How To Care For Newborn Kitten Without Mother

What To Feed Baby Rabbits Without A Mother

How to Care for Kittens without Mom ?| How to Feed a Newborn Kitten?

A rabbits diet is important for many reasons.

It affects its digestion process, helps grind down and maintain its teeth, and of course, it plays a part in making sure that your rabbit grows up healthy!

When youre taking care of a domesticated baby rabbit without a mother, you can substitute milk with formulas like Kitten Milk Replacer to feed it.

If you cant find a formula that contains sufficient calories for a rabbit, you can opt for pure goat milk to feed the baby bun.

Additionally, you can also utilize special equipment like syringes or droppers to control the rabbits milk intake.

However, always make sure to sterilize everything before carrying out this practice.

Sometimes wild rabbits leave their nests in plain sight.

If you notice a kitten of bunnies struggling to survive due to lack of food, you may feel like you have to act promptly and become their knight in shining armor.

However, this urge can lead to many irreversible consequences.

  • If a rabbit mother sees a disturbed nest, it may abandon the babies.
  • Wild baby rabbits can die from sudden touches as they sense it as a danger and get anxious.
  • You can get serious diseases and infections.

Tips For Caring For Newborn Kittens Without A Mother

Bedding and Heat

Until theyre at least three weeks old, newborn kittens are unable to control their body temperature. A chill can be life-threatening for a small kitten, so its important to take steps to keep them warm and dry.

  • Build a nest using a blanket over a pet bed or a blanket or two in the bottom of a cardboard box. Enclosed spaces stay warmer.
  • Wrap a heating pad set to low in a thick towel and place it in a corner of the nest for warmth, leaving enough unheated area so the kittens can move there if they get too hot.
  • Hang a heating lamp about two feet above the nursery to provide warmth.
  • Change the nursery bedding daily and when its wet so they always have a fresh, dry bed.
  • If a kitten shows signs of being chilled, warm them with your own body while stroking them gently to improve their circulation. Once they feel less cool, they can be put back in the warm nest. Signs of chill include listlessness and feeling cool to the touch.


Mama cats lick their kittens almost constantly, to clean them and give them comfort. Mom also licks their bottoms to stimulate them to eliminate and to clean them afterward. Kittens still need cleaning if mom is absent or cant do it. Here are a few hygiene tips:

  • Never immerse a newborn kitten in water
  • Wash their faces and bodies gently with a warm, moist washcloth.
  • Gently rub their bottoms to stimulate them to pee and poop. A cotton ball moistened with warm water works, too.



Editor’s Note: For Assistance With An Abandoned Kitten Please Contact Your Local Veterinarian Or Animal Rescue Organization

Kitten season is around the corner, and if youre anything like me, you might soon find yourself crossing paths with a little mewing orphan or two Im Hannah Shaw, founder of a rescue and advocacy project called Kitten Lady and Im here to give you my top 10 tips for what to do if you find kittens outside!

1. Assess the situation.

Dont assume that a litter of kittens is orphaned just because you dont see the mom. Its common for the mother to leave her babies, so give the kittens a bit of distance and see if the mom returns. If she does great! The mom is the best suited to care for them, so leave them with her If the mom does not return within an hour or two, it is time for you to step in and help.

2. Dont take the kittens to a shelter.

Unless your local shelter specifically has a program for neonatal kittens, bringing an orphaned kitten to a shelter is a death sentence. The majority of shelters do not provide care to unweaned kittens, so if you want them to have a shot, its going to be your responsibility to help them yourself, or to find someone who can.

3. Dont panic but do act quickly.

4. Gather the appropriate supplies.

Youre going to need to quickly gather supplies so you can get them warm, stable, hydrated, and fed. Check out my Preparing for Fostering supply checklist to find out what supplies youll need. Set up a cozy, safe space for the kittens away from any potential hazards.

5. Get them stable.

6. Feed the kittens.

8. Wash, rinse, repeat.

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How To Mix Gruel

Small batch : ½ can of wet kitten food mixed with ¼ can of formula .

Large batch: Whisk 8 cans wet kitten food with 4 cans of fresh, warm formula . At this age, kittens like their food a little lumpy so they can chew.

Note: Substitute the warm water for formula in gruel for kittens 5 weeks and older.

Helpful tips when using gruel:

  • When introducing kittens to gruel, put gruel in a flat dish and place kittens near the dish. If they do not start to eat on their own after a few minutes, use tongue depressor or spoon to scoop gruel into kittens mouth. You may have to open their mouth and put a little in. You can also put a little gruel on their nose and see if they will lick it off. Sometimes the kittens need to adjust to the new taste.
  • Once kitten starts to eat gruel off the spoon or tongue depressor , slowly start to lower it towards the dish of gruel. The kittens should easily transition from the spoon or depressor to the dish .
  • During the weaning process, kittens still need to be bottle-fed three times per day to ensure they are receiving proper nutrients.

