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Two orphaned kittens...help!

(42 Posts)
SquadGoals Tue 22-Sep-15 21:34:51

DH came home from work earlier with two tiny kittens which were found on Saturday where he works. They were about to be taken to the local SPCA which is renowned for putting animals to sleep and DH couldn't bear the thought.

However, we have never owned cats and certainly not this small. Vet reckons they are about 4-5 weeks. Only had them for a few hours but they do not seem interested in food.

Tried them on a teat and then a syringe with kitty milk and only one really had any. Any tips? How often should they be eating?

Also at this age, will they know how to pee/poo themselves or do I need to be encouraging this by rubbing?

Any other useful tips for looking after kittens this tiny? Gratefully accepted!

3littlebadgers Tue 22-Sep-15 21:41:25

Hi I am not up on kittens, but was in a similar situation to you a few years ago and was given some really great advice on here. no doubt there will be loads of lovely ladies who will have the perfect advice.
I was told to feed regularly, like a newborn, and to help to stimulate them to open the bowels. Good luck with the tiny fur babies smile

timtam23 Tue 22-Sep-15 22:20:55

Aww poor little things. No direct experience of this as the kitten i took in was a few weeks older and weaned. I think they need to be kept warm. Have read on here about people tucking a kitten down their top. Something to do with them hearing your heartbeat as well (being comforted by it).
Hopefully someone else with proper experience of very young kittens will be along soon!

SquadGoals Wed 23-Sep-15 09:32:45

They slept really well. Had a bit of a meow at 3am for some attention and then woke up at 6am.

Mashed up some kitten wet food with the kitten milk. One has got the hang of lapping it out of the saucer, the other one will only lick off my finger.

Genuinely have no idea how much and how often they should be eating at this stage - this is what I am most concerned about.

Had a little pee from one and a big one from the other (all over the sofa!). No poo as of yet.

Currently veering from massively playful to falling asleep where they stand. Trying lots of human contact as they are from a feral litter. One still hisses quite a lot, but seems calmer than yesterday.

CMOTDibbler Wed 23-Sep-15 09:37:59

I'd get them into your vet this morning to get them examined and get some solid advice on what they need in terms of feeding

SquadGoals Wed 23-Sep-15 10:07:12

Apparently the guy who found them took them to the vet on Monday who gave them a clean bill of health.

Unfortunately DH didn't think to ask what the vet said.

We're quite friendly with one of the vets so might ask him for advice. We're in a town with no public transport and I don't drive, so will need DH to take us.

In the meantime, do I just keep trying to tempt them with little bits often?

Tinfoiled Wed 23-Sep-15 10:18:27

You need more info from a vet. Call one up and ask for advice. Were they wormed and deflea'd? Little and often with food sounds fine and them sleeping often is normal - they're like human babies in sleep needs. You might need to train them to use a litter tray by putting them in it often, especially after sleep/food.

Mimigolightly Wed 23-Sep-15 10:46:05

Kittens of this age would be mainly suckling from mum but starting to get interested in proper food. They would feed from mum a lot, and I would be looking to feed them around every 6 hours for a week or 2. They are more likely to eat food that is a warm as it smells more and stimulates their senses.

You're doing the right thing with mixing the wet kitten food in with the kitten milk - you can get replacement kitten formula from Pets at Home and similar which has all the nutrients in it. Feed them in a saucer or similar flat dish. Expect them to walk all through it grin. You could occasionally give them a treat of mashed up white fish (I used to microwave frozen coley fillets from the supermarket) with a little milk. Make sure there's no bones in it. You can also buy baby cat biscuits which are tiny and mix them with some warm water to make a gravy/porridge type-consistency. Royal Canin do really good ones.

When you've fed them, you need to stimulate them to defecate like their mum would by using some wet cotton wool around their bottom and such. Don't worry too much about litter training yet as they just won't get it for a few weeks yet. Have a small tray and a wood or paper based litter around so they get used to seeing it. Please don't use a clay/silica based one as they will try to eat it.

Pictures please grin and good luck.

MissMarpleCat Wed 23-Sep-15 14:35:23

Spot on advice from mimi plus another request for pictures smile

SquadGoals Wed 23-Sep-15 14:50:55

Ask and ye shall receive grin

They have had about 2 tablespoons of milk mixed with wet food each this afternoon and are now napping. Every so often kicking the other in the face.

I need to stop googling - keep seeing so many other forums saying that their 4-5 week old kittens were eating tonnes more and it is making me paranoid.

They've done a wee each today so they must be hydrated enough. Now I just need to work out how to get pee out of the sofa.

MissMarpleCat Wed 23-Sep-15 14:54:38

smile bloody gorgeous!

