Did you open the front door on a beautiful Sunday morning, and found an abandoned kitten in a box on your doorstep? I was coming home from work, started to hear a meow of a puppy and took a baby kitten home?
Yeah, how many of us, animal aficionados have never been through it? Unfortunately, stories like these are repeated every day. In today’s post we will give some tips on how to care for an orphan kitten , especially about feeding and temperature! The dedication is great, both of time and emotional energy, so stay strong!
Caring for newborn kittens – up to 4 weeks of age:
The mortality rate for orphaned newborn kittens is very high, they are very fragile! So try to do your best to help the little one, but remember that however much you have the best care in the world, the death of the kitten may come to pass!
The first thing to do is check if the mother is close or if the kitten is really orphan. If there is no mother, it is important to get help from veterinarians, NGOs, friends, facebook groups to get a mother of milk (a female cat that is breastfeeding puppies that “adopt” the kitten). Or, at least, get cat’s milk so you can bottle-feed the kitten. Start releasing this soon, so you have time to get it in a few hours.
Next, it is important to keep the temperature of the kittens. By the third week of life they can not regulate their temperature, so make sure that from the minute you find them they stay warm. You can use cardboard or newspaper as a bed base to insulate the cold from the floor. Put a blanket over that base or even newspaper clipped, put a hot lamp near them, and can even heat water and put in a plastic glove or thicker bag to warm them on colder days. And if you do not have any of that at the moment, at least use your own body to heat them up! But be careful not to overheat too! We do not want to cook them!
Make sure they have a way out of the heat, a temperature gradient, and go by measuring the temperature with a thermometer in the belly region. And do not go in a hurry: do not feed them if they are cold or shaking, wait for the temperature to rise and then feed. And keep everything clean, do not let them lie on the dirty bed: change whenever you get dirty or at least once a day!
Now that they’re already hot, it’s time to feed them! The first rule: do not give pure cow’s milk to the puppy! Pure cow’s milk can cause diarrhea in kittens, who at this very fragile stage of life can lead to death from severe dehydration. Give only the milk of another cat or substitute for kittens (commercial product that replaces the milk of the mother cat) the name of some that sell in Brazil are the cat milk and the milk support cat, and can be bought in good pets shops; or if you do not have any stores open, you can make a homemade substitute/recipe with:
1 – whole cow’s milk (preferably with zero lactose or whole normal milk) – 78ml
2 – creamed milk – 4ml
3 – add raw yolk – 18ml and
4 – boil this mixture (but serve warm!)
5 – and add a teaspoon of Karo honey afterward
But the best milk is the cat or commercial substitute, okay? This recipe is for emergency only!
And how to feed?
To give the milk buy a bottle specifically for cat puppies, the best is with the longer and thinner beak. Do not forget to sterilize the bottle before using and washing your hands before and after each feeding.
Hold or place the belly kittens down and place the bottle at an angle that will not let air in! And never feed a belly-up kitten. Be very careful while feeding the kitten, do not choke or suck milk!
For kittens up to 10 days old, breastfeed every 2 hours; between 11 and 18 days, every 3-4 hours; up to 4 weeks every 5-6 hours; and from 4 weeks of life feed 2 to 3 times a day with moist food mixed with the commercial substitute, and start to offer water.
As for the quantity, follow the recommendation of the substitute packaging, but in general, a 100g kitten should eat 30ml per day, and one of the 300g should eat 80ml per day.