Questions about bottle fed kittens

HandyMacOctober 1, 2010

A friend found a kitten---the same story as all of have heard.

Anyway, she rescues it and takes it to an acquaintance who has a cat with a small litter. Cat says fine, litter says No Way!

Back to friend who decides to finish the bottle feeding. She and hubby live sorta in the country, so a cat is not unnecessary.

Her vet told her bottle fed kittens are always mean and antisocial. Said it is great condition and friend is doing a great job with feeding/care.

Now, youngest son was the cat person in out family and had a couple. One had a litter of five and was shot(have no idea why) when the litter was ttwo weeks old. We raised the kittens(doll bottles and a maternal dog with a litter of five puppies) to the point the kittens were self sufficient. The dog would not nurse the kittens but would lick and stimulate them to eliminate.

Kittens all turned out just fine and went to good homes. (Two went with two puppies)

So, since that was our only experience and is not the same as what she is doing, what has been you folks experience?

Good kittens/bad kittens or just normal kittens?

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The mean and antisocial thing has nothing to do with whether the kitten was bottle-fed, but how it was socialised by the mother. There are certain things a mother animal teaches her young in all species and kits who have no mom are at risk for not learning those skills.

That being said, I don't think if those kits survive with human intervention they're mean or anti-social. They may have some quirks but with love and companionship of any other species that doesn't translate into necessarily negative qualities. I seriously think the mothering of totally feral or wild animals is more necessary than that of those who shall live in a domesticated situation because she teaches them skills of survival not needed in surroundings of humans.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:54PM
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That vet is clueless! I could have used stronger words but I'll be nice today. :)

The kitten will most likely end up more bonded to humans because of the bottle feeding and since your friend has a litter of kittens, this kitten will grow up learning the social skills of cats.

I'm surprised the litter wouldn't accept the kitten. Maybe there was an age difference but if your friend had introduced it differently to the litter things should have worked out. Glad to hear the bottle feeding is a success!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 1:35PM
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Clueless is right

Some of my most loving and affectionate fosters are bottlefeeders. Have a litter of three now, learning to eat, getting close to 4 weeks...Super lovey dovey, want petting and attention.

I have bottlefed a lot of litters and I had to socialize a bunch of kittens. Huge difference. I also had a mom cat Tonie raise 7 kittens at once, 3 different litters. No problems introducing new kittens - I honestly cannot even imagine kittens under 3 weeks giving each other trouble (4-5 weeks is no longer a bottlefeeder and can munch on its own)

The kittens raised by Tonie were sweet, but not as interested in human attention. Bottlefeeders seem to be "people's cats"

One the litters - feral mom got killed by a car. The two kitts were the sweetest kittens - one a Maine Coon mix (Main Coon daddy got neutered) and another - Domestic short hair. Both were the friendliest kittens.

From New kittens August 2009

I have one kitty now who is 6 months, I bottle fed her and she act like a pup - I refer to her as "monkey poo" - she greets people , not fearful of strangers, and is in everyone's business. Too friendly! :)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 4:26PM
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I bottle fed whole litter and they thought they were human babies. Everyone wanted one. That vet -- well I don't know where he got that from. Never heard it before.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 5:01PM
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I only bottle fed one kitten because her mother was killed on the road. My son heard her cry and she was the only one. She turned out weird, not mean but a little odd. I think that was because she was never socialized with her siblings. The last two kittens I rescued were 4 weeks old. I took them from their feral mother because I knew they would soon turn feral. I bottle fed them a little and then they were on to kitten food. I kept then together for three months so they would have the experience. I wanted to keep both but just kept the one and the other was adopted out by the rescue group. Henry is one big bad but sweet dude.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 2:40AM
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I have a kitty I bottle fed from the age of 3 weeks. She is the most affectionate cat I've ever had. She is always jumping in my lap and sleeps on me at night. She wants me to hold her about 20 times a day. We also got her sister a couple of weeks later, but she was already eating food, so I didn't bottle feed her. The sister isn't as bonded with me, although she is very loving and affectionate. These two little ferals are the most well-adjusted, well-behaved cats you could ever want. I would suggest to your friend that she might want to get another kitten to keep this one company when it gets a few weeks older. Two really are better than one. And that is a good way for them to learn not to bite - because their playmate bites them and they realize what it feels like. So when you tell them 'no biting' and quit playing with them, they make the connection. (That's my opinion) And a kitten has boundless energy. It really helps for them to have a playmate of the same energy level.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 8:41PM
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