Care for Kittens, Newborn Kittens, and Lost Kittens


Caring for Kittens at Birth

Some Helpful Pointers for Bottle-Fed Kittens in the Event of a Cat’s Absence.

When you were a kid, did you picture yourself as someone who would have to care for newborn kittens? If the mother cat went missing, or worse, was discovered dead, what would happen to the kittens? Is it possible for “YOU” to care for these newborns? Do you think you could offer any advice on how to aid these teeny creatures? If you answered “no,” then please read on. No one says these fresh kitties have to die.

You now have a kitten or kittens to care for. Their very survival is in your hands. Where do you even begin? Protect their heat first. Until about three to four weeks of age, infants cannot survive solely on their own body heat. Place them in a strong container, such as a box or plastic bag. The plastic containers are convenient because they are dishwasher safe. Use a plush blanket or towel to line this.

Fleece blankets are the best option. Do you happen to have any unused baby blankets lying around? Cover it with a warm but not too heavy blanket or towel. Some hot water bottles may be tucked in there as well. These shouldn’t be too hot, or they can burn their skin. Don’t want the kitten to become sick, so hide the bottles under the blanket. Keep the house at a comfortable 80 degrees.

The kittens’ body temperature might drop dangerously quickly if the bottles get chilly. You might use a timer or alarm to remind you to swap them out at the right intervals. If you don’t have bottles, you can use a heating pad instead. Keep it on LOW and cover it with a blanket.

These infants require a unique baby bottle for feeding. One that has an extremely slight nipple. They need to be fed a specific kitten food. For the first week of life, this formula should be given every two hours, then for weeks two through four, every three to four hours. These items are widely available at pet stores and veterinarian clinics. All formulas come with written instructions and measurements. Obey the manufacturer’s guidelines. You’ll need to use your best judgment regarding how much food to give your cat. Do not use any kind of coercion to obtain the required amount into the animal’s system. It will consume what it needs if it appears healthy and is developing.

Massage their bellies and genitalia before and after each feeding to get them to use the restroom. In order to stay alive, this is essential for stimulating the organs. Use a cotton swab, pad, or wet tissues to accomplish this. Their mother’s licks would have triggered this. If you’ve ever observed a mother cat caring for her kittens, you could have assumed that she was constantly washing them.

Hold your kitten upside down until the choking stops if it starts to aspirate formula into its lungs. To encourage the milk to leave its lungs, you can rub its back like you would a toddler. If the kitten is unresponsive to this, you can “sling” it down several times by holding it firmly in both hands and supporting its neck with your index fingers. Take extreme caution, since any misstep could result in the kitten being thrown from your hands or even suffering a fatal neck injury. When a baby is delivered via cesarean section, this technique is used to drain their lungs of fluid until they cry and begin breathing on their own.

Hearing a newborn animal cry is a miraculous and satisfying experience.

Two newborn raccoons adopted me and I had no idea they were coming. I went to the dollar store and bought several baby bottles. The nipple hole was way too big. Male coons would gorge themselves to the point of choking. There were a few scary moments while I tried to save his life. It stopped breathing, shrank, and developed a strange stairlike movement in which its eyes appeared to roll back in its head. (Or was I imagining things in a state of panic?) As I hung him by his feet, I started massaging his entire body. When it didn’t work, I switched to the slingshot approach. Using the force of gravity, this helps to remove fluid from the lungs. Slinking two or three times, rubbing furiously. Just keep slinging and rubbing. My eyes welled up with tears as I realized I might lose him. Smooth, natural breathing and motion. He will be fine; don’t worry. Then I become aware of my body shaking and my eyes welling up with tears. ‘Darn coon,’ I said to myself. What the hell should I do? If their lives depended on me, though, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Let’s get back to the kitties, shall we?

Kittens meow for a variety of reasons, including hunger and discomfort. Listen carefully to their cries. Something could be wrong if your kitten suddenly becomes very quiet. Don’t dismiss this warning.

The time to act is now. Inquire within:

Are you cold?
Is it still having toilet issues?
Is it getting enough to eat?
Examine the kitten thoroughly. Do you feel weak and unmotivated? Call a vet right away if you can’t figure out what’s wrong with your pet or are unable to treat it yourself. It’s time to get out, so bundle up the infant and head out.

A drop or two of Karo syrup might be used to encourage a fussy baby to eat again. This sweetener often works wonders. Get it to the vet if not.

Make sure your kittens are always dry and clean. This is a crucial move for their well-being and health. At the very least, once a day, you should wash their blankets. Mom isn’t around to clean up the toddler’s messes. You decide. Make sure they regularly wash their faces and eyes. To do this, all you need is a warm, damp rag or washcloth.

You should start planning on taking your children in for a checkup at the vet if they have been healthy for the past four weeks. The majority of animal hospitals offer discounts for many kittens. You should inquire as to their policy.

The list will include items such as vaccinations and deworming for “your babies.” You’ve come this far; don’t ruin it by neglecting your delightful, playful companions’ future care. They should be much simpler to care for by now, to the point where you can begin litter training.

In the years ahead, I hope that you and your newborns are blessed with happiness and good health.

Pet Planet USA – Information for Pet Owners

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