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285848 tn?1219095913

OT- RAISING ORPHANED KITTENS

Steven brought home 2 kittens that were abandoned by their mother. He has been taking care of him at his work(where he foudn them) to the best of his ability, but we decided to bring them home last night. We believe they are about 3 weeks old. We know pretty much how to feed them and to stimulate them to go potty..but thats pretty much it. We have to keep them seperated because one tries to nurse on the other's...butt and its so sore and red..so we don't want her to keep doing it. We want to keep them together for comfort but the girl just keeps going for him, no matter if we just fed her or not. We called a place that Petsmart goes through for their adoption cats...but they haven't called us back.

Does anyone know anything about raising kittens? Or what we should be doing otherwise? Is their anything crucial that they need? Theyre so sweet and loving...but man its tough work. We hand raised puppies before so we kind of know what were doing, but since they're kittens there may be something we should also be doing? Any tips or experiences would be awesome!
20 Responses
Avatar universal
Poor things! I know Savas over in the Cat Forum might have a ton of advice for you! I've never dealt with baby kitties that small so I don't know!
285848 tn?1219095913
thanks!
557911 tn?1225984244
Start off bottle feeding them, and you may need to cut the nipple open a little so a drip will form and they can lick it off. From there go to formula in a bowl, then mix it with canned kitten food to slowly move them to eating canned food. The mother usually licks their bottoms to make them use the bathroom. So get a damp papertowel or a baby wipe and put them in the litterbox and lightly wipe their bottom. It will make them go and help litter train.
285848 tn?1219095913
Man these orphans are costing an arm and a leg! We just planned on giving them to some non profit cat adoption place to take care of because we can't keep bringing them to work with us...They are a lot of work but I think its worth it. We have been wiping the bottoms and bottle feeding...were going to take them to the vet to make sure theyre on track and healthy...mostly the problem with feeding them is that I don't know if theyre getting enough..3 weeks old on a chart says 80cc's which is over 5 tablespoons (2 bottles full) 3 times a day. It takes them 15 minutes just to get a tablespoon down! Is this normal? The lil black one has a hard time eating too. He eats less then his sister does and I dont think he gets the whole latching thing for some reason. He turns his head when he has the nipple in his mouth and it falls out and he screams...then he fights us when we try to get it back in his mouth. When he finally gets it, he suckles for about 5 minutes then spits it out, but when I look he doesn't even get 1/8 of a tablespoon! the nipple is split and easy to get the formula out of...

Are we doing this right?! What kind of schedule should they be on?
342988 tn?1299785956
you should put a small blanket or stuffed animal for the little one to suckle on so she leaves the other ones butt alone.  but listen to joy and ask the women in the other forum.  i know if it tough raising them but they can be weened to food pretty quickly when the mom is not around.  it is not the greatest thing ever for them but to survive you do what you have to do.
419008 tn?1219540038
80 cc's seems like a lot for 3 weeks old.  They should be feeding every 2 hours.  If the male is not eating well he may have a cleft pallet.
285848 tn?1219095913
I just fed then and the lil guy sure guzzled! I guess we should get them checked out as soon as possible..they seem to be doing pretty good. I am jsut so worried for the lil one. Neither of them has had a BM since yesterday...the lil guy's so sore and raw down there it would probably hurt to..but he did better with this feeding. I got them both to urinate quite a bit. I will ask that other lady on the cat forum though. Thanks everyone. I need to find some small stuffed animals for them to cuddle and nibble on..They had this surogate fake mom at petsmart with a battery opped heartbeat and warming pads with a stuffed cat...but it was 30$ and we already spent 60$ on them...My mom didn't want to spend more and I don't get paid until the 20th! Since I was off for surgery for 2 weeks I didn't get much of a paycheck this time around..
Avatar universal
Oh yes... if there is anything I DO know it's that they're expensive. As you know we also found a stray just this past Monday and we've already spent $300 on the little guy (vaccines, x-rays, food, litter, toys, etc.).
285848 tn?1219095913
luckily I have two cats but theyre outdoor cats, we do have a litter box though and some litter (i think, we had some 2 months ago) but we have a coupon for a free vet visit from petsmart...Its just the formula and we had to buy to little pet carriers and we got some nutrient gel and bathing wipes...theyre doing really great. Actually we fed them and watched a movie last night and me and my mom both had one asleep on us...and each of them peed on our laps while they were snoozing lol..Even though they were both stimulated an pottied after they ate! They're gaining good weight..and the more they put on, the more I think they may be 4 weeks...
599579 tn?1220967642
I have hade raised Kittys before so many time my hubby wanted to go nuts. From what I read everything you are doing is great. Are you buying or making your own milk for them?
Avatar universal
80cc's is a bit much for them. The thing about kittens is that they know when they are full. Most kitten formula you buy in stores do not contain all the needed fatty acids, so they request that you feed them that much. They do however need to be fed more than 3 times a day. At 3 weeks old they should be feeding every 4 to 5 hours, and let them take as much kitten formula as they want. Keep them warm, a desired temp of 75* to 80* is crucial. But also make sure they don't get to warm. I dont reccomend a heating pad, as that could be dangerous.

I would suggest poking a hole in the nipple if you bought the kitten bottles from walmart, the nipples tend to be super hard and not flexible, and usually do not come with holes already, and if they do, the hard nipple makes it almost impossible for them to suck anything out. A cats jaw is 10/20 times weaker than a dog or puppy. If you can get a good stream or few drops out of the hole with a simple pinch to the nipple then the hole is perfect.

DO NOT give them regular milk, or water downed milk...cats are naturally lactose intollerant, and even though an adult cat may tolerate some dairy, dairy can be fatal to kittens. I also want to advise giving them straight water, their little bodies do not need water at this point, water has no nutritional value, and they need all the nutrients they can get.

A few things to watch for-

Watery/crusty eyes ( a sign of FHV-Feline Herpes Virus) it is contagious from cat to cat, not cat to human.

Runny stools or blood in stools ( some intestinal parasites can be transfered cat to human)

Decended/extended belly ( kittens who are bottle fed are prone to bad gas, and bloat, which could cause the intestinal tract to rupture )

Other than that, I think your doing a great job. BTW: Im a vet tech, and have raised several litters of kittens, recently just raised 4 on my own.

If you have any questions feel free to email me and I will answer them to my best ability.
Avatar universal
Also, If your pregnant I would like to advise against you stimulating them to use the bathroom. Im sure you already know that, but I just wanted to remind you just in case :)
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