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How to feed and care for orphaned kittens - pets

 

Over the last 15 years, I have raised nine orphaned kittens. Four of them were two weeks old when their nurse was killed; three others were only hours old when their nurse died; two more kittens fell out of the nest in our barn when they were only a day old.

Raising motherless kittens is not a challenging process, but it does compel patience, time and a load of TLC.

Here are some tips to help you raise your orphaned kittens:

1. Make a nest.

Normally, a care for cat spends many hours a day in the nest with her kittens, which helps her babies stay warm. Charge the kittens warm is chief since if they're not warm enough, they won't want to eat, and in fact, all of their physical functions will slow down.

To keep your orphaned kittens warm, make a nest in a small box and line it with towels or old t-shirts or sweatshirts to help the babies keep their body heat. Put a towel over the box to keep out the light. Female cats desire nests that are dark. If you don't have a heat lamp, use a small 40-watt desk lamp and place it quite a few feet above the box to help keep the kittens warm.

If the box is big enough, you can also use a jug or a new large container full with hot water to keep the babies warm. Place the jug in the box and then make a nest with towels beside it. Fill up the jug when it cools off. You can use a quart jar as a "hot water bottle" too apart from that a quart jar cools off very quickly.

2. Use an eyedropper or a hypodermic to feed the kittens.

The first time I raised orphaned kittens, I open that the small nurture bottles obtainable at vet clinics were too big. The kittens couldn't get their mouths about the nipples. So, at first, for infant kittens, I used an eyedropper. As the kittens grew bigger, a needle worked very well, the kind of hypodermic for benevolent injections (without the needle of course!). I happening out with the 3 cc size and used superior syringes when the kittens grew bigger. The tip of a inject is about the size of a cat's nipple, and my kittens in the end sucked hard a sufficient amount on the end of the needle to draw the nozzle down by themselves. Check with your vet clinic to see if any used syringes are existing or to see if you can buy new syringes from the clinic.

A word of caution: Whether you're feeding with an eyedropper or a syringe, be alert to give only a few drops at a time. My veterinarian told me that if the kittens were given too much formula at once (more than they could swallow), they might gasp it. Inhaling formula will make your kittens much more susceptible to pneumonia.

Along the way, I have also bare that it is best to feed the kittens as much as they want to eat. They will calm down down and sleep until the next feeding if they are being paid adequate to eat. Tiny kittens will start out compelling maybe 1 CC at a time. As they grow bigger, they will eat about 12 CCs at a time (usually in more than a few atypical helpings).

Kittens learn very briefly that food comes from the inject you hold in your hand. If you are having bother receiving them to take the formula from the syringe, let cuddle in the palm of your hand for a few seconds or let them suck on your fingers. Then establish the inject and let them suck on it while you very gradually press the needle down.

3. Feed the kittens KMR or kitty formula that you have mixed yourself.

KMR, the canned cat milk replacer, is free at most vet clinics in both a premixed or dry form. It is explicitly formulated for kittens to endow with all the nutrients they need. Be a consequence the information on the label. The sum to feed is indomitable by body weight. My child kittens weighed three ounces each, and for the first a number of days, they only desired a half an eyedropper of KMR at a time.

My vet clinic also gave me a recipe for "kitten formula. " After the first can of KMR, this is what all of my kittens have been raised on.

Here is the recipe for Kitten Formula

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon white corn syrup

1 egg yolk

a pinch of salt

Mix in a liquidizer and mix it up far an adequate amount of in develop so the suds will have time to dissipate.

Warm over channel heat. Heat the formula so it feels a little warm to the touch. All of my kittens have refused to swallow the formula if it was too cold or too warm. The same was true for KMR.

4. Feed your kittens on a accepted schedule three times a day.

Mother cats nurse their kittens every duo of hours. The veterinarian I consulted cautioned me not to feed them that often. "They won't eat well and you'll get frustrated and they'll get frustrated and it will be harder on everybody," he said. He was right. Feeding the kittens three times per day worked out very well.

