You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 04, 2016, 10:20:04 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Kitten Advice Needed  (Read 2812 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline oliveTopic starter

Kitten Advice Needed
« on: February 04, 2012, 09:11:00 AM »
Hello,

I have searched the web and I am getting a ton of conflicting information. If anyone has experience with kittens, I have a few questions about real food. I'm scared to death that I'll starve my kittens from lack of knowledge. I have raised kittens that were separated from their mothers too early, from 4 or 5 weeks old. For both of them, I used KMR mixed with a little wet food until they could eat solid food.

These kittens are not orphans and are not going anywhere anytime soon and neither is the mother. They are five weeks old and show absolutely no interest in eating real food. I have tried to give them dry food mixed with water to make a mushy gruel. Nothing. I gave them some soft high quality wet food made from chicken. Nothing.

Everything I have read says that they can start eating at five weeks but do they have to start eating by then? The mother is still happy to nurse them and they are happy and healthy, so far. I just don't want to unwittingly deprive them of any vital nutrition they need and stunt their growth or make them sick.

(I know...I'm insane. I wasn't this nuts with my own children. Now I'm like Shirley McClain in "Terms of Endearment" complete with getting up in the middle of the night to make sure they were still breathing, when they were first born.) 

So:

1. When do I put solid food out for them?
2. What kind of food do I use? Wet? Dry? Mixed with water? Mixed with KMR?
3. What else do I need to know regarding solid food and weaning that I don't know that I don't know?

Thanks!

olive



Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 09:14:48 AM »
Agador-Spartacus and Waffles




Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 09:26:15 AM »
I waaaaant the tabby! *grabbyhands*

My assumption would be that if you offer them mooshy kitten food or wet food, they will nurse until they are not getting what they need from mama any more and then they will explore the alternate foods set out for them. We brought Curie home around 6-8 weeks and she was okay with kibble by then. I haven't ever heard of mama refusing to wean them when it's time - aren't most mamas more than happy to not have nipple-suckers any longer than they have to? xD

I've never raised kittens from birth, so I don't know for sure, but I would be surprised if you have to do anything other than offer them kitten food.

Offline CharlieSariel

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 09:43:40 AM »
I concur with Trieste here, Olive.

Kittens act much like wild creatures (super adorable wild creatures to be sure...), and they will go "hunting" when they need something that they're not getting.  Trust them to know their own bodily needs.  Put out dishes of kitten food at selected feeding times, and when they need it, they will go to it.

And for the record... those two are so cute as to nearly be illegal.  Velcro-kitties for the win!  XD

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 09:57:54 AM »
So it is be okay to just set out dry kitten food and when they want it they will eat it, otherwise, no need to worry if they are still nursing well, is what I am hearing you both say. I keep dry food out for the mother, at all times, in the room.

She's still very protective of them and she won't leave them for longer than a minute or two. I leave the bedroom door cracked so she can push it open if she needs a break but it's too heavy for them to open on their own. They have their own room.

Thank you both. I just worry because I want to make sure they get the best start possible. Most of the good articles on feeding kittens assume they are either orphaned or that they need to be weaned by a particular time to go to new homes. The kittens will be with mom and their "aunt and uncles" for a while....like forever, probably.

And Trieste the grey one has the classic tabby "M" marking on her forehead. It's hard to see in the picture though.  :-)



« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:59:01 AM by olive »

Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 10:46:47 AM »
I love tabbies. <3

Do you have a family vet or a local shelter/rescue you can call for advice?

Offline Elina

  • How am I supposed to breathe? I try to relax. I touch your still frame, so I can watch you closer and study the ways I believe I belong to you.
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Location: Entangled
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm drinking what used to be sin.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 03:41:22 PM »
So it is be okay to just set out dry kitten food and when they want it they will eat it, otherwise, no need to worry if they are still nursing well, is what I am hearing you both say.
My understanding of dry food is that it is too hard for them to eat and digest so young.  I think that a couple of pieces moistened would be better.  You don't have to leave out much, just enough to see when they finally nibble, so it shouldn't be too wasteful.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

  • Time flies like an arrow ~ Fruit flies like a banana ~ Elliquiy's Fair-E Godmother
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Location: Faeleacanvald ~ The Steeler Nation ~ Home of Lord Stanley's Cup 2016 ~ She won't stay throwed! ~ 48\22-5\1\11-5\7
  • Gender: Female
  • Perpetual Notion Machine ~ 'What if...?'
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2012, 08:58:20 PM »
*nods*      It's normal for them to nurse until the mother's milk thins and/or runs out.  As they begin to wean they'll look for food, exploring the adult's food if that's all that's available so putting kitten food near the nesting place and near the adult food will give them an alternate sources.  They might nibble AND nurse for a bit but eventually they'll move or be moved on from nursing to food.

