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Foster mum urgently needed!

Discussion in 'Cat Breeding' started by Cat_Crazy, May 23, 2010.


  1. Cat_Crazy

    Cat_Crazy PetForums VIP

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    My foster cat gave birth today to 4 beautiful kittens :)

    However she has a retained placenta and no milk supply at all. She has been given an injection to stimulate her milk so hopefully will improve by tomorrow but the retained placenta is not looking good and the vets will operate in the morning if it has not passed.

    This means she will not be able to feed at all.

    I am hand rearing for tonight and really praying that mum's milk comes in but it's not looking good and I know these kittens need a foster mum to stand a good chance, they are less than 12 hours old.

    Does anyone have a new mother with a small litter?
    Preferbly close by but I can try and arrange transport, I really want them to have the best chance.

    Thanks
    Rebecca
     
  2. lizward

    lizward PetForums VIP

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    If you mean the vets will operate to remove the placenta and presumably spay the cat at the same time, there is no cause for alarm, spaying does not affect milk production. Chances are the cat will be quite able to feed her litter. Are you sure she has a retained placenta - how do you know? Has the vet tried Oxytocin?

    Liz
     
  3. Cat_Crazy

    Cat_Crazy PetForums VIP

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    We are sure of the retained placenta, the last kitten was breach and got stuck so we had to help him out but the placenta did not follow.

    We went to the vets last night who could feel it in there but couldn't get it out so they gave her an injection of Oxytocin to try and help. I havn't seen her pass it yet but it nay have been while I was asleep so she isgoing to the vet to be checked in a minute.

    In terms of the milk, when we went to the vets last night the kittens were all crying and the vets said that mum cat had no milk at all. They hope the oxytocin will help kick start it but it dosn't seem like it as every time I hand feed the kitts they are desperately hungry.

    She is very un-developed and has no milk glands that the vet can feel, we also know that this is her third litter but the first 2 all died so it seems like she has had this problem before.

    I have another mum and kittens here but her kittens are 8 weeks old so will be no good to try and get her to take them. The only other mum and kitts in our care right now is feral so that won't work out either.

    I really want these little one's to make it, I know what poor chances hand reared kittens have and figure a foster mum is the best way.
     
  4. colliemerles

    colliemerles PetForums VIP

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    fingers crossed you find a foster mum. good luck.xx
     
  5. Elmstar

    Elmstar PetForums VIP

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    We're in Essex and have two mums who are still feeding, you're welcome to bring them here to see if either of those will accept them if that's any good to you?
     
  6. Cat_Crazy

    Cat_Crazy PetForums VIP

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    That's a long journey.

    Thank you so much for the offer and I will bear it mind if we are un-able to find one closer.

    I'm wondering if there is any chance that the mum of 8 week old kittens will take them on, how suitable will her milk be? To be honest I think her milk is almost dried now but it's worth a try I suppose.
     
  7. Elmstar

    Elmstar PetForums VIP

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    I'd give it a go, she may start producing milk again.

    The girl I have is only feeding part time, the other one is a bit grumpy :)

    Good luck and let me know if we can help.
     
  8. Tje

    Tje Banned

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    Cat Crazy, have you phoned all the shelters and feline rescue organizations within an X-radius of your home (and asked if they have any foster mothers on their books with litters under a week old?) … the shelter I volunteer for often get appeals like this in, then they just mass-email all the foster-families in their books in the hope some folks can squeeze 1 or 2 into their similarly aged litters.

    it might mean you have to spilt your 4 in to 2 pairs of 2… but I personally would rather split them if that meant they could grow up in a litter with a queen.

    Worst case scenario, I would still try your other queen with the 8 week old kittens with these newborns… even if she can’t (or won’t) feed them… the cleaning and socializing she could offer these kittens (if she’s that way inclined) is worth it’s weight in gold.

    Are they drinking okay from the bottle in the meantime?

    All the very best of luck.

    (p.s. If you do find a surrogate mummy, let me know... I have a little trick that increases the chance of acceptance)
     
  9. Elmstar

    Elmstar PetForums VIP

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    Let us all know :)
     
  10. Cat_Crazy

    Cat_Crazy PetForums VIP

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    Tje - Phoned all shelters etc. yes, the best I can find is a mum with 3 week old kittens but mum is feral so not the best situation.

    Their own mum is cleaning etc. but simply can't feed, they still suckle though so guessing it is comfort.

    I am going to try them with the mum that has older kittens, what's the best way to introduce them?
     
  11. Cat_Crazy

    Cat_Crazy PetForums VIP

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    Forgot to say they are doing well on the substitute milk for the minute, I am using a syringe with a teat on the end and they suckle well taking around 1ml each feed.

    They have all gained weight since yesterday too although only a tiny amount.
     
  12. Tje

    Tje Banned

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    Oh well… since you insisted… lol… I am always a bit nervous about sharing these kind of things, as well... I have no veterinary training or anything like that, and this little trick I just discovered purely by accident when I was too tired to clean force-fed kittens, so they were covered in syringe food.

    Although a few vets have complimented me on this trick, lol, I hasten to add I am no vet and would advise everybody to check and double check any advice you get off a stranger on the net, lol. But, it does work for me. Not just for introducing orphans to existing litters, but it helps if queens are rejecting kittens.

