There is nothing sweeter than seeing a mother cat with her young that just came into the world, right? It is a scene that softens our hearts, and that prompts us to want to caress the furry ones. But can newborn cats be touched?
As problems can sometimes arise when we rush and take the young, I am going to explain what you must do to avoid unforeseen events .
Can they be touched?
The first thing to keep in mind is that, no matter how good a relationship you have with your cat, now what worries her most is her progeny. And he’s going to do whatever it takes to protect her. However, it can happen that when a human touches the babies, the cat rejects them or even kills them . The reasons are not clear, but it is believed that it may be because the animal feels so stressed, and so uncomfortable, that it ends up reacting that way. As we have said on previous occasions, cats are very sensitive to changes , and any new detail can make them feel really bad .
Taking this into account, my advice is that you let the cat choose the place where she wants to give birth -if it is a quiet room, far from where the family lives, much better-, and that you try not to intervene (unless she has problems with delivery, of course). It can be vital for hatchlings that we refrain from touching them, at least until a few days have passed and the babies begin to open their eyes.
Can newborn kittens move?
Neither touch nor move . If the cat has to choose a good place, that is, comfortable, quiet, and where she can take care of her little ones calmly without being disturbed by anyone, she or her offspring should not be moved.
Another issue would be that it had given birth in a dangerous area . For example, a stray cat that we have a lot of confidence in and that has given birth near a road, or in an area that we know is not safe. Then we will have to act . To do this, we will take a cage-trap for cats (for sale here), we will put a can of wet cat food, and we will make sure that the cat enters.
Immediately afterwards, we will take the kittens with a towel (avoid touching them with bare hands) and put them in a carrier . At all times the mother has to know where her puppies are , so you have to keep that carrier very close to her so that she can smell the kittens.
Finally, we will take them all to a safe shelter , ideally being an association or animal shelter that we have contacted before, or if we already have experience with feral or semi-feral cats and we can take care of it, to our home.
If all went well, even if the mother cat is a first time, the kittens will have a good start in life. As time goes by we will see how they start to do their mischief, while we, then yes, we can stroke them so that they become sociable and affectionate furry.
How to care for newborn kittens?
If they are with the mother and she takes care of it, we do not have to do anything at all, just make sure that the cat has water and food, and a good place to live and be. But if this is not the case … then we will have to act as surrogate mothers / fathers:
- Feeding: during the first month of life, it is necessary to give them a bottle with milk for kittens (on sale here ). The first two weeks every 3-4 hours, and the next two every 4-6 hours. The milk must be warm, at about 37ºC.
From the second month on, they must be weaned. To do this, we will begin to introduce wet food into their diet little by little and gradually.
- Hygiene: while they are very babies, 15 minutes after having eaten, they must be stimulated with a gauze or cotton moistened in warm water in the ano-genital area to relieve themselves. Use gauze or cotton for urine, and others for stool.
When they start eating wet food, we can teach them to use the litter box by simply taking them there 15 or 20 minutes after eating.
- Heat: kittens so young cannot regulate their body temperature on their own. We will try to keep them warm with blankets or thermal bottles.
Avoid exposing them to sudden changes in temperature.
- Veterinarian: it is very important that you see them from time to time to deworm them (baby kittens are prone to worms) and vaccinate them when it is their turn.
How to clean newborn kittens?
Newborn kittens should not be bathed. They are not able to regulate their body temperature and can die if they are not protected from heat and cold. But if they are very dirty, you can clean them with gauze moistened in warm water, and then dry them well with a towel .
Of course, it is extremely important that before cleaning them, you put the heating in the bathroom about 30 minutes before and keep the room closed. This will prevent them from catching a cold.
Are newborn kittens born with fur?
Yes , they are born with hair, but it is very fine short, as well as very soft. As they grow, the fur that they will have as adults will come out, which is a little stronger and longer.
What to do if you find a baby cat?
If we find a baby kitten, only one, surely the mother has abandoned it or something has happened to it. In that case, what we will do is take it and wrap it with a towel, clothes, … or whatever we have more at hand to protect it , especially if it is cold (in summer with a clean cloth or a handkerchief that many of us wear around our necks. suffice if the temperatures are very high, 30ºC or more).
Then we will take him to the vet for examination. As we said, you will most likely need treatment for intestinal parasites, as well as a complete check-up to see how your health is. If everything is fine, the ideal would be to take it home, adopt it; But if we cannot, for whatever reason, we will ask for help from an association or animal shelter.
Hope it has fit.
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