- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Question about kittens

April 26th, 2005, 08:04 PM
Hello! I am new to the forum, and VERY thankful I have found it :)
I have a very young cat that just gave birth to 4 beautiful healthy kitties (we failed to get her in to the vet in time before she became pregnant) :eek: She is a little over a year old, and her kittens will be 4 weeks old this Thursday.
My question is this: During the birth of her kittens, she did fine with the first two. Then, thankfully I read up on some information just to be on the safe side in case she had some problems. Which labor was fine, she kinda let the fear of it all get the best of her in mid-labor, and thus my husband and I had to cut the cords on the other two, as Moma cat took off hiding :(
She has been very good as far as with feeding them and such until the past few days. She ignores them. They continually cry for her... and when they attempt to feed from her, she gets up and leaves, or attacks them.
I wonder if I should look into purchasing some kitten bottles and milk (as I have seen in the local pet store) ??
I fear that they are very hungry due to Merlyn's (moma cat) lack of interest in caring for them now, despite the fact that they show no noticable signs of hunger.. as they are quite plump lol . I am not sure if this is why they are crying as they are each time my husband or I walk in the room they are staying in.
We have been giving them extra attention since this has begun, and have gotten some positve signs from them that perhaps this is also what they are lacking from the mother cat.

Any ideas.. or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! :thumbs up

Blessings! kimmy

April 26th, 2005, 08:14 PM
Have you seen the kittens nursing on the mom recently? Have you checked them for dehydration? Sometimes young mothers don't have the energy to care for 4 kittens so they just give up on it. Sounds like she has had enough and is weaning them off of her. It's your job to make sure they eat and stay hydrated. If you aren't sure, take them to the vet for a checkup to see all is well as young kittens can appear fine and be dead the next day. Not to scare you but to make you understand in case you don't . :)

Lucky Rescue
April 26th, 2005, 08:18 PM
I'll answer the kitten questions, but have to say this first.

DO NOT LET the mother cat out. She is probably in heat again, and is trying to drive her kittens from the nest to make room for her next litter. Please be very careful NOT to let this happen again. Get her spayed as soon as her milk dries up.

The kittens are 4 weeks old and can be weaned now. Go buy some canned kitten food. If you like, you can get some KMR at the vet to mix with it.

Mix it with warm water (OR KMR) until it's sloppy and put it in a flat dish. Get the kittens and put some food on the end of your finger and rub a bit on their mouths to get them eating.

If the mother wont' feed them, do NOT let them go without food. When they start eating solid food, mom will no longer clean them, so you must litter train them.

Get a very shallow pan and use plain clay litter - never clumping. After they eat ,put them in the box and show them how to scratch by taking their paws and making the motions.

They should be okay.

April 26th, 2005, 08:28 PM
Hi Kimmi. I just read all three of your posts to date and just wanted to clarify somthing. Is your resident male the father of these kittens? Because, if he is, then I'd have to further LuckyRescue's warning by saying please lock the two of them in separate rooms until they are both spayed/neutered! Hope the little family (furry and non ;) ) is doing well, and welcome to the board. :)

April 26th, 2005, 08:31 PM
THANK YOU so MUCH for the replies!!
Yes, Merlyn has not been herself the past few days... as she seems to be a little depressed. This evening I had to all but grab one of the kittens away from her... as she had it pinned to the floor biting into its belly as it cried :( Its as if she is not very happy with any of them anymore.
But Alas... It is a wonderful thing that I went by my instincts today and bought TONS of canned food in hopes that hubby and I can get these little ones eating on their own. I tried this afternoon showing them the food... as you can see now I have no experience in raising kittens!...but all I got really was four kittens trailing food across the kitchen floor lol. BUT tonight we will try the technique you mentioned!
I will also keep watch on them and make sure I get them in the vets office if I suspect something serious if happening.
This info has helped TREMENDOUSLY!! Thank you both so very much :)
Will let ya know how it goes :)

Blessings! kimmy

April 26th, 2005, 08:35 PM
Hello Fun! Actually, the father male is a stray outdoor cat that stays around my Dads home.. which is next door! The mother cat is our indoor cat that has been kept as so LOL until we have her fixed. :)

Blessings! kimmy

Lucky Rescue
April 26th, 2005, 08:41 PM
Weaning little kittens is very messy and you will need to clean them after each feeding.

If they don't start eating tonight, you must take them to the vet. As BMDLuver says, kittens can get dehydrated and die very easily.

If the mother is being aggressive with them, keep her away from them.

I wish you would get the father of the kittens neutered, and either take him in or find him a new home. Stray tomcats live terrible lives, spread disease and don't live long.

April 26th, 2005, 10:53 PM
All I can do is cocnur with the others. Sometimes, young cats - still kittens themselves - are not very good mothers. This is when you step in and feed them yourself or teach them to eat (or bottle feed if necessary tho these little ones seem old enuf to eat on their own).

WEaning can be very messy - I've been there. What worked for me -and I rased kittens sans mama - was to put my fingers into their food - warmedf forumla but you can try cat food if tat is what you have. Let the kittens lick the food from your fingers and as you do it each time, lower the fingers so they are on the same level as the bowl with the formula. You need them to make the connection and to lap the food from the bowl.

If you have formula - baby food - you could try that and then work up to wet cat food - not sure where you are at so it just depends. I introduced mine to the wet food after they knew to eat baby formula from their bowls. (Uusally, you are bottle feeding them at the same time but I am not sure if you are doing that). Kittens will walk in their food and get it over themelves and the floor and elsewhere.Don't force kittens to eat but make sure they get enough nutrients!

And if mom is aggressive toward them - she may well be in heat

Good luck!

April 27th, 2005, 12:15 AM
hello! wow I wish I would have read the latter replies here before I actually began feeding the kittens LOL It was a HUGE MESS to say the least! The good news is.. they have been fed and are very full now lol It was actually quite easy to get them started! I watered down the canned food, after attempting to just mush it up and finger feed them :o
They lapped it right up! So I DO feel much better about that! I layed in the floor and marvelled over the little things eating :p Then was attacked, needless to say, by them crawling all over me and licking me in the face lol
I owe many thanks to you all here for your knowledge!

As far as getting the father cat neutered... that would be beyond my hands, for the father cat is skiddish and will not approach humans at all. The only alternative is to have someone come and take him.... which due to him being 'wild', it would be rather hard to catch him I am assuming.
What I am doing is keeping Moma cat indoors, whether she likes it or not lol, until I can afford to have her spayed. The population of cats in my neighborhood is totally ridiculous.. as my Dad has adopted a family of black cats a few yrs ago that he immediately had spayed and neutered to prevent any more cats, at least in our neck of the wood.

Again... many thanks for you all telling me how to feed these little ones!! ;)
NOW we must get them litter trained LOL :D

Blessings! kimmy

April 27th, 2005, 10:32 AM
YOu can rent humane traps from the local humane society, catch the father, get him neutered, and then release him. It's really not that hard I hear.

April 27th, 2005, 10:43 AM
Raingirl you are right it is not that hard. Set the trap and put some wet food in it some real smelly stuff and he will go it to eat in and than he is trapped in there. Than you can get him to the vet. I would try and find him a home instead of realising him. Lucky Rescue will have more information on this. :D