Day 6: Helping Rey to grow

I was a bit worried about Rey being the smallest and she (assuming she is female, that is) is always seen sleeping in the corner while the rest latch away, suckling.

Robin and Lynx are practically latching on all the time. Rio gets his (assuming male) time too, but Rey is always seen in the corner.

So, this morning, I “assisted”. I saw Rey in the corner again, so I “told” Rey to go suckle. Believe it or not, she crawled over to Minnie and started looking for the nipple and yes, she suckled.

Later on in the day, I picked up Rey and put her to Minnie’s nipple. She managed to suckle. In fact, I did this many times today.

I also weighed all the kittens at 6am this morning. Here are their weights.

Rey 189g
Rio 195g
Robin 207g (as expected, the biggest)
Lynx 203g

I had been worried about Rey since yesterday, actually, and was wondering if I should intervene by handfeeding her.

A few times today when I put Rey to Minnie’s nipple, Lynx pushed her away. There were a few times, Minnie pushed Rey away too. Maybe Rey had just suckled, I don’t know.

My worry is, sometimes, by instinct, mother-cats will not let the weakest suckle. It’s instinctive. Survival of the fittest – the law of the jungle.

The website says there has to be a half-ounce gain per day (that’s 14g) for kittens. I hope by tomorrow, Rey would have gained some weight.

This evening, I saw Rey suckling for a longer period too. Normally, she would only suckle for awhile and she would crawl away. I’m glad Rey got to suckle when her three siblings were sleeping. If everyone goes for the nipples at the same time, Rey always loses out. But she is a fighter too, she fights for the nipple but she doesn’t get it. Lynx pushes his siblings away and Robin is latched most of the time.

Minnie came out three times today, to do her business at the sandpit. But it was really hard catching her again after that. She seemed to be looking for her next nest.

Smurfy wanted to play with her and kept inviting her to play by doing his antelope jig, but she beat Smurfy and pushed him away.

As for Minnie’s food, I still have to coax her to eat by giving her Nutriplus Gel on my finger to start it off, then I have to hold the bowl up to her mouth before she would eat it.

I guess I’m more worried about Rey then I am about Minnie as Minnie is already eating. She isn’t eating as much as she should, but at least she is eating on her own. Yesterday, I had to forcefeed her for one meal. But today, she ate on her own (with me holding the bowl up for her).

This evening, during Minnie’s trip up, it was impossible to catch her again. I ended up chasing her all over the house until Smurfy (what a good boy!) decided help me. So, Smurfy cornered Minnie between the two bicycles, and that was how I finally managed to catch Minnie and put her back into her condo.

Thank you, Smurfy. You are such a good boy!

Here are some photos from today:

Smurfy is still not confident enough to eat outside his cage.

He needs to go back into his cage to eat.

Smurfy visits his mum and siblings.

That’s Rey latching on to suckle.

You’re such a good boy, Smurfy.

That’s Rey suckling again.

Minnie enjoys being out.

Smurfy wants to play with his mum, but Minnie hits him.

Tabs visits.

That’s little Rey suckling again. I’m so relieved she got to suckle many times today when everyone else was sleeping.

These are Rio and Robin – they are in one “gang”.

Rey and Lynx are in the other “gang”.

 

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