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Newborn Kittens

Kitten Care 101: Taking Care of Orphaned Newborn kittens

If a mother cat has died or is otherwise unable or unwilling to care for her newborn kittens, special care must be taken to ensure their survival. If you find yourself in a surrogate role, you’ll need to know some basic guidelines to help you give your newborn kittens their best chance at a healthy life. You’ll need to get the kitten or kittens in to see a vet as soon as possible. A vet can give you the supplies you’ll need for feeding, and can check the animals for disease, parasites, and other conditions. Tie together…take to vet, but if you decide to care for them yourself-

  • It is important not to overfeed or underfeed baby cats and your veterinarian can discuss the available options to help you provide proper nutrition for your newborn kittens. Like with a human baby, all feeding equipment should be sterilized prior to each use. You’ll need to get the kitten or kittens in to see a vet as soon as possible. A vet can give you the supplies you’ll need for feeding, and can check the animals for disease, parasites, and other conditions.
  • Also like human infants, baby cats enjoy sucking. It gives them pleasure, and they will often suck on their mother and siblings’ ears or other body parts. You can indulge this instinctive need by providing a moistened cloth on the tip of our finger and allowing the newborn kitten(s) to suckle several times per day. Make sure to use a clean cloth every time.
  • You must be responsible for grooming and hygiene as well. Wet a cloth with warm water and use it to wipe the kittens down daily. Change out bedding and make sure to remove any soiled items from their pen. You need to be extremely careful about sanitation because normally kittens receive immune-boosting benefits from their mother’s milk. Since these antibodies are not present in replacement formulas, you must be vigilant about cleaning up their excrement and providing them with a sanitary environment.
  • You’ll also need to help the kittens eliminate wastes in their first weeks of life. A mother cat will lick her young’s bottoms in order to stimulate these responses (this is because for the first couple of weeks, a kitten is unable to urinate or defecate without this kind of help). If mother is not present, simply using a wet wipe or damp cloth and gently wiping it across the cat’s bottom should do the trick. This needs to be done every couple of hours (as does feeding sessions) to ensure proper elimination and is vital to your cat’s health.
  • You must be responsible for grooming and hygiene as well. Wet a cloth with warm water and use it to wipe the kittens down daily. Change out bedding and make sure to remove any soiled items from their pen. You need to be extremely careful about sanitation because normally kittens receive immune-boosting benefits from their mother’s milk. Since these antibodies are not present in replacement formulas, you must be vigilant about cleaning up their excrement and providing them with a sanitary environment.
  • Something very important that a mother usually does for its young is to provide warmth that newborn kittens need. For the initial week following birth, kittens’ body temperatures should be kept at 88 – 92 degrees. During the following couple of weeks, they can tolerate temperatures as low as eighty, and become more able to regulate their own body heat as they get older. By the time they are one month old, keeping the kittens warm is not as great a concern as it was when they were first born.

Know that sometimes, motherless newborn kittens just don’t survive. By giving them the best care possible, though, you can greatly increase their chances of living a healthy life.