Caring for Kitten Castaways

A few tips and reminders when providing abandoned kittens a new home So you found a kitten all alone in some alley while taking a stroll in your neighborhood. Taking it home and adopting it as a pet entails a lot of responsibilities, most especially if the kitten is just a few weeks old. Here are some things to consider in caring for abandoned kittens. The first thing to observe is if the kitten really is abandoned. Just because its mother is not present does not mean it has neglected it. A plump and clean kitten usually means that its mother is still around. Abandoned kittens are dirty and have a soiled nest.small Scottish kittens Temperature regulation and bedding Temperature regulation should be a primary concern when caring for abandoned kittens. A kitten who is less than 3 weeks old cannot regulate its body temperature. Once placed in a safe location, the kitten should be warmed up gently. A heating pad adjusted to its lowest setting, and wrapped in at least two layers of towels, should be placed beside the kitten. If a heating pad is unavailable, a warm hot water bottle heated to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (around 37 ºC) can be used instead. A properly adjusted heating lamp can be used as well. If you observe the kitten sleeping at the edges of the heating pad, then the pad is too hot. Adjust the temperature accordingly by adding more towels. The kitten should be resting in a warm, draft-free place, and it should be isolated from other pets. Provide a box or a basket as its bed and line it with old towels or blankets to keep it comfortable. Beddings should be changed regularly. Feeding         Cow’s milk is not safe for kittens, since it has components that can cause diarrhea. Pet nursing kits and kitten formula milk can be usually bought in pet stores. Formula milk in powder form is more economical and has a longer shelf life. A typical kit usually contains a feeding bottle, extra nipples, and a cleaning brush. Two kittens in a pink blanketCut an X to open the first nipple. It should be the right size. A large opening might force an excess amount of formula milk before the kitten has had enough time to digest it. A small opening may cause the kitten to expend more energy in suckling, hampering its rate of recovery. You can tell if an opening is the right size if you hold the bottle upside down, and the milk steadily drips out every few seconds. During feeding, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle while lightly tugging at the bottle while the kitten suckles. This prevents air from bloating up the kitten. Kittens less than a week old should be fed every 2-3 hours. At two weeks, they should be fed every 4-6 hours. Kittens that are 3 weeks old can be fed every 6-8 hours. Ideal weight gain should be half an ounce per day. You can wean off the kitten once it reaches 4-5 weeks old.  Gradually reduce the amount of formula once their consumption for solid food grows. Feeding materials should be sterilized in boiling water. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap or sanitizer. Re-sterilization, before and after each feeding session, is important to prevent cross-contamination between the kittens and other pets. Vet visits Regular vet checkups are necessary to check for the overall health of abandoned kittens. A stool sample can be used to determine the presence of parasites and worms. Follow-up visits are also necessary to check the progress of your kitten’s recovery. The first FVCRP (3-in-1) vaccination can be administered at 6 weeks. This is followed by two more after 21 to 30 days. Should you decide to vaccinate against FELV (feline leukemia), this can be done at around 8 weeks. Patience, awareness of their instinct, understanding, and overall affection are three more very important things that you can add to the list that help your adopted feline become accustomed to its new found home.