It has been several weeks since my last post on Sophie and her kittens. Sophie and her six precious kittens are doing well and thriving today! However, that was not the case a few weeks ago. As you may have guessed bottle feeding became a necessity for these kittens along with a whole lot of sleep deprivation. Considering Sophie had a healthy delivery, she was nursing, and the kittens were developing on schedule, everything seemed to be right on schedule. So, what happened?
Sophie became ill. She could not keep anything down and had diarrhea. Sophie completely lost her appetite. With the illness and lack of appetite, she could not produce enough milk to nurse her babies. It was crucial for Sophie to receive medication and if at all possible to give her a medication that would not harm her kittens. While Sophie was getting treatment, her kittens had to be supplemented via bottle feeding. The goal was to keep Sophie with her babies, but there was a strong probability that Sophie and her kittens would need to be separated. If Sophie did not respond to the kitten safe medication, she would have to go on a medication that would be harmful to the kittens. That would result in the kittens being bottle babies, and Sophie struggling with depression after being separated from her babies. Crucial days went by, and Sophie would still not eat. The difficult decision was made to separate Sophie from her babies. But, within minutes of that decision, Sophie started eating! The medication was working, and Sophie was getting better and determined to take care of her babies! Unfortunately, Sophie was not able to produce enough milk right away. So, her babies needed bottle feeding until Sophie could take back over. But, no matter how much sleep we all lost in bottle feeding six kittens every 3 hours around the clock, we were happy to keep Sophie with her babies.
The founders of Momakat Rescue and I took shifts on the bottle feeding. They bottle fed for a few days, and I bottle fed for a few days. Some kittens took to bottle feeding more than others. Sophie would still try to nurse her kittens, but with the aid of medication, she slowly was able to start producing milk more and more each day.
There were ups and downs each day with bottle feeding. We gave them everything we could, and Sophie tended to her babies even on her sickest days. Eventually, Sophie amazed us and took control of nursing all of her kittens. Her babies thrived more and more, and Sophie was happy to take care of her babies!
When the kittens were six weeks old, they started getting diarrhea and some started to become lethargic. It was determined that Sophie’s milk had bacteria. We had to immediately separate the kittens from Sophie, for they would only become more ill from her milk. Fortunately, they were starting to eat wet and dry food prior to 6 weeks, so they would be able to thrive. The 6 kittens went to Momakat Rescue and I continued to foster Sophie. It was a rough week for Sophie after her kittens were not with her. She cried day and night for a week. She ransacked the foster room trying to find her babies. My heart broked for Sophie, and I did everything I could to relieve her pain. In addition to babies leaving, Sophie suffered through some gastrointestinal issues shortly after he kittens left her. Once again she stopped eating and was vomiting. We nursed her back to health once again with medications and a change in diet.
Sophie is now feeling better than ever! Sophie can now rest easy knowing her kittens are thriving and she can soon find her forever family!
I wanted to show you all the weekly steps of the kittens’ growth and the amazing mother Sophie has been. Events got in the way that required putting down the computer and camera and just tend to the needs of these precious lives. With that being said, here are a few pictures of Sophie and her kittens that I captured along the way!
Becuase of Sophie, all six of her kittens (Brutas, Callie, Dot, Preacher, Tiny, Shades) are thriving and almost ready to find their forever families!