Bottle Feeding Kittens


Hi, I’m Rachel I’m one of the technicians here at Dove Lewis today I’m going to demonstrate bottle-feeding orphaned kittens first we start out with the kitten milk replacer here we use the brand KMR you can get in this can pre-mixed when I have large litters that I’m doing i usually buy the powder because it’s more cost effective and then you just reconstitute it it is one part powder to two parts water for the KMR brand which is what I have in here so first what I’m going to do is warm it before I feed the kittens what I like to do is just make a warm water bath so just get pretty warm to hot water put it in the container and then I have two ounce nurser bottles for the kittens that’s pretty much the only appropriate size for them any bigger the nipples going to be too big for them so I’ll just shake this up again make sure it’s nice and mixed and then I’ll add it to my bottle and then I’ll go ahead and put this bottle into the warm water bath so it can get up to warm temperature without making it too hot having hot spots by putting it in the microwave that could burn the kittens when they drink it ok so my formula is now up to temperature it’s slightly warm I can touch it on the inside of my wrist without it being too hot so that’s ok to give I have one kitten here he’s about three weeks old so he still needs to be bottle-fed basically on these bottles when you get them new they’re going to be sealed so you’ll just want to cut either with scissors or a needle just cut a little X in the top so that when they suckle the milk will come through for them and their perception is still not great so they’ll have trouble finding the nipple at first you just have to help guide it into their mouth he’s gotten pretty good at this so he latched on right away you’ll see they’ll have a good suckle their ears will kind of do that twitching and he has a good latch on to the bottle when there’s this big and they’re eating really well I typically will just let them eat as much as they want as long as everything else is normal with them if they’re urinating defecating normally that’s fine they usually will just stop eating when they’re full sometimes it’s hard to get them going especially when they’re younger they have a little bit harder time latching on what I like to do then they’ll just kind of be chewing on the nipple I like to just put a very gentle pressure onto the bottle to just get a little bit of a stream going into their mouth and that will usually allow them to then attach and start suckling for the younger ones I got these this litter of kittens at about one week so they were pretty small when i first started for them I usually just follow the recommendations on the milk replacer for the volume they get and how frequent it can be up to every like three to four hours to every six hours like for when you’re sleeping through the night or something so usually about four to five times a day they’re getting fed as the volume goes up you can kind of spread out how long in between so I go more about six every six hours and at this size they’re they’re all drinking about 15 to 25 milliliters of the milk replacer every feeding so they’re pretty self-sufficient at this point and he tells me when he’s done he stopped suckling he doesn’t want any more bottle he turns away you full after i feed them I’m going to stimulate them to urinate and defecate it’s kind of what their mom does when when they have them she’ll lick at their perianal area which will stimulate urination and defecation so it helps keep them regular and more comfortable as before they learn to use a litter box I like to use cotton balls because it’s very gentle on the area come over to the sink just for ease of cleaning up take a few cotton balls just some lukewarm water I’ll moisten one of the cotton balls with so it’s not dry and rough on there and then I’ll just start to stimulate him by rubbing the cotton ball as they get older they do get more irritated with this hence the screaming but once you get going they usually relax he has a nice stream of urine coming here and I will just keep doing this until he’s all done ready-set-rinse oh man okay all right and this is how we bottle feed kittens here at Dove Lewis.

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