2 week old Orphan kitten - under weight

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by NostalgicGranny, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. NostalgicGranny

    NostalgicGranny Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The kitten that I have is 2 weeks old. She was found in the mud and ice cold on the first day of spring. I thought she was dead until I picked her up and she moved. It took me the better part of the day to bring her temp up enough that I could feed her. I finally got around to weighing her today (so do not know previous weight) and she only weighs 4.4 oz which would be the weight for 1 week old. At this age from what I have read (online) she should weigh 8 oz.

    She is a really fussy eater. Some days I change her kitty formula, bottle, nipple, etc and still struggle getting her to eat. Other days she eats heartily.

    I posted a few days ago about her not having normal bowel movements. She now potties regular and has a movement every other day. Sometimes everyday.

    Is there something I can add to the kitten replacer she is on to help her gain weight? Hopefully something that won't make her stools to hard as they already seem fairly hard.
     
  2. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like to use evaporated milk instead of replacer. I mix it about 4-1. I also add a tsp of karo and some nutracal or cat vitamins.

    I had a few that did not do well on the replacer, and loved that.
     

  3. wanda1950

    wanda1950 Well-Known Member

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    There is a Gel type formula in a tube that you can use to supply extra calories. I can't remember what it's called but we used it for our kitten. You can let her lick it I think. I'm sure the vet or the co-op would know.
     
  4. NostalgicGranny

    NostalgicGranny Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you - will call the vet in the morning. I had to use a gel type thing on Chance the kitten I found face down in the driveway. She had pale gums so I fed her with that and a syringe of formula. Don't know why I didn't connect the dots with that. Guess I thought it was more for energy. It's something hunters give their dogs for more energy, and the vet told me to use it back then.

    I was using goats milk but saw the kitten formula and thought it would be better. She seems to like goats milk so I am slowly brining her back to that.
     
  5. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The gel is nutracal. I just add a dab to the bottle and shake well.:thumb:i
     
  6. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Here is an excellent recipe for goat milk kitten formula

    Homemade Kitten Milk

    You can use this kitten milk substitute to successfully hand-rear baby felines 13 ounces unflavored Pedialyte
    12 ounces goat milk
    8 ounces plain live culture yogurt
    2-1/2 ounces lamb baby food 2 egg yolks
    2 tablespoons Karo white corn syrup

    Put all ingredients into a blender and mix well. Put kitten milk into Nurse-Maid pet nursing bottle (found at Wal-Mart) and heat to lukewarm. Test on the inside of your wrist. Be sure to stir the milk in the container each time before you refill the bottle. Put remaining kitten milk into 8 ounce containers and freeze until needed. Two-week-old kittens will drink about 1/2 ounce every 4 hours. Four-week-old kittens will drink about 1 to 1-1/2 ounces every five hours.

    At 4 weeks I would also start the kitten on raw diet. This is an excellent website for feeding cats Feline Nutrition
     
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Be sure to keep her warm!
     
  8. NostalgicGranny

    NostalgicGranny Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Raven. She has a heating pad and a light (at night) for heat. It's a good thing I have to get up to feed her because the heating pad is one of the new ones and they shut themselves off after two hours.
     
  9. wanda1950

    wanda1950 Well-Known Member

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    Are you going to be able to keep her? I don't need any more cats for sure but do hate to think of never having a little one again.
     
  10. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Well-Known Member

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    I think she should be more than 8 oz. One of our cats had kittens, and they are two weeks old today. I weigh them every day, and they weigh 10.1oz, 11.2oz, 10.9oz, 11.8oz, and 12.2oz. They were around 3.5oz at birth, and gain ~.5oz per day, some more, some less.
     
  11. NostalgicGranny

    NostalgicGranny Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wanda I am not sure if I will keep her, but she already has so much more personality than the other two that I rescued,

    Kara I am just going by what I read online. Yours may have just had a good healthy start whereas the strays I feed have to find me before I can help them. I live near a dog rescue and people dump their cats figuring they will take them in but they don't. So these cats that I feed don't necessarily have the luxury of food when they are pregnant. My cat Chance was found face down in my driveway a year ago, unconscious from starvation. I named her Chance because the vet said she only had a chance of living. Her sister I named Lucky because she was lucky I caught her before she wound up like Chance. Lucky and Chance were a litter of kittens that were dumped.

    .5 oz gain a day is good, or so I have read it is.
     
  12. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Well-Known Member

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    The mama of these kittens is one of a group of kittens that our neighbor abandoned that we have been feeding since the end of last July. (the neighbor admitted they "belonged" to him, but he didn't want to take care of them or feed them anymore) They are basically strays that we are nice enough to feed b/c I didn't have the heart to let them starve. I didn't do anything different with the pregnant mama than the other cats out there, but once she had them I have been supplementing her dry food diet with wet food and kitten formula every day, with an occasional egg thrown in there for protein and fat.

    The mom was half feral before she gave birth (would allow us to be near her, but NO touching or approaching too fast), but once she gave birth we put them all inside my husband's shop, and she quickly become accustomed to being spoiled. She now allows all the pets she can get with HUGE rumbly purrs, and even rolls over for belly rubs. She immediately became litter trained also. She is a great mother. We plan to get her spayed as soon as the babies are weaned.
     
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  13. neparose

    neparose Well-Known Member

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    I'd have her vetted for worms. They are fairly common for strays, and would hamper her getting nutrition. If her stools are hard, cut the formula with a little more water. I've always heard that cats are lactose intolerant so I've always fed mine the KMR, but I know some people who have had good results with homemade. I've also had some just plain skinny kittens. They grew up to be long, lean, lanky cats. Good luck.
     
