If you are having trouble getting the teat into the cub’s mouth, slip it in the side of their mouth and move the teat to the front. It is likely they will start drinking once the teat is around the front. As they still have no teeth until around five-weeks old it is all right for them to chew on the teat at this age as this is what they would do on their mother to stimulate the milk. Their back teeth will come through at approx. two months and that is when they need to be taught not to chew by disciplining them when they do; their mother teaches them when they are no longer allowed to chew on her.
Overfeeding is perhaps the most significant risk. The guidelines for determining gastric capacity are 50ml of fluid per kg of body weight. Serious problems can arise when carnivores are over-fed. These include but may not be limited to the formation of excessive gas, diarrhea, vomiting, blood in the stool, gut stasis and painful bloat.
Cubs must be made to sit in front of you with their head raised when feeding. By holding the bottle very firmly at the end you can ensure that the cub stays in one place and avoids you getting clawed if they try to grab the bottle. Hold the bottle at an angle low enough so that the cub does not have to strain its neck up to feed. Some cubs do feed with their head to one side, and this is fine. Never feed a cub lying on its back or when holding it. If the cub moves from the position we want it to feed in, simply pull the bottle away, and hold it in front of the cub at the best position. The cub will soon learn that it has to sit in a certain way to be fed. If the cub starts to sit up too high, simply push the bottle towards them and down. They will move back into the position you want them.
Cubs often hold a paw up and will rest it on your hand or leg. This is fine as it is exactly what they would do on their mother when feeding. Should they bring their claws out however, you should slap the paw and say “no”.
After every feed the cubs’ eyes and face should be wiped down with a warm, damp cloth and then dried. Excess milk or meat on their faces or bodies will cause other cubs to lick them excessively and may result in a loss of fur as well as attracting biting flies.