Kittens?? HELP!

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by lizzybeth727, May 15, 2010.

  1. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    So there's a ferile cat that's been hanging out at my house for a while. It's an orange tabby, so I figured it was most likely a male. It was only about 7 months old, and I haven't been able to tame it yet, so I've been contacting ferile cat spay and neuter programs.

    Then it started getting really fat, and I realized it was pregnant. I was actually going out of town when I realized, so there was nothing I could do about it. When I got back, she was skinny again. But I also knew she was young - and very small for her age - so I thought the kittens might not have made it.

    Fast forward 4 weeks to today, and I found 3 kittens! They were dirty and didn't look very healthy - one has a wound on her back - and I knew if I didn't start taming them early then it wouldn't happen, so I went ahead and carried them all inside.

    But, now what do I do with them???


    I have them in a large bathroom closet, baby-gated, with some bedding. Are they too young to use a litter box? I found a website that said to use only clay litter with kittens, but I don't know why? I use "World's Best" cat litter for my cat, would that be ok? I got them some kitten formula and canned kitten food, as well as dry kitten food... what should they be eating now?? What else do I need to know??

    My plan is to get them to the vet on Monday morning, and then get them spayed/neutered ASAP and rehomed.

    ANY SUGGESTIONS???
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    The reason to use clay only litter is that kittens often ingest litter and ingesting clumping litter is not good for their digestive systems - WBL is a clumping litter so I'd see if you could just find some regular clay for them.

    At 4 weeks they should be able to eat slurry (formula and canned food mixed well and the consistency of thick soup) out of a bowl, but will be quite messy, so be prepared to wipe them off after meals.

    If they are at least 3 weeks old they should be able to eliminate on their own, but if there's any doubt, you may want to try and stimulate that by using a warm, damp cloth on their little bottoms.

    If they have fleas, use Dawn dishwashing liquid instead of any flea treatments as most aren't safe for such young animals.
     
  3. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    At four weeks of age they *should* be using the litterbox by themselves, but they would have just started learning. Keep a litterpan down for them and mointer what they do. If there is nothing, you'll need to stimulate. If there is only urine after a day or two, stimulate for defecation. If there is both urine and feces, then you're good to go!

    The World's Best Cat litter might be allright to use. It is made out of corn, correct?, so I think even if it is ingested it won't hurt them as gravel kitty litter would. Apollo (newest bottle baby I've had) has been on clumping litter since he was four and a half weeks and he hasn't had a problem.

    What kind of kitten formula did you get? KMR is great, but if it is the Hartz brand, please don't use it. It is not a good brand and can cause major problems.

    When I was weaning Apollo he ate a canned food/formula mixture with a gravy like consistancy for a few days, as well as a bottle twice a day. Then I stopped with the bottle feedings and increased the thickness of the mush until he was eating mostly moist food. I offered dry at all times (I use Royal Canin babycat formula, as it is easy for them to eat due to the tiny tiny kibble) and he eventually started eating it on his own. Once he did that I stopped with the moist food and now all he eats is the dry.

    Keep an eye on their weight. An ill kitten goes downhill FAST and you'll need to stay on top of what is normal for them incase something changes.

    Good luck with them! :D Any chance on pictures, maybe? ;)
     
  4. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Thanks for the help you guys! It's so frustrating looking stuff like this up online, because every website says something different. But I know I can trust my chazzers!

    The kittens are doing well. I brought them in at about 4:00 this afternoon, and offered them a mixture of the KMR and canned kitten food at about 5:00, which they all refused. I tried again at about 8:00, and this time I got a syrenge and "bottle-fed" them the KMR. They ate their fill of that, and one even went and nibbled a little on the canned food.

    I happened to have some non-clumping PaPurr litter (the green bag), and I put some in a large metal pie pan (been meaning to buy a new one anyway :)) for their litter box. I put them in it several times, and one of them scratched a little, but no pottying. I'll go back in a few minutes and try stimulating them.

    I also gave them two towel-wrapped hot water bottles to snuggle up with, they seemed to like that.

    And now for the really important part: They are extremely adorable. :) I mean, who couldn't love a little tiny kitten?? But seriously, these little critters are cute. There are two calicos, and the other is white with orange splotches. Is there a way to sex them at this point? I know that usually calicos are female, and oranges are male; but the mom was a firy orange tabby. The mom also has medium length hair, which I think at least two of the kittens will have two, they're pretty fluffy.

    I was really worried when I first saw them because one of the calicos - the smallest one of the bunch - had an open sore on her back, and I know how quickly those can get nasty. That's one reason why I felt like I HAD to get them taken care of quickly. But on closer inspection, it doesn't look very deep. Yay! They all also have really goopy eyes, probably an infection. So they'll be going to the vet Monday morning, and they're definately quarrentined from my cat for a while.

    I KNOW, I know, I have to get pictures. I'll try to tomorrow!
     
  5. babymomma

    babymomma Remembering Casey ♥

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    And you can TRY to sex them at 4 weeks. But dont be surprised if you turn out to be wrong...

