Let Your Cat Set The Pace
Just as human mothers have strong maternal instincts, so do feline mothers. While formula is useful and convenient, nothing is better for kittens than their mothers milk, which provides all the essential nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. However, some mothers are unable to produce enough milk, and others even neglect their newborns. If thats the case, youll want to bottle-feed your kittens and help them eliminate waste and urine every three hours.
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.
What To Do When You Find Kittens
The scenarios in which you can find a kitten are never one size fits all. We have heard of kittens being found with a whole litter with no mom in sight, or it could be just that you found a single kitten on their own.
The rule of thumb is: Leave them be. We all want to help protect these babies, but the truth is that kittens stand a better chance at survival when they are with their mom. Here are some questions to ask before interfering:
- Is mom around? Chances are mom will move her kittens from den to den if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Or mom leaves to grab a quick meal. This is likely the time when a Good Samaritan would have stepped in seeing an abandoned kitten. What you should do:
- Find a spot near by to sit quietly and wait. That way the kitten isnt completely unsupervised, but you arent interrupting.
- Make sure the kitten is safe from any animals loose in the yard, they arent near heavy foot traffic, and the weather isnt too cold, or rainy.
How mom will move her kittens from den to den.
- Are they able to eat on their own? Kittens at 8 weeks should be weened from nursing. Some moms will leave their kittens at this age. You can test to see if a kitten is old enough to eat solid food by getting a pate style wet food and see if the kitten eats. If they dont eat right away but look healthy, please continue to wait for mom. If its been over an hour, the kittens look dirty, and theyre eating the wet food, it might be time to intervene.
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How To Care For Newborn Kittens
This article was co-authored by Natalie Punt, DVM. Dr. Natalie Punt is a Veterinarian and the Founder and CEO of mPet. She specializes in small animal emergency and general medicine and veterinary practice economics. Dr. Punt holds a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The University of California, Davis, an MS in Biochemistry from The University at Buffalo, and a DVM from Western University of Health Sciences.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 23 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 403,667 times.
Caring for newborn kittens is hard work. They require attention and care around the clock. If you have recently taken in some newborn kittens, you will have your work cut out for you. If the mother cat is still in the picture, she can provide most of the kittens needs herself.XExpert SourceNatalie Punt, DVMVeterinarianExpert Interview. 15 February 2022. You can support her by feeding her and leaving the kittens alone during their first week of life. If the mother cat is not around or not able to care for her babies, then you will have to take over her responsibilities. This will include feeding the kittens, keeping the kittens warm, and even helping the kittens go to the bathroom.
How To Find Your Perfect Cat Match
If theres an adoptable kitty photograph that hasnt already grabbed your attention, then reading about her personality will definitely end your search for any cute kittens for sale or cats for sale anywhere else youve visited. Keep in mind though that not every cat is a match for you or your family, and ensuring that your new four-legged feline can spend her days comfortable and happy, should be a priority. Some things to consider on your cat adoption checklist should be:
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Nerdiest Cat Names Ever
Nerdy monikers make for some funny cat names. Consider these choices when naming your nerdy cat! Theres no denying it. Nerdiness is very in. So why not consider some funny cat names to reflect your cats and your own inner nerd? Whether you and your cat are just a little bit nerdy or totally off the deep end,
How To Feed Neonatal Kittens
Use kitten bottles, and try to get the elongated nipples if theyre available because they are easier to use. You may have to make your own holes in the nipple with a sterilized pin or razor be sure you do this correctly so that the KMR drips out slowly when the bottle is turned upside down.
If you notice the kitten is having a hard time getting the milk to come out of the bottle, the pinhole on the nipple may need to be larger alternately, if the kitten is having a hard time keeping up with the amount of milk coming out, consider changing the nipple to one with a smaller hole. And cleanliness is key, so sterilize the bottles and wash your hands before and after each feeding.
Hold or place kittens on their stomachs and tilt the bottle so less air gets in. Do not feed kittens on their backs. Always warm the KRM and test it on your wrist to be sure it is warm but not hot, like you would do with an infant.
