The Flow of Kittens: Kitten Therapy

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The kitten should be on his stomach in a position similar to how he would lay next to his mother to nurse. You may try holding the kitten upright swaddled in a warm towel or have the kitten lay on a towel in your lap. Experiment with what position works best for you and the kitten.


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Turn the bottle upside down and allow a drop of formula to come out. This movement should encourage the kitten to start eating. Usually the kitten will latch on and begin to suckle. Allow the kitten to suckle at his own pace.

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Do not attempt to feed a kitten who is chilled because it can have serious health consequences. Try warming the kitten as described above. If you are unable to warm the kitten, contact your medical staff immediately. A kitten should eat about 8 milliliters mls of formula per ounce of body weight per day. For example, a kitten who weighs 4 ounces should eat about 32 mls of formula per day. To determine how much to give at each feeding, divide the total amount of formula per day by the number of feedings.

Please note that some bottles use ml for measurement, some use cubic centimeters cc. Using a kitchen or small postal scale, weigh the kittens daily to calculate the amount of formula they need.

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Keep a log listing daily weights and amount of formula consumed at each feeding. Newborn kittens, up to 1 week old, should be fed every hours; by 2 weeks old, every hours. Once they are 3 weeks old, they can be fed every 4 to 6 hours. Continue to follow the rule of 8 mls of formula per ounce of body weight per day, as described above, to determine the amount of food the kitten should be eating.

If you are feeding multiple kittens, feed the first kitten until he stops nursing, then begin feeding the next kitten, and so on. Once you have fed all the kittens, feed the first kitten again and repeat with all the kittens. Usually one to three nursing turns will suffice. Do not overfeed the kittens because it can cause loose stools and diarrhea. Smaller or weaker kittens may eat less per feeding and will need to be fed more often. Kittens need to be burped, just like human babies. Lay the kitten on his stomach, on your shoulder or in your lap, and very gently pat his back until you hear a little burp.

You may need to burp a couple times per feeding.

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Young kittens may suckle on each other. If the suckling is causing problems, you should separate the kittens. Start by offering the kittens formula on a spoon. Once they are lapping off the spoon, try putting some formula in a saucer. As they master lapping up the formula out of the saucer, you can gradually add a small amount of canned food to the formula in the saucer, making a gruel.

Increase the amount of canned food slowly, adding more food and less formula. Some kittens catch on right away, others may take a few days. To be sure the kittens are getting enough food, you may need to continue bottle feeding them a few times a day, until they are eating well on their own. If the kittens have loose stools, reduce the amount of canned food and increase the formula until their systems have adjusted.

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As the kittens adjust to the gruel mix and you are adding more canned food to their diet, you can also add more water to the formula mix. If you are using KMR formula, add an extra measure of water when preparing the formula. Instead of 1 part formula to 2 parts water, mix 1 part formula to 3 or 4 parts water. For the Hoskins formula, you may add an extra ounce of water to the recipe.

As the kittens eat more food and less formula, you will need to have a bowl of fresh water available to them at all times to keep them well hydrated. At this time, you may also add dry food to their diet. Add some of the watered-down formula mix to the dry food to entice the kittens to eat it. Gradually reduce the formula and let them eat the food dry. If diarrhea or constipation persists with the change in diet, contact your medical staff. Weigh your kittens daily, preferably at the same time each day, using a kitchen or postal scale.

By 8 weeks, most kittens weigh about 2 pounds. Enter their daily weights in the logbook. If the kittens are not gaining weight or are losing weight, contact your medical staff right away. The causes of digestive disorders range from eating something other than cat food, to food intolerance or sensitivities, infections, or lack of digestive enzymes. Causes may include eating rancid or spoiled food, swallowing foreign objects, eating toxic plants, internal parasites, stress, food allergies and some disease conditions. If your cat is experiencing colitis, it may contain mucus and blood.

Most frequently, colitis is caused by tumors or polyps, a change in food, allergies including those to food , swallowed foreign objects and certain other diseases. Origins are frequently unknown. Potential causes are decreased blood flow due to dehydration, or other disease processes infections, disease or trauma. Some suspected causes include food intolerances and the ability of the cat food to effectively pass through the gastrointestinal tract.

