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Topic: Raising Kittens - Any Advice?

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Subject: Raising Kittens - Any Advice?
Date Posted: 4/5/2009 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2008
Posts: 282
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Hi,

I am currently fostering a mom cat and her two very young kittens. I have been having some troubles with the mom taking care of them.  This is the first time that I have had kittens this young.  I have started a blog (link in my signature) that tells about the kittens and the concerns I have been having.  I would appreciate advice from anyone that has raised kittens before.  Just comment on my blog, or post here.  I am a first time kitten mom so any advice would be welcome.  Thanks in advance.

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 1,253
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The only kittens I've had have been from barn cats and the moms took care of them most of the time. The times they didn't, we bottle fed the kittens. If the mom does stop taking care of them completely and you do have to bottle feed them, make sure you buy a milk formula and don't give them regular milk. After you feed them, you have to wipe their butt with a warm paper towel or cloth until they go to the bathroom(and yes, it is kind of gross). That's really the only experience I've had. Hope it helps!

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,221
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I went to your blog.  How old are they?  I've done puppies twice because the Mom had ten in her first littler and fourteen in her second.  (I was helping out a friend and no she never did get the mother fixed.)  As soon as they were mobile I started feeding them xtra, mostly to the little ones that couldn't get to the mother, and then when they were older, but not yet weened (sp?), I bought puppy chow, soaked it really well, and fed them that.  I also did it in bowls both times.  It took some doing and I had to watch carefully with liquids so they didn't fall in. 

When you said noisy breathing my first thought was the kitty is inhaling some liquid into the lungs.  Probably not, but it's something to consider.

BTW..all the puppies turned out quite healthy.  And it was so much work and fun.

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2008
Posts: 282
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Thanks for the advice both of you.  My kittens are two weeks old tomorrow.  I ended up having to take them into the shelter vet this afternoon because the one I was worried about would not eat at all for me.  They told me that he is really congested and a little dehydrated.  They gave me some saline for his nose and gave him some fluid under his skin to help him out.  He seems a little better now - at least he ate.  But they are going to keep a realy close eye on him.  I am bringing him back into the shelter for another check on Tuesday.  I am not glad that the kitten is sick, but I am glad that the shelter told me that I have been doing everything right and not making a big deal out of nothing, but that these things sometimes just happen.  You know how it can be in the middle of the night...I was concerned that I was doing something wrong and not taking care of them well enough. 

The shelter also gave me a large crate so I could make sure that the mother stayed with them at night rather than wandering around the room and leaving them on their own.

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,221
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I'm really surprised she leaves them and actually goes and sleeps somewhere else at only two weeks old.  Usually it takes a little while longer before the mother gets sick of them.  Oh well, can't really blame her.

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2008
Posts: 282
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Yeah, it has been a little odd.  She is not outright rejecting them.  It is almost like she either forgets about them or just really does not seem to know what she is supposed to do with them.  She has actually pushed the sick one at me before like she knows that I will take care of it.  She is such a sweet cat and will make someone a wonderful pet, but I am certainly glad that this will be her only litter.