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What is the best kitten formula?

MyBirdIsEvil
July 29th, 2009, 01:44 AM
Hello everyone.
I just took in a cat who has 7 kittens and she's not producing enough milk. She had the kittens about 2-3 days ago. They seem ok at the moment, but I've taken care of many mama cats and I know she's not producing enough to sustain them permanantly. None of the other cats I've taken in have had problems producing milk so I'm not really sure what kind of formula I should supplement with, or if there's a way to make formula or something.
The mother may start producing more milk now that she's on a good diet and getting fed plenty of food(she's too skinny, was only getting low quality hard food and living outside), but for now I wanna be safe and start feeding the kittens before they go downhill.
I will ask my vet too on thursday since my dog has to go in then anyway, but I'd like some others advise too.

All advise appreciated, thanks.

Love4himies
July 29th, 2009, 07:00 AM
The best thing for momma is a properly prepared raw diet or quality canned food with some extra water added. There should be no reason to put a momma on formula.

Wellness, grain free, Nature's Variety Instinct are two great canned foods.

sugarcatmom
July 29th, 2009, 07:04 AM
I think MyBirdIsEvil meant that she wants to supplement the kitten's diet with formula, like KMR maybe?

Love4himies
July 29th, 2009, 07:07 AM
How many kittens are there?

I would only supplement the kittens if they are not gaining weight, momma's milk is much better for them as it has the antibodies in it that you can't get from KMR. Are you weighing them daily? They should gain on average 10 grams per day. I would still get momma on a high quality canned diet immediately to help her body produce milk.

14+kitties
July 29th, 2009, 07:08 AM
:goodvibes:That's my feel too. Supplementing the kittens, not the mom.
Nutrience Transitions Milk Replacement is pretty good too. That's what I have used in the past. Good luck and thank you for helping momma and her babies. :fingerscr

MyBirdIsEvil
July 29th, 2009, 03:45 PM
:goodvibes:That's my feel too. Supplementing the kittens, not the mom.
Nutrience Transitions Milk Replacement is pretty good too. That's what I have used in the past. Good luck and thank you for helping momma and her babies. :fingerscr

Thank you very much. That's the information I was looking for.
Sorry if my title was confusing.

Mom is already on a high quality canned diet (and some homeade stuff too) and free feeding on wellness kibble throughout the day when she gets hungry.

I'm not taking mom away from the kittens and putting them on an artificial milk, I just want to supplement because she's not producing enough milk to sustain them until they're weaned.
This cat came from a family member and it is her second set of kittens. She didn't produce enough milk for the last litter either and lost 2 kittens once they outgrew the amount of milk she was producing.

Now that I have her she will be getting fixed and the kittens will be getting fixed before they go to a home, so this shouldn't be a problem in the future :)

Love4himies
July 29th, 2009, 07:03 PM
I highly recommend you get rid of the free feeding of kibble and put out only canned with some water mixed with it. She may be a cat who has a very low thirst drive and is not getting enough fluids.

Kittens should not be supplemented unless they are not gaining enough weight as they need the very important antibodies from their momma.

MyBirdIsEvil
July 30th, 2009, 12:04 AM
I don't think there's anything wrong with her drinking as I've seen her drinking regularly. She doesn't really eat much of the dry food, I just want her to get as much nutrition as possible so I keep it there in case she gets hungry in between meals or I'm not here to give her a meal on time since it seems I'm gone at random lately.
Before I took her home she was outside and not being given enough water. It's been in the 90's here. She was also not being fed on a consistent basis and when she was it was cheap generic brand dry food.

I noticed tonight that she seems to be producing a little more milk after just a day and a half of consistent food and water, so hopefully that's a good sign that it will continue. She is obviously holding a little milk now, whereas before you could barely even tell she had kittens.

The kittens should have gotten most of their antibodies within the first few days of feeding off their mom, like most animals, so supplementing shouldn't be a huge issue. I have a feeling my vet will agree, but like I said I'm not moving foward with anything until I see him tomorrow anyway. I would obviously rather leave the kittens souly on their mom's milk if possible.