How Often Do You Feed Newborn Kittens

How to Take Care of Newborn Kittens &  a Mother Cat

Neonatal kittens need to be fed on a regular basis day and night. For the first week of life, they need to be fed about every two to three hours. After that, you can usually stretch it out to every four hours.

These kittens should be bottle-fed using kitten milk replacer , which comes in either liquid or powder form. Its the equivalent to formula that you would use for a bottle-fed baby, except its formulated for cats. The formula, bottles and nipples are all available over the counter at most pet supply stores. You dont need a prescription. The instructions will give you a guideline on how much to feed based on the weight of the cat.

When preparing the bottle, be cautious of milk flow. If you make the hole in the nipple too big, the kitten can actually aspirate, or drown. The bottles come with instructions on how to prep the nipple for milk flow. However, if you are struggling, I would advise you to seek help from your veterinarian. Never cut off the entire tip of the nipple, as this is often what causes cats to aspirate.

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Caring For Young Kittens And Their Moms

We strongly encourage everyone to have their cat spayed or neutered. This is the single most effective way to reduce the over population of felines in our community. If, however, you find yourself with a litter of kittens or have made the decision to care for a stray, please refer to the following information to help you care for your kittens until they are 8 weeks old the minimum age they can be away from their mom and/or littermates.

Mom will do most of the initial care, but you will need to frequently check on the babies to ensure the mother is caring for them and the kittens appear healthy.

A clean, warm, and dry place should be provided for moms and babies. A nesting box is essential for better health and survival. The nesting box should be:

  • located in a quiet, secluded, warm, and draft-free area
  • just tall enough to prevent the kittens from wandering away but low enough that mom can come and go easily
  • large enough for the mom to comfortably lie away from the litter if she chooses, but small enough for the newborns to easily reach her

The bottom portion of a plastic dog or cat kennel works well as a nesting box and easily can be cleaned and disinfected.

A temperature-controlled, draft-free area is extremely important because a kitten’s body temperature can quicklydrop to dangerous levels. A few more tips for creating a quality nesting box:

  • congenital defects
  • altered respiration
  • cyanosis
  • hematuria

Immediately contact your veterinarian If you notice any of these signs.

How Long Can Newborn Kittens Survive Without Their Mother

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You may have found a kitten alone and wondered whether you should adopt him or her.

Well, thats not a bad option however, you need to realize that chances of the kitten to survive are minimal.

This because a lack of maternal care can easily lead to the death of the kitten. Also, if the mother cat dies during birth, it is your responsibility to ensure the kittens are in good hands.

You need to take care of them well to ensure they dont lack the necessities they would have gotten from their mother.

A kitten cannot survive for more than 12hours without the mothers milk.

Thats why you need to look for an alternative like kitten replacement milk to keep the kitten alive.

The kitten can live long with proper care!

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Make Sure Your Kittens Stay Warm

Not only are kittens born deaf and blind, but theyre also born without the ability to regulate their temperature. Provide clean, warm bedding for Mama Cat and her babies, and dont let your furry family sleep in a drafty room. Your kittens should be kept in an extremely warm room 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.

Newborn Kittens Care Without Mom

How to Syringe Feed a Newborn Kitten

Baby kittens need a lot of love and care to survive, especially when they have been taken away from their mother at an early age or have been abandoned by her for some reason. This article will show you the correct way to feed a newborn kitten in order to give it the best chance of survival. How to Take Care of Newborn Kittens: Week by Week. Updated on August 1, 2019. Elsie Nelson. more. Elsie lives with three cats and is an experienced pet sitter. Contact Author. Kitten care can be overwhelming, but by following the instructions in this article, you too can raise a healthy, successful litter.

Baby cats. So small, so sweet. Cute Animals Cats, Baby

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What Do You Feed Newborn Kittens In An Emergency

Although their mothers milk is the most nutritious meal for kittens, it may not always be an option for newborn kittens. Some mother cats refuse to nurse their kittens, while others may experience health problems that cause their milk to dry up ahead of schedule, leading to dehydration, malnourishment, and even death if you cant supplement the kittens diet and fast.

Kitten formula is the next best thing, but what happens if you cant find any? Not everyone lives in an area with 24/7 supermarkets, and with supply chain issues growing even more common, theres no guarantee that a new shipment of kitten formula will grace your local stores shelves anytime soon. In case of an emergency, you can double the strength of any brand of baby formula and use that. But dont despair if you dont have baby formula. Weve found one of the easiest kitten formula recipes you can make with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.

Make The Kittens Go To The Bathroom

Feeding may be a little tricky if it is your first time! You can do it. Just be gentle while putting the bottle in, be slow and friendly while feeding them.

Another thing to note is never to feed cows milk to your kittens because it is hazardous to their health and can cause instant death. Purchase kitten milk in any pet trusted pet food store.

