Adopting Out The Kittens
The final step. Successful socialization is the most important part of the process, so make sure you teach them to trust and like humans as early as you are able! Please spay and neuter them before you adopt them out , they will not only be more attractive to adopters, but it will also help prevent this cycle from happening all over again. Once they are fixed, advertise liberally! Use social networking sites, tells friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances, and get them adopted out as early as you can! The older the kittens get, the harder it will be to find them homes.
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Bottle Feeding A Kitten
To get a complete guide on how to bottle feed a kitten, you can visit my post How To Bottle Feed A Kitten.
In short, you need a bottle, and kitten milk replacing formula. I personally like KMR, mainly because that is what the kittens have seemed to respond best to.
You want to make sure you heat up water and follow the instructions on the formula to determine the correct amount to give your kitten. .
Always test the bottle on your arm not only for a steady flow, but for the temperature as well.
Kittens at five weeks they are able to suckle a bottle on their own, though showing less interest in it. So you may want to start introducing the slurry into the mixture.
One call out that I do want to add is this. I know there are certain amounts they say your kitten needs every few hours. If they are a small underweight orphaned cat, use those guidelines as minimums.
If they are willing to eat more, let them. When I fostered my kitten, we would make double the sizing needed and make sure she ate at least half. Most of the time, she actually ate it all!
She was hungry and needed all those nutrients from the formula.
She was so underweight that it took us a while to figure out that she needed to be gaining much faster than she was. Learn that lesson from us, you cant really over-feed a kitten when they are wanting the bottle.
What Do Kittens Eat Besides Milk
Once your kitten is about 3.5 to 4 weeks old, you can start weaning them off of the bottle. This is a gradual process that takes time and practice. The process usually looks something like this:
- Begin by offering your kitten formula on a spoon.
- Later, start offering your kitten formula in a saucer.
- Gradually add canned food to the kitten formula in the saucer.
- Increase the canned food in the saucer, adding less and less kitten formula.
If your kitten doesnât take to the spoon or the saucer right away, you can continue to offer the bottle.
As you progress through the weaning process, monitor your kitten and their stool to ensure that they digest everything well. If your kitten is doing well and isnât experiencing digestive issues , then you can gradually introduce more and more food.
At this stage, itâs also important to offer your kitten a bowl of fresh water to make sure that theyâre staying hydrated.
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Can I Hold The Kitten
Vets recommend not touching kittens unless you have to while their eyes are still closed. You can check on them to make sure theyâre healthy and gaining weight, but try to limit direct physical contact.
The kittenâs mother will also let you know how comfortable she is with you handling her babies. Itâs important to take it slow, especially at first. If the mother cat seems anxious or stressed, give her and her babies some space.
Factsheet Orphan Kittens Considerations And Care
Caring for orphan kittens between birth and 4-5 weeks old
How old is the kitten?The age of the kitten will help you know what their special needs are for each stage of their growth period theres a big difference between the needs of a 2 week old kitten compared to a 6 week old kitten.
A kittens weight roughly reflects their age: 100gms = 1 week old, 200gms = 2 weeks old, 300gms = 3 weeks old and so on until they are 12-14 weeks old. Although a kitten could be much older than their weight reflects for several reasons the kitten has been orphaned for a long time and lost considerable weight from not being fed the mother cat may have had an inadequate milk supply or the kitten may be suffering a medical condition.
The average birth weight of a kitten is 90-100gms, although it is normal for a kitten to drop below their birth weight in the first 24-48 hours. However, they should steadily gain weight from then on and have doubled their birth weight in the first two weeks. If a kitten loses more than 10 grams in weight from one day to the next they need immediate veterinary attention. Failing to seek medical help may result in the kitten becoming very ill and/or passing away.
Kitten development stages
Week 1 Kittens are born deaf and blind. Their umbilical cord will dry up and fall off 3 days after birth. Their eyes will be closed and their ears folded over. They cannot walk and will sleep 90 per cent of the time . They cannot urinate or defecate on their own.
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Week Old Kittens Behavior
Besides transitioning to solid food, 6 week old kittens will also experience other key developmental milestones. At this age kittens should be able to clean themselves. They also engage in grooming with their siblings, an important bond building activity.
What about the litter box? Using a litter box comes naturally to cats, even very young ones. Before 3 weeks, a kitten needs to be stimulated with a little grooming from mom to go to the bathroom. After 3 weeks, kittens are ready to use the litter box on their own. Make sure to get a small one with low sides to start. An unscented, non-clumping litter is safest for young kittens.
