The normal thing is that a baby kitten spends all the time with its mother cat during the first days of its life. She will take care of everything you need, including providing colostrum , the most important food for the young during their first week of life.
Colostrum is taken in by baby kittens within 24 to 72 hours of life. Colostrum provides antibodies and antimicrobials , which develop the defenses of the intestine, and provides growth factors, very important for the offspring. During this time of breastfeeding, it is not convenient to touch or handle them.
But sometimes, we can find kittens abandoned by their mother. Likewise, it may happen that the cat does not feed or reject her young. In this circumstance, we can take care of the kitten or the litter, or deliver it to a shelter.
If you decide to take care of an abandoned kitten (orphaned or whose mother does not take care of), there are some rules, which you must follow to give it a chance to survive, and which I list in this article.
First steps to take care of a one month old kitten
If you have decided to keep a kitten that is less than a month old, abandoned, or whose mother refuses to feed or cannot handle it, this is the first thing you should know: without help, a kitten without a mother has no chance of survival.
The first step is to determine the age of the kitten to provide proper care. For example, a one-month-old kitten needs more care and precautions than a 4- or 5-month-old kitten, and the risk of death increases.
It would be wise to have it examined by a vet. This will determine a fairly reliable age and will establish care and advice adapted to the situation.
The vet who sees it:
- He will check the kitten’s temperature, to avoid possible hypothermia.
- He will check the hydrationstatus of the kitten .
- They will verify the state of malnutritionand establish, where appropriate, the necessary nutrient intake.
- He will proceed to dewormthe kitten.
- They will establish with you a carestrategy necessary to achieve the kitten’s survival.
Necessary care for a one-month-old kitten
It is very important to know what to do to better help you and thus increase your chances of survival.
I have indicated to you how important it is to know its age, since a kitten under 3 to 4 weeks requires a lot of attention because it still depends largely on the mother that you are going to replace.
This kitten is very fragile, he is at the beginning of his life. The attention it will demand of you is comparable to that required by a human baby.
1. The importance of maintaining your optimal temperature
Until around 3 weeks of age, the kitten cannot regulate its own temperature . Therefore, you will see kittens curled up in their nest, hugging each other or with their mother. Without a good room temperature, without body heat and without food, in nature, a kitten alone has no chance of survival.
Create something like a nest. you can use a carrier or a box. Place cloths or a blanket to create a cozy nest and keep it out of drafts and dry.
The average temperature of a kitten is only 35.5 ° C at birth , while that of an adult cat ranges between 38 and 39 ° C. Below 35 ° C, its life is in danger.
Try to keep the kitten in a very warm room (ideally 26 ° C), an infrared lamp or a thermal blanket with a locked temperature can help you (to avoid burns).
2. Feeding a one-month-old kitten
Continuing with the care for cats for a month, I will now discuss the feeding of these little ones. The energy and heat requirements of a kitten are considerable when compared to its size. A kitten nurses regularly during the day . Milk provides the mother’s warmth to her interior and the nutrients necessary for her growth and development.
You should know that, at no time, you should give cow, goat, sheep milk to a kitten, this is because the immune system of baby puppies is barely developed, and they have difficulty metabolizing this milk. The best option is to buy formula for cats that has the necessary proteins and nutrients.
The amount of meals
The number of feedings and the amount of milk you should give at each meal varies depending on the kitten’s age and the type of milk used. In general, the number of meals is:
- 8 meals a day the first week.
- 6 meals a day the second week.
- 5 meals a day the third week.
- 4 meals a day the fourth week.
- 3 or 4 meals a day until weaning.
These meals will be distributed at regular intervals for twenty-four hours, knowing that the bottles at night may be a little further apart.
As for the amount of milk, you must respect the amounts established by the milk formula you buy.
The kitten will often drink as much as he wants. You shouldn’t force him to drink. It is better to give a little less food for the first few days and gradually increase the amounts. If the kitten drinks too much, his stomach will be overloaded and digestion will be difficult.
If the kitten sleeps little, meows a lot and is agitated, it is because he is hungry or cold. At birth, kittens weigh approximately 90-110 grams.
The milk will be administered with a bottle and a nipple. The nipple hole should not be too large to prevent the milk from flowing too fast and the kitten swallowing too much, which can lead to lung problems.
The kitten should suckle slowly and slowly, which can be laborious for the first few times. You should not press on the bottle to speed up the feeding, otherwise the kitten will have a false swallow.
Milk should be given warm because too hot can cause burns. The bottle should be cleaned thoroughly after each use.
As soon as the kitten is three weeks old, you can offer him some solid foods of the puree type.
The weaning is the transition from an exclusively milk diet to a mixed diet. It begins around the age of three to four weeks with the gradual introduction of solid foods.
You can mix a small amount of solid food with the formula to form a kind of fairly liquid porridge that you will place the kitten in a shallow container.
If he doesn’t want to taste it, you can put this mixture on your fingers and let the kitty lick. You can also spread it over your lips, so you can taste it by licking it.
Once you eat this porridge, you will gradually decrease the amount of milk and finally eliminate it. Increase solid food at the same time.
3. Cleaning the baby kitten
Properly cared kittens are very clean:
- The mother licks the kittens’ bodies to keep them clean.
- She stimulates the anus and sex of the kittens to help them urinate, defecate and eliminate their droppings.
After each bottle, you should rub the lower abdomen (sex and anus) of the kittens with a compress or a cloth dampened with warm water. This will cause them to pass urine and feces. It’s automatic, if you don’t, they won’t be able to urinate or defecate and will die.
The kitten should at least poop, this way, once a day. On other occasions, they usually just urinate. Also try to wipe it with a slightly damp washcloth or cloth at least once a day.
4. Control the kitten’s weight
The weight of the kittens is an important factor that will influence the success or failure of their survival. A kitten at birth weighs, on average, 100g +/- 10g. Some variations are possible depending on the breed.
The lower it is at 90g at birth, the more fragile the kitten’s life is. Those whose weight is placed below 75g have little chance of surviving without a mother cat, since apart from the first day that the kitten can lose a maximum of 10% of its birth weight, the weight only increases gradually everyday.
A kitten will take, under normal conditions, 5 to 10 g per day. You should weigh it daily with a kitchen scale that measures to the nearest gram. You should be concerned if their weight decreases or does not vary more than 2 consecutive days. In this case, call the vet. Weighing is essential to monitor the kitten.
Conclusion on caring for a month-old kitten
With a vet, calculate the kitten’s age and viability (lifespan).
If the kitten is less than 4 weeks old:
- Do your best to keep the kitten warm.
- Feed the kitten regularly with a suitable milk formula .
- Keep it clean byhelping it meet its needs, this is vital.
- Control your weight and increase it regularly.
- Call the vet if any problems arise.
Finally, it happens quite frequently and unfortunately, weakened by neglect, kittens fail to survive and end up dying despite your care. Do not blame yourself, you have tried to increase their chances of living, because, without you, I would have had none
People Also Search For
how to take care of a newborn kitten without a mother
homemade food for 1 month old kitten
what to feed a newborn kitten
how to take care of newborn kittens
what to feed kittens 4 weeks old
what to feed newborn kittens in an emergency
kitten milk replacer
4 week old kitten care