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Can You Hold A Newborn Kitten

When considering how to care for your newborn kitten, it is important to consider when they should be introduced to humans and touch. In other words, what should be their socialisation regime?

It is usually a good idea to handle kittens with gloves if they are below two weeks of age. If they are with their mother, avoid touching them. The mother will be extremely protective. Kittens that young are vulnerable to infection and disease and you may harm them by picking them up too soon.

Once they reach two weeks of age, it is a good idea to introduce them to humans and touch . Even here, be sensitive to the mother. If she seems upset or aggressive, honour her feelings and leave the kitten alone.

Low Blood Sugar In Kittens

Caring for Newborn Kittens Without a Mother

If kittens are not receiving enough food, they can develop low blood sugar. This usually manifests as severe depression, muscle twitching, and convulsions. If you see any of these symptoms in your kittens, you will need to see a vet immediately. Kittens with low blood sugar have no energy reserves so will deteriorate very quickly, Sugary solutions placed on the tongue may help in an emergency, but the underlying problems need to be corrected for the kitten to survive.

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Stimulation For Urination And Defecation

Mother cats groom their kittens to stimulate urination and defecation on a regular basis. If you are acting as their foster parent, you get this important duty. Very young orphan kittens will not be able to urinate and defecate without your help, so this is a crucial part of neonatal kitten care. Before and after each feeding, gently rub the kitten on its lower abdomen, as well as the genitals and rectum with a cotton ball/pad dipped in warm water or a fragrance free baby wipe. Make sure to rub only enough to get the kitten to eliminate because overstimulation will irritate the area. Keep an eye out for chafing and lingering dirt and do not let the kitten get chilled. Kittens should urinate during each stimulation. They should defecate at least once daily.

General guidelines are:

  • Kittens need to be stimulated until about 3 weeks of age.
  • Kittens should be stimulated before and after each feeding.
  • Kitten should urinate every time and defecate at least once daily.

When kittens get to be 3 4 weeks old, they no longer need help eliminating body wastes. Place a litter box in the crate or cage and fill with litter or shredded newspaper.

for a video from Maddie’s Institute on how to stimulate a kitten to urinate and defecate.

What To Feed A Neonatal Kitten

Stick to kitten formula, such as kitten milk replacer , which can be purchased at most pet supply stores.If you find yourself with a kitten and pet stores are closed, this emergency kitten formula can be made at home. Only use it in emergencies.

  • 8 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 beaten egg yolk
  • Mix all ingredients well and strain. Warm before serving. Keep refrigerated.From Feline Neonatal Care DVD from the Loudoun SPCA.

Should you feed newborn kittens goat milk?

Never feed kittens cows or goats milkthis causes diarrhea.

Feeding Frequency

10 days or younger every two hours around the clock

11 days to 2½ weeks every three to four hours

2½ to 4 weeks every five to six hours

4 weeks and older two to three times a day. Weaning occurs around this age.

Mix formula with wet food so kittens can begin to lap it up, or put the mixture in a bottle. Then mix with dry food and begin providing water. If you are having trouble getting a kitten to latch onto the bottle, try pulling on the nipple when they start to suck, this will encourage her to suck harder and latch on.

You can also try moving the nipple back and forth in the kittens mouth. If your kitten is too ill to suck on a bottle, you may have to resort to other methods like tube feeding. In this case, consult a veterinarian.

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Homemade Replacement For Rabbit Milk

Cant find a suitable Kitten Milk Replacer for your baby rabbits but need to feed them something urgently?

Instead of feeding them pure goat milk, you can create a homemade formula thats gentle to their stomachs.

Heres a quick step-by-step guide for creating one such recipe.

  • Mix a cup of goat milk with about three tablespoons of powdered goat milk.
  • Add sugar-free heavy whipping cream to make the formula richer.
  • Heat the milk formula to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

When Should Vaccinations Begin

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Kittens from a healthy mother will have passive immunity to some feline diseases before and shortly after birth. Before birth, the mother’s antibodies cross the placenta and enter the kittens’ circulation. Immediately after birth, the mother produces colostrum, or first milk, which is also rich in maternal antibodies. These maternal antibodies protect the kittens against the diseases to which the mother is immune. This explains why it is often recommended to booster the mother’s vaccinations a few months prior to breeding.

“Although very protective, maternal antibodies last for only a few weeks after this time, the kitten becomes susceptible to disease.”

Although very protective, maternal antibodies last for only a few weeks after this time, the kitten becomes susceptible to disease. The kitten should receive its first vaccines at about six to eight weeks of age. In order to provide strong immunity, one to three booster vaccines will be required to complete the kitten vaccine series. Kittens should be vaccinated against feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, feline leukemia , rabies, and possibly against Chlamydophila felis. Your veterinarian will discuss your individual cat’s needs at the time of the first visit for vaccinations. The specific vaccines and frequency of vaccination will be based on your cat’s lifestyle and its potential risk of contracting infection.

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