Remember, do not feed chilled kittens. Follow the guidelines on the formula label for how much to use, but they will usually stop eating when theyre full.
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How Much Should A Newborn Kitten Weigh
Newborn kittens usually weigh about 3.5 ounces, depending on their breed and the litterâs size. A healthy kitten should gain at least 10 grams per day. If you donât see growth in their body size, this is often a sign of illness.
Itâs essential to track and write down your kittenâs weight and how much they’re eating every day. You can use a gram scale for accuracy in weighing animals this small. If your kitten isnât eating or growing as expected, contact your veterinarian right away.
What To Do If You Find Stray Kittens
If you find a litter of kittens, first, watch and wait! A kittens best chance of thriving is with its mother.
Momma Cat may be off finding food for herself, or she may be in the process of actively moving her litter to another location. Try to determine if the mother is coming back for them or if they are truly orphaned. Stand far away from the kittens 35 feet or more. If you stand too close, the mom will not approach her kittens. You might need to go away completely before the mother cat returns to attend to the kittens. It could be several hours before the mother cat returns until she no longer senses the presence of humans hovering near her litter.
If you need to leave before the mother cat comes back, carefully evaluate whether the kittens are in immediate danger: Is it raining or snowing on the kittens? Are there wild animals that might harm the kittens in the neighborhood? Does the neighborhood have kids or adults who are likely to harm the kittens? Are the kittens located in an area with heavy foot or car traffic?
To help with your decision, it is important to know that it might take several hours for the mother cat to return, and healthy kittens can survive this period without food as long as they are warm. Neonatal kittens are just as much at risk of hypothermia as they are of starvation. During the spring and summer months, waiting a long time to see if mom will come back is much safer than during frigid winter months.
If the mother cat returns
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Five Weeks Old Kitten
Showing their independence, Darling, Denby, Corduroy, Tweed, and Wembley are beginning to demonstrate their individual personalities: Darling is a talker Denby is always up for adventure and a good wrestle Corduroy is brave and confident Tweed is sweet and loves belly rubs and Wembley is a cuddle bug and full of silly mischief.
Corduroy, brave and confident!
Try To Verify The Age Of The Kittens
This is important because you dont want to take a nursing kitten away from their mom or leave a kitten with their feral mom too long if you want to socialize them.
- Under one week: Eyes shut, ears flat to head, skin looks pinkish. Part of umbilical cord may still be attached.
- 1 week-10 days: Eyes beginning to open, ears still flat. A kitten this age is smaller than your hand.
- 3 weeks: Eyes are fully open, ears are erect, and teeth are visible. Kittens this age are just starting to walk and will be very wobbly.
- 4-5 weeks: Eyes have changed from blue to another color and/or kittens have begun to pounce, leap, and are more mobile. Kittens this age will begin to eat gruel or canned food.
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The Hail Mary Approach
If you have a dog, especially one familiar with the cat in question, you may want to try walking it around the general area in which you suspect the cat may be hiding.
Dogs are great at sniffing out nests, so this may be an effective last-ditch way to find those kittens.
Of course, a dog finding a nest of kittens usually ends tragically, so make absolutely certain that you have your pup on a tight leash.
What Sort Of Care Do Kittens Need Between 3
The kitten is getting bigger. Now he can regulate his body temperature, explore, and youll see his first teeth appearing! This is the time for new challenges and ongoing learning.
- Help him to start to do things for himself. Put a litter tray in a convenient position and encourage him to urinate when you put him in it. Or prepare to be surprised. Did you know that most kittens learn to use it all by themselves?
- Change his food. At 3-4 weeks, kittens start to eat solid food. Although they still need milk, they drink less of it. Offer him semi moist or dry food for cats suitable for his age, such as Ultima Junior, wetting it with warm water or kitten formula milk.
- Invite him to explore. You could prepare a specific space such as a babys playpen, or a room where theres nothing dangerous.
- Start to wean him. Your kitten will drink less milk and eat more solid food up to the age of 8 weeks. At this point hell have his full set of teeth, and can be fully weaned. He can now eat dry food himself, and doesnt need you to wet it for him.
