Mother cat abandoned four kittens in our attic... does anyone here have any advice?

Feb 14, 2021
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Also got the non-clumping litter yesterday.

And... and unbelievable as it sounds... the family who came in behind us (they were there because of their dog) might take the two strongest kittens. The girls played with the kittens through the wire door of the carrier and finally I asked, would you like for me to take them out so you can see them? They both fell in love, and we explained these kitties are being fostered so if they wanted them, they were theirs. And the girls were like, we each want one. So I might already have homes for two. One girl already named her kitty Serena. We are just waiting for them to get a bit stronger and gain some weight back, but I think the strongest two will be ready to go soon. Serena climbs my shirt sleeve and ends up on my shoulder every chance she gets. The other one likes to try to get underneath my shirt. Panther (the black one) and the named runt of the litter aren't as strong yet so I'll be keeping them longer, until I'm sure they are ready.

I'll try to post a video update of them soon. :)
 

NatJ

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Isn't water unfamiliar to a kitten though? I thought milk would be familiar. I'll try and see what they do with it.
Kittens would be familiar with their mother's milk, but maybe not with the milk you are offering (it might have a different taste, and certainly isn't coming out of mom.)

Since the kittens were living outside, they have probably seen dew in the mornings, and maybe puddles or a stream or a pond.

Also, since they were not used to being around humans, they were probably scared by you trying to make them drink from a bottle. Sniffing a dish and thinking about it for themselves might be less scary, so they might be more inclined to try it.

(And after I've said all that, they might be terrified of a dish of water. I never can tell with animals...)
 
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Artichoke Lover

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And she is, I know. It was darker than lemonade. Also she had a poop stuck to the fur on her back end that was so hard, I don't see how she got it out.

She hadn't had much since Monday at the latest. All mom and I could do with the bottle was 5ml per feeding which was way below what she needs. The vet couldn't see her, but the assistant showed us how to use a syringe to feed her without choking her. After a day of that, she sucks the end of the syringe. Or chews it. Almost got 15ml in her today so far. I think it ended up being more like 13. But that's better than 5. Hoping she will get stronger and take more as we go.


😳 No, I haven't.


Oh! Well. I'll offer some then. I was going to offer kitten food today. Bought a case of it yesterday.


Gotcha. :) Isn't water unfamiliar to a kitten though? I thought milk would be familiar. I'll try and see what they do with it. Today I offered 60ml in a dish and the other three kittens drank almost all of it. And also dunked their faces in it, snorted some of it (sneezed it back out quickly and then didn't dunk their faces anymore. They are learning slowly 😆), and then stepped in it and tracked it everywhere. Including on each other. Took longer to clean up the mess than anything.



Ah, gotcha.

Feeders? For snakes?


We are learning how to do this. Don't want to accidentally send it down the windpipe. 😅 The vet assistant made it look so easy. Panther clamps that little mouth shut and the liquid just drips down her chin.
If the kittens were able to drink formula out of the dish just fine you offer a shallow container (like a saucer or Tupperware lid) of water. We usually mix a little bit of formula in but that means you have to replace it and wash it at least 2-3 times a day. You should be able to wean them soon but for now it’s just a matter of getting enough food in them in whatever form they will take. We’ve continued to give formula in addition to kitten food for up to around 9 or 10 weeks in cases of very underweight or sick kittens.
 
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Also got the non-clumping litter yesterday.

And... and unbelievable as it sounds... the family who came in behind us (they were there because of their dog) might take the two strongest kittens. The girls played with the kittens through the wire door of the carrier and finally I asked, would you like for me to take them out so you can see them? They both fell in love, and we explained these kitties are being fostered so if they wanted them, they were theirs. And the girls were like, we each want one. So I might already have homes for two. One girl already named her kitty Serena. We are just waiting for them to get a bit stronger and gain some weight back, but I think the strongest two will be ready to go soon. Serena climbs my shirt sleeve and ends up on my shoulder every chance she gets. The other one likes to try to get underneath my shirt. Panther (the black one) and the named runt of the litter aren't as strong yet so I'll be keeping them longer, until I'm sure they are ready.

I'll try to post a video update of them soon. :)
I just want to say bless you for this. It makes my heart so happy to know that you are helping these sweet babies.
 

BigBlueHen53

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This is all good news. Please impress upon the parents the importance of spaying/neutering the kittens ASAP, and let them know the females can get pregnant as early as 4 months (if I remember correctly?). Some people may still believe a young animal should have "at least one litter" before being spayed, or that the children should witness "the miracle of birth." Please be sure the parents do not subscribe to this nonsense before placing the kittens in this home, especially if the kittens are brother and sister!
 

Artichoke Lover

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This is all good news. Please impress upon the parents the importance of spaying/neutering the kittens ASAP, and let them know the females can get pregnant as early as 4 months (if I remember correctly?). Some people may still believe a young animal should have "at least one litter" before being spayed, or that the children should witness "the miracle of birth." Please be sure the parents do not subscribe to this nonsense before placing the kittens in this home, especially if the kittens are brother and sister!
Four months is correct. Allowing a cat to get pregnant that young can cause a ton of health issues, stop their growth and they usually aren’t mature enough to make good mothers and end up abandoning or neglecting the kittens
 

NatJ

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they usually aren’t mature enough to make good mothers and end up abandoning or neglecting the kittens
Do you know how often that happens?

I only know one person that didn't spay their cat in time, and they definitely had kittens to rehome (but I know they would not have bottle-fed or hand-raised kittens, so the mother cat must have done an adequate job.)
 

Ginmary

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And she is, I know. It was darker than lemonade. Also she had a poop stuck to the fur on her back end that was so hard, I don't see how she got it out.

She hadn't had much since Monday at the latest. All mom and I could do with the bottle was 5ml per feeding which was way below what she needs. The vet couldn't see her, but the assistant showed us how to use a syringe to feed her without choking her. After a day of that, she sucks the end of the syringe. Or chews it. Almost got 15ml in her today so far. I think it ended up being more like 13. But that's better than 5. Hoping she will get stronger and take more as we go.


😳 No, I haven't.


Oh! Well. I'll offer some then. I was going to offer kitten food today. Bought a case of it yesterday.


Gotcha. :) Isn't water unfamiliar to a kitten though? I thought milk would be familiar. I'll try and see what they do with it. Today I offered 60ml in a dish and the other three kittens drank almost all of it. And also dunked their faces in it, snorted some of it (sneezed it back out quickly and then didn't dunk their faces anymore. They are learning slowly 😆), and then stepped in it and tracked it everywhere. Including on each other. Took longer to clean up the mess than anything.



Ah, gotcha.

Feeders? For snakes?


We are learning how to do this. Don't want to accidentally send it down the windpipe. 😅 The vet assistant made it look so easy. Panther clamps that little mouth shut and the liquid just drips down her chin.
Put the dropper at the very corner of her mouth. You should be able to get it past her "lip" Don't squirt, just let it drip in
 

Artichoke Lover

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Do you know how often that happens?

I only know one person that didn't spay their cat in time, and they definitely had kittens to rehome (but I know they would not have bottle-fed or hand-raised kittens, so the mother cat must have done an adequate job.)
I’m afraid I don’t have exact numbers but it’s pretty common knowledge around here to keep an extra close eye on younger momma cats. With how small they are sometimes they simply can’t keep up enough of a milk supply. Some still do just fine. But in with others sometimes we have to help with supplement feedings. It’s also rarer but sometimes the mother cat will reject or fail to provide proper care. Forgetting to wash or feed one or more of the kittens.
 

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