If you have found abandoned, orphaned, or feral kittens and wish to rescue and raise them, here’s everything you need to know. Mostly up to six weeks of their age. After that, they socialized with you, and then their care and management is not a big issue.
Should I Take in an Abandoned Kitten?
Be particular; The kittens are abandoned before you disturbed a nest. A mother cat may be more complicated than a stealth bomber, but just because she’s not there now doesn’t mean she’s not around. If kittens are sleeping clean, bold, and quietly in a heap, the probability is that their mother focuses on them, and they should be left alone. Abandoned kittens will be dirty, and their nests will be soiled, and they will continuously cry because they are hungry. Preferably, kittens should not be taken from the mother until they are four to five weeks old. However, at the age of four months, kittens born to honorable mothers should be taken if possible. They are easy to improve at this age, and they have taken full advantage of the four months they have provided valuable antibodies in breast milk for up to four weeks. As they get older, they become more challenging to control. Over eight weeks old, Kittens that have had no contact with humans will take months to recover.
Age determination of the kitten:
- Eyes closed and ears folded over – the kitten is 1 – 15 days old
- Eyes are open, and kitten moves around but is wobbly, 2 – 3 weeks old
- Eyes are open; ears up can walk everywhere, 3 – 4 weeks old
- Roaming around, running free and is difficult or impossible to catch, 4 – 8 weeks old or older.
Don’t take the kittens to a shelter.
Unless your local shelter has a program for neonatal kittens explicitly, bringing an orphaned kitten to a shelter is a death sentence. The majority of shelters do not provide care to unweaned kittens, so if you want them to have a shot, it’s going to be your responsibility to help them yourself or to find someone who can.
Tiny kittens weigh about 2–5 ounces at birth. They must double their body weight in the first week to live healthily.
First of all, after determining the correct age of the kitten and after confirming that the mother has abandoned her kitten or the kitten is lost, you must act fast and do these things.
Emergency Recipe for feeding
Feed your kitten with a feeder or by feeding drencher.
- 2/3 cup homogenized whole milk
- One tablespoon corn oil
- One dropper pediatric liquid vitamin
- Three raw egg yolks
Feeding will help to regain its strength and give sufficient nutrients to keep metabolism.
Kittens that are one to two weeks old usually need six feedings per day.
Give them a proper wash:
Wash the kitten with nonallergic shampoo and gentle push with warm water to clean and then rub them with a towel for few minutes and massage them. To keep them clean and maintain body temperature.
Determine if the kitten is warm: if not, make them
If the kitten’s pads/feet or the ears of the kittens are cold, your kitten seemed to be cold. You can also place your index finger or thumb in the kitten’s mouth to see if it feels cold or not. If the kitten feels cold, correct this immediately and recheck the temperature in an hour. Being too cold is a life-threatening condition for your kitten.
- Use a thermometer in the rectum to check the kitten’s temperature. Put some lubricant/vaseline on the tip before you insert it.
- The rectal temperature should be between 97.5–102.5 °F (38.5-39 °C). A little lower temperatures are considered for newborn kittens.
Take the kitten to the veterinarian for an emergency check-up.
Once you find the kitten, please take it to a vet-doc as soon as possible. The vet-doc can give the kitten a thorough examination. The veterinarian will tell the exact age and give you some extra tips for a particular breed.
Warm the nest to the optimal temperature.
Keeping your abandoned kitten warm is one of the most significant things you can do. This is more vital than feeding. The temperature relatively depends on the age of the kitten.
- At zero to one week, the temperature should be around 90° F.
Eyes open at 8–12 days. Suppose eyes seem to be pus-filled or sealed shut, empty and clean with a wet cloth, and apply antibiotic ointment until the infection clears up.
The first dose of roundworm medication (Nemex)or any other brand may be given when they are as young as two weeks old.
Get all of the supplies you need.
Although you may not know your kitten’s exact health situation, there are necessary supplies that you will need. Get these supplies as soon as possible. You have to take care of your young kitten for a few days/weeks before you can take it to a veterinarian.
- Blankets and soft towels (to place in the nest)
- Bottle cleaning brush
- Kitten formula
- Nipples, teats, or syringes
- Nesting box (e.g., cardboard box, carrier)
- Heating pad
Make a habit of bottle feeding and positioning the kitten
Use the kitty formula feed.
Go to the excellent pet store’s cat section to purchase kitten formula feed from any well-renowned company. You can buy powdered or canned formula. Choose one and do not alternate between using canned and powdered formula. This can cause diarrhea
- Smell the formula when you open it. It should have a sweet smell. If it smells not good, it may be expired.
- Must refrigerate the powdered formula after you open it once.
- Prepare a feeding bottle. Start to prepare the formula according to the instructions on the container. Heat the bottle in a cup of water that you microwave for a minute or two. Don’t place the bottle directly into the microwave with the formula. Once warm, shake the bottle.
- The nipples of bottles should be sterilized.