Mental distress can also be a contributing factor for this condition. Chronic pancreatitis is the most common cause. The most common signs of digestive disorders in cats are soft stools or diarrhea. You may also notice some or all of the following signs in your cat. Chronic GI disease can be a debilitating problem for many cats and requires testing and a thorough diagnosis from your veterinarian.

Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs. Your cat's food can have a significant impact on her GI tract health. A number of different nutritional approaches could be recommended for your cat depending on the specific diagnosis and the symptoms. Veterinarians recommend feeding cats with this condition a food that is highly digestible to help prevent irritation to her sensitive stomach and intestines. Also, high-soluble and insoluble fiber foods combined with moderate fat levels help support proper intestinal function. Because several of these gastrointestinal conditions may be ongoing, long-term nutritional management of the disorder may be required.

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Canada English. Costa Rica. For example, a kitten who weighs 4 ounces should eat about 32 mls of formula per day. To determine how much to give at each feeding, divide the total amount of formula per day by the number of feedings. Please note that some bottles use ml for measurement, some use cubic centimeters cc. Using a kitchen or small postal scale, weigh the kittens daily to calculate the amount of formula they need. Keep a log listing daily weights and amount of formula consumed at each feeding. Newborn kittens, up to 1 week old, should be fed every hours; by 2 weeks old, every hours.

Once they are 3 weeks old, they can be fed every 4 to 6 hours.


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Continue to follow the rule of 8 mls of formula per ounce of body weight per day, as described above, to determine the amount of food the kitten should be eating. If you are feeding multiple kittens, feed the first kitten until he stops nursing, then begin feeding the next kitten, and so on. Once you have fed all the kittens, feed the first kitten again and repeat with all the kittens. Usually one to three nursing turns will suffice. Do not overfeed the kittens because it can cause loose stools and diarrhea.

Smaller or weaker kittens may eat less per feeding and will need to be fed more often. Kittens need to be burped, just like human babies. Lay the kitten on his stomach, on your shoulder or in your lap, and very gently pat his back until you hear a little burp.

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You may need to burp a couple times per feeding. Young kittens may suckle on each other. If the suckling is causing problems, you should separate the kittens. Start by offering the kittens formula on a spoon. Once they are lapping off the spoon, try putting some formula in a saucer. As they master lapping up the formula out of the saucer, you can gradually add a small amount of canned food to the formula in the saucer, making a gruel.

Increase the amount of canned food slowly, adding more food and less formula. Some kittens catch on right away, others may take a few days. To be sure the kittens are getting enough food, you may need to continue bottle feeding them a few times a day, until they are eating well on their own. If the kittens have loose stools, reduce the amount of canned food and increase the formula until their systems have adjusted.

As the kittens adjust to the gruel mix and you are adding more canned food to their diet, you can also add more water to the formula mix. If you are using KMR formula, add an extra measure of water when preparing the formula. Instead of 1 part formula to 2 parts water, mix 1 part formula to 3 or 4 parts water. For the Hoskins formula, you may add an extra ounce of water to the recipe.

As the kittens eat more food and less formula, you will need to have a bowl of fresh water available to them at all times to keep them well hydrated. At this time, you may also add dry food to their diet. Add some of the watered-down formula mix to the dry food to entice the kittens to eat it. Gradually reduce the formula and let them eat the food dry. If diarrhea or constipation persists with the change in diet, contact your medical staff. Weigh your kittens daily, preferably at the same time each day, using a kitchen or postal scale.

By 8 weeks, most kittens weigh about 2 pounds. Enter their daily weights in the logbook. If the kittens are not gaining weight or are losing weight, contact your medical staff right away. A well-fed kitten should be properly hydrated. The skin should bounce back easily. If the kitten appears dehydrated, contact your medical staff. Young kittens cannot eliminate on their own. A momma cat will clean her kittens, stimulating them to urinate and have a bowel movement.

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As their human caregiver, you now have the honor of performing this duty. The kitten should begin eliminating within a minute. Kittens should urinate after each feeding and have a bowel movement one to four times a day. Do not continue to rub the kitten for more than a minute or so, since this could irritate their delicate skin. Gently wash the kitten after she is done eliminating using a clean, damp, soft cloth.

When they are between 3 and 4 weeks of age, kittens can be introduced to the litter box. Use a small cardboard box or plastic litter box with just enough clay litter to cover the bottom. Adding a used cotton ball from when you helped them urinate to the box will help them get the idea of what to do next.