After the mother of a kitty has died or has left him, the kitten might require hand feeding. In feral cats, the reason for them being removed is possibly for taming. Kittens should only be taken away from their mother after 6 to 8 weeks of age if at all possible. Young kittens need their mother’s milk for antibodies and nourishment so it is best that the mother feed her kittens as long as you can. Passive immunity normally lasts till about the kittens are 6-14 weeks. Orphans are most vulnerable to diseases since they don’t have this protection.
Find a foster mother cat
Orphans need a foster feline mother to have the best chance of survival. Cats usually feed kittens other than their own so try locating one by phoning vets, animal shelters, Tampa Wildlife Control, breeders or the cat people you know.
You have to devote appreciable amount of energy and time in taking care of a kitten if you decide to feed him yourself prior to weaning age. But still, that doesn’t guarantee success since the younger the kitty is, the more fragile he is. He might not live no matter how great the care is without a feline mother to feed him.
When you find an abandoned kitten, the very first thing you must do is to shield him from the cold. Place him under blankets or next to your skin for heat. Young kitty’s energy is necessary for development and crying for more food that is why there’s not much left for heat generation. At first, the mom and sisters would provide the kitten a fantastic quantity of warmth. On their very first week, they should be kept at 88-92 degrees F. After the first week, approximately 80 degrees or so would be OK. Once they reach 5 weeks and above, a lower area temperature is tolerable.
With no mother, a kitty may become dehydrated very quickly and might need fluids beneath his skin. A sign of dehydration in a kitty is when he has very little energy and appetite. This is most likely because of lack of nutrients or fluids. Stools must also be tested for worms or parasites. The vet can have plenty of information available raising kittens and the needed supplies so that you better not skip this step.
Upon reaching home, give warmth for the kitten by placing him in an isolated, draft free, warm location. You can feed him by using an eyedropper or breastfeeding jar that’s available at the vet. Be very careful not to force feed the kitten when using an eyedropper. Let him suck on the fluid in his own pace so as to not fill his lungs with milk and lead to pneumonia. The bottle method is best once he is old enough to suckle. A firm named Catac even made a kitten nurser which keep air bubbles out of the baby’s tummy.
Do not forget to sterilize all utensils before feeding the kitty. To feed the little one, then put his tummy down on a towel or textured surface to which he could cling to. With the tip of your finger, carefully open his mouth then slide the nipple between his lips. If the kitten suddenly aspirates milk into his lungs, then immediately hold him upside down until the choking stops. Seek veterinary assistance if the kitten isn’t strong enough to suckle.
Baby kittens must be fed every 3 to 4 hours and the milk should be warmed to body temperature. For recommended feeding amounts and feedings per day, check the bundle. The amount of daily feedings he should receive is dependent on the kitten’s age.
Signs to watch for when the baby kitten has had enough formula are, his belly will be rounded and bubbles will form across his mouth. Burp him holding him upright against your shoulder, patting him lightly on the back. Exactly like humans, baby kittens should burp after each meal. Never overfeed kittens because of it can lead to diarrhea or other issues.
Kittens with anemia or lacking appetite might need vitamins and minerals supplement for example Pet-Tinic, which is available at the vet and pet food shops. This will rebuild his strategies and stimulate his desire. Just follow the directions indicated on the jar and give it via a dropper or simply by adding it to his meals.
To make sure your kitty is growing correctly, weigh him regularly. If he is growing at an unbelievable rate, it is a sign he is thriving!
The kitty’s biological mother handles her baby in many ways than we understand. She stimulates her baby kitty’s bladder and intestines by licking his abdomen. The surrogate mother cat must carefully rub the infant kitty’s gut with a moistened cotton ball with warm water. Do not overdo it, rub just enough to encourage the kitten to release waste. Watch out for chafing that is a sign that you’re rubbing too hard.
Keep the infant kitten and the area clean. This gives them a feeling of attention and well-being too. If the kitten has caked stool on his fur because of diarrhea, it’s best to wash him in warm water. Do this quickly so as not to make the baby kitty chilly.
Whenever abandoned kittens are found, they must be cleaned to eliminate fleas and to prevent Flea anemia. Flea anemia can interfere with your mission to save any abandoned kitty and fleas carry tape worm eggs. There are flea sprays in the vet that can be used on kittens. When the kitty is rid of fleas, then bathe him in warm water using gentle soap or surgical soap if there are flea sores present. Dry him immediately to avoid getting chill. You can also use hair dryer if the kitty is 1-3 weeks old. Take care to not blow in their face and keep the degree of heat tolerable. Older kittens are usually scared of the noise of the hair dryer, you might opt to simply towel dry them and set them in a container in a warm place like next to a refrigerator. You may also place the towel dried kitty within a pet carrier and then use the hair dryer letting in some warm air.
You may start weaning the kitty at the age of 4 weeks if needed. You may begin by supplying him formula in a bowl. Later on, gradually introduce solid foods. You might also moisten dry kitten food with water or formula because young kittens can’t chew dry kitten food. This takes time so do not expect him to be weaned straight away.
Reduce the bottle feedings as he eats more often from the bowl. You may also give canned kitty food to introduce solid food to the kitten. Check the instructions on the container. Much of what is sold in supermarkets is junk food so try buying high quality food from the vet or pet food shops. Changes in foods or diet may lead to diarrhea which could be life threatening to a baby kitten so it’s important to keep your eye on the stools.
Litter Box Training
The ideal time to present the baby kitten to litter box is at 4 weeks old. Place him in the litter box after each meal. Show him how to scratch in the mess by taking his paw and begin digging the sand or mess. He’ll surely catch on quickly.
Love and Attention
The infant kitten needs emotional closeness aside from the food and warmth that you give. Let him snuggle with you and pet him more often. Experts state that hand raised kittens show higher loyalty, deeper affection to owners, and show higher intelligence. Lots of handling for kittens make them simpler to train as well.
A kitten usually weighs 2-4 ounces at birth. He must double in body fat from the end of the first week. On his 8th day , he should open his eyes for the very first time. For two more months his eyes will remain blue. The real eye color will not come until he is about 3 months old. The ears will begin to stand up on his second week. He’ll attempt to walk on his third week. As to the timing of the necessary vaccinations, check it with your vet. On 8th week, the kitty needs to be ready for adoption and when she/he’s in good health he could be spayed and neutered.
Adopted orphan kittens are very vulnerable to ailments. Take them to the vet immediately in the first symptom of strange behavior or loss of appetite. Upper respiratory infections and colds are brought on by viruses which claim many kittens each year. Chlamydia is one of those organisms which cause permanent eye damage to kitten’s eyes. It might result to blindness if bacteria invade the infected eye. The eyeball can be badly scarred even by a lesser infection.
Worms, food changes, and even overfeeding can result to diarrhea. The consequence of this is dehydration if it’s not managed properly and it could be fatal. It’s an airborne, very infectious fatal disease.