Unfortunately when spring and especially summer arrives it is relatively easy to find orphaned newborn kittens . But, what care do you need I feel so small How to get it done? Until he is two months old, his health and his life will depend completely on the human who takes care of him. A human who must assume the role of mother cat so that the little one can fulfill the long-awaited and desired eight weeks of age.
As it is not an easy task, we have put together this care guide for orphaned newborn kittens .
How old is my kitten?
Before we start talking about care, you are probably wanting to know how old she is, right? Well, 100% sure you can’t know, but this can serve as a guide:
- 0 to 1 week:during these first days of life the kitten will have closed eyes and ears.
- 1 to 2 weeks:after 8 days, you will begin to open your eyes, and will finish opening them after 14-17 days. At first they will be blue, but it will not be until 4 months until they acquire their final color. The ears will start to detach.
- 2 to 3 weeks:the kitten will start to walk avoiding obstacles, yes, wobbling a little. At about 21 days you will have learned to relieve yourself, and you will be able to regulate your body temperature.
- 3 to 4 weeks:at this age his baby teeth begin to appear, so he can start eating solid foods.
- 4 to 8 weeks:During the second month of life the baby kitten learns to walk, run, and jump. Its senses are at full capacity, but the animal will have to refine them as the weeks go by. With two months it should stop giving milk.
How to care for newborn cats?
0 to 3 weeks
From birth until they are 3 weeks old, baby kittens will depend more than ever on a human: they will need to be heated 24 hours a day, eat every 2/3 hours, and be stimulated to relieve themselves . It is, therefore, hard work, but it is very worth it, especially when the days go by and you see that the baby kittens are growing.
Let’s see in detail how to get them healthy:
Give them heat
If you have just found some newborn kittens, I recommend you put them in a cardboard box high (about 40cm) and wide, since even if they are small now, they will not take long to crawl. Inside it put a blanket, a thermal bottle that you will have filled with hot water, and prepare a second blanket to cover the kittens so that they are well protected from the drafts.
Feed them the best way
During this time baby kittens will need to be fed kitten milk sold in pet stores or veterinary clinics (never cow’s milk, as it could make them sick) every 2 to 3 hours. It is important that it is warm, at about 37ºC, and that they have their body in a horizontal position and not vertical, since otherwise the milk would go to the lungs and not the stomach, which would cause pneumonia and death in a few hours . Of course, if they are fine and sleep through the night, do not wake them up. You can give them milk with a syringe (new, so they can suck without problems) or with a baby bottle for kittens that you will find for sale in pet stores.
If we talk about the amount, it will depend on the brand of kitten milk. The one I am giving Sasha, the little girl of the family, the dose is:
- First and second week:15ml of water and a spoon (found inside the bottle) of milk in 10 doses.
- Third and fourth week:45ml of water and three spoons in 8 doses.
Anyway, the amounts are approximate. If the kitten is satisfied, as soon as you put it on its bed it will fall asleep; otherwise, you will have to remove it to give it more.
By the way, if you find them in autumn or winter, wrap them with a blanket so they don’t get cold.
Help them relieve themselves
Kittens are born blind, deaf and unable to relieve themselves. They are completely dependent on the mother for absolutely everything. But not always the cat can fulfill her role as mother, either because something bad happens to her, or because she feels so stressed that she rejects the young. So, for the furry ones’ own sake, someone has to take care of them. This means that if you have just found some baby kittens you will have to help them, too, to relieve themselves. How?
Well, the little ones have to urinate after each meal, and defecate at least 2 times a day (ideally, they should do it after each milk intake). To do this, after they are satisfied, we will allow 15 minutes to pass during which we have to gently massage their stomach, making clockwise circles to activate their intestines. Normally, in the course of very few minutes -2 or 3- we will notice that they urinate, but defecating can cost them more. With some wet wipes for animals you have to leave them very clean, using clean ones to remove the urine and new ones to remove the stools.
