Tender, adorable and very delicate. So are kittens. Taking care of them during their first weeks of life is not an easy task, especially if they do not have their mother.
Therefore, if you find yourself in this situation, it is important to know how to care for a newborn cat . Only then will he have a better chance of surviving until he grows up and can fend for himself.
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Motherless newborn cats What care do they need?
When they are born, cats cannot see or hear, so they are totally dependent. Instinct means that, at this stage, mothers are the ones who stimulate the little ones with their tongues to relieve themselves; they also feed and warm them. If they do not have it, we must be the ones who carry out this function.
Try to offer them a warm place to sleep
It is a priority to provide them with a refuge so that they feel safe and protected. You can use a basket or box and pack it with blankets to keep them warm. You can also use pet heating pads or a fabric-wrapped hot water bottle. Make sure the temperature is between 37 and 38 degrees .
Basic food care
Until the third week of life, kittens should only be fed milk. Having ruled out the maternal one, the best option is to get a special formula for newborn kittens . This can be purchased at veterinarians or pet supply stores. Do not give them cow’s milk or derivatives, as this could cause digestive problems.
The ideal frequency of feedings during the first 15 days of the kitten’s life is two hours. From the third week you can space them every 3 or 4 hours, according to your needs. Use a bottle to feed him and make sure he drinks in a horizontal position, as if he were latching on to his mother’s breast. Do not place it like a human baby , on its back, as it runs the risk of drowning.
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Hygiene in young cats
As his mother is not there, you should use a damp cloth to clean him, using soft and short movements that he will relate to the maternal licks. When you finish, make sure the coat is completely dry , as the cold at such a young age can have fatal consequences. For this reason, you should not bathe him by submerging him in water.
As children, cats need help to relieve themselves. To do this, take a washcloth moistened with warm water and rub his genitals after each meal. This will ensure that he ” goes to the bathroom ” correctly.
Caution during the first weeks of life
Puppies have a very fragile health during their first days, so you will have to take extreme care to avoid the risk of diseases. It is essential that you wash your hands every time you pick them up, especially after touching or playing with other cats or dogs . Likewise, you should keep the offspring away from other animals until they are properly vaccinated to avoid possible infections .
Newborn cats with mother: frequently asked questions
If the mother is present, things will be much easier. However, you may also have many doubts. Do you wonder what is the ideal time to wean? Or do you want to know when they can interact with other felines? Here are some tips:
1. Do not separate them ahead of time
Kittens are very dependent at first. It is not until they are ten days old that they begin to open their eyes, although they do not dare to stray far from their mother. She will provide them with food and clean them. It is important not to separate them at this stage . Just make sure that both the cat and the little ones feel comfortable and in a quiet environment.
2. Trust in breastfeeding
Ideally, kittens should be exclusively breastfed for up to a month and a half of life. This is when you can introduce the dry food . At first, it will be better if the food is soaked to facilitate the task. They will soon learn to eat and you will no longer need to.
This is the most recommended time to begin weaning, separating them during the day and letting them sleep together. The puppies will learn to become independent little by little. Also, your curiosity will start to arouse between a month and a month and a half. It is also the right time for them to learn how to use their litter box.
3. Vaccines and deworming in due course
Once weaning is complete, around two months of age, you will need to deworm them. In addition, between two and four months you must immunize the kitten with the necessary vaccines. From that moment he can already interact with other cats and dogs. Remember that proper socialization , both with humans and with other animals, is essential to avoid future behavior problems.
In conclusion: the first weeks in a cat’s life are critical for its development, especially if it is an orphan. Growing up in a friendly and peaceful environment will strengthen both your education and health. The result will be a much more adapted and therefore happy feline.