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How To Care For A Newborn Kitten
A mother cat will provide everything a young kitten needs until he is about 4 weeks of age. All you need to do is keep the family warm, dry, and in a dark, private location. Mom will do all the feeding and cleaning. Sadly, however, sometimes the mother of a baby kitten is not around or unable to care for her little ones. If that’s the case, you’ll need to step in to help keep the kitties warm and fed.
One of the most important things you can do to keep a kitten alive in his first few hours is by keeping the kitten warm. If a young kitten has cold ears, lips and paws, slowly raise his temperature by wrapping him in a blanket and holding him close to your body. Once he warms up, you can begin feeding him milk replacer formulated for kittens.
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How To Tell If Your Kitten Is Sick
Kittens can become ill very quickly and for a wide variety of reasons. These reasons include parasites, low blood sugar, and respiratory infections, just to name a few.
Common signs of a sick kitten include: lethargy, weakness, decreased or lack of appetite, less interest in playing, sleeping more, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, trouble walking, and less interest in their owners, companions, and toys.
The very first sign many sick kittens show is not eating. If you have several cats, it may be difficult to tell who is eating and who isnt. For this reason, many veterinarians recommend that owners offer their sick kitten a small canned meal. Almost all cats love this kind of food, and its typically a good sign that something is wrong if your kitten doesnt respond to it. This way, you will know something is wrong much sooner than if you free feed and offer dry food all the time .
It is also common for sick kittens to be lethargic. Signs can be subtle, but you might notice that your kitten will be slower to respond and not want to play as much. They might ignore their toys or sleep much more than usual.
If you have a kitten that you believe is sick, the best and safest thing to do is to call your veterinarian to ask for their recommendations and to make an appointment to evaluate your kitten.
How To Help Your Kitten Sleep Well
After playtime, your kitten will likely participate in one of her other favorite pastimes: sleeping! Eight- to 12-week- old kittens can sleep 20 hours a day, but it depends on their activities, says Marilyn Krieger, certified cat behavior consultant and author of Naughty No More! Highly energetic kittens may sleep longer.
To help your kitten establish sleep patterns, play with her an hour or so before bedtime. This helps use up her energy to sleep through the night but still gives her time to come down from the revved up energy of playtime.
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Intestinal Parasites Fleas And Heartworm Disease In Kittens
All kittens need a regular deworming program which includes medication to kill most intestinal parasites. In addition, we will want to check your kitten’s stool for more uncommon but potentially serious parasites. In addition to intestinal parasites/worms, cats can contract heartworms. If cats develop heartworm disease, there is no treatment. Therefore, we recommend consistent heartworm prevention for all cat patients.
Of all threats to your kitten, one of the most common parasitic dangers is fleas. A discussion about your cat’s lifestyle and proper flea and tick control is an indispensable component of kitten care. We do not recommend over-the-counter sprays, powders, or collars. They are less effective and more toxic to your kitten. At your next appointment we would be happy to discuss an effective flea/tick and overall parasite prevention program.
Caring For Young Kittens And Their Moms
We strongly encourage everyone to have their cat spayed or neutered. This is the single most effective way to reduce the over population of felines in our community. If, however, you find yourself with a litter of kittens or have made the decision to care for a stray, please refer to the following information to help you care for your kittens until they are 8 weeks old the minimum age they can be away from their mom and/or littermates.
Mom will do most of the initial care, but you will need to frequently check on the babies to ensure the mother is caring for them and the kittens appear healthy.
A clean, warm, and dry place should be provided for moms and babies. A nesting box is essential for better health and survival. The nesting box should be:
- located in a quiet, secluded, warm, and draft-free area
- just tall enough to prevent the kittens from wandering away but low enough that mom can come and go easily
- large enough for the mom to comfortably lie away from the litter if she chooses, but small enough for the newborns to easily reach her
The bottom portion of a plastic dog or cat kennel works well as a nesting box and easily can be cleaned and disinfected.
A temperature-controlled, draft-free area is extremely important because a kitten’s body temperature can quicklydrop to dangerous levels. A few more tips for creating a quality nesting box:
- congenital defects
- altered respiration
Immediately contact your veterinarian If you notice any of these signs.
