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Cats/orphan kitten


I foster kittens for a local shelter.  They asked me to foster a week old kitten.  I have been feeding it and it appears to be doing well.  I am now fostering a cat with kittens about the same age.  Mama cat has accepted my little orphan.  She cleans it and lays on her back to allow him to nurse when it is hungry.  The kitten does not seem to understand how to nurse.  The mama cat has very tiny nipples and has long hair so it is hard to find them.  The kitten has been fed with the much larger nipple on the bottle. I have tried to attach him to the nipple without luck.  Someone suggested I put a little of the KMR formula on the nipple.  That didn't work either.  Also, the mother licked it off.  I will continue bottle feeding the kitten but I know it would be so much better getting the mother's milk. Also, the kitten seems to stay away from the other kittens and the mother.  Maybe I am expecting too much too soon.  It has been 4 days now. Any suggestions?

yes it is early days, give it some time to allow the new kitten to learn how to be a cat. I know that sounds odd but they learn things like eating, washing, playing etc from the mother and the other kittens and this can take some time.

As for the feeding, well he may catch on but it is not essential. Your bottle feeding is fine. You certainly have your hands full at the moment.

I am sure with a little more time that the mother cat will start to guide the orphan into how to behave etc.

Sounds like a happy group at the moment. Good luck and well done. :)



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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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