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Weaning kitten - how?!

(5 Posts)
frostyfingers Tue 27-Oct-09 08:32:23

We have one kitten who is now 5 weeks old - he was hand reared for the first 10 days but we managed to persuade mum (with several hormone injections!) to take over which she has done really well.

I want to start weaning him, especially as she's going in to be spayed next week but he's proving very stubborn. He will lick the milk if you wipe it on his face and paws, and has licked up spillage from the floor, but he will not lap from the dish. If you stick his face in he fights and backs away, or walks through.

Even when he's been without her for a while (she was out all night last night), and should therefore be really hungry, he wouldn't touch it. Do I stop faffing and just leave it until she's had her op and unable to feed him, or keep trying. He's got teeth so I'm amazed she still lets him feed.

Another, probably mad question. He has no natural immunity as he had no colustrum, and his mother isn't vaccinated - she was due her injection when pregnant and couldn't have it because of being pregnant - she will have hers next week, and he's booked in for 8 weeks. However, my DS has suspected swine flu - is it sensible to keep the two apart?

beautifulgirls Tue 27-Oct-09 11:03:39

Swine flu will not affect the kitten at all so no need to keep apart from your son.

Weaning - you need to be offering kitten food on a plate or in a bowl, soft meaty type to start with then in time offer a few kitten biscuits to him and he will start to take it when he is ready. You can't teach him to eat/drink other things himself - he will when he is ready. If he really isn't taking adequate food or lapping foster milk at that point then it would be better to wait for him to be doing so before you have the mother spayed as her milk will likely decrease from the time of the op. Don't push him too hard to wean, he is still pretty small and will get there. Most kittens are not away from mum (ie still taking a little milk) until at least 8-9 weeks old. He should however be of an age where he starts to eat some solids and decreases how much he needs mum to feed off.

frostyfingers Tue 27-Oct-09 12:24:40

Thank you - I'm inclined to let it happen naturally, as we are keeping him there's no rush for him to be weaned. If she's feeding will she come into season? We're keen to get her spayed asap as she's a terrible tart, but an unwilling mother, but if she can't get pregnant whilst feeding then I'm happy to wait. She's also very thin although we are feeding her 3 times a day, meat, milk and biscuit which she supplements with voles etc on her travels. She is wormed regularly so hopefully isn't that.

Glad about the swine flu - actually don't think DS has it, he's been asleep for 15 hours, temp has gone down and he's now wandering about looking pasty but vaguely alive! One of his classmates has had it which is why school thought it might be, but will give him another day off tomorrow and see how it goes.

madusa Tue 27-Oct-09 13:15:10

if she is feeding she can still get pregnant.

My cat gave birth to her second litter just about a week after she finished feeding her first litter who were about 15 weeks old

The kittens from her first litter are so affectionate and I think it may be due to their "extended" feeding grin

We only kept one kitten from her second litter and were extra careful about keeping her in so that she couldn't become pregnant. She fed the last kitten until he was about 13 weeks old.

Mummy cat is now spayed but she was up to date with her jabs before becoming pregnant.

Jux Tue 27-Oct-09 13:59:36

I've always found that mummy-cats wean their babies themselves. I've no idea how you would make that decision for them. Just put food out and once it's ready it will start trying it. The mum will get fed up with feeding it herself at some point anyway.

We have just had ours spayed, having kept one kitten which is now nearly 5m old (she started beating him up when he tried to suckle - BIG teeth!).

I'd ring the vet and ask; it might be better to give her another couple of weeks before spaying.

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