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weaning

Discussion in 'Cat Breeding' started by rcmadd, Jan 24, 2012.


  1. rcmadd

    rcmadd PetForums VIP

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    we are looking to start weaning the kittens and was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks to help us..
    this will be the first time we have had to wean as the last litter we had basically weaned themselves...

    mum is starting to struggle a bit and the kittens are not gaining as much weight as we thought
     
  2. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    Hunger is the best motivator for them to start eating on their own. Are you putting food in the box with them? I find that it's helpful to mash wet food into a mush, then warm it to body temperature in the microwave, put it on a very shallow saucer and smear it all round the edges so that it's easy for them to get at. Warming it makes it smell more appetizing, and it's also less unpleasant in the mouth when they do try it. Remember that they're used to having body temperature milk, so asking them to eat something cold is just another new thing they have to deal with.

    Bozita pate and Nature's Menu are a great consistency for weaning, but the NM gave mine runny bums, so be careful of this.
     
  3. rcmadd

    rcmadd PetForums VIP

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    we have got natures menu.. and royal canin babycat,, as well as powdered milk substitute..

    the hard part is keeping mum away so she cannot feed them.. she sits at the livingroom door crying..

    the downside to putting food in with them.. is they walk in it.
     
  4. jenny armour

    jenny armour PetForums VIP

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    i know that i'm not a breeder but the breeder who i got my kittens from used to let her queen feed the kittens virtually right up to the time that they left for their new homes. in fact my two still had their creamy white front paws because they were still drinking from her, as well as having normal kitten food.
    i assume that if the queen still wants to feed her kittens then she should?
     
  5. rcmadd

    rcmadd PetForums VIP

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    she still wants to.. but with their being 7 of them she seems to be struggling.. we have tried to feed kittens with her there,. but she comes and eats the food...

    i think we are just going to have to have mum downstairs for a couple of hours to see if kittens will take food then.
     
  6. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

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    I don't stop kittens from suckling on their mum once they're on solid food if she wishes to allow them to continue and it's quite normal for kittens to have both for a while. Just because the mum lets them it doesn't mean she can satisfy their nutritional needs, it's more of a comfort suckle.
     
  7. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
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    I was about to say the same until a cat jumped on my lap :rolleyes:
    RC - if you make sure mum has been fed before you put any food down for the kittens she may not try to eat theirs.
    I don't usually wean mine in their sleeping area but take them into the kitchen where the others eat. don't worry about them walking in the food - washing it off their paws will give them a taste.
     
  8. rcmadd

    rcmadd PetForums VIP

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    we do.. but she still pinches theirs..

    we have to feed them upstairs as we have 4 dogs.. i dont want to scare the little things..:D
     
  9. Crushmer

    Crushmer PetForums Member

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    The kittens should be allowed to suckle until mom weans them herself (at around 12 weeks). Don't take them away from her, it's ok to put her in another room while feeding them, but don't separate them for hours.
    Mix the soft food with water, make sure it is at room temperature and you can also ad some of the milk formula.
    Put some on your finger and put it in their mouth so they can get the taste. once they start eating there is no stopping them :)
    As they begin to eat more she will start to gain weight again...
     
    #9 Crushmer, Jan 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  10. Taylorbaby

    Taylorbaby PetForums VIP

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    as others said never ever ever remove kittens from feeding from mum SHE will do this when SHE decides its best. and No that will stress mum 7 kittens dont remove her for a couple of hours!! just leave them to it!

    I dont feed kitten food, I found that when they started to feed it was rich and gave them upset tums, so I feed kitten biscuits (good quality) and a adult good quality meat, classic I find is good aswell and ok for kittens to eat I called them! lots of taurine to! :) then cooked chicken/fish/beef/turkey.

    I find that putting a little in their mouth, they spit it out, but they start moving their mouths and get a taste, Always started at 4weeks to 6weeks for some of them, I find the bengals are eager to eat the meat, the raggies like the biscuits and the british are the slowest to catch on!! :laugh:

    Mum will it it to, remember she needs 4-5times as much food per day anyway :) Thats what kittens do...they walk it in in the water the biscuits the meat, just the way it is!
     
    #10 Taylorbaby, Jan 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  11. Puindoors

    Puindoors PetForums Member

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    I always let mum into the box/kitten pen after the babies have had a taste of food, she then cleans up any left overs and cleans the kitten up (yummy mush). So I get fed clean kittens, and a fed mum aswell!


    Emma

    Purindoors Birmans
     
  12. rcmadd

    rcmadd PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the replies,
    We don't take the kittens off mum whilst they are feeding
    we let her feed then when she finished she goes down, so we kept her down to make the kittens hungry, then tried to feed by hand some wet food, we have royal canin babycat dry, so might try that.
     
  13. Taylorbaby

    Taylorbaby PetForums VIP

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    why? they will eat when they eat? you could stress kitten & mum by doing this, or even break her bond so that she doesnt want to go back with them at all, its fine her having breaks as long as its on her terms, but dont take her away, just leave them to it. making a deal out of it, they try food at 4-6weeks just let them do it themselves, not that hard! :)
     
  14. jenny armour

    jenny armour PetForums VIP

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    well my kitten's mother had six, perhaps she didnt struggle with them
     
  15. Soupie

    Soupie PetForums Senior

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    RCMadd don't fret as long as they are still gaining. Feed mum as much as she will eat - right about now her milk production will be greater as babies older and need more so she needs more calories.

    Babies will wean when they and mum are ready and providing they are still gaining I would allow nature to take its course. My first litter of 7, the first kitten self weaned at 3 weeks and the last at 5 weeks. Second litter of 2, neither started weaning until 6 weeks. I am fortunate that I have never had to do anything 'special' .... Mine have just started monching on mum's dinner and when I see that I up the amounts and add extra bowls, kitten kibble and different variety of foods. Just relax, enjoy and only step in if kittens stop gaining or start losing xxx
     
  16. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    Couldn't agree more, Soupie. I think so many of us fret about weaning kittens and make too big a deal about it (not that I'm suggesting you are rcmadd, just speaking generally). It took me some years to take a back seat and not force the issue. So much better to allow them to do it in their own time.
     
  17. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    RC, your queen is eating the kitten food because she's hungry. I found that feeding my girl as much as she could eat, then putting some down for the kittens was the thing that worked best. Sure, she cleaned it up occasionally, but then I just put down more until it got to a point where mum was full enough that she'd just leave the food. You need to be feeding her up to 4 times as much as she would normally eat anyway, perhaps more with so many kits. Just let them get on with it. I wouldn't be separating mum and kittens unless I absolutely had to, and in your situation, I don't see that you've reached that point yet.
     
  18. Kattkinkatt

    Kattkinkatt PetForums Junior

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    I agree with the others, give your queen as much as she will eat at this stage.

    The kittens will eat when they are ready (and if they are not getting enough from mom this will make them hungry and look for other sources).

    I too have had up to a 2 weeks spread between a litter taking interest, mind once they do there is no stopping them. They would do it themselves in the wild, so let them be as natural as possiable.

    Not something that i have done, but some people put food under a box, with a kitten size hole in it, so kittens can get to it and mom can't. Wouldn't work with my monster cats (NFC), but may be worth baring in mind. x
     
  19. rcmadd

    rcmadd PetForums VIP

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    we do feed the mum as much as she eats.. im not going to worry as much now.. after weighting kittens today.. i was shocked as to how much they put on... the least gained 16g overnight..:eek:

    so we are just going to do what we are doing...

    @ soupie.. hows your newborns?
     
  20. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    What, you're going to keep separating them regardless of all the advice given to the contrary?
     
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