Caring for Kittens: Some Tips

Caring for Kittens: Some Tips

Last update: 11 July, 2018

A large number of kittens are rescued every day. Even though it’s very admirable to adopt one or multiple kittens, you must be knowledgeable about certain things to prevent putting your new pet’s life in danger.

It’s best if mammals are raised by their mothers and nursed for the first 45 days of life. This is the most natural and efficient way to develop the kitten’s immune system and joints.

Unfortunately, in many cases the mother dies during birth or must abandon them to survive. Kittens are frequently found stranded just after birth, which is their most vulnerable moment. There are institutions that dedicate time and resources to help these creatures. Anyone who wants to help can volunteer at these institutions.

What can we do to rescue abandoned kittens?

Two kittens playing

To rescue a kitten, you must remain calm and be patient. It’s a good idea to wait until you gain the kitten’s trust by approaching it gradually. However, this can be especially difficult with newborns.

Make sure to use gloves and minimize making contact with them. The kitten could have come into contact with impurities and microorganisms. You can never be too careful.

Immediately and carefully put the kittens in a crate designed to transport animals so they don’t escape. If you don’t have a cage, you can use a cardboard box temporarily.

Once you got them stored away, take them immediately to the vet or an animal shelter. These animals should be examined in order to treat any health threats or physical issues they may have.

Early care for kittens

Before taking the kittens home, make sure you know the basics of taking care of them and properly set up your home for them to live there.

1. Temperature

Cats are much more sensitive to the cold than dogs. Their bodies are meant to be in warm temperatures. During the first few weeks, kittens aren’t able to regulate their own body heat. The risk of contracting hypothermia or lung disease is very high at this point. For that reason, it’s important to keep them in a warm environment.

A heated pillow might be a good option for regulating their body temperature. Always keep an eye on the kitten to make sure he doesn’t get burned. It’s also a good idea to make sure the cat’s living-space is dry, clean, and warm.

In colder regions, especially during the winter, it’s important to pay even closer attention to the indoor temperature. The ambient temperature should be around 24ºC, or 75ºF.

2. Keep it comfortable

Kittens need to feel safe to fully rest and recover. Cats tend to sleep a lot during the early stages in life. Therefore, you must prepare a place for them to sleep. You can do something so simple as a box with a clean, soft towel for it to sleep on. The most important thing is that the kitten feels safe.

3. Hygiene

In order to take care of a rescued kitten, you must make sure it’s clean before letting it loose in your home. That way you nobody’s health will be at risk and including the animal’s.

Don’t bathe the kitten immediately because it is still vulnerable. You can wash it with a damp towel instead. When the kitten is healthier and stronger, you can do a more thorough bath.

Two kittens

4. Physiological needs

Depending on how old the kittens are, it might be necessary to stimulate their urinary tracts and digestive systems. A newborn kitten (up to twelve weeks old) can’t control its bladder and bowl movements.

The mother licks its internal organs to stimulate these systems. Therefore, it’s important to clean the kitten before and after feeding it. You can use a cotton ball or piece of gauze with warm water. After this stage, cats will easily learn to go to the bathroom on their own in a litter box.

5. Balanced diet

Kittens that are younger than a month and a half need to be nursed or fed with artificial formula. Make sure to check with a vet before giving your kitten certain diet. After 45 days, kittens can start eating solid food. This adjustment should be gradual, preferably under the instructions of a trusted veterinarian.

To avoid overpopulation and having more stray kittens, it’s recommended to you spay or neuter your pets once they reach adulthood.