5. Groom your kittens with a warm, wet washcloth and help them to empty their bladders and their bowels.

Young kittens are powerless to empty their bladders or move their bowels, so you'll have to help them. Use a warm, wet washcloth and wipe under their tails until they have emptied their bladders and/or moved their bowels. Be all set to use as many as four washcloths for each kitten. If they only have to empty their bladders, you won't need that many. If they have to empty their bowels, look out -- it could get messy! Less important washcloths that you can wring out with one hand while you hold onto a squirming kitten with the other work best. I put the washcloths in a pail of warm water and put the pail where I can reach it easily.

Young kittens also do not know how to groom themselves, and after a day or two of consumption kitten formula, they be converted into sticky from the formula that certainly dribbles down their chins. From time to time, use a warm, wet washcloth to wipe off the formula, but be cautious not to get the kittens TOO wet or it will be hard for them to stay warm.

6. Give a litter pan when they're four weeks old.

Cats have a brawny instinct to use data that they can cut about in when they have to empty their bladders and move their bowels. By the time the kittens are four weeks old, they will by now be accepted wisdom in this bearing and as long as them with a litter pan will help them get the idea. You might still have to assist them with a washcloth for a while, but it won't be long beforehand they are using the litter pan.

Kitty litter in an aluminum pie plate works well to start out. As the kittens grow bigger, use a superior container for a litter box.

7. Start feeding solid food when the kittens are about six weeks old.

Kittens that are raised by their mothers doubtless will start consumption earlier than six weeks, but you will be able to endow with more milk than their mothers would have available.

When your kittens have gotten their teeth, you can begin feeding them solid food. If you want to feed dry food, a good class kitten chow will work fine. Kitten chow has all of the nutrients and protein that they need to keep growing. Kitten chow also is made in tiny kitten-bite-sized pieces. To tempt their appetites and to give them a "treat," you can also try a barely canned kitty food. Be sure to give fresh water for your kittens to drink, as well. And until the kittens are drinking solid food regularly, supplement their caloric intake with kitten formula. By this time, you won't have to feed them with a syringe. You can put the formula into a small saucer, and once they determine where it is and what it is, they will drink by themselves.

8. Be arranged to be astonished and amazed.

Kittens grow very quickly, and on some days, you will think they are budding right ahead of your very eyes.

Kittens get their eyes open when they're about 10 days old.

They will start buzz when they are as young as 6 days old.

Kittens will start other "kitty behaviors" such as shaking their heads, attempting to groom and lifting a hind food to cut at the back their ears when they are connecting two to three weeks old.

Young kittens will from time to time get the hiccups (!) while you are feeding them.

Young kittens are like baby humans, in a way. Their days consist of eating, sleeping and emptying their entrails and bladders. After the kittens have gotten adequate to eat and have had their in person functions taken care of, when you put them back in the "nest," they will sleep or rest calmly until you are ready to feed them again. If they are edgy and crying and meowing, they might need a hardly more to eat, or they might have to empty their bladders or move their bowels, or they might feel cold.

As the kittens grow older, they will be awake for longer periods of time and will in the end start in performance with each other.

By the time the kittens are four weeks old, you will most liable have to move them into a larger box, if not sooner, as the first one will be too small and they will know how to get out on their own!

If you have any questions about the raising of orphaned kittens, you can e-mail me at bigpines@ruralroute2. com

*************

2004 LeAnn R. Ralph

About The Author

LeAnn R. Ralph is the creator of the books: *Christmas in Dairyland (True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm)* (trade paperback) and *Preserve Your Breed Chronicle (A Step-by-Step Guide for Journalism Oral Histories)* (e-book; 66 pages). To read check out chapters and to sign up for the FREE! monthly newsletter, Rural Route 2 News & Updates, visit - http://ruralroute2. com


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