To pick up an orphan kitten of a few days (even a few hours!) Whose mother has just died by his side is rather… disconcerting. Torn between sadness, the love we want to bring to this baby, compassion, and the panic of “how to do ?!” »We often feel helpless. And this is quite normal. In this article, I will give you some basics to take care of an orphan kitten.
The first things to do when picking up an orphaned kitten
First of all, it is important to keep the baby warm and to go see a vet. Moreover in my opinion a veterinary follow-up is essential!
The kitten born deaf and blind, and totally depends on its mother to live: eat, eliminate, maintain its heat … You will therefore have to take care of all this at the same time, and become a surrogate mother for the orphan kitten … and this n is not easy!
1. Prepare the nest for the orphan kitten
In nature or in a house, the mother prepares the nest a few days before the babies arrive. It is therefore important that the kitten has a nest, a small space just for him to be warm and grow serenely.
This nest needs air (you have to be able to ventilate it, without putting it near the window) and it should not be too cramped either. A cardboard box will be perfect, on the one hand because the cardboard is a very good insulator, and then, if it is too soiled it will be easy to change. A plastic storage box will also do the trick. Put in linens that you can easily machine clean.
2. Maintain the kitten’s body heat
The kitten depends on its mother to maintain body heat until it is three weeks / one month old. Too hot or too cold can lead to the death of the little one.
This is why it is very important to keep the nest at around 30 ° during its first two weeks. The following two weeks: around 25 °. Then between 20 and 22 °.
For this, you can put a hot water bottle covered with a towel in the nest, or place a lamp above. Also, add a small container or two of water so that the air is not too dry.
How to feed an orphan kitten?
How many feeds?
Technically you will not be able to bottle the kitten as many times as it would suck on its mother … so give it between seven and eight feeds per day, every 2 / 3h. Do not hesitate to note the feeding times on a notebook.
Spend three bottles at the 6 th week. That said, around 3 weeks the kitten will probably know how to lap: then install a small cup with the formula.
Around the 4th week, start to have a small cup of special kitten kibble mixed with formula milk. This does not mean that the kitten will no longer need feeds! It is only to gradually bring it towards solid food. Around the 5th, 6th week, put a cup with only croquettes. You can reduce the number of feedings if the little one eats the kibble well.
Which infant formula for kittens?
We need formula suitable for kittens because cow’s milk or baby (human) milk will not be complete for the kitten’s needs. Of course, should it be specified, read the instructions carefully to give the right amounts and dilute the milk (neither too thick nor too liquid).
Examples of infant formula, which are sold with the bottle adapted: infant formula Biocanina the infant formula TVM , and NéobionTM Pet of Bimeda
How to bottle feed a kitten?
Sterilize the bottle before each use.
It is preferable that the kitten is in an upright position so that it takes its milk: do not keep it on its back, it should not drink with its head back!
You have to be patient because, like a baby, the kitten can take small breaks when taking the bottle!
Monitor the kitten’s weight
Weigh the kitten daily to monitor its weight. Technically, the kitten should take between 5 and 10g per day.
The birth weight of a kitten is between 90 and 120 g. Normally, between 7 and 15 days, he will be double his birth weight. Then, around 15 and 28 days, he will have tripled his birth weight.
Special kitten croquettes
Until the kitten is 4 months old, opt for 1st age kibbles, such as The First Age Mother & Baby Cat by Royal Canin for example.
Helping an orphaned kitten to defecate
During the birth and for several days, even weeks, the cat will lick the perineal zone of her babies to allow them to eliminate urine and excrement. Indeed, alone, the kitten is incapable of it, and if it does not eliminate, it can die …
Also, after each meal, pass a damp cloth on the perineal area of the kitten (between its anus and its genitals), to allow it to eliminate . This small gesture is very important !! Then clean up the droppings.
Keep the kitten clean
The cat cleans her young every day by licking them thoroughly. Every day, therefore, pass a small, damp, lukewarm, well-wrung cloth over his little body; this contact will be beneficial.
Potty training for an orphaned kitten
When the kitten is two weeks old, install a small plate, or a small shoebox cover, for example, with litter in it. When you stimulate the perineal area of the kitten to eliminate it, do it in the mini litter box. So he will get used to this substrate to do his business. Gradually you can also make him make the gesture of scratching the substrate.
Familiarize the kitten with human life
If there are several of you at home, each give the bottle, clean the baby, in turn; thus the kitten will be familiar with several humans and will be less dependent on a single person, which will be very good for its balance.
At around 4-5 weeks, let the kitten explore its surroundings. Of course, take care upstream to protect anything that could be dangerous, block certain accesses so that there is no risk of injury or of getting stuck somewhere. On the game side, offer him lots of different!
There you go! I hope that this article will allow you to see a little more clearly, and to live well with this little kitten, who will have found in you a home full of love to grow well! Whether you keep it with you or have it adopted from equally loving people, at least you will have done everything to ensure that this little orphan kitten becomes a good little cat. You will have allowed him to have a life
However, you should know that a kitten who has not had the education of its mother may be a little more sensitive and will need to understand the instincts of the cat to help it.