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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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newborn kitten - need advice

i have just acquired a newborn kitten. Mama cat abandoned the litter. The kitten i have is the only one left. I am not sure about her age. I have been feeding her with a bottle every 2-3 hours, keeping her warm in a crate with blankets and an electric blanket on low. she seems to be doing so much better since we first got her. She is walking around now, and has just started cleaning herself. That started today. Should I continue to stimulate her tummy or will she do this on her own now. Her pee is clear but her poop is dark and not solid. Is this normal? When should I introduce kitten food. Can anyone give me any suggestions and how old do you think she may be. Thanks for any advice. I am new to this, but have ready a lot of info on the internet on what to do. This is rewarding to watch her develop but kind of scary too. Her life is literally in my hands.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 04:16 PM
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You're an angel for taking in the little orphan. Is the kitten a newborn, or are it's eyes open? Are you feeding it kitten formula? If it's still a newborn you need to stimulate it after each feeding. It needs kitten formula, not human formula or cows milk. You're doing just the right thing by keeping the baby warm and dry.

I wouldn't introduce kitten food until she's at least 3 weeks, preferably closer to 6 weeks. When you start introducing canned food you should dilute it with formula and heat it up to room temp. The kitten will not know how to drink from a bowl or saucer. You'll have to show it by carefully dipping it's lips into the mush. It should catch on within a couple of hours, but be prepared for a real mess, with mush all over the little one.

Young kittens are very fragile and can "crash" quickly. If she gets the shakes, try giving her a couple of drops of pancake syrup with an eyedropper. The quick sugar intake should help stabilize her until you can get her to a vet or get some food into her if she's missed a meal. If she becomes lethargic, refuses to eat, or develops extremely loose stool you should get her to a vet as quickly as possible.

Good luck with your little one.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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I have been giving her KMR milk replacer every 3-4 hours. She isn't really on a set schedule. Closer to every three hours she will cry to be fed or I am guessing that is what she wants. She is taking the bottle very well and consumes about a tablespoon each feeding.

When you say the "shakes", she shakes a little when she is walking around, I thought that was just her learning to balance on her little feet. She has been getting around a lot the past two days and wants to explore her surroundings. I hope that is a good sign. i am concerned about her bowel movements. They are dark and not solid, is that a sign that something is wrong. And she doesn't poop or pee after every feeding even after i have stimulated her tummy. She did start cleaning herself or licking her paws and parts of her body. Does this mean she doesn't need me to rub her tummy anymore. Thanks for any info. I am literally learning as i go.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 04:59 PM
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When I mentioned the shakes, it's almost as though they have the chills. You can tell it's due to being extremely hungry. New kittens often stumble and can appear shaky when they're learning to walk.

I've fostered a few very young kittens for the local animal shelter where I volunteer. It can be a demanding, exhausting labor of love, but well worth it when it becomes apparent your little one is going to make it.

If possible I would have it checked by a vet. Female cats normally won't abandon their infants unless they've either be driven away from the baby or there's something wrong with the baby.

Are her eyes open yet? Do her ears stand straight, or are they kind of curved or tuliped at the tips? That will give me a pretty good idea of her age.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Her eyes are definitely open (they are blue which I know will change) and ears stand straight. She seems older than I thought she was just by the way she is alert and seems to want explore her surroundings. My concern right now is her bowel movements. She is not going everytime she nurses. This is something I never thought I would be doing, but am enjoying it and loving watch this special gift from God grow. Like I said, I am new at this and any imput I can get helps me to help this tiny little blessing from God grow. thank you sooooo much for helping me.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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To all - I have just found this site and am at awe with all of you!!! Thank you so much for taking care of the little wonders of our world!! You all are patriarchs in my eyes and to all the little ones that you have taken in. I am a new mommy to this and am learning through you as well as the tiny one that I am nursing. Kuddos to all of you and you inspire me to be more like you. i am only nursing one little kitten, whereas some of you are caring for many! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !!! I want to be more like all of you!!!
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 06:56 PM
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I've been where you are. It's really neat, huh?