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Weeks Seven And Eight Feeding Schedules
Limited nursing sessions should still be allowed until the kittens are two months old, assuming they are all eating the kitten food that is offered to them three times a day. The mother cat may need to be separated from kittens that are relentlessly trying to nurse more than they should, but by the end of week eight, a kitten should weigh about two pounds from the combination of limited nursing and eating regular kitten food.
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Socializing 6 Week Old Kittens
6 week old kittens are playful, curious, and active. They are already comfortable with mom and siblings, so this is the time to socialize them with people and other pets. Good socialization in kittenhood will result in a friendly, well-behaved adult cat. Socialization involves not just gentle handling and play, but also introducing them to new objects, sounds, and experiences.
Be sure to get a scratching post and encourage your kitten to use it on a regular basis. The 6 week age is a great time for lots of interactive play sessions with a variety of toys. And dont forget to introduce your kitten to people outside the immediate household.
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You Too Can Enjoy The Experience Of Raising Kittens
Overall, it was a very rewarding experience, but I suggest that you don’t enter into it lightly. It’s a whole different ballgame in comparison to adult cat care! That being said, enjoy the process! It’s a lot of work, but raising kittens has a huge payoff in the end.
Kittens may fight the weening process, but just be patient, it’s a natural part of growing up.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
How Often Should Kittens Be Weighed And How Much Should They Weigh
The birth weight of each kitten should be recorded, and weight should be taken every day or two for the first four weeks of life. Starting in their fifth week, you can switch to weekly weigh-ins. A digital food scale with capacity up to 5 pounds works best for these measurements.
Kittens normally weigh between 80 to 120 grams at birth. They gain about 100g/week during their first six months of life and should average at least 7g per day.
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Free Feeding Vs Limiting Kitten Food
Ideally, young kittens should be fed small amounts of food about 4 times per day. If you must leave food out, make sure that your kitten maintains a healthy body weight. At the 6 week age, a kitten should only be eating kitten food. The transition to adult food should happen when your kitten is older and fully grown.
Hold off on feeding your kitten treats until around the 8-week age. You should also avoid giving your kitten any kind of milk besides mothers milk or formula, as this can cause diarrhea.
Love On Your New Kitten
Every interaction you have with your new kitten helps socialize him, says Carlene Strandell, Director/Founder of Smitten with Kittens, a non-profit, foster-based kitten rescue that operates in Tallahassee, Fla. “Hold your kitten, play with , interact with ,” she says. Consider adopting multiple cats so your kitten has a friend. “Two kittens are better than one,” says Standell. “Kittens don’t like being alone. They love companionship,” she says. “We encourage people to adopt two.”
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Orphaned 5 Week Old Kittens
If you find a kitten who has no mother nearby, then you have just found an orphaned kitten. This kitten now needs you to be their mother. They will need to be fed, kept warm, and protected by you, the human.
We have already talked about caring for a two-week-old kitten, and three-week-old kittens, maybe even four-week-old kittens.
So, if you have read that article, that means that you are now caring for a FIVE-week-old kitten. FIVE GUYS! You have survived at least 5 weeks with your kitten! Thats longer than a month!
Or, you have just found a kitten are thinking it is about four, maybe five weeks, though we will mention how to be sure in a little.
Five-week-old kittens are at that wonderful age where they can start to show desires to start weening. It is still important that until they are completely on wet food, they still need you to bottle feed them.
They should be getting the hang of litter box training , and continuing to gain weight as they grow.
Supplies You Will Need For Newborns And Young Kittens:
- Kitten formula such as Just Born or KMR . The liquid formula is best to use if you are not sure what to do.
- Feeding bottles and several nipples .
- Eye dropper or syringe in case the kitten will not eat from the bottle.
- Several bath towels for bedding and cleaning kittens.
- Kitchen food scale for weighing kittens .
- Digital rectal thermometer
- Have Emergency Veterinarian or Veterinary Clinic number on-hand.
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How To Care For A 4
Most kittens begin to eat solid food when they are between 4 and 5 weeks old. The mama cat will still be nursing the kittens, and it’s time to start weaning them onto solid food. Mix a little canned cat food formulated for kittens in with the formula and try serving it on a tablespoon or a very shallow dish. You may need to encourage your kitten to eat by rubbing a little on his lips, but he should catch on quickly. Also, have a very shallow dish of clean water available at all times. This is also a good time to add a low litter box that these little guys can climb in and out of easily.
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