MyBirdIsEvil
July 30th, 2009, 11:49 PM
Vet said I could move foward with supplementing them if I felt it was necessary.
She still seems to have pretty good milk production though and the kittens seem to be feeding and doing well so I'm gonna hold off for right now.
I'll take some pictures later, but for now I just got home and I'm very tired so it will have to wait until tomorrow. :)

Love4himies
July 31st, 2009, 07:15 AM
Glad to hear that you are holding off on the supplementing, it should only be done in emergency situations :thumbs up. Kitten digestive tracts are not fully developed and even the best kitten milk replacer can cause serious upset. Because momma cleans their bums as they are pooping it may not be apparent to humans.

The only way you will know if all the kittens are getting enough milk is by weighing them daily with a quality digital scale and tracking their weight. ;)

MyBirdIsEvil
July 31st, 2009, 03:35 PM
I don't really like the thought of feeding ANY animal milk replacer unless absolutely necessary, I just don't want the kittens to die from not enough food, so I needed to what to feed in case I have to. This cat already has a history of not producing enough milk to sustain kittens (and she only had 5 last time) so it's a definate worry.
I don't have a scale, but I can probably borrow one from someone.

On another note, I got the pictures but now I can't find the cord to hook my camera to my laptop and transfer the pics :o
I know everyone likes to see kitten pictures and I'd like to get them on here tonight but I have a graduation to go to so it may not be until tomorrow (unless I find the cord within the next hr or so).

Anyway, I'll get pics on here some day, hopefully while they're still kittens :laughing:

Love4himies
July 31st, 2009, 07:22 PM
I use a kitchen digital scale that I got at Home Sense. It works like a charm and is very accurate.

lUvMyLaB<3
July 31st, 2009, 07:30 PM
I did not see this thread before... but I agree with L4H. I would NOT give formula unless you must, I avoid it at all costs. A kitten that has been given formula will not suck as much, and may start to wait for the formula as it is easier and takes longer to digest. If the kitten even doesn't suck on 1 feeding, the mother will reduce the amount she makes. Her milk supply is stimulated by how much they suck. How do you know that she doesn't have much milk? If the kittens are thriving, she probably has enough, by now you would see the kittens be very skinny if she didn't have enough. If they are crying and moving around away from the mom, then maybe they are hungry, and I would then only add formula once a day AFTER they had nursed from their mom, and only if you must. If the kittens are so far ok, or only a tiny bit under weight I would just get the mom on tons of wellenss or innova or some other good canned food. And if the kittens nurse a lot, she should start producing more. If the kittens were not getting enough they would not be ok. They only take one missed feeding, or a bit dehydrated before they begin to crash.

She may be making enough milk, how have you figured she doesn't make enough? Even on crap food, nature has it that the kittens come first and will use the mothers stores, and rob her bones before the kittens would go without. If you must add a feeding a day, do so after they have had a long feed from mom, then you can give them a bit of 1/2 whole milk, and 1/2 carnation canned milk. This does work great, if they are only getting a few suppliment feeds, you don't need to purchase formula. I have raised litters from 4 days old, only feeding them this 1/2 and 1/2 and they are now 8 years old and healthy, did great! If they had no mom, then consider buying formula, but if you MUST suppliment this milk will be fine. Again though I would weigh the kittens, and change the mothers food. Feed her Kitten food too btw.. Innova cat and kitten if you HAVE to leave her dry.. But get some kitten canned, she needs it. At 2 or 3 days, she is not making much milk yet anyway, as it is mostley colostrum. You should only be able to see a tiny drop if you squeeze, and sometimes you cannot see milk. I would think unless she is terribly thin and sick, she should be able to feed them. You don't want to step in, and cause her to make less milk, and have the kittens depend on formula..

If the kittens seem pretty quiet after a good feed that is a sign they are getting enough. If they try and nurse, then let go and cry and cry and cry, and move away from the mom and cry and cry, that is the sign they are not getting enough. A kitten that age will crash FAST if they didn't get enough, in fact if they were not getting milk by now, you would have lost some. With lots of kittens as they get older, and are not gaining, then you can suppliment, but in these early days the kittens sucking as much as they can is very important. They will be imprinted to the formula if you start now, so only do it as a last resort if it must be done to save their lives, otherwise, I would just watch them, increase the mothers food to a kitten formula and raw, and see what they do. They will likely be fine. Weigh them and let L4H and I know what they weigh and how old they are, along with pictures so we can see what they look like, and we can go from there! Good luck!!!!!

MyBirdIsEvil
August 4th, 2009, 12:30 AM
Thank you for your advice.