I love those little babies. :-)

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 09:21:27 PM »
I love tabbies. <3
Do you have a family vet or a local shelter/rescue you can call for advice?

No not really but I'm going to take them all in for a check up when I start working, hopefully in the next week or so. I call the little grey one 'Trieste's Baby' as a nickname.

*nods*      It's normal for them to nurse until the mother's milk thins and/or runs out.  As they begin to wean they'll look for food, exploring the adult's food if that's all that's available so putting kitten food near the nesting place and near the adult food will give them an alternate sources.  They might nibble AND nurse for a bit but eventually they'll move or be moved on from nursing to food.

I love those little babies. :-)


I love them too!  They are in their own room with her and she access to her own food and water. Today they were drinking a little of the water, imitating her, but still not interested in eating. She's still nursing them on demand, so I'll keep putting out the food and see what happens. They have their own little bowl they can reach.

Thanks both of you!

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 09:30:47 PM »
With wild felines, the mother eventually starts chasing them off from the teat, or standing up and walking away from them.  Dogs do the same thing.

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 09:53:58 PM »
These little fellas are tame, the parents are too but I imagine she'll do the same thing when she's ready for them to be weaned? I have been keeping track and she's still nursing them pretty frequently and is still very protective of them.

I'll keep an eye out for that, though. Right now they seem fat and sassy. I feel a bit more at ease since reading the suggestions here.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 09:57:24 PM »
These little fellas are tame, the parents are too but I imagine she'll do the same thing when she's ready for them to be weaned? I have been keeping track and she's still nursing them pretty frequently and is still very protective of them.

:-)  I realize that.  Just wanted to let you know that they do have an instinct for that sort of thing.

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2012, 10:01:11 PM »
That's what I thought. Thanks so much! You all have helped calm my fears a lot.  :-)

Offline Saerrael

  • ~~~Seraph ; In love~~~ Do you like what you see? Let me entertain ya ítill you scream.
  • Champion
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2009
  • Location: You don't know how you took it You just know what you got Oh Lordy you've been stealing from the thieves And you got caught
  • Gender: Male
  • Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 6
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2012, 10:15:23 PM »
Cats are very self-sufficient (and half-tame). Don't worry too much about it, Olive. Just offer them additional food next to the nursing. They should switch to food between 5 and 8 weeks, but it's not unheard of that they keep nursing at 10 weeks, too. As long as the mother cat has no problem with kittens drinking from her, all is fine.

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2012, 10:38:12 PM »
I agree with Saerra.  They'll self wean when they're ready, and be healthier and more adjusted for it. 

Offline Missy

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2012, 06:47:24 PM »
When I was a kid, but I can hardly remember.

We had to consult a vet when one of our cats was away (I think at the vet, but it was a looong time ago so it's hard to remember)

I want to say he gave us some kind of formula, but to be honest all I can remember for certain is that we bottle fed them for a while. They were probably a bit younger than that though.

Also, as a person with a fair bit of experience with cat's (I know it doesn't look that way, it was a long time ago okay and we only did it once) Having had tons of cats throughout my childhood momcats know when to stop feeding the babies, like Oniya said they just get up and walk away when it's time.

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2012, 06:50:09 AM »
Thanks Saerra, Kuroneko, and MCsc.

Today they actually had chicken that was cooked in the slow cooker. I cut it up very finely, with scissors and put it on a paper plate for the mama. Waffles (the fat cream colored one) surprised me by walking over and sitting next to mom and actually eating it.

I have been leaving dry food out all along, so I suspect they have been nibbling at that as BeMi suggested they might. The little grey one (Agador) didn't want anything to do with eating, though. She was too busy playing. She's a lot smaller than he is, I suspect she is the "runt" of the litter. So I was thinking she just isn't ready yet. Still it was encouraging to see one of them eat.

