How To Care For An Orphaned Or Stray Kitten

22 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Baby kittens are the cutest of creatures, but they are also extremely vulnerable to a variety of ills. If you take in a stray or orphaned kitten, you will need to provide consistent care until the kitten is weaned and able to better fend for itself.  


Before you rescue a kitten, make certain it actually needs help. Feral cat mothers may not be in the nest when you spot the kittens, but they may well be around. Kittens that are clean and well-fed are not abandoned. On the other hand, if the kittens you find are dirty and crying continually, they do need rescue. Eventually, the cared-for kittens of feral cats will also need to be taken away from their mothers and domesticated, but that should not take place until they are at least four weeks old. Obviously, lone, bedraggled kittens need your protection, and you should offer it.


If possible, provide the kitten with a foster mother, one that has kittens of approximately the same size. If you cannot find a foster mother, you will have to feed the kitten using a bottle or tube. Consult with your veterinarian about what kitten formula to use. The kitten should be on its stomach and not its back when you feed it. For a while, you will be feeding the kitten nine to twelve times a day, eventually weaning it onto solid food by seven weeks.


Your kitten will need a warm safe place to stay, so use a small box filled with clean bedding. Soft rags work well, and you will need a large supply because the kitten's bed