Adult cats are pretty independent, and they can often fend for themselves when left alone. However, newborn kittens need constant care and supervision. They need to be fed at the right timing and kept warm and comfortable. Newborn kittens often get separated from their mothers or are rejected by mommy cat when they fail to produce milk.
If you are caring for a rescued newborn kitten, this post is for you. The following 7 cat care tips which will help you in your journey of keeping your rescued kitty healthy and happy.
Decide If You Want to Keep the Kitten
It’s important to go in with the right expectations and figure out if you can provide a lifelong home for the cat. If you know from the get-go that you plan on giving away the kitten for adoption once it passes the delicate age, you get more time to find a loving home. This also keeps you from getting too attached to the cat and will be easier for you to let go when the time comes.
If you decide to keep the kitten there will be no transition. However, if your plan is to prepare your kitty for adoption, it’s best to socialize the cat with other animals and people. It also helps if the kitten is trained to use the litter box.
Create a Schedule
Newborn kittens need food at an interval of 1 to 2 hours. That means 12 feedings a day. Get help from your partner or hire a caregiver to divide the chore. It also helps to plan ahead and create a schedule.
Thankfully, the feeding time reduces after the kitten reaches an age of 3 to 4 weeks. This is when they require food 4 to 6 times a day.
When they are 12 weeks or older, they need to be fed 4 times a day. They usually need food thrice a day after they are about 6 months of age.
Long story short, you need to spend more time feeding your rescued cat when during the early stages and it gets easier as your kitten grows older.
Use a Small Syringe with Nipple Attachment for Feeding
Kittens are not instinctive bottle feeders. That means there is going to learning for the cat and you. There are two options when it comes to feeding a newborn cat. You can either bottle feed them or feed them using a syringe. Syringe feeding is the best method if you are feeding a newborn because young cats often have trouble adjusting to bottle feeding at that early stage.
With syringe feeding, you can also measure exactly how much food you are feeding in one session and strictly follow an amount recommended by the vet. For best results, use a small 3cc syringe (Without the needle) with a nipple attachment.
Once the cat gets older, slowly introduce the bottle.
Find an Ideal Milk Replacer
Cow’s milk is not suitable for young kittens. Kittens do not have the digestive enzymes to break down regular cow’s milk and thus can experience diarrhea and stomach upset. There are plenty of kitten milk replacers available in the market that are completely safe and provide the perfect blend of micro and macronutrients.
KMR or kitten milk replacers are usually available in powdered form and they need to be mixed with water to create the liquid feed. Depending on how your kittens are doing, some vets recommend adding electrolytes to the mix, but it’s best to consult the vet before adding anything extra to the mix.
Create a Cozy and Warm Kitten Bed
Newborn kittens are blind and they cannot fend for themselves. In the wild momma cat takes care of its newborn. Since you are in charge, you need to create a warm and comfortable kitten bed that keeps the kitty safe. Use soft materials such as sterilized cotton, pieces of a fleece blanket, or ultra-plush towels to create a proper bed. Place the bed in a warm area.
Take Her to the Vet
Once the newborn kitten is strong enough, take her to a vet for a thorough checkup. Vets are qualified to give you proper cat care tips to take care of your kitten and provide nutritional recommendations.
Never Take the Newborn Kitten to a Shelter
Most local cat shelters do not have the infrastructure to take care of newly born cats. Shelters also have sick cats and other diseased animals, which creates a dangerous environment for kitten without a fully-developed immune system.