(corn-gluten meal, ground corn, etc.)

You can also try human babyfood. Chicken or turkey, just make sure there are NO onions or garlic in the ingredients.
four weeks old is awfully tiny and i've never raised a kitten that small. i'm sure someone else on here has though.

start here: Commercial Canned Foods by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: reading cat food labels, canned versus dry cat food for nutritional guidelines. i like blue buffalo but you'll have to make that decision. i know they have several kitten formulas, whether they're grain-free or not, i don't know but regardless, it's pretty good food.

edit: yeah what she said about baby food too. i use it and gerber's has no onion.

I am no expert by any means. But I have been taking care of four kittens since they were less than one week old. They are approaching four weeks old now, so about the same age.

One thing I learned, is that some cats really don't want to wean until much later. Two of my kittens eat from a dish, while two won't touch it.

After a lot of research, I found some cats aren't ready to give up affection and want to be bottle fed for a while longer to get the one on one attention. Perhaps you are dealing with such a case, especially if your little kitteh is imprinting you as its parent.

I wouldn't worry about weaning if Peanut doesn't feel up to it. Just find a method it will eat. My kittens, for instance, LOVE eating out of an ear dropper (the thing you use to clean out ears). I started using that when I first got them because I live in the country and couln't get to a store. They ended up liking that better than a bottle, and that's all the un-weaned ones will eat from.

But, if you are really intent on weaning them, there are some canned foods like Science Diet made for small kittens. I sometimes mash it up with a fork with some KMR in it, and they will nibble at it, but they really aren't ready for it yet.

Hope this helps.
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Thanks everyone. No I'm not intent on weaning, I just want to do what is best for Peanut. Mornings are always roughest, she seems more "out of it," always makes me worry that she's going downhill, etc. Then by late morning, early afternoon she's "back to herself." She does like the kitten bottle better than the medicine syringe I was using, so we'll keep up with it. I also got her some Evo canned food and she really liked that. (I have her a Tbsp and she at about 3/4 of it after bottle feeding about 1 tsp of KMR) She was all over playing again late morning/early afternoon and then napped for about 2 hrs. Now she ate and is playing again. She's doing well w/ her litter box too. She gets really whiney and I've realized this often means she's ready to use her litter box and often times I put her in her litter box and sure enough she uses it. So I think she knows she needs it, but is a bit young so can't alway remember where it is. When I am not home though, I still put her in her carrier so she doesn't potty out elsewhere and for her own safety so she doesn't get into something that will harm her or she doesn't get lost and I can't find her since she's so tiny. When I am home, she just wonders around, usually in whatever room I am in, she will follow me to it. Sometimes she's nap while "out" other times she gets really whiney again and I will put her in her carrier or box and she goes right to sleep, so I think likes the protectiveness of them while sleeping.
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Feed her once in the middle of the night. She is still young enough that her blood sugar may be dropping too low overnight.
Try it once and see how she is in the morning....
It is very fine and has a "mouse" consistency that is good for very young kittens.

whoops, that should have been "mousse", but i guess mouse works too hahaha

good to hear she is doing well! i agree with waking up in the middle of the night to feed her, she should probably be eating every 4 hours or so
LOL about the "mouse" vs "mousse" consistency!! I wasn't sure what "mouse" consistency was. I hadn't thought about her blood sugar being too low by morning. I will set the alarm tonight and try feeding her and see if that helps. She is eating better tonight though, drinking from the bottle (about 1-2 tsp) and then ate about a Tbsp of canned food. I'll try a little more of the bottle again before bed too. (around 9:30-10 p.m.) With that amount, would you still say to wake her tonight or will the canned food stick with her longer? (I'm fine with getting up if that is what she needs, just checking) :)
A great idea to feed her more canned is to put the canned food inside a syringe, a big one, and give it to her as if it was a bottle (drawing the plunger down really slow). You can mix the food with some warm water to make it more liquid (but not totally liquid, just enough to pass through)

This worked really fine for me with one of my cats Rulos. He was the runt of a rescued litter, probably 3 weeks old, and he was SO weak he couldn't stand in front of the dish to eat, while the rest of the kittens did with no problem and wouldn't let him even get close the food. So I fed him with the syringe for a week and a half. First he was like "what is this hard ugly nipple?" but once he realized good stuff was coming from the syringe he ate like a pig. I even had to cut the syringe's tip so more solid food would pass. And that's how he survived :)

Good luck! :wink:
Cute story. Sounds like Rulos was rescued by the right person, someone who would go the extra mile to make sure he ate!! :) Actually I think Peanut would eat more of the canned if I gave it to her, but I don't want to upset her tummy, so have been trying to keep the serving sizes small and will slowly work up to more. :) She just drank the most KMR tonight though that she's ever drank. She drank 3 tsp, barely dripping any of it out of her mouth. She does really well with the bottle! Now just waiting for her to tire so she'll go to sleep in the carrier and not whine so I can go to sleep.
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