PetAg Elongated Nursing Nipples 5-pack
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Elongated Nipples are long, thin latex nipples designed for marsupials, various wildlife species, kittens, and cubs. They may be used with the PetAg 2-ounce nurser bottle or any volume luer-lock syringe.
Nipples come without holes; make whatever size hole you need in them for the appropriate flow of formula.
Bottle Feeding Kittens
Newborn kittens without a mother will likely be fed most effectively with a syringe. After about two weeks of age, kittens can be fed from a bottle. But they eat far more meals per day than breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Up to four weeks, feed them every three hours, around the clock. From four weeks, you can cut back to every 6-8 hours, depending on the amount of solid food they are starting to eat. By 5-6 weeks of age, most kittens are eating mainly soupy solid food and no longer need to be fed by bottle. Mix a little of their formula with solid food at first, then plain water, to wean them.
It's a good idea to slightly underfeed kittens rather than overfeeding them. If they get too full, they'll start to inhale the formula and can develop pneumonia. Overfeeding can also cause bloat and diarrhea...never a fun thing! Feed smaller meals more frequently. You can tell when they're hungry because they'll be crying, moving their heads from side to side, and trying to suckle on anything nearby that seems like it might be their mother.
Make sure that the hole in the nipple is small enough so that the kittens won't inhale the formula. You can use a heated sewing needle to pierce the nipple, making two small holes in it so that only a few drops of formula come out when you hold it upside down and shake it. If milk starts bubbling out of the kitten's nose, the hole in the nipple may be too large.
Kittens should never be given cow's milk. Cats are lactose-intolerant and it will give them diarrhea. Cow's milk also does not contain a complete range of nutrients needed by kittens. If you are bottle-feeding kittens, always use a formula specifically designed for kittens to ensure that they get proper nutrition. Mix your formula just before feeding to make sure it's fresh. Dissolve the powder in boiled water, then let it cool until it's slightly warmer than room temperature. Check the temperature by testing a couple of drops on your wrist.
Feed the kittens while they are resting on their stomachs, never on their backs like a human baby, or the formula may go into their lungs and give them pneumonia. Take a little of the formula and wet the outside of the nipple, then insert it in the kitten's mouth (never down the throat), applying enough pressure to the bottle to release a drop of milk. The kitten should begin to suckle on the nipple and draw formula from the bottle at its own pace.
Once finished, you'll need to burp each kitten by patting it gently to release trapped air swallowed during nursing. Failure to do this could lead to uncomfortable bloat or colic.
Discard any uneaten formula and sterilize the bottle in between every use. This is especially important for kittens who were orphaned from birth, as they never nursed on their mothers in those critical first 48 hours to get the colostrum that boosts their immune systems, so they are more susceptible to bacterial infections.
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