Our lil kitten didn't go every time after eating, but most times. You needs to get a wet cotton ball (wet with warm water) and stimulate her by rubbing gently on her pee-pee and anus. Not on the tummy. You can rub the tummy, too! Just make sure to rub the other areas. The poo will probably be runny cause all she's eating is milk (like a human baby).

I don't think I'd do an electric blanket only because of the fire hazard of leaving it on that long and if she were to try and chew it or something. What we did (vet recommended) is filled a cotton pillow case with uncooked rice, tied a knot in the pillow case, and then heated the whole thing in the microwave for five minutes (during each feeding). Then, after the feeding, we'd put the bag under a couple towels, put kitty on top, and put one more towel on kitty. You will have to judge how many towels to put on the bag, depending on how hot it is.

Also, please keep kitty in a locked container (a dog crate, etc.). You don't want kitty escaping and having another animal get to her or her getting in trouble and hurting herself. We learned this one the very hard way. That's why we only have the one kitty now.

Good luck! Post pics!


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 06:56 PM
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Daisymaybe - Those are such kind words!!


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 07:01 PM
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It sounds as though this little darling is between 2 and 3 weeks old. Probably closer to 3. At that age I've supplemented their diet by making the "mush" by mixing KRM and canned cat food. It will help her gain weight. If it's too thick to go through the bottle nipple you can either a) make the hole in the nipple larger or b) begin teaching her to eat from a bowl. I've found the little plastic bowls used for Jello are perfect for the little ones.

As far as her bowel movements go it could be the change in diet, worms, or something more debilitating. She's too young to worm at this point. If you're using the powdered KRM and make the formula too thick it can cause loose stool (I learned that the hard way).

Enjoy the kitten as she learns her way around this big old world, and thank you for saving a little orphan. IMHO, you're an .

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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When I said electric blanket, I meant heating pad. I have it set on low and have a "cool spot" for her in the crate in case she gets too warm. I do like the idea of the "rice pillow" but was afraid it wouldn't keep her warm enough. I have the heating pad then several layers of blankets. Thank you all again for your advice. Our little one and I thank you !!! I look to all of you for inspiration and and am very grateful for you!
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofnine View Post

If you're using the powdered KRM and make the formula too thick it can cause loose stool (I learned that the hard way).

Wouldn't formula that's too thick cause constipation? I would think that formula that is too watery would cause loose stool.
Just wondering.


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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 06:43 AM
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I thought the thicker formula, made from KMR powder, would help "Skittles" as she weaned off formula onto soft foods. Instead the poor little one got the runs. It turns out, according to one of my friends whose a vet tech and a wildlife rehabber, too much protein can give kittens a very loose stool. Each foster teaches me a bit more.

Daisymae, how is the baby today? I do agree with Formula86 that a heating pad can be very dangerous. If the heating pad should short out, by getting wet, it could cause a fire. You might consider using a hot water bottle, with towels, blankets, or a bed over it. I've seen the burns, on a Coati Mundi, that were caused by a heating pad shorting out.

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 01:36 PM
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yay new kitten! my best wishes to you. have any names picked out, or pics??

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 08:12 PM
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runs can also be from a diet change as well. I hope all goes well for you guys.


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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Update on Daisymay (we think that is what we will call her - named by my daughter)- she is doing very well and is still taking the bottle every 3 hours. She is getting around fast!! Because she is so little I have to let everyone in the house know "kitty is out!!" so they can look out for her. She is black and is hard to see sometimes. I spoke with the vet yesterday about her bowel movements. They told me as long as she is not in any distress like her tummy hurting that she should be fine. She is peeing and my husband said this morning he didn't think something that tiny could pee that much!! I did try making the "mush" by mixing a little canned food with her formula. She seemed to really like it. My next thing to try is getting her to lap up her food and try going in the litter box. This i know can take awhile. any suggestions on these. Thanks everyone for helping me and this tiny tiny little furball.
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animal shelter, canned food, cat food, heating pad, kitten food, litter box, litter box training, litter train, litter training, local animal shelter, male cat, stuffed animal, vet tech


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