The thing is, as much as I hate to admit it, I cannot keep them both. My oldest daughter has found a home for Waffles. Really, just typing that makes me get tears in my eyes, because I love them both. She told me the people that want him would like him to come home in a couple of weeks if possible, so it is good that he is starting to eat. I would never let him go before he was weaned though, and I was firm with my daughter about that point.  I suggested they take the mean ol mama cat instead.  ::)   (You may or may not know that she attacked me on Christmas day, to the point of leaving scars.)

Anyway, thanks for the advice. So far one seems to be trying out real food, the other is still uninterested.  :-)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 06:51:51 AM by olive »

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2012, 08:33:38 AM »
A little update:

I made some boiled chicken breast, shredded it finely, and gave it to the mother. Waffles took right to it. He eats it anytime I offer it. Agador still wants nothing to do with solid fun and to hammer that point home, she climbed into the momma's dry food bowl and started to squat. I caught her just in time, but she seems to think dry food is kitty litter. Other than that, she's actually a bit smarter and more outgoing than he is.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

  • Time flies like an arrow ~ Fruit flies like a banana ~ Elliquiy's Fair-E Godmother
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Location: Faeleacanvald ~ The Steeler Nation ~ Home of Lord Stanley's Cup 2016 ~ She won't stay throwed! ~ 48\22-5\1\11-5\7
  • Gender: Female
  • Perpetual Notion Machine ~ 'What if...?'
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2012, 08:47:55 AM »
Food critic?

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2012, 03:45:40 PM »
Yeah, she REALLY doesn't like that brand. *giggles*

Offline LilFaerieAimee

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2012, 12:43:42 AM »
Hi Olive!  I apologize if my advice is a little late in coming.  I've had to wean several kittens during my life and the best tactic that always seems to work is to mix dry food with whole cow milk.  All of my cats I tried to give KMR to hated it.  The main important thing is to give a few moments for the dry food to get mushy (like leaving cereal too long.)  That's the weaning start point.  From there lessen the time the milk sits, then lessen the milk.  The big point is that they need fatty, fatty food. It helps them grow stronger.

As for adoption assistance.  I don't know where you live, but in many cities there is a local BARC.  Google BARC and your city, and I am sure they will have one.  They take the animal for free, you just have to bring your license.  It's 100% no kill and they fix and give all proper shots and even chip the animal upon adoption.  You can even keep track of your stray online. to make sure everything is going smooth.

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2012, 07:03:16 PM »
Thanks so much LilFaerieAimee! That's really good information.

I wanted to give a little update. I did mix some kitten chow with the KMR for a while but it's very expensive and the momma cat wanted to gobble it up. Apparently it is tasty too! Anyway, for the last few days, I simply have been leaving high quality kitten chow out for them and they are eating regularly and nursing less frequently. They seem to be thriving so I think they are well on their way to being weaned. The momma is spending less time with them and they are roaming the house freely when I am home.

I really appreciate all the good advice and assurance I received from you folks. Thanks again!  :-)

This is their 7 week picture, taken today. They are so active now, the only time I can catch them in one spot together is when they are sleeping. They love each other so, too.


Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2012, 07:14:47 PM »
*makes such grabbyhands at the lovelies*

Offline oliveTopic starter

Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2012, 07:32:54 PM »
Trieste, you would love Agador. She's got spots on her body, like her mother, instead of stripes. Her legs are striped but the rest of her is more of a cheetah pattern. Let me know when I can ship her to you!  :-) 

Actually, I cannot part with them until I find good homes, if ever. I try to imagine giving them to strangers and all I can think about is what kind of lives they will have and all the "what ifs." I've always considered getting a pet the same as making a promise. They are a life-time commitment, I think. I need to know they will have good lives with people that will love them forever and then I'd be willing to let them go. If I keep them and my daughter eventually comes for her two, that will leave me with five. I have lived with up to four, for several years. Still, it would be nice to see them go to homes where they didn't have to share the attention so much.

Edit:
By the way, I would consider yours a good home...*hint hint*  XD
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 07:35:43 PM by olive »

Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: Kitten Advice Needed
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2012, 07:44:12 PM »
I already love Agador! Waffles is a sweetie, but I have a soft spot for the little grey ball of fluff. :) My husband would leave me, though. >.>