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Abandoned kittens aren't growing well... PICTURES

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by warmfuzzies, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    Long story short, we moved and the previous owners asked if they could leave the barn cat. We didn't care, and soon it was obvious that she was pregnant. (They told us they thought she was spayed.) So she has 3 kittens, and took good care of them, I thought. She did move them a LOT, like 3-4 times a day. That was weird, but whatever. Anyway, one day I checked on them and they were acting very hungry and crawling around crying. I kept an eye on them and it was apparent that she wasn't feeding them. I held her down while they nursed for an hour but they were just as hungry when they were done, so she had no milk. I think that she had left them several days before.

    I have been bottle feeding them (I have done this before) but they seem tiny to me. They should be 5 weeks old or older but they are just tiny. They eat good and act their age, crawling around and stuff. but they are about the size of 3 week babies. They have lots of sharp teeth now but they can't eat kitty food yet. They are just now starting to get the hang of drinking from a bowl but most of their food still comes from a bottle. Is it possible that the mama was never feeding them enough, so they are stunted? She is a weird cat which will NOT be having more babies. She acts weird, and walks weird and frankly creeps me out a little.

    Anyway, what I am wondering is if the kittens will recover even though they are small, and if it was caused from the mama's improper care. And if there is anything I can add to their food (homemade formula, we can't afford the commercial stuff, even if we could find it.) to help them grow up a little.


    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    So good of you to take them in. You are their angel.
    I don't think the poor care from mom would stunt them. Starvation would make them skinny and sick/dying.
    If the mom is weird, perhaps you are dealing with some sort of genetic disorder; or they are just small cats. They do look younger than 5 weeks in your pictures.
    At 5 weeks they should be weaning, you can probably start introducing them to reg food.
    If it's possible a vet check wouldn't hurt.

    Good luck

  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:I agree. We have a pair that are 4 weeks old so we soften the kitten chow with kitten replacement milk, just til they get a bit fatter. I would say if they are acting normal, they are fine.
  4. watchdogps

    watchdogps Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    Have you wormed them? If they are competing with a belly full of parasites, they will lose.
  5. lasergrl

    lasergrl Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Middlefield Ohio
    If the mom had leukemia or coronavirus this can cause stunted kittens (failure to thrive)
  6. warmfuzzies

    warmfuzzies Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boondocks, Colorado
    Worms is actually a good possibility, they get them from the mom right? She eats like she is starving all the time. Can I worm them this young?
    I don't think she has a disease because she doesn't act sick. She just walks around meowing all the time and walks with a strange hump in her back, it looks like it was broken some time.

    I looked at the pictures again and had to laugh because they are covered in milk. They are very messy. [​IMG]
  7. biddybird

    biddybird Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Salado Texas
    They need fed. Give them watered down kitten food or start them on canned kitten food. They will eat it. I have fed 3 week old abandoned kittens softened food and they were fine. You can also give them milk over top of the dry food. Regular will work or if you have it I like the Pro Nurse from purina. Make sure to use a kitten safe wormer if you worm. They will be beautiful kitties!

    Someone dumped 2 kittens about their size in the front of our pasture last weekend [​IMG] Thank goodness we decided to shoot skeet and heard them crying. We took them took the barn and gave them some dry food softened with my supplemental piglet milk, love it and they are eating great now!

    Good Luck!

  8. pheasantfrenzie

    pheasantfrenzie Songster

    Jun 17, 2011
    Make sure you soften there fod I put some in a baggi with hot water and keep turning it until it becomes mush and then you can get a/d food to mix in which has alot of proteins for them.
    Are there bellies round and hrd before they eat? If they are actin normal and there stool like to be ok I wouldn't panic to much unless you see them to be lethargic then I would do something but you must soften the food for them.
    Good Luck
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  9. I've raised kittens before on human infant formula and they did well. You can also start mixing that with some raw meat.This will be more digestible and probably cheaper for you since you can use whatever meat you're eating for dinner that day. Start with hamburger,pork, a little chopped turkey or chicken, then start giving them some actual bones like a small chicken wing or piece of breast so they get a little bone. Some scrambled eggs with crunched up shells for the calcium would be good, too. I'm sure they are probably wormy since mother wasn't very well cared for and probably had fleas. Be very careful to use cat/kitten safe Wormer because even flea medicines for dogs aren't usually safe for cats.
    Look up online about feeding your kitten a "Raw Prey Model Diet". If these kitties are going to be outdoor barn kitties, they will probably be eating rodents, frogs, insects, and that sort of thing. Eating raw meat from day one will boost their immune system, help them grow and is actually cheaper than expensive junk cat food. I feed my cats and dogs raw. It's very easy. I'm actually a member of a raw feeding coop and buy large quantities of raw meat at a time. I also look for sales on cheap cuts of liver, chicken and pork chops. Also, things like tilapia is on sale for 99 cents at the Mexican grocery sometimes, which the cats just love.
  10. julnjake

    julnjake Chirping

    Aug 20, 2011
    SW PA
    Quote:Me too [​IMG] Well the dogs are raw, and I'm just about to switch the cat. We just went from dry food to wet food with him which he LOVES [​IMG] and then on to raw.

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