Nursing mom with babies question!

*blackrose

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#1
I posted this on facebook, too, but wanted to post here, too.

I am fostering a litter of kittens for the humane society. A momma, River, and her three now week old babies. Another foster mom with two orphaned 2.5 week old babies needed help, so as no one else was willing to bottle feed, I offered to see how they did with River and babies. So far things are great, I think, I just have some questions!

With the addition of the two new cuckoos, the nursing game has changed a little bit. The Cuckoos are a week and a half older, so are much larger and stronger, although they are also inexperienced. I just sat in the room while everybody nursed and there was a lot of screaming and flailing around. Momma has plenty of nipples, but there are definitely "preferred" spots. I'm also not sure if all of her nipples are "active"? Is that possible? If they were never nursed from, do they stop producing milk? Is it normal for wee babies to squabble and fight over the "preferred" milk spot even when other teets are available? If all kittens but one are nursing will the one not nursing eventually battle its way in or should I be worried?

I've never had to pay this much attention before. Sorry if these are stupid questions. I really want the Cuckoos to work out, because I think they'll really benefit from momma and littermates.

Also, I'm feeding River kitten food and making sure she has plenty of fresh water. She's currently getting a Lysine supplement and FortiFlora as she's having a bit if herpes flare up. Is there anything else I need to do for her?

Thanks in advance!
 

milos_mommy

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#2
Ok to be fair I have literally zero experience with this and cats in general:

Could you remove the older kittens at times to be sure the younger ones are getting adequate food? I know in people with multiples you let the smaller/weaker/less eatier baby go first in order to make sure they get enough. But I guess it's hard when kittens just have free reign all the time?

I'd suggest taking the big kittens out for a few minutes a few times a day.
 

*blackrose

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#3
So far, it seems like everybody is doing well! I reweighed everyone again today and they've all gained at least 1 oz, if not more, which is great. My little black kitten (still can't tell if it is a boy or girl) has always been the smallest and has gained the least amount of weight compared to the other kittens so I'm keeping an eye on him/her, but everybody else is doing well. I'm going to keep weighing them daily this week to make sure they're still gaining and aren't stalling out or loosing, but so far so good!

The wee ones opened their eyes today. :)
 

MericoX

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#4
I would either supplement the younger kittens if they're not getting enough, or like milo_mommy said to take out the older ones. Soon the older ones will be feeding less in a week or so when you start weaning and the little ones will have more access to the milk bar.

As long as the kittens are gaining weight daily, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Romy

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#5
I would either supplement the younger kittens if they're not getting enough, or like milo_mommy said to take out the older ones. Soon the older ones will be feeding less in a week or so when you start weaning and the little ones will have more access to the milk bar.

As long as the kittens are gaining weight daily, I wouldn't worry about it.
Thirding this suggestion.

When I have a litter of puppies pull the bigger ones and put them in a warming box while the little ones have some extra time to eat.
 
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