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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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I am looking after a 3 - 4 week old kitten that was abandoned

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I am looking after a 3 - 4 week old kitten that was abandoned by the mother cat. I have bee feeding her with an eye dropper for the past week every 2 - 3 hrs. I have tried a bottle without success. This morning I tried her with a very small amount of tinned kitten food, as well as kitten formula. She managed this quite well, but since then is refusing any fluids or solids.
Her urine output has been good & she is using the litter tray.
She has only had 3 bowel motions over the past 6 days - 2 of which were a soft stool &the most recent one 2 days ago which was quite loose.
She is sleeping & playing well & does not appear to be in pain. Her abdomen feels soft.
I have tried to stimulate with a warm cloth on her lower stomach & anus, but to no avail, she does become irritable whilst this occurs.
Should I take her to the vet in the morning, or is there anything else that I can try?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
This sounds like you are doing a great job with this little orphan Gracie. The top problem we face with very young kittens on formula (kitten formula- I do want to confirm you are using kitten formula and not cow/goal milk or dog formula) is constipation. This becomes even more a problem when using a powdered formula. If you are using powder then you could add a little bit more water.
Do not be over aggressive about stimulating her to go. Just wait 4-6 hours and try again. Sounds like she has a good appetite which is excellent.
Most cats will not eat solid food until 5-6 weeks. So, if she is truly only 4 weeks, this may be a bit early and could lead to profound digestive tract problems (vomit/diarrhea/stomach pain). But most kittens will not try true kitten food until they are ready, anyway. Perhaps, she is about 5 weeks at this point. That means a slow transition to canned kitten food may be good. But it will be slow; continue to formula feed for another week or so.
Keep trying with a bottle, and weigh her daily on a kitchen scale to ensure she is gaining weight properly. This is the only way to know how much formula she should be eating. Most tins of kitten formula have the amount to be fed on the side based in grams.
If she does not defecate for 48 hours and her stomach seems bloated, then it is time to have her seen by her vet. She may need an enema or some subcutaneous fluids for hydration. Constipation is a disease of dehydration. There are no good at-home remedies safe in a cat of this age.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your advice.

Yes I am using kitten formula - 'Passwell' Formual One.

Her abdomen does not appear overly distended - just looks about the same as when she has had good intake of milk formula.

She was born on 20th March which makes her 28 days today. She is still quite little but my daughter was informed that she was the runt of the little.

She has 2 teeth top & bottom with new ones trying to come through. Does this help determine age?

Just checking - are Vaccinations dnoe at 6 weeks . Also what about microchipping - when does that occur?

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
Yes, she would have her vaccinations starting at 6 weeks of age, not earlier.
Sounds like her age estimate is correct. That means she may not truly be interested in canned cat food for another week or so. You would need to continue formula.
Please keep me posted. I am always happy to answer followup questions. You can reply to this question at any time to submit a followup. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know – it’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope to assist you again soon! Kindly submit a rating as you exit.
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