Monday, May 16, 2011

Cat-tip-for-the-day=^..^=helping homeless kittens

This is the time of year that kittens are being born and many are being found outside. Over the years,  I have rescued many kittens and cats and I always found kittens to be the most challenging. I think the worst part was the lack of sleep. Our cat, Cali, was only 10 days old when found in a ditch with 2 others. Someone had thrown them out. When I think that they then went to bed and slept that night.. it blows my mind.
Cali was the only survivor and with 5 people at our home to care for her, she lived. The one thing that worried me the most was that she was kept warm enough day and night. More often than not, motherless kittens will die from being chilled. They need to stay warm and dry 24 hours a day. Heat lamps, hot water bottles under the blankets and body heat from humans is necessary if they are only days old.

You can make a warm nursery by placing a box halfway on a heating pad. Cover the nesting area with a towel or a light blanket.   This should maintain the kittens' body temperatures at 101° F to 102° F without getting them too hot.   If you put the pad inside the box, make sure the kittens cannot crawl under the towel or come in direct contact with the pad.   The box should be large enough for the kittens to crawl off the pad if they become too warm.   Monitor the heat closely. If possible, use a heating pad designed for animals, as pads for humans can get dangerously hot.
Don't let your other pets visit the kittens. While these little cuties may look harmless, they could expose your own cats to a host of contagious diseases.  Also, since the kittens aren't getting mom's antibodies from her milk, they are vulnerable to diseases that your pets may be carrying.

Tiny syringes can be used for feeding the milk replacement that can be purchased at most pet stores. Cow's milk or goat milk cannot be used for new-borns.

Always contact your local vet if you have found kittens that need to be fed by a bottle or syringe.
 They should have pamphlets on all the things you need to do to help these kittens. They may be covered in fleas or de-hydrated which needs to be dealt with immediately.The Vet will need to give them an over-all check-up. Keeping the kittens together is very important for them to stay warm and content.
Our hope is that all newborn kittens have a mother to care for them. Just in case though,  it is good to be prepared.

hugs, Deb 


  1. Such a great job!

    Have a wonderful week, Deb, give these cuties a huge hug for me o xx o

  2. Mommy take a note, Just incase, she have to do it.Thank you Deb..I learn lots of thing from your blog : )

  3. this was some very valuable advice! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I have lost a few kittens over the years on the farm . Mother cats just disappear and I have tried to bottle feed making my own formula. It worked for two. They would not suck the bottle so I feed them with an eye dropper. It was touch and go for a while and two did live. Its alot of work and a big commitment.
    I cant imagine finding a kitten as young as you did. Thats amazing.

  5. Great info Deb. I've never found newborns like that and it would break my heart to see them just thrown out like that.

  6. Brenda at Cozy Little House sent me over to read up on the care of newborns. My husband brought home a kitten that was found in the dumpster at his work. While it broke my heart that the kitten became separated from it's mama, I've done the best I can; feeding round the clock every 3 hours. The kitten's eyes were barely open, had no teeth and was wobbly on it's feet when I got her 10 days ago. Now she's walking, eyes are open, and teeth are emerging (ouch!). My dachshund has adopted her; he's a male, but very mothering. My 5 grown cats are curious but scared of her. Thanks for taking the time to post about kitten care, it may have saved Pepper's life (she's solid black, and couldn't resist naming her, even though I hope to adopt her out when she's older).