Help for Pets Who are Not Caring for Their Babies

Not every pet is ready to be a mom, not every pet wants to be a mom, often times mother animals reject their young, or cannot care for them and it becomes the owners responsiblity to raise that pet as a bottle baby.

Hello, I am a mother cat. For a while I was not feeling too good, then one day I felt really ill, and after a few hours I had six tiny versions of myself, apparently they are called kittens. Four of the kittens are doing well, but two are not as big and not drinking, what can I do?

Signed Worried Mother

Dear Worried Mother

Hopefully you have an owner who is aware that two of the kittens are not getting enough to eat. Because you have a large litter that is probably the problem although occasionally things like this happen when a kitten has a heart defect or other problem. Anyhow, your owner needs to start feeding those kittens (they could have a vet check them too). The kittens need to be fed proper kitten milk replacement formula (KMR) not cows milk. They can stay with you otherwise for warmth and bonding.


Hello, I am a dog who has had puppies. To be honest I don’t really like them and often walk away from them. My owner keeps forcing me to be with them, but they hurt when they try to nurse, and I am kind of scared of them, don’t tell but I also nip at them sometimes. Am I a bad mother?

Signed Bad Mom

Dear Mom

Not all female dogs want puppies, some want nothing to do with puppies, and do not want to be a mother. Your owner must remove the puppies and look after them. They will need to buy proper milk replacement for the puppies, know as Puppy Milk Replacement (PMR) and start bottle feeding them. Cows milk should not be used. Your owner should also consider having you spayed because, although you may look after your next litter, there is just a good of a chance that you will not.


A twin lamb, whose mother could only care for one.

Hi, I am a first time mother ewe. I had twin lambs, but only really want to feed one of them. I kick when the other tries to nurse, I just don’t have enough milk for both. What should I do with my other lamb?

Signed, Mom of Twins


Dear Mom of Twins

Goats, and sheep, will sometimes reject one of their babies, in your case, a lamb. These lambs will start to stand hunched up and eventually die. Often then are getting a little bit to drink, but not enough to survive. The best option is for another ewe to adopt your lamb, as might happen if another ewe gave birth but her lamb died, however not all ewes will accept new lambs, so its best for your owner to start bottle feeding that lamb with special Lamb Milk Replacement Formula. As with the other baby animals, lambs should not have cows milk.


*Note: It is very important all newborn mammals get their mothers first milk – colostrum. If a mother animal has not allowed her baby to drink at all it is vital the owner contact a veterinarian about getting some colostrum for that newborn (you can milk a sheep or goat for this, but its rather hard to milk a cat or dog).

Further Reading for Pet Owners

Raising Orphaned Puppies

Raising Orphaned Kittens

How to Care for Bottle Baby Lambs

How to Care for Bottle Baby Goat Kids

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User Comments
  1. vijayanths

    On March 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Only some animals do that. Good post.

  2. Choco R

    On March 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Well written article! Very informative and interesting.

  3. Nali

    On March 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Nice article!

  4. The Soul Explorer

    On March 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Well done! Thanks!

  5. martie

    On March 31, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Great article. From time to time we have chins who cannot or will not care for thier babies. Luckily most of the time we can get another chin who has just given birth to accept them. We also keep a male chin who is a very good surrogate mother. We feed the babies and he makes sure their stomach gets massage properly and they are kept warm and get affection.

    Strangely enough this chin is sterile and loves babies.

  6. Sourav

    On April 1, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Great share!

  7. Darla Beck

    On April 1, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Very interesting article!

  8. lcoffiejr

    On April 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    good article, have any for those of us highly allergic to cats, but love cats

  9. Ruby Hawk

    On April 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    it is strange. At one time we had two females dogs and one gave birth. She would have nothing to do with the pups but the other female cared for them. She would drag them to the mother to nurse than drag them back to her bed. It was the weirdest thing.

  10. hammadkhan

    On April 1, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    great sharing nice post

  11. PR Mace

    On April 3, 2011 at 5:06 am

    My brother had a dog who would not feed her puppies. It is strange indeed.


    On April 4, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Great work nicely written animal have their own ways of treating their young

  13. OhSugar

    On April 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Very well written information on animals behaviors.

  14. nobert soloria bermosa

    On April 4, 2011 at 9:15 am

    this is nice..the ancestor of my cats was a stray kitten found by my eldest son more than ten years ago…

  15. LCM Linda

    On April 5, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I never thought of cat, dog, sheep didn’t want to take care / feed their children. The owners really need to step in and help the new life survive. Maybe sterilization should be considered.

  16. papaleng

    On April 5, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Another good and educating article from the pet guru.

  17. Starpisces

    On April 5, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I know nothing about pets, this is very informative one, well done, Brenda.

  18. DeathFx

    On April 30, 2011 at 9:43 am

    wow great post this can help me with my dogs problem of only caring for 1 puppy

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