- The amount of formulated feed you use depends on the age and weight of your kitten. You do not want to over or underfeed.
- Pinch a bottle to squeeze a drop of the milk on your wrist/hand to make sure that it isn’t too cold or hot.
- Never give your kitten cow’s milk.
Kittens that are one to two weeks old usually need six feedings per day
Try to teach a kitten how to take a position when feeding:
- Sit down and hold the kitten on your lap. The kitten’s feet should be down, and his head should be straight.
- Never feed a kitten with its feet in the air.
- Do not try to lift the kitten’s head.
- Do not hold the kitten on its back as if you were breastfeeding a baby. This position is dangerous for your kitten.
- Proper positioning is essential. Feeding a kitten in the wrong place can cause the kitten to get formula in its lungs or have difficulty hanging on to the nipple.
- Place the nipple on the side of the kitten’s mouth and then center it.
- Let the kitten in a comfortable position.
At about three weeks old, your kitten will start crawling here and there. At three to four weeks, the ears will begin to stand up.
Go again to check up with the veterinarian in the third week.
- Kittens that are three weeks old usually need about four feedings per day.
- They learn how to walk and cuddle.
- They gain trust in you.
- They feel comfortable when you are around
Check for fleas:
Check for fleas. If you see any fleas, remove them using good quality lice and flea shampoo and a flea comb. The most skilled way to get rid of fleas to comb on a kitten’s belly because they usually found there.
- You can also use a flea spray designed specifically for kittens. Always read the instructions before using them.
- Once you have sprayed the kitten with flea spray, place it on a towel for 25-35 minutes.
- This gives the spray enough time to kill the fleas. Then wash your kitten with lukewarm water.
At four weeks, kittens will begin to play with each other, and they develop teeth at 4rth week.
A second dose of roundworm dewormer should be given at 4rth week.
Kittens that are four weeks old usually need about three feedings per day.
Your kitten may need to eat as much as possible. If your kitten feels satisfied, sleeps well, and is warm enough, you are probably doing the best job.
Help your kitten eliminate/poop.
- Kittens are not able to stop pooping irregularly until they are four weeks old. Until then, you will need help.
- Take a paper towel or warm washcloth and massage the anal area.
- Use circular or back and forth movement immediately after feeding the kitten. Encourage the kitten later.
- The kitten should urinate every day after feeding and poop once a day. If the kitten has not peed for 14 hours or has not pooped in two days, take the kitten to the doctor.
- The kitten should urinate and poop.
- The poop should be mustard or brown.
- If the poop is yellow, green, or watery, you may have given the kitten more fat.
Weaning usually takes place at about four to five weeks of age, but keep in mind that some kittens take a little longer, mainly to show the wonders of eating solid food without a mother’s cat. You may know that when a kitten is ready for weaning, it happens that (a) bites her nipple more and more forcefully, and (b) licks the formula feed with your finger. The next step is to raise the kitten and offer a meal with a spoon. Once they have mastered it, try putting it in a flat dish.
Stimulation for urination:
If you are the new mother of a kitten, guess who gets this duty! You are. After each feeding, gently massage the kitten on its lower abdomen and the genitals and rectum, with cotton pads or tissues moistened with warm water Rub for enough time to simulate the kitten. Exceeding the limit will disturb the area. Keep an eye out for dirt spills and delays.
Kittens should and almost always urinate during each stimulus. They should defecate at least once per day. One trick is to count to 60 while you’re stimulating a kitten slowly. At that point, you’ll know if it’s done or if something’s on its way out!
Tapeworms medicine should be given at 6th week
Check kitten’s weight gain:
Kittens should gain about 0.6 ounces per day or 4.2 ounces per week. Weigh them properly at the same time each day on a kitchen or small postal scale. Being overweight or underweight for more than 24 hours is a wake-up call and requires a visit to the doctor. You can check to make sure that a kitten is hydrated correctly by pulling the skin over the neck.
If it bounces back nicely, hydration is adequate. If it doesn’t bounce around or goes back down slowly, they will need at least one dose of sub-q fluids.
Must visit the veterinarian for vaccination because kitten must be vaccinated at six weeks.
The first FVRCP (3-in-1) vaccination must be given at six weeks of age and two more given in series, 21–30 days after the previous vaccination. If you want your kitten to be vaccinated against FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus), the first vaccination should be at eight weeks of age. Consult your veterinarian for a schedule of immunizations. These vaccinations vary with brands and types. When a kitten weighs two pounds, usually between eight weeks, and is healthy, it is large enough to be spayed. At this age, they are old enough to be adopted. If you want to keep your kittens up for adoption, you should not do this before the period of eight weeks.
Love and Attention
At this point, kittens need maximum love and affection from your side to make a strong bond.
Interesting Fact: Once the kittens are about six weeks old and healthy, it is acceptable to let them interact with other cats or even dogs, even though they should be isolated for at least 21 days. The first vaccine was given before they were combined with other pets.