These newborn kittens have been abandoned by their mother…. In a situation like this, what do you do? The best thing to do is to do is maintain their body heat by wrapping them in a warm towel and taking them straight to the vet. But what if the vet is closed? Normally, kittens will rely solely on their mother’s milk until they are about 45 days old and they will have their bowel movements taken care of by their mother licking their bottoms. You will need to try and replicate what the mother would do.
In this article, I will introduce you to common problems that almost everyone faces when raising kittens.
☆ The kittens won’t drink formula
That’s pretty normal. To begin with, kittens do not innately know how to drink anything other than their mother’s milk, so any kitten might struggle with a bottle and formula. There are many possible reasons for why kittens will not drink formula.
・ The formula is too hot or too cold
(Around 35℃ is best.)
・ The nipples are not the right size or they might be turned off by the rubber smell
(If the nipples are larger than the kitten’s mouth, the kitten will not be able to suck it properly.)
・ You have not induced bowel movements before attempting to feed them
・ They don’t like the taste of the formula
・ They had low blood sugar levels when you rescued them and thus have no appetite
(Have a vet give them an IV.)
・ Their body temperature is dropping
・ They are constipated, constricting their stomachs
(Rub their anuses to induce bowel movements.)
It is best to have kittens drink about every two to three hours, but if they are sleeping, there’s no need to wake the poor little guys up. However, if they aren’t begging for food and continuing to sleep for a long period of time they will likely become anemic, so please take them to the vet as soon as possible.
☆ They have little black specks in their fur
Rescued cats often have fleas. Remove one of the specks and wet it with a drop of water. If the black speck starts turning red as it dissolves, then you will know it is flea excrement. Unfortunately, you cannot bathe newly born kittens because doing so will deplete their body strength. First try removing the fleas with a flea comb. Put some water in a bowl and add a drop of mild dishwashing liquid. If you comb out the fleas and drop them in the water, the dishwashing liquid will prevent them from escaping and they drown. Fleas carry their eggs on their stomachs. Crushing the fleas will cause the eggs to scatter, so never crush them.
☆ They won’t defecate
Sometimes kittens cannot defecate on their own. You will need to assist them the same way in which a mama cat would. First, to make it easier for the kitten, place it on its stomach and stimulate its anus by tapping it with a warm, wet gauze. After a little while, you will see a dark yellow secretion. Continue stimulating until no more color becomes visible. Use the same method for feces. When kittens have not defecated for long periods of time, it’s a sign that their bodies are weakening. Have the vet give them IVs to quickly treat the problem.
So do you think you could do it? Suddenly having to care for rescued kittens can throw you into a panic. Just keep in mind two things.
Always warm kitten milk to body temperate. Never touch a kitten with cold hands. Newly born kittens cannot regulate their own body temperature, so exposing them to any cold will cause an anemic state.
You can also wrap a towel around a plastic bottle filled with warm water and place it near the kittens to mimic the presence of the mother cat - Just be careful it’s not too hot!