    In a few days I would try and bathe them. Bathing is fine as long as you make sure they are COMPLETLY dry when you take them out of the tub . (And getting them used to being bathed now will be good for them). Or you could wipe them down with a warm damp cloth, but since they came from outside *I* would bathe them.

    The last kittens I had didnt take long to warm up to me. So im sure they will be easily tamed.

    And a totally feral cat can still be tamed ;) Even if you hadnt gotten these babies when you did, they could have been tamed.
     
  6. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    How are the babies doing today?

    You can sex them at that age...I just have no idea how. LOL All three of the kittens I've handraised I've had the vet sex them for me as it all still looks the same to me.
     
  7. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    They're doing good, thanks for asking! Still eating mostly KMR, but they are exploring the canned food and taking a little nibble of it, so I'm not worried about that.

    The canned food I'm feeding is Science Diet kitten food (eeek, I know), but it's the only kitten food that the Tractor Supply by my house has. They do have canned Blue Buffalo adult cat food, do you think I should feed them that instead? I hope to be transitioning them to dry food in a couple of weeks anyway.

    I gave them until noon today to pee, and they hadn't, so I stimulated them and they went (I managed to get one to dribble in the litter box, yay!). Of course when I had my back turned for one second, one of the kittens peed all by him/herself on the bedding. :rolleyes:

    I'm starting to really fall in love with the little orange one. He's the most affectionate - he started to purr at me this morning :) - and seems to really like being petted. I think I might keep him.

    They started wrestling with each other more today. Which is pretty hilarious to watch, because they have NO coordination. :)

    Thanks for that tip. They're suprisingly not very dirty - they spent a lot of time this morning grooming themselves, but then they HAD just been particularly messy with their breakfast - but it definately would be good to get them used to being bathed. I sure wish someone had done that with my cat! I have cat shampoo, I'll have to read the bottle but I'm pretty sure it's ok for baby kitties too... or do you think it would be better to use the Dawn? I have only seen one or two fleas.

    Yeah, but I've been working on taming the momma since last October - she was probably 3 months old - and I still can't make fast movements around her without her freaking out. I definately didn't want to go through that with three more kittens.
     
  8. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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  9. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    what you are doing is so great, they are lucky you found them, I suppose you're lucky too or else you could have had a colony on your hand in no time lol.

    I know you can sex them by seeing the distance between their anus and the hole they pee out of, it's farther in males. supposedly females two holes will look like and upside down exclamation point (pee slit is longer) and males will just have two dots, so like : basically.


    Obviously it is your choice but I wouldn't ever take them completely off of wet food, since wet food is expensive I don't see anything wrong with feeding a meal of dry each day but I'd feed a meal of wet as well. Wet food is 100% better for cats than dry and it is REALLY hard to get many dry fed cats to ever touch wet food again if they've eaten solely dry for a while.

    Glad to hear they're doing well though, hope they keep up the progress, and can't wait for pics!
     
  10. MaloreyAnimal

    MaloreyAnimal New Member

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    I really have no expert knowledge on the raising of kittens, but it looks like you're getting good stuff already! :D I wish you luck with them!
     
  11. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Thanks for the compliment! We already do have quite a colony, though. My neighbor feeds them and then they spend the day on my property. :rolleyes: We've been trying to coordinate with a cat rescue group in town that does catch and release spay/neuters, but obviously we were a little late this time. But I will definately be getting these kittens spayed/neutered before they go to their new homes.

    Thanks for the tips about sexing the kittens, the pictures were most helpful. :) I'm about to go feed them again so I'll see if I can figure it out.

    Oh, one question: It's been about 24 hours now and they haven't pooped yet. They also haven't been eating solid food, though, so should I be worried about the pooping?
     
  12. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I'd try to get them to poop, as you wouldn't want them to become constipated. Normally, they should go once at least every 24 hours. When I was waiting to see if Apollo would go on his own, he went 36 hours without going before I stimulated him. The next day or so he went on his own. And if your kitties are starting to urinate on their own (even if it was on the bedding! lol) then they are almost there!

    Just rub their little bottoms with a warm damp washcloth in a circular motion. It may take a bit of rubbing to produce anything, but keep trying.

    I know Apollo started urinating on his own before he started defecating on his own. Of course, that also may have had something to do with the fact that he was getting over an illness and his poops weren't quite normal yet. Now he is a little poop machine. lol

    Eh, it depends, I suppose. I don't think feeding them adult canned food would hurt them any, but I don't know. Although isn't the Blue Buffalo food formulated for both cats and kittens? I don't think the Science Diet canned food will be bad for them, so to speak. Does your vet carry any canned kitten food that you could purchase?

    And yes, you have to love their pathetic, and completely adorable, attempts to play. :D

    Also - I think just a bath in regular kitten shampoo is fine, unless there is a drastic flea problem. When Apollo was recovering from his illness he had to get a bath due to the fact he got nasty poops and milk from the force feedings all over himself. He wasn't very happy. :cool: [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Just make sure if you do bathe them that you make sure they stay dry and WARM. It wouldn't hurt to dry them off with a blowdryer and then wrap them up on a towel and put them on a heating pad until they are totally dry.

