Kitten Won't Wean? (and) Is 9 weeks to young to be adopted out?

laura_leeJuly 28, 2009

First off 1 out of the five 9 week old kittens is not weaning. I can tell that the mom is not really wanting to nurse him anymore. He screams and screams while following her around but she either keeps trying to ditch him or lays with her stomach to the floor and tucks her front paws under her. And when he nurses he moves from nipple to seems as if she is drying up or is dried up. Even though the others can eat dry kitten kibble at this point I still moisten it in the food processor hoping to entice the little booger. The runt is now even bigger than he is. Each time I feed them I put some food on my finger and into his mouth hoping maybe that this time will be the time he realizes, "oh yeah...duh! This stuff is good!" But no luck. I don't know what to do. They're 9 weeks and out of all the litters I have brought up this litter has amazed me the most. For the most part they have been surprisingly advanced since week 2. I myself have lots of unfortunate health problems and lately they are worsening. I myself have 3 dogs and 5 fixed cats. (That does not include their mom, whom was from a "feral" cat. Tecqinquely she was feral but was the only one from a litter of 7 kittens "took" to me and I was able to for the most part tame and let in and out of my house. To try and make a long story short...the mom cat to the five 9 week old kittens is the daughter of the "feral" cat. This is her third litter. I sent an application for a free spay voucher but unfortunately it did not come in time and she wound up pregnant again. My sister is going to give her a permanent indoor home and get her fixed so this is her last litter.) Now back to my 2nd question. So seeing with my health problems and already overload of animals I own I've found myself in a delima..The kittens have their own room. I let them out several times a day for several hours of play and interaction. But the sicker I become the harder it is to let them have run of the house. I do not want to stunt or mess up any part of the critical socializing or growth process that makes a kitten grow into a great cat. But I myself being only 33 years of age need to take care of myself in hopes I can be around for a few more years. So to the 2nd question. On July 29th the kittens will be 9 weeks on the noise and I was wondering if by then I could have my sister take the mother? And if possible buy this weekend if I can try n place 3 of the kittens into they're permanent homes? I'm keeping one and would hold off on adopting out the non weaning male until he is eating kibble.

Can anyone HELP in giving any suggestions, please?!?

Thank you!

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Have you tried offering kitten milk, or formula, to the non-weaning kitten? At feeding time I'd isolate him, along with a kitten that eats well on its own, from the rest of kittens and offer food mixed well with the milk. I'd probably offer mostly milk to the one that's refusing to wean.

If he's crying that much he must be hungry. Do the other kittens allow him to get to the bowls at feeding time?

With your health problems and the number of pets you now have, I'd also suggest you adopt out ALL the kittens and resist adding to your brood.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 4:06PM
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I once lost a kitten who wouldn't "wean".

She was an orphan, & I raised her on KMR, but she never would drink on her own, & she never learned to eat.

The vet couldn't offer any help or advice, other than to keep the kitten every day & have one of the vet techs handfeed her (my expense, of course).

Eventually, the kitten weakened & died.

Looking back on that miserable experience, I think the kitten had something like "fading kitten syndrome", & the kinder thing would have been for the vet to tell me that the prospects were dim.

Yes, the kittens will be old enough to separate from their mother.

If all conditions were ideal, I'd say keep them with her until maybe 10 to 12 weeks, but they'll be fine.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 4:36PM
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9 weeks is a great age for adopting out. Any time after the kitten is 8 wks / 2 lb, is good time - since this is the age the kitten can be fixed. The younger the better, as far as most adopters are concerned.

For weaning, you could try KMR (probably best in the can, already mixed)...Add wet food to it, slowly - and finally move completely to wet food and dry. Going from mom's milk to dry might not be an appealing option - so maybe try some "stinky" wet food?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 2:06PM
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You can also mix in some chicken or turkey baby food with the canned food to entice him to eat.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 9:56PM
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I once had a bottle fed baby I couldn't get to wean to solid food till I offered her raw meat. That's what she was waiting for. She didn't want any kind of cat food, wet or dry, meat or fish. All she wanted was raw meat. Then as time went on she began to nibble on dry a bit, but her favorite was the raw diet.

You might try the KMR in a saucer with some baby cereal at first.

You may have to offer the kitten a variety of dry and canned to see if you can find one it likes.

Have you tried chicken or turkey baby food? I've had a couple to wean to that initially also.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 10:02PM
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brutuses, you reminded me...

I once acquired a pregnant (is there any other kind?) stray who had a litter of 5 in my closet one fine Saturday morning.

At weaning time, I had the thought that, in the wild, animals don't wean their young on canned milk, they bring them raw meat.

Not having the stomach for raw meat, I brought them good smelly canned food;
they dived into the dish & gobbled the food like they were starving, growling at each other & chewing & gulping at the same time!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 1:05PM
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Remember- some states have a 'age requirement' that dogs/cats have to be before selling/homing, ie, Florida is 8 weeks of age. Statute 828.9
I might be wrong, but I think some states are 12 weeks.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:49PM
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