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Advice Needed - How to wean a cleft palate kitten

Discussion in 'Cat Breeding' started by primocat, Aug 3, 2021.


  1. primocat

    primocat PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have a kitten who is now 3 weeks old. He has a fairly extensive cleft palate, but apart from that, he seems fairly robust.

    I’ve been feeding him via a gastric tube a mix of Nettex Kitten Colostrum and Royal Canin Babycat milk.

    He is starting to teethe and I think he’ll be ready to wean in the next week.

    Has anyone got any experience with weaning and any advice what to feed him, how to feed him etc.

    I am concerned that gastric tube feeding might be tricky if he tries to chomp the tube, and how would I get smooth enough food to go down the tube without it getting stuck. The vet suggested feeding him kibble, but I am concerned that it might get stuck in the cleft area?
     
  2. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    What does the surgeon who will close the cleft advise?
     
  3. primocat

    primocat PetForums Newbie

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    Little kitten Baby Pink will not be ready for cleft palates surgery until a few months - probably 3 or 4 months.

    I have to get a referral etc, and it obviously also depends on whether Baby Pink survives, which is not a given.

    The vet I saw the other day suggested kibble, but he personally has not had experience of raising a cleft palate kitten. It would be really helpful if anyone has direct experience and can give me some advice
     
  4. primocat

    primocat PetForums Newbie

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    Baby Pink is quite a character and is a little fighter. I’d like to give him the best chance that I can.
     
  5. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    I don't have any direct experience of weaning a kitten with a cleft palate but do know of two, raised by a breeder friend.

    Both were tube fed completely until around 10 weeks when they had soft palate repair. They were then fed a fairly normal consistency diet until they had hard palate repairs at around 5 months.

    Neither were fed dry food at all. I recall the vet advising against it even after soft palate repair.
     
    Maurey likes this.
  6. lenanowa

    lenanowa PetForums Member

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    I don’t have any experience but well done you for fighting for Baby Pink ❤️

    I know that South East Dog Rescue https://www.facebook.com/SE.Dog.Rescue/ saved quite a few pups with cleft palates, might be worth asking if they have any advice, there must be some cat rescues who have dealt with it too.

    Fingers crossed for you and the little one!
     
  7. primocat

    primocat PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks - might you be able to find out what food your breeder friend used during/after the weaning period, and if she/he needed a larger gastric tube? I really don’t know what food is best via a tube.
     
  8. primocat

    primocat PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks - I’ll try that
     
  9. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    Rc recovery and hills a/d can both be syringe fed when some extra water is added
     
  10. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    It was 'Recovery' and a/d as mentioned above. Both have a consistency of stiff mayonnaise.

    I have had to prolong syringe feeding a kitten. It's worth experimenting with a few foods as some, even though a pate, are granular in texture and won't go through a small nozzle/tube...whereas the a/d will, mixed with a bit of water. She also used a stick blender to make a fine puree from chicken.

    Sorry, I'm afraid I don't know what tubes she used. I do know they never became a problem once the kittens had teeth...I think they were just so used to it by that stage.
     
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  11. primocat

    primocat PetForums Newbie

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    Fabulous - thanks so much
     
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