    OK… you are introducing 2 kittens to a mother who already had 3… ( I always “talc” mother and her own kittens as well as the orphans a good hour or two before I introduce them).

    try and make sure mother’s last feed is about an hour overdue... (so she’s a little hungry but not starving, lol)

    now this is my trick…. Mother cat is nice and hungry… get some Hills AD and get her to lick a small amount off your finger… hopefully she’ll react well and want more…. Put a blob of Hills AD on to one of her own kittens, show her it, and get her to lick it off… if that’s all going well (hopefully by this point she’ll be quite focused on the Hills AD), introduce one of the orphans with a big blob of Hills AD smeared on them. And repeat as often as is necessary. For some reason which I can’t quite explain, if you can get the surrogate mum licking the “newbies” then the whole integration process just goes that much smoother and quicker and (in my experience) the integration is more often sucessful. Get the queen licking the newbies first and the feeding seems to go automatically. If she is licking them up a storm, they’ll find the nipples…. You just keep adding blobs of AD to keep her focus on the food and temporarily off the interlopers.

    Obviously it doesn’t have to be Hills AD you use to do this… I suppose anything the queen is crazy about would work equally well, I just like Hills AD mainly because the consistency is perfect for smearing on to kittens, and it does have a very high acceptance rate.
     
  13. lizward

    lizward PetForums VIP

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    If Mum is cleaning the kittens then the most difficult job is being done. It's certainly worth trying them with the other queen (perhaps two at a time) but I still think the chances are high that their own mother's milk will come in. If they have gained weight on their first day that's actually quite good, it is not uncommon for them to actually lose weight the first day.

    Liz
     
  14. Milly22

    Milly22 PetForums VIP

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    Funnily enough I do the talc thing when we get a new cat. I also read on a forum about someone else doing what you do but with Cimicat. Good idea using Hills AD as my cat doesn't like Cimicat! :)
     
  15. Tje

    Tje Banned

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    Cat Crazy… great that they have all gained weight in the last 24 hours… well done you!

    As for how to introduce them…. Well I can only say that personally I would do it one at a time, and if that goes okay, I would only add another one to the mix initially. The chances (with this age difference is already not great) so I would kinda try something along the lines of…

    see if mum will take kitten #1 this afternoon, if that goes okay…. Try kitten #2 this evening….

    if that all goes okay…. Try #3 tomorrow a.m – but I personally would remove #1 at this point

    if that goes okay, try #4 (and remove #2)

    that way you are kind fo halving the feeding duties with the surrogate mum, and the kittens are getting real milk half the time and bottled milk the other half.

    From then on in, just play it by ear… if everything seems to be going okay, then add away. But so much of this is playing it by ear… watching, waiting and using your own judgment (which can be really difficult when you haven’t done this previously)

    I second Lizward, the mother is cleaning them, they are gaining weight… maybe wait off to see if mothers own milk will come in? The bottle feeding really is the easiest part… it’s the cleaning and socialization that is most difficult… and if mum can do that, well I am not sure I would chose a surrogate mum just yet. (actually, I am pretty sure I wouldn't.... not quite yet anyway)

    What does the shelter’s vet say? (or the vet you use for the rescue organization)
     
  16. Tje

    Tje Banned

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    we had one queen (with 2 kittens)the queen was a very difficult eater… at the same time I got two orphans in…. but had no luck introducing them (didn’t help that mother was never that fussy about any particular food, although I did try EVERYTHING) so I carried on bottle feeding the orphans and gave up on integrating them. My hubby came home from work one day and I was in the kitten room, he brought me a cup of coffee and a slice of apple tart with that cheap spray cream stuff on top of it (you know the stuff, comes out of a can). The mother cat really liked the spray cream…. Soooo I brought the can of spray cream to the kitten room and two hours later her litter had doubled in size. OK…. The queen did have the runs for a good day after the cream incident (OOOPS!), but hey, I got to get whole nights sleep and the orphans got a mum.

    And I do always talc everything in…. even if I am bringing an adult rescue in to my home… I talc my own two cats in, then go to the shelter and talc the rescue cat in… it might not stop problems completely, but the neutralizing of odours does seem to cut down on problems.
     
  17. Cat_Crazy

    Cat_Crazy PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    The vet thinks there is no way mum will be able to feed them, she has deformed mammory glands so no chance of producing milk according to the vet.

    I will try and see if older mum will share feeds with me.
     
  18. Milly22

    Milly22 PetForums VIP

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    Lol @ at the cream but if it works..... :D

    What do you think about talcing a Mum with 2 - 2 week old babies, she detests my new girl, which is to be expected but I would like the Mum with kittens to move downstairs next week (to the kittening room - where they learnto poo etc) but am worried she will freak out completely due to the newcomer. Or wouldyou recommend just leaving them? Thanks

    Sorry for hijacking your thread for advice and I do hope you get on okay with the babies, I would offer but am too far away, unfortunately, it would have been ideal as Poppy only has 2, never-mind, let's hope your other girl lets them feed.

    Let us know how you go. :)
     
  19. Tje

    Tje Banned

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    Personally I would talc them all, the mother and the kittens and your new girl too.

    switch bedding works for me too… whatever blankets the mum & babies has today goes to the new girl tomorrow, and vice versa. (they can get used to each others scent without actually laying eyes on each other? that's my thoeory anyway, lol)

    litter trays swaps I never rule out either … well maybe not swapping the complete trays… but a scoop from the new girl’s tray into the mothers tray – and vice versa? I use clumping clay litter and after I’ve scooped I just take some of the clean/but still used litter – if you see what I mean – and carry that to the next room. Sometimes they seem to be able to judge so much from another cats litter. Have no idea why. But this can create problems, so be careful if you try it. I would hate for one to start peeing in the corner, and all down to my dodgey advice.

    my own two cats never accept any foster until they have carried at least two thorough poop & pee inspections. Might be worth trying.

    best of luck!
     
  20. Tje

    Tje Banned

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    Please keep us posted on how it all goes. All the very best of luck.
     
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