Newborn kittens are soft, cuddly, loveable and make valuable pets. In fact there are very few things more captivating than newborn kittens! Anyone who has had a kitten crawl into their lap and nestle close, purring happily, can vouch for the calming and blissful effect they have on the mind. However, newborn kittens need abundant love and care to see them through to adulthood as they are innocent and frail like human babies. Looking after them is not as easy as you might first think/. Raising them is a very demanding task especially if they're without a mother or have been found abandoned. Whatever be the case, it is vital to recognize the correct steps for the care of newborn kittens. So how would you go about caring for these adorable animals if you had some in your own home? Read on to know some time tested tips on newborn kitten care. If you follow these tips properly, in no time you will have a healthy, playful and loveable friend.
How To Take Care Of New Born Kittens
Keep Things Clean
Hygiene is the base for the wellbeing of both people and animals susceptible to illnesses. People who are hospitalized are defenseless against infection and so are new born kittens. Keeping things clean translates into using a good disinfectant soap to wash your hands before and after handling a new born kitten. It is also important that the newborn kitten's bedding be cleaned in warm soapy water on a daily basis.
Keeping Kittens Warm
You can keep the kittens warm in a number of ways. One such way is by placing a heated lamp over the case of the bedding. If you wish, you can also place a heated blanket or heating pad which is not too hot or low, near or under the kitten’s bed, in absolute safety. The temperature inside a kittens "case" should be ideally about 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keeping an eye on newborn kittens is crucial to newborn kitten care and this starts with checking on the age-wise development stages of the kittens.
- 1-3 days: umbilical cords in place
- 1-10 days: eyes still closed
- 14 days: beginning of teeth
- 14-21 days: beginning to stand
- 28 days: beginning to play
Checking on the weight of the kitten daily is also important. A kitten that is losing weight might be quite ill, so a veterinarian consultation will most likely be necessary.
For newborn kittens initial food means only ‘milk’. Suggested milk is a powdered one that is easy to mix up, called ‘KMR’ Kitten Milk Replacer. This is recommended for orphaned or abandoned kittens and is wholesome. The milk should be given at body temperature using a feeding bottle - the kitten will suckle on it. The kitten should be in the position that he/she uses when feeding naturally at the mother’s breast. This involves all legs on the floor and/or the abdomen on the floor. If the kittens refuse to drink from the feeding bottle, you will have to take them to the vet for tube feeding.
Take Care Of Dehydrated
Kittens are prone to dehydration. This occurs mainly due to diarrhea or because kittens expel great quantities of urine. If this is the situation, you will have to give an oral electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte. This can be given every hour at 1 ml for every 2 ounces of the kitten's body weight. One of the important signs of a kitten being dehydrated is that of the urine being yellow and unclear.
Flea infestation is a general problem in newborn kittens, especially if you are caring for an abandoned kitten. The best way to get rid of fleas is by using a flea comb. You could also give the kitten a gentle wash.
A kitten’s stool has a lot to say about its health. Food change will often result in stool change and diarrhea is one condition to watch out for. Diarrhea can cause dehydration and may necessitate additional fluid intake.
Kittens Need To Be Stimulated To Go To The Toilet
A kitten's mother does this by periodically licking the kitten’s bottom. A cat's tongue feels like sand paper and it is that rough feeling which induces the kittens to excrete. In the case of an abandoned or rejected kitten, you can gently wipe the kitten's bottom with a textured cloth.
It is important to take kittens to the vet regularly. Periodic health checks with the vet will ensure a healthy and happy kitty. Remember to get the newborns vaccinated against diseases each time you visit the vet.