  14. NostalgicGranny

    NostalgicGranny Well-Known Member Supporter

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    She is 3 1/2 weeks isn't she to young to worm?

    My other two cats were strays too. They are small and lean. I guess I always attributed that to the fact that those two were half starved when I found them. This one here is different has been fed by me since day one so she is getting fed as often as she should. I switched her from goats milk to kitten formula and that's when she didn't want to go potty and her appetite dropped. So I slowly started moving her back to goats milk. She has gained an ounce since I first posted. Up until I added the nutri-cal she had only gained .4 oz but with the nutri-cal added she is gaining a little more. I wish she would eat more then she does, hopefully that will come with time.
     
  15. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Well-Known Member

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    How do you feed her? My SIL's dog stopped producing enough milk and the puppies were losing weight, so she had to start hand feeding them. They wouldn't drink from the bottle, so she would put the tip of her finger in front of their mouths, then dribble the milk on her finger about an inch or two up so the milk would run down her finger and into the pups mouth. She finally got them to start gaining weight at that point.

    At 3 weeks old you should be able to start supplementing with wet food mixed with milk/formula. Mix it to where it is really runny at first, put it on a plate, and get her to lick it up. Then gradually put less and less milk in it. My babies will be 3 weeks on Sunday, and I plan to start giving them wet food at that point, along with starting to litter train them.
     
  16. NostalgicGranny

    NostalgicGranny Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Three weeks is to soon to wean kittens. It sounds a little early for pups too.
    Try cutting an X in the top of the nipple it's easier for them to suckle that way.

    We started with goats milk because that was all I had and I knew from experience it works pretty good for most orphans. Then I switched to store bought kitten formula and it plugged her up right away and her appetite dropped down. Eventually I slowly moved her back to goats milk and added some nutri-cal. Since then her movements are on time, her appetite has increased and she has gained a little weight.

    When you try bottle feeding make sure the milk is warmed within a degree or so of an average dogs temperature. 99ºF - 102º F so you would shoot for 99ºF - 103ºF temp.
    And please cut that X in the nipple. Those tiny holes are hard for them to get milk out of. She can also use a medicine syringe or an eye dropper but it's better if the suckle the bottle - it's to easy for it to go down the wrong pipe.

    Have her look for the nutri-cal to give them. It adds vitamins, gives them more energy, and helps them put on weight. You should be able to get it at pet stores, some feedstores or the vets office. Hunters use it to give their dogs and extra boost while hunting. Basically it is a nutrient supplement in gel form. Either put it in their milk or rub some inside of their mouth. They will be gaining weigh in no time.
     
  17. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Well-Known Member

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    No it isn't.

    From the ASPCA website:

    "At What Age Should Kittens Be Weaned?
    The weaning process normally begins when kittens are around four weeks old, and is usually completed when they reach eight to ten weeks. If you are in charge of weaning an orphaned kitten, please remember that weaning should not be attempted at too early of an age. Generally, when a kitten’s eyes are open and able to focus, and he is steady on his feet, the introduction of solid food can safely begin.

    What About Weaning an Orphaned Kitten?
    Generally, orphaned or hand-fed kittens can begin weaning slightly earlier, at about three weeks of age, but otherwise the process is essentially the same. Begin by offering milk replacer in a dish, teaching the kitten how to lap from the dish. Gradually transition to a gruel created by mixing a commercial milk replacer with high-quality kitten food. As the kitten slowly grows accustomed to eating, gradually reduce the amount of milk replacer you use. By five to six weeks of age, he should be relying solely on kitten food for his nutrients."

    ASPCA | Weaning - kittens

    "When Is the Best Time To Wean a Litter of Puppies?
    Whether puppies are orphaned or with their mothers, weaning can generally begin between three and four weeks of age, and is ideally completed by about seven to eight weeks of age."

    http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-care-weaning.aspx - puppies
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  18. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Three weeks would be too young for a puppy or kitten to be fully weaned, but that is the age I always started feeding them supplementally. Before three weeks, their little brains aren't so much hooked up, they don't learn new things, but about three weeks they are ready to start to learn how to eat. If a kitten is tiny and not eating well, I sure wouldn't rely on it starting to eat solids, but they could be introduced in case the kitten takes off on them.
     
  19. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I didn't mean to completely cut them off. Weaning is a process. My kittens will be 4 weeks old tomorrow (Sun) and their mother has already taught them to eat dry food and they have been doing so for a couple days now.
     
  20. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

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    Good formula for kitten or puppy suplimentation. I dont use the Karo syrup, but I'm sure it wouldnt hurt. I use 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 cup of full fat yogurt, 2 jars of meat baby food (I like chicken or turkey), you can certainly use the eggs, I dont but that is just me!! LOL.
    I have raised puppies on this formula from right after they have had colustrum to weaning. Start with every 2 hours for about 2 weeks, then increase the time between feedings.
    I have had mothers that got sick, that we lost, or a variety of things, this formula has saved 100% of the pups I have used it for. Make sure the pups are warm enough to digest the food, and warm the food. Now I do not use a bottle until the babies are bigger. I use a large eyedropper. Big one, and I put a pup on my lap and with a combination of them sucking and me squeezing a bit into their mouths they learn quickly, very quickly. I'm sure kittens would be the same.
    I have used this for any number of pups, since about 1985. Works great!!

    Alice in Virginia
     
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