CMOTDibbler Wed 23-Sep-15 15:08:58

You need Simple Solution spray for the sofa - it gets rid of the smell like nothing else. They sell it in PaH.

They are gorgeous, so you can forgive a lot of weeing smile

SquadGoals Wed 23-Sep-15 15:17:52

We're in South Africa but have found it online so have ordered some.

Still need to come up with names - thinking African themed. I don't think DH's suggestions of "The Bat Cat" and "The Other One" are going to work.

They have probably had 3-4 tablespoons of wet/milk mix each today - would you say that's about right? Or am I going to start having to get them to eat a bit more?

Quite happy with the peeing so far, will wait and see what happens with the pooing.

Appreciating the support for a brand new and highly anxious kitten mum.

MissMarpleCat Wed 23-Sep-15 15:49:18

They won't poo without assistance. After feeding gently rub their bottoms with warm wet cotton wool and this will stimulate their bowels to open. I used to do my kitty's in a litter tray with shredded paper. It is important to do this or they will get ill, good luck smile

SquadGoals Thu 24-Sep-15 14:42:59

They have eaten a hell of a lot each so far today, about 20ml of milk each and the bigger one has also had about 6g of wet food.

Also really starting to run around and explore. Great at peeing when stimulated but still no poo. When stimulated, they pee almost instantly. When trying to get them to poo, I'm lightly rubbing their stomachs and then anus, but nothing is happening. Starting to get a little worried. They didn't eat for about a day before we got them, so could it just be that there is nothing in them to get rid of?

Think we will take them to the vet this time tomorrow if there is still no poo. Running out of kitty milk and think a check over will give me some relief too.

Mimigolightly Thu 24-Sep-15 17:42:40

You don't need to rub their tummies to get them to poo. You need to imitate what a mummy cat would do with her tongue - but with damp (not wet) cotton wool so there's some texture to it like a cat's tongue. Wipe it over with a light pressure repeatedly.

Archfarchnad Fri 25-Sep-15 18:01:35

They're gorgeous!

Re names, have found this site with African-themed animal names, but most of them are from Northern Africa, and you might prefer some more local languages. I particularly like Akila and Aziza, both of which mean beautiful.

Archfarchnad Fri 25-Sep-15 18:04:31

And these are specifically African cat names for different personalities.

NegativeIron Fri 25-Sep-15 18:07:37

They are entrancing. Which is HissyKit?

V obvious, but Simba and one of the other lion king names?

No tigers in Africa, otherwise Shere Khan..

SquadGoals Sat 26-Sep-15 08:23:37

Loving the African name suggestions, thank you so much. We'll have a work through and see what sticks.

DH works on construction sites so another option is to name them after the sites.

They have now mastered jumping up onto the sofa and love coming for cuddles while I work.

They are eating tons! Both now eating wet food from a saucer, so no more spoon feeding from me! Both have put on about 20g since Wednesday/Thursday.

Peeing well but still no pooing. Rang the vet yesterday but they are away on a rhino project until Monday and no one was available to chat to me. Mimi, I've been stimulating them as you say, but nothing. Hoping there is nothing dodgy going on internally.

DH reckons they hadn't properly eaten all day Monday and Tuesday. They only started having significant amounts of milk on Wednesday night and then eating loads Thursday and Friday. He wonders whether there just hasn't been enough in them to poo as well as getting used to a new environment.

I'm going to carry on with the stimulation (after every meal, right?) and take them to the vets on Monday if they still haven't gone.

Hissy one is the tabby, definitely not as hissy anymore. He's the vocal one, constantly purring, making a little quacking noise when he eats and meowling for attention.

Black cat is a little quieter but is the explorer and also more affectionate. He will happily curl up on me to sleep and loves tucking himself up in my tshirt.

NegativeIron Sat 26-Sep-15 12:09:51

Somehow Thought he might be. An explorer, protector, defender.

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Sat 26-Sep-15 12:18:52

Good luck op, I hope you get them to poo soon, they are beautiful. Would it be wrong to admit that I actually quite like your husbands names or Bat and Other for short maybe?

SquadGoals Sat 26-Sep-15 20:14:35

They pooed! Simultaneously! And both in the litter box!

I have some seriously clever kittens on my hands. Amazing how much they have come on in just a few days.

And I have never seen such perfect poo in my life grin

MissMarpleCat Sat 26-Sep-15 20:17:35

What a relief! Sound like they're doing really well with you smile

HemanOrSheRa Sat 26-Sep-15 20:32:38

They are adorable. And you are lovely for looking after them so well particularly as you have never had cats before smile.

Now you need to steady your nerves for all sorts of kitten mischief! I wish you all the luck in the world wink.

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