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Old 05-15-2010, 06:38 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Default Kittens?? HELP!

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???
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:19 PM
stardogs stardogs is online now
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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.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:28 PM
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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! Any chance on pictures, maybe?
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:52 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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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!
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:30 AM
babymomma babymomma is offline
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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.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:18 PM
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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.
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Old 05-16-2010, 03:51 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
How are the babies doing today?
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.

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by babymomma View Post
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.
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by babymomma View Post
And a totally feral cat can still be tamed Even if you hadnt gotten these babies when you did, they could have been tamed.
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.
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:04 PM
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Whisper Whisper is offline
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Sounds like you're doing well.

Here are a couple of links with illustrations to help sex the kittens.
Determining the Sex of a Kitten
Kitten-Rescue.com

I hope you find those useful.
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:08 PM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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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!
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:40 PM
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MaloreyAnimal MaloreyAnimal is offline
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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! I wish you luck with them!
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