The kittens seem to be growing pretty good right now, actually. I still haven't weighed them, but like I said I've raised tons of kittens and they aren't skinny and are suckling like normal. None of them are crying for food (in fact a couple of them have fat bellies now and their eyes are starting to open), so luckily I don't think I'll have to supplement.
As far as BUYING a digital scale, you're assuming I can afford one right now:sad:, but I'll go look at prices anyway. I just spent several thousand dollars saving my dog from HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis) and these kittens were an unexpected addition so I'm doing what I can as far as fundage.

The mom IS terribly skinny, you can feel all of her ribs and her spine, but hopefully that will change since she's on a steady diet of Canidae canned (I switched off Wellness when I ran out and the Canidae was on clearance because no one was buying it for some reason :shrug:).
I eliminated the kibble since I've been home enough to feed her regularly and my husband is home right now too to help, so that should make you guys happy lol.

Also, I finally posted pics. The thread is here :)

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=809778#post809778

Tundra_Queen
August 5th, 2009, 08:40 PM
Thanks for rescuing the cat and the kittens. :)

You said mom is skinny,,is that because she was outside and might have worms?

Debbie

Love4himies
August 6th, 2009, 07:00 AM
Thank you for your advice.

The kittens seem to be growing pretty good right now, actually. I still haven't weighed them, but like I said I've raised tons of kittens and they aren't skinny and are suckling like normal. None of them are crying for food (in fact a couple of them have fat bellies now and their eyes are starting to open), so luckily I don't think I'll have to supplement.
As far as BUYING a digital scale, you're assuming I can afford one right now:sad:, but I'll go look at prices anyway. I just spent several thousand dollars saving my dog from HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis) and these kittens were an unexpected addition so I'm doing what I can as far as fundage.

The mom IS terribly skinny, you can feel all of her ribs and her spine, but hopefully that will change since she's on a steady diet of Canidae canned (I switched off Wellness when I ran out and the Canidae was on clearance because no one was buying it for some reason :shrug:).
I eliminated the kibble since I've been home enough to feed her regularly and my husband is home right now too to help, so that should make you guys happy lol.

Also, I finally posted pics. The thread is here :)

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=809778#post809778

Momma will probably stay skinny until she weans, that is OK as long as she is not loosing weight.

:eek: I hope you mean FELIDAE, Canidae is for dogs. Sweet Pea raised her 7 kittens eating Felidae with a supplement of raw chicken or cooked salmon daily. Like your momma she was so skinny you could feel her bones too. She didn't really start to gain weight until the kittens started to eat some canned on their own.

PeggiCrawford
August 25th, 2012, 02:43 AM
Momma will probably stay skinny until she weans, that is OK as long as she is not loosing weight.

:eek: I hope you mean FELIDAE, Canidae is for dogs. Sweet Pea raised her 7 kittens eating Felidae with a supplement of raw chicken or cooked salmon daily. Like your momma she was so skinny you could feel her bones too. She didn't really start to gain weight until the kittens started to eat some canned on their own.

No, it's definitely called Canidae Canned, I've fed my kitties that brand of cat food many times in the past and they loved it.

To answer the question I've always heard that Purina One kitten formula mixed with half and half is the best option for supplementing or substituting when necessary :)

marko
August 25th, 2012, 08:42 AM
I think you are making a mistake PeggiCrawford.

The word Canid, describes dog like animals so it only makes sense that a food called Canidae...is for dogs.....
Felid describes cat like animals.

Here is a link to their site.. Take a look , Canidae food is for dogs. http://www.canidae.com/

Love4himies
August 25th, 2012, 09:32 AM
No, it's definitely called Canidae Canned, I've fed my kitties that brand of cat food many times in the past and they loved it.

To answer the question I've always heard that Purina One kitten formula mixed with half and half is the best option for supplementing or substituting when necessary :)

Actually a properly prepared raw diet is best for momma, then a high quality canned (never kibble as momma needs lots of fluids to produce milk):

Wellness, Nature's Variety, Weruva, FELIDAE Pure Elements are a few that come to mind.

Purina One ingredients are not nearly the quality of the above foods, plus, not sure if they use human grade ingredients:

Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), fish meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, animal liver flavour, soy protein isolate, phosphoric acid, salt, caramel colour, calcium carbonate, choline chloride,


Here is a great website for reading about pet food:

http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/truthaboutpetfood.htm