Last Updated on March 4, 2022 by Pets Feed
A tiny furry creature with barely opened eyes and a short carrot tail squeaks plaintively at your feet, and your heart breaks with pity, and you so want to pick up, help, but … you still doubt it. Is it feasible? Is it too troublesome? Will this baby bring “infection” into the house? And how do you approach it? Why is he crying so desperately? We hasten to reassure you: it is feasible and much less troublesome than raising a child: the kitten does not need to be bathed so often, you do not need to walk with it, and, most importantly, it grows very quickly, so it will take very little time and you can leave him alone for the whole day.
Troubles will remain in the past, but you will have a new friend, communication with whom will bring great joy. And he cries precisely because he was left alone. If he lost his mother, he cannot survive without human love, care, warmth …
Start with gratitude
Whatever the circumstances that forced you to become the acting “cat mother”, thank God and fate for this: a new page begins in your life. A new love has come to you. After all, animals are like children. Do not scold or curse the one who threw out the helpless kitten, or even the one who is somehow responsible for the death of the cat’s mother. The best thing you can do is accept this gift of fate with gratitude. In fact, if you are a real cat lover, then this attitude is natural for you.
Cleanliness is the key to health
Well, now it’s time to move on to the actual maternal responsibilities. If the kitten is taken from the street, of course, it needs to be bathed. In urban conditions, it is most convenient to do this in the sink, plugging it with a stopper. The water should be warm, then the kitten practically does not resist. As a detergent, it is best to use special shampoos for animals (anti-flea), and even better – for small kittens, but if one is not at hand, ordinary baby soap is also suitable. During bathing, care must be taken that water does not get into the ears, into it, into the eyes and mouth of the kitten. After bathing, it must be thoroughly dried with one towel, and then wrapped in another, dry. If fleas are noticed on the kitten after bathing, then bathing will need to be repeated after a period of time indicated on the shampoo package.
Better to see a doctor
It is advisable to immediately show a kitten picked up on the street to a veterinarian in order to find out if he needs treatment. Indeed, sometimes only the experienced eye of a specialist can notice something amiss. For example, there was a case when a month-old kitten died due to an abscess on the neck, which was located under the skin and was not seen by the “naked eye”.
Usually, any animal taken from the street is prescribed antihelminthic drugs. Moreover, in no case should a small kitten be given medicines intended for adult animals. There are special preparations for babies (based on pumpkin seeds), they are safe, but even here the correct dose calculation is necessary. The doctor will do this without difficulty, having previously weighed your pet on a special scale.
But do not panic if the doctor discovers any abnormalities, and most importantly, do not throw the kitten out into the street, being afraid of difficulties. Modern drugs in most cases help to quickly improve the health of the animal.
A mother’s cat
If the kitten is not yet a month old and does not know how to eat on its own, then the best option is to find a foster mother. Ideally, if at the moment she has her own kittens: usually cats accept someone else’s cub without objection. If friends have a lactating cat, you can give her a kitten for a period of time – up to one and a half months, after which it can be painlessly “weaned off”. But, as practice shows, even a cat that has never had its own offspring can feed a kitten. It is not in vain that “human” breastfeeding experts convince YOUNG mothers that the mammary gland is an organ that works “on demand”: when it is sucked, it begins to produce milk. With a cat, everything is exactly the same, even better, because she does not experience any doubts or fears – she simply surrenders to the will of her maternal instinct. A kitten can suckle just about any cat if she doesn’t mind. Of course, no one can give you a guarantee that this or that cat will accept a particular kitten, but you should definitely try. True, a nulliparous cat is unlikely to have enough milk, and it will still have to be fed from the nipple.
Pacifiers, bottles …
Special devices (like a thick test tube) with a pacifier for kittens are on sale today. If you don’t have them in your area, you can use a pipette eraser by piercing it with a hot needle and putting it on the spout of a toy teapot. Veterinarians do not advise feeding kittens from a pipette, dripping milk into their mouths: if a kitten does not suckle, its digestion is defective. As for milk, it is best to buy a special dry mix for kittens. If it’s not available, there are homemade cat mix options.
Mix No. 1: 240 ml of homogenized milk. 2 yolks, 1 teaspoon of salad oil. 1 drop of liquid children’s vitamins – 1.2 kcal / ml.
Mixture No. 2: 20% condensed sterilized milk without sugar (1 part of warm water for 5 parts of condensed milk), bone meal (1 teaspoon for 1 liter of milk) – 1 kcal / ml. There are cases when kittens were fed with cow’s milk, although it is considered unsuitable for them.
An artificial kitten may need special medications to improve digestion and treat dysbiosis, just like a human cub in a similar situation. You have to feed a kitten two to three weeks old about every 2-3 hours, including at night. But already in a month and a half, he begins to try “adult” food. Usually, veterinarians recommend giving special food for kittens, but liquid milk porridge, soft cottage cheese and other fermented milk products (to the taste of a kitten), grated cheese, and minced meat are also suitable. However, you cannot feed the kitten with meat or fish alone!
If the kitten has an excessively large belly and crooked hind legs, show it to your veterinarian right away. In cats, this disease is called “hyperparathyroidism”, its essence – in the violation of phosphorus-calcium metabolism. The bones of such a kitten become very soft, prone to fractures when falling from a very small height (for example, from a chair). There is evidence that in recent years this disorder has been more common in kittens than before. Usually, veterinarians say that the reason is improper feeding (one meat, which contains a lot of phosphorus, but does not contain calcium at all), but it happens that only one kitten from the litter gets sick, and his brothers and sisters who eat the same remain healthy. A kitten who regularly receives dairy products can also get sick, if he has a predisposition to this.
A kitten with such a violation is prescribed special food for kittens and – be sure! – calcium preparations. If all the doctor’s recommendations are followed, the kitten will be completely healthy in a month.
A delicate problem
Up to about a month, kittens do not know how to empty their bowels and bladder on their own. But in nature everything is amazingly wise: the kitten’s urine and feces seem to the cat … well, very tasty, and she licks them with great pleasure. But if the cat is not there, you will have to imitate the movements of the cat’s tongue with a piece of toilet paper. It is most convenient to do this over the sink in the toilet, so that you can immediately throw away the paper and wash your hands.
Starting from a month, it makes sense to do this procedure by placing the kitten in a litter box, and he will quickly understand what it is intended for.
Warm the cub
Very small kittens without a mother squeak deafeningly, and it is easy to guess that without her they are cold and scared. The best “heating device” and universal sedative, of course, is the cat. If it is not there, then get ready for the fact that at first the baby will spend most of the time in your arms. But to sleep, he needs a warm and safe “nest” – a box, drawer or basket, covered with rags or fur (possibly artificial). It is good if a lid is also provided – with it the kitten feels safer. A cat carrier can also be used for this purpose. If the room is cool, you can put a heating pad in the “nest”.
What is childhood without toys?
Kittens start playing only after one month of age. Previously, toys are not needed. When the period of hunting for a broom comes, it makes sense to leave this item, beloved by all kittens, in an inaccessible place. Everyone knows that you can play with a kitten using a twig or a paper “bow” on a string. It is more convenient to hang such a bow or a purchased toy mouse on a fishing line or strong thread on the door handle so that they do not reach the floor a little. Then the toy will not be driven under the closet, and the kitten will be happy to play in front of you.
… Kittens grow up quickly. Do not forget to take pictures of your pet when it is very small. These days, filled not only with “motherly” concerns, but also with no less motherly tenderness and tenderness, you will never forget. It is good if your children will help to take care of the kitten. And kittens taken from the street usually appreciate love, kindness and affection and respond in kind. Your love will be mutual!