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Caring for an Orphaned Kitten
In alarming numbers, increasing yearly, orphaned or abandoned kittens are found by well-meaning folk. Since the creation of one of my websites www.kitten-rescue.com this fact slams home to me every kitten season as I receive dozens of emails from folks asking the same question:
“I found an abandoned kitten outside. What do I do now?”
If you happen to find a kitten outside (alone or with other kittens) with no mom cat nearby, do not hesitate. Bring the kitten(s) inside. This holds true especially if:
Once you bring the kitten inside the FIRST priority is WARMTH.
Put the kitten in a small cardboard box with a heat source. Put the box somewhere away from drafts and other foot traffic. Keep all pets and small children away from the kitten until the kitten goes to the vet. Be sure the sides of the box are taped up high enough that the kitten can’t escape.
Never use a human heating pad for a kitten unless you cover the pad first.
Other alternative heat sources:
If you are an outdoorsman, you can use the pocket warmer packs that hunters stick into their pocket to keep their hands warm. Be sure and wrap the warmer up in a dry rag first before putting it in the box for a heat source.
If you need supplies, take a thick dry towel and cycle it in your dryer (with no other clothes) for about 20 minutes. Put the warm towel over the top of the box that the kitty is in, leaving a small space for air. Tuck the towel down unto the cardboard box sides with clothespins. This method will deliver heat to a cold kitten for 15 minutes tops- most kittens need to be directly on the heat source. While you are at the store don’t forget the kitten formula, bottles, supplements, canned kitten food or dry kitten food, cat litter whatever the kitten needs to survive.
How old is this abandoned kitten?
Birth to 2 weeks old-
5-10 days old-
(This kitten needs Kitten Formula every two hours 24/7) NO cow’s milk. If you have to give the kitten milk, get goat’s milk. You can find it in most grocery stores in powdered form in the baking aisle. Do NOT feed baby formula unless you dilute it by half with water.
2-3 weeks old-
4-5 weeks old-
*on a personal note, I have had kittens as young as two-weeks old take to baby food better than formula* Just be sure the baby food doesn’t have anything else in it- like onions, cornstarch or onion powder.
6-7 weeks old-
Your kitten depends on you for everything; food, water, litter pan control, comfort, play, prey and to provide vet care. He may be afraid of you at first and hiss and spit and try to bite you, but you can win him over by ignoring his bluffing and seeing to his needs. Do not make direct eye contact with this kitten and don’t pick him up if he doesn’t want you to (unless you are bottle feeding.)
You are welcome to send additional kitty questions to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further help.