    And - running them under warm water while scrubbing their bottom with a washcloth is another way to get them to go to the bathroom, so if you are having trouble getting them to poop then you might just try that method!
     
  13. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Alright, I'll try to get them to poop tonight. *fingers crossed!*

    One website I read said to never dry them with a blowdryer, so I'm glad you said I can.

    Those pics are pretty much what my kitties look like (different coloring, of course)... complete with the "what the he11 is going on?????" expression on their faces. :)

    I tried sexing them earlier, couldn't tell a darn thing. Maybe the vet will be more successful. Makes you realize how easy dogs really are. :)

    It's actually been pretty fun taking care of these little critters... and easier than I was expecting *knock on wood*. If all goes well, I think I'll apply to foster kittens for a rescue group I know of that's always looking for more foster homes.

    Oh, and I just read a CL post of someone who just had to have a 5-week-old kitten... something about it not getting along with her dachshund, I don't know. But I was like, there's no way I'd give these guys up next week, they're still SO helpless!
     
  14. babymomma

    babymomma Remembering Casey ♥

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    I use dawn on kittens..

    I have yet to actually find cat shampoo of any form in central NFLD.. So thats why I use dawn though.

    I wouldn't use a Hair dryer on them.. IMO it just adds unnecessary stress to the little ones.
     
  15. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I got it from Petsmart when I adopted my cat... about 4 years ago now. I gave her a total of 1 1/2 baths (couldn't get her soaped up the second time), but I still use the shampoo on Luna. It's tearless so it works well on her face. Plus it smells good.... baby powder, I think.

    I'll probably attempt baths tomorrow. My arms are sore from their little nails tonight. I'm pretty sure they just haven't figured out how to retract their claws yet. :rolleyes:
     
  16. FoxyWench

    FoxyWench Salty Sea Dog

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    most say no hiardyers because people hair dryers can get very hot, me, ive used without a problem i just put it on cool, keep it a distance and keep it moving.
     
  17. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Yes, exactly. If the kittens completely spazz out I wouldn't use it, but I blowdried Apollo with it and he just laid there. He was more upset about the bath than the drying part (and he now runs everytime he hears running water in the bathroom, poor guy. LOL). A cat breeder of many years is the one who told me that hairdrying was okay, and considering she's been raising litters of kittens (and showing cats) for over 25 years I take her word for it.

    I couldn't find a cat shampoo, either, so I just used puppy shampoo. Tearless and gentle was what I was aiming for.

    Yup, their claws aren't retractable yet. Still in the half in, half out stage. And then once they can retract their claws, they like too attack with them. :p

    Taking care of kittens is a load of fun. I'd love to foster litters as well, but it is also a lot of work if you get them really young...I can't imagine trying to care for an entire litter of abandoned week old kittens. Getting up every two hours to feed round the clock was hard enough with one baby - I can't even imagine doing it with four or five! And then the formula cost :yikes:. Now, if they weren't orphaned and had the momma, that'd be great. All the hard work is done for you. lol
     
  18. Jules

    Jules Magic, motherf@%$*#!

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    Thank you for taking them in! :)
     
  19. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Yay, something to look forward to. :)

    Yeah, I'm lucky that these kiddos are old enough not to need SO much work. Looking back, I wish I had waited another week or so, but still, it's not bad. Maybe if I foster I can specify "4 week olds only." ;)

    Gave the little guy a bath this morning, he couldn't have been more adorable wrapped up in his little towel. :) (Can't find my camera!!!) He took the bath pretty well, didn't complain too much until the end, but then I hurried through it as well. I'm really hoping it'll make them easier to bathe in the future, fingers crossed!

    My friend supposedly has a pair of teeny nail clippers, so hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to just dull the tips of their nails. Maybe practice now will help them tolerate that better in the future, too.

    The vet was completely full until Wednesday, and I couldn't even get an appointment then, I'll have to drop them off in the morning and hopefully pick them up by lunch. I'm very frustrated with my vet, but I stick with him soely because he doesn't talk to me like I'm an idiot. :rolleyes: I'm hoping once they're cleared, they can meet my cat. I don't know if she'll like them, but I do think she'll tolerate them.... I think she'll be a good role model. :)

    Thanks again for your help! It's so nice to have support and encouragement!!
     
  20. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Hehehe, now there you go. :D I'd be willing to take in an orphan baby again, I just can't imagine having an entire orphan litter unless they were old enough to manage somewhat on their own. Best way would be to foster a pregnant momma kitty.

    I need to do this with Apollo, but I'm too lazy. :eek: I need to start now, since he'll need his claws trimmed if my parents will let me keep him in the house...

    Hopefully they all get a clean bill of health! Unless your cat is just HATES other cats, cats tend to tolorate babies very well. My mom's cat, Pheobe, hates other adult cats (she tries to attack them when she sees them), but she tolorates Apollo. The only problem we have with her is that she beats up on him (ie. pounces, swats, and then runs for the hills LOL) and we have to supervise so he doesn't get pestered beyond his limit.
    And our/neighbor's outdoor cat - who also has no qualms about fighting with tresspassing stray/feral cats - just ignores Apollo. lol
     

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