Orphan newborn cat care

The ideal thing for a newborn kitten is to be raised with his mother, so whenever possible, we should make it easier.

There are situations in which the cat cannot be held responsible for her litter, for example, when the mother has died. In these cases, our performance will be critical.

If you find a litter or a newborn kitten, the first thing you need to make sure is that the mother is not around. It would even be advisable to wait a while to see if he returns.

If that kitten is alone, it should be assessed how old he is. An indicator that the kitten is small is that it still has its eyes closed(they are usually opened within 7-14 days of being born).

The first month of a kitten’s life is essential and, without his mother, the kitten can be very vulnerable, so we recommend that you follow the following tips for his care.

Assess the health of the kitten and give it heat

If you find the litter or the kitten in the street, the first thing is to assess their state of health. For this, it would be interesting to go to a veterinarian to advise you on how to proceed.

Both on the way to the veterinarian and then at home, it is vital to keep the kitten at an adequate temperature. As it happens to us, cats at birth are not yet able to regulate their body temperature. That task is carried out by the mother, and, in this case, we must offer them the same as her mother would do. Until we can leave them in a suitable place at home, we can carry them in our arms, wrapping them and providing our body heat.

A warm and safe space

When we get home, it is vital to offer the kitten an area where he is well, maintaining the temperature he needs. To do this, you can use a box, a basket or something of this style that, if possible, is in a quiet place in the house (for example in a room or the bathroom) but from where you can watch it.

To maintain the proper temperature, you can help yourself with towels and use hot water bottles or an electric mat. Protect these elements so that they are comfortable, that emit heat but are not directly in contact with the kitten so as not to burn it (for example, by wrapping them with towels).

Newborn kitten feeding

As a mammal, the best food a young cat can receive is breast milk. If there is a possibility, it would be interesting to have a nurse who has given birth and is willing to feed the orphan kitten. But this is usually complicated, in addition to doing so, you have to assess the health of both the mother cat and the kitten.

The most frequent in these cases is to offer milk of unique formula for kittens, also called infant formula. This special milk is bought in specialized stores, veterinary clinics, or pharmacies.

The important thing is to NOT give cow’s milk or dairy products for human consumption since your stomach is not prepared for it and could lead to dehydration and death of the pussycat.

Until you have this special milk, you can administer warm water with a dropper, to avoid dehydration, but the idea is to start with the formula milk as soon as possible.

How to administer formula milk to the kitten

Follow these tips to do it correctly:

  • The liquid should be at body temperature as if it came from the mother cat, that is, it is warm
  • The frequency of shots should be approximately every 2 hours (the first two weeks of life, also during the night) and be spaced about every 3-4 hours
  • The bottle should simulate the breast of the mother cat so that it will be diagonal and the kitten in a horizontal position. That is, the pussycat would be face down and the bottle slightly tilted from above
  • You have to watch not to get a lot of air when suctioned, and the hole in the nipple is appropriate to leave a reasonable amount of milk (or much, not too little). If the gap is too small, it could be cut a few to enlarge it, and the nipple can be pressed so that 

more or less amount comes out

Kittens usually knead with their front legs when they are breastfeeding to facilitate milk leakage. In fact, the kneading reflex is typically preserved throughout his life. To simulate this scene, we can let the kitty knead the nipple, or put our hand or a blanket or towel in front of his legs.

When the kitten stops sucking and falls asleep is already satiated. It is advisable to make him breathe out through a burp (as we do with babies, with small touches on the back while resting them on our shoulder).

Once you have finished eating, you have to put it back in the warm shelter that we have prepared for you to maintain the proper temperature.

Change from milk to solid food

Although there are different types of diets, such as the BARF diet, the most common is the combination of feed and wet food.

If you opt for this diet, it is advisable that when the kitten approaches the month of life begins to offer a kind of feed porridge for kittens crushed with water, and alternate with the bottles. It can also be tested with cans of wet food, specifically for kittens.

Gradually feed and cans will be offered more frequently, and with less formula milk until the pussy is already fed like a young cat.

Hygiene in newborn kitten

The mother cat stimulates the kittens with their tongue to defecate and urinate. To simulate it, several times a day we must encourage the pussycat with a damp cloth or a cloth moistened in warm water.

The way to do it would be by massaging the tripita, the anus, and the genitals, gently for a few minutes, until the kitten poops and/or pees. These exercises can be done after each shot after a half hour.

To avoid accidents, the cat can be placed on a towel or rags, although it is best to do it on a clean sandbox so that it becomes accustomed.

If it is observed that the cat is not doing his needs for about 24-48 hours, it is necessary to go immediately to the veterinarian.

Manipulation of an orphan kitten

In addition to the tips above, small kittens are vulnerable, so caution should be taken when catching and touching them.

Any hygiene measure will be essential: wash your hands frequently before touching the kitten, use clean material (ideally sterilized) and exclusive to the kitten, move it away from other animals and dangerous places, etc.

It is also important not to be taking it all the time, in addition to that we can harm you, you have to keep it in the place enabled to guarantee the temperature you need.

Finally, it should be said that caring for such a small kitten is complicated since on many occasions, they do not survive this first period of life without their mother. Do not feel bad if this is your case, and if the cat has finally been able to survive healthily; feel happy to have contributed to it.

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