If we see that time passes and we do not succeed, we will place them in such a way that their anal area is in front of us, and putting our index and middle fingers on their tummies, we will do gentle massages only downwards, that is, towards the genital area . After a couple of minutes, with the thumb and index finger we will massage the anus for 60 seconds. After that, or before that time is up, the kitten has most likely already defecated, but if it hasn’t done anything, we’ll try it next time .
In any case, do not let more than 2 days pass without defecation , as it could be fatal. If they are constipated, something that is very common when they are fed with kitten milk and not with cat’s mother’s milk, what we can do is take a swab from the ears, moisten the cotton with warm water, and then put a few drops of oil olive and then pass it through the anus And if they still do nothing, you have to urgently take them to the vet.
During this age, newborn kittens have to start eating solid foods and relieving themselves. But they will need help, otherwise it will be very difficult for them to learn it on their own.
Tasting your first solid food
From the third week on, solid foods can be gradually introduced into their diet. Keep in mind that they are still very small, and that everything has to be done slowly. To do this, we will take the following as a guide:
- 3 to 4 weeks:you have to give them about 8 shots of milk (in the bottle of the same you will specify it), and it can be used to give them 2 or 3 times cans of wet feed for kittens.
- 4 to 5 weeks:at 30-37 days old, newborn cats have to be fed milk every 4 to 6 hours. Find out here what a month-old cat eats .
- 5 to 6 weeks: afterthis age, the furry ones can begin to eat solid food, such as wet kitten food. They can also be given dry feed soaked with milk, or with water. The amount will be indicated on the bag.
- 7 to 8 weeks:baby cats stop being babies and become puppies, that is, animals that have everything they need to be, in just 10 more months, gentlemen adult cats; they just need to improve it by feeding on kitten food or natural food.
The discovery of the game
With four weeks you will see that they move a lot, that they begin to walk and want to explore. It will be then when they begin to play, to investigate everything that surrounds them. During this time is when you will have to acquire a scratcher and his first toys : a ball, a stuffed animal, a cane … whatever you prefer.
Now is when they will discover the game, and when they will inadvertently begin to hone their hunting techniques. Make sure they are in a safe place so nothing happens to them.
Learning to relieve themselves on the tray
From 5 weeks on, baby cats must be taught to relieve themselves in a litter box; although it must be said that these animals are very clean and that, in general, they will learn it practically on their own. But sometimes we can find kittens that need someone to teach them, in which case we will do the following:
- We will buy a wide and low tray.
- We will fill it with natural materials, such as chips.
- We will spray with a urination attractant.
- After 15-30 minutes after the kitten eats, we will take him there, and wait.
-If he leaves without having done anything and then relieves himself elsewhere, we will take some toilet paper and pass it through them. Then we run it again, this time through the chip.
-If you have made them on the tray, we will give you a treat for kittens or cuddles.
- We will repeat these steps every time you eat.
Being orphaned baby kittens and being in constant contact with humans, it is very likely that they will not have any socialization problems with them. Even so, it must be borne in mind that it is very, very important to always treat them with respect and affection , otherwise they would grow up in fear.
During the socialization stage, that is, from about two to three months, they must be with people, and with the animals that will always be with them. This prevents unexpected surprises from arising.
My baby kitten has fleas, what do I do?
It depends. If it does not have many and is healthy, you can or not do anything until it is at least three weeks old, which will be when it regulates its body temperature, or else pass it a little vinegar and then dry it well. On the other hand, if you have many, there are veterinarians who advise spraying Frontline on it (from 3 days you can spray it), but if the kitten is less than a month old, you can choose to bathe it with kitten shampoo , which is much less dangerous (look for one that is suitable for baby kittens).
Of course, do it in a heated room , and when you finish, dry it well with a towel (never with the hair dryer, as you could burn it).
And what happens after two months?
With eight weeks of life you have to take your kitten to the vet to be examined, and incidentally, to give him the first treatment for intestinal parasites and give him his first vaccine.
Now is when you can enjoy having a naughty puppy cat at home.
We hope this guide has helped you take care of your little one.
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