Anonymous asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

Feeding newborn kittens?

My cat gave birth today. She showed no interest in caring for the babies, followed my mom around the house, and didn't return to the newborns until HOURS later! The poor things were cold and hungry, so we stepped in and decided to feed them ourselves. Mother cat is deaf, so she can't hear them crying for her. Anyway, we got a formula to make for the babies until we can get to a pet store or the vet, and I read that newborns need to eat every 2-4 hours. They haven't eaten for maybe 6 hours. I tried feeding them, but they didn't seem interested at all. I got a few drops on their mouths and they swallowed, but that's it... should I be worried? They're just sleeping and make the odd noise and move a bit. Will they be hungry later on when I wake up to feed them?


Thanks everyone.

I managed to feed them before going to bed, and 3 hours later they ate quite a bit. Now they have the hang of this bottle thing, so I'm a happy surrogate cat mommy :)

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Always feed them 2-4 hrs even if they are sleeping here are amazing websites

    Need any help feel free to e-mail me at

    Source(s): bottle feeding experance
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, you should be worried, these kittens really need to eat every few hours. They need replacement formula for kittens. Anyways, go to a pet store or the vet's and get some formula for kittens. You'll also need a little bottle with a nipple (Like a really small baby bottle) you should find these where they sell the formula. Follow the directions on the formula. They will drink it, you just have to keep trying. Don't drown them in it, but squirt a tiny bit into their mouth ( a few drops or so) until they start sucking on the bottle. After you have fed them all, you're gonna have to make them pee and poop if mom's not taking care of them. This is pretty easy to do, just get a towel or something to put on your lap, take a kitten and get a warm wet washcloth (not soaking wet) and gently rub it back & forth over their butts until they poop or pee. Don't worry, it's not gonna be a huge amout that's gonna go squirting all over the place. Do that with each kitten after you feed them every time. If the mother is licking them and cleaning them, then you don't have to worry about it, she'll make them poop and pee. The next thing you have to make sure of is they have to stay warm. Keep them in a warm room (80 degrees) in a box or something with some blankets or towels in it. When they are 4-5 weeks old, you'll notice that the liquid formula doesn't really satisfy their appetites & they're drinking alot more. That's when you start giving them food moistened with the formula. I've been thru this with 2 orphan kittens....they're 2 years old now. Good luck

  • RoVale
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It doesn't sound like your cat will ever really be interested in her kittens. Perhaps her deafness has something to do with it. While I agree with the other suggestions posted, I'm going to suggest something else. Can you check with your vet or your local animal shelter to see if anyone knows of a cat that recently had kittens? If so, perhaps you can get her to adopt them. One way to do it is to rub a cloth on the mother and then rub them onto the kittens. You're rubbing her scent onto them and if she accepts them, then she will look after them. This is the best solution for orphaned kittens. She'll do everything you would otherwise have to do by hand and the kittens have a better chance of surviving. Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    You can get a substitute mother, doesn't even have to be a cat. Ask friends, coworkers, & neighbors if they have a nursing pet. You'd be suprised, but many nursing animals will breastfeed anything they cand find (I've seen a dog try to suckle baby chickens, to no advantage) especially if they have lost a litter.

    Back to the issue. The mother has rejected the babies & they won't eat. You need to get them to the vet asap. Mothers rarely reject healthy babies. Keep the kittens close to your body if you can. They need the warmth & smell of a body to keep them from stressing out, so if you don't toss & turn at night, let them curl up to your belly & sleep under the covers with you.

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  • ???
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The other people are right about the formula. If she is ignoring them you are going to have to help them eliminate as well. Mother cats usually do this by licking the tummy and then genital area, stimulating elimination. They won't be able to do it on their own for a few weeks. Every time they eat or 2-4 hours you will need to take a damp cloth or paper towel and lightly rub the genital area. They should urinate when you do this so continue until they are done, folding the cloth over and over so you aren't continually rubbing the yucky part on them or yourself.

    Source(s): raised many kittens
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes you should be worried. They DO need to eat every 2-4 hours.

    I would, however, suggest preventing the mama cat from wandering around the house. Contain her in the room with the kits and spend time with her, putting her in the nest and encouraging her to snuggle with her babies. First-time mothers don't always "get it" right off the bat and those hormones need to kick in.

    If that doesn't help things along, and they will not take a bottle you might have to learn to tube feed them. Your vet should have the french feeding tubes and 10cc syringes and he/she should have a tech who can teach you.

    Make sure, as well (and this is VERY IMPORTANT) that the babies are not cold when you're feeding them. They need to be warm to eat. You should have a low-temp heating pad in with them (with room where they can move off the pad if they get too warm). Also, you will need to stimulate their bottoms to make them potty. Failure to do this can cause them to die.

    Here are some useful articles on tube feeding: (excellent pictures too)

  • 4 years ago

    KMR kitten alternative formula. do no longer carry the kitten the different way up as you are able to with a human infant to bottle feed, they are going to aspirate the fluid into their lungs. Lay them on their tummies to feed them. you besides might might desire to help the kittens to alleviate themselves with the aid of gently wiping and stimulating their genitals/behinds because of the fact the mummy cat could. determine to maintain them heat to boot. they might initiate kitten gruel of KMR soaked with dry kitten meals around 3 weeks old, it is once you may desire to introduce water to boot. good success!

  • 1 decade ago

    You need to keep them warm. When you feed them don't cradle them on their back in your hand. Feed them in the position they would be in if feeding from the mom. Be sure you warm the formula.

    Here's some formula recipes to use until you can get the KMR :

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    what are you feeding them? they need kitten replacement formula....they really should be eating more than that...

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