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Kittens not eating or nursing

Species: Cat
Breed: house cat?
Age: 3-6 months
My cat had 5 kittens 5 weeks ago. Recently, she has stopped feeding them and taking care of them all together. They have teeth but they refuse to eat hard and wet cat food. I got a small bottle to feed the kittens and I got them kitten formula from a local veterinary. They refuse to eat from the bottle, I have to force it into their mouth and hope they swallow it. One of the kittens died over night before I got the formula and another one of them died in my lap after meowing very loudly right after I got the formula. Could you please help me as to how to get them to eat, we don't have the money to pay the veterinary to feed them for us?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that these kittens are not doing well.

At 5 weeks of age they really should be able to eat solid food. If they are not eating and won't drink from a bottle then there is a possibility that they are not eating because they are sick. Do any of the kittens have a nasal discharge or diarrhea? If so they may have a virus and will likely need veterinary attention.

I have a few other thoughts for you though. When you are trying the nursing bottle, has there been a hole punched through the nipple? I have no idea why, but some kitten nursers are sold with no hole in the nipple and you need to take a pin and make one.

Have you tried offering canned food mixed with warm water? Mix it up so it looks like a soup. They should be able to lap this up. If they are not, then I am concerned that they may be sick and will need to see the vet.

If you are having trouble finding money for vet bills, one of these organizations may help:

http://askavetquestion.com/blog/need-help-paying-for-veterinary-bills/

I hope they do ok.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.