May 18, 2012

Bottle Feeding Kittens - These Babies Are Hungry!

At just four weeks old, these two little bottle-feeding kitten rugrats are greedily sucking away at their dinner. They may not have their real momma to feed them, but luckily they have a loving foster mom to step in so they get big and strong.

Of course they're cute (they're kittens!), but would you look at their back feet all splayed out like that? It's almost too much!

P.S. When I was reading the video description and comments, I learned something that might be helpful if anyone ever has to bottle-feed kittens: Make sure you feed them upright, and never on lying on their backs. This is apparently very dangerous for them. Good to know! I feel like I've seen more than a few videos doing it the "wrong" way. Does anyone else have any tips to share?


  1. Yes,  that's correct,  you feed them upright and burp them after. Then comes the not quite as cute part of rubbing their little bums with a cotton pad to help them learn to go potty. ;-)

  2. if it's anything like feeding human people in bed, there would be a risk of going down the wrong pipe....causing life threatening pneumonia.

  3. Makes sense not to feed them on their backs, after all, they don't nurse from mom that way. This video was just too much cute for this early in the morning! ;) 

  4. awww the orange one has it down pat! so precious

  5. so precious. I heard that the other day. I am thinking about fostering and thats what i also learned too. I love lil kitties. These 2 are just precious

  6. It is definitely better to hold the kittens upright in your hand shaped like a fist to support them.  Also, be very careful that they do not get to too exuberant because they can actually pull a nipple off and get it caught in their throats. 
    Thankfully for a friend of mine that very quick action and know-how, she got the nipple out immediately with her little finger.  Be very careful of the size of the kitten, and the nipple.  That case involved VERY TINY Siamese whose mummy ended up with 'mastoids' and could no longer feed her NINE babies.  Quite a painstaking undertaking but a successful one.

  7. Jean, you're right - exuberant! In fact, they get kind of frantic (I guess its a survival thing having to do with getting the right nipple when Mom provides) and they'll scratch and jerk around, making it hard to get the nipples into their mouths. 
    A vet tech showed me this: wrap them loosely in a dish towel, lean them vertically against your chest, and, taking advantage of the fact that their legs are wrapped in this towel, you can now aim the nipple right at the mouth. As soon as they actually taste the milk, they're okay and will stop fighting you.
    Vertical is the way to go. The problem, as anyone who has nursed knows, is that feeding from a bottle at an angle will make air get into their mouths. So I tip the bottle up, but not their heads. It gets a little messy.
    Also not mentioned except by Jean is that they grow up- and by the fourth week, they are happeehappeehappee to get their milk and will actually start chewing on the nipple with their new teeth (the vet tech told me they were teething, growing new ones) and they will ruin the nipple! How to get around this???
    Well, I tried to train mine (I have two right now that I'm fostering) so that the instant they turn their muzzles sideways to begin the chewing, I take the nipple from their mouths. They're not too bright at that age - in fact, their brains are probably the size of a raisin or something - but after a while, they learn that doing anything except a healthy suck will cause the nipple to go away.

    Exuberance, oh yess!
    Several people have asked me, why do you foster? Isn't it hard to let them go after you've brought them up from infancy?
    I say, generally- NO, it's not hard. They're going to their forever homes, to people who will love them and never hurt them (we screen carefully) and all cute baby kittens find homes out of my shelter. Besides, I get a NEW litter! More joy and exuberance! Little kittens are so joyful and happy with everything in their lives and they make me laugh every day. They are so loving, so happy to see you, you can't help but love the babies - and love the foster process, too. Yes, I can let them go, with lots of good memories and photos for me.

  8. Tee 'n' the WildlifeMay 18, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Also, be sure to cut a tiny cross in the top of a new nipple. That business of piercing the nipple with a needle does not give enough formula flow. Feeding tinies is just the most catmommyliscious activity! And the babies are just sooo happee about the whole operation! Has anyone noticed that it seems to take the boys longer to wean to canned food (mixed with formula, of course)?


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