Foolproof way to feed baby kittens?
April 23, 2013 6:06 AM Subscribe
I've got three new baby kittens with no mother, and I need to feed them. I don't have access to any good pet stores or veterinary clinics, but I do have lactose-free baby formula and a plastic syringe with the needle removed, which I've been using to feed them so far. But is there a foolproof method of holding them or something to get them to drink from it? I can usually get them to drink, but only about half of the amount recommended. More details inside.
posted by ferdinandcc to Pets & Animals (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Last week, I walked into my kitchen and saw three white kittens mysteriously sleeping on my counter. My kitchen is built as an add-on to my apartment, and the roof doesn't go all the way to the walls, so what I'm thinking is the mother cat jumped in through the roof and deposited her kittens on my countertop and then left. I've since been taking care of them (and I already had nine cats, so this makes 12!).
I've been feeding them lactose-free baby formula (Enfelac brand) out of sterilized plastic syringes with the needle removed, but about half of it usually dribbles down their chin while they meow, or they try to fight it away. They're not a big fan of the plastic syringe. I try to do this roughly every 2-3 hours.
I notice when they lay down together that often times they try to nurse on each other, or sometimes they try to nurse on my feet or the flesh between my thumb and my forefinger, so that tells me they have a need and desire for more food, but they don't want to accept it from the syringe. Unfortunately, none of the stores in my neighborhood have either kitten bottles or specialized kitten formula (I live in a third world country, it can sometimes be hard to even find cat food—most people just feed their cats table scraps or release their cats to the streets to find food).
I've been told different things by different people. Hold the kittens so all their legs and stomach are supported, such as on my leg. Pick them up by the scruff of their necks to 'freeze' their movements. Etc. But none have worked.
Is there any other particular method I should try to get them to drink more of their formula?