- Start on the vaccination and deworming processes. Now is the time for a visit to the vet.
The first few weeks of a newborn kittens life are the most difficult. But they are essential if your kittens are to grow up healthy. Were delighted to be here for you, and help you to keep your kitten well and happy!
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What Do Newborn Kittens Need
While the queen will usually provide her kittens with warmth and nutrition, it’s good to know what kittens require, in case you need to help. It can be difficult to know how to properly care for vulnerable newborn kittens. Watch our video for advice on how to look after newborn kittens in their early development including healthy weights, healthy physical developments, and how to look after newborn kittens.
Where To Look Outside
If you have an indoor/outdoor cat or one that sticks close to your home, then you should check around the house first. Look under the porch, in the garage, or in any crawlspaces. Be especially cognizant of the area in and around your vehicles, and dont start them or drive off unless youre sure its safe.
If you have a barn, shed, or similar structure, check there as well. Be sure to look up high, as many cats love to climb up into lofts or other raised areas, as the added height makes their positions easier to defend.
In places where there are no human-made structures, look in trees and bushes or try to find any sort of natural den that may be in the area.
While the cat will want to find someplace hidden and remote, they wont want to stray too far from familiar territory. If you know where the cat likes to hang out, you can start brainstorming likely hiding spots.
If the cats a stray and youre totally unfamiliar with its behavior, though, youll either have to follow it or hope to get lucky.
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What Should I Track In A Logbook
Maintaining a logbook about the orphaned kittens does not need to be complicated. The reason for the logbook is to simply keep track of how the kittens are doing so you can identify if there are any potential concerns with their development.
Tracking their weights, milestones, and routines are key, so be sure to record details of when their eyes open, when their teeth begin to erupt, their food intake, and stool consistency.
TIP: Individual kittens must be identified in some way, so consider colored collars or nail polish on a few front toenails.
Volunteer For A Kitten Nursery
Take a step inside a kitten nursery!
While it isn’t common, there are some cities that actually have a kitten nursery where you can volunteer. Cities like Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Diego, and New York are all home to wonderful organizations that operate on-site care to orphan kittens. Unfortunately, this is a less common volunteer opportunity, but if you do locate one in your city, give them a call!
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Do Not Disturb The Kittens
It is best to 1st observe from a distance for a few hours to determine if mom is returning to her nest. The mother cat may be out searching for food, taking a break, or even hiding from you. If you see kittens and no mom, wait a few hours before trying to rescue them. The kittens have a better chance of survival with their mom. If mom returns, the best thing you can do is place some fresh cat food and water out for her. It is best not to continue to check on them more than once a day as not to disturb the nest.
An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure
With the above in mind, one of the best ways to avoid losing a litter of kittens is to create the perfect birthing spot for your cat.
Set up a nest in a quiet, secluded area, and make it as comfortable as possible. Put a soft blanket in a box so she knows that she can keep her babies warm, and make sure that no one else enters the room.
If you can offer your cat a prime delivery space, shell be much less likely to slink off someplace remote.
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Do Not Leave The Kittens Outside Alone To Die
You can find numbers for all of the Los Angeles based rescue groups and shelters in a free newspaper called PET PRESS found at pet stores and vet offices. If you live outside of LA, then go online and Google the cat/kitten rescue groups in your city or town.
Many cat rescues groups hold adoptions in your local pet stores on the weekends. Call the pet stores such as Petco and PetSmart to see what time they are there and bring the kittens to the rescue group. Usually a kind foster worker will take the kittens from you. If they do not have room they will advise taking the kittens to the Shelter.
Taking Newborn Kittens To Your Local Shelter Should Be A Last Resort
Animal shelters are not equipped to provide the kind of around-the-clock care that kittens need. The best way to help most kittens is to leave them with their mother, and then when they are more than eight weeks old, contact your local shelter for spay/neuter resources.
If the kittens truly are orphaned they should find a safe home that can bottle-feed them and get appropriate veterinary care until they can find adoptable homes. The Kitten Lady has helpful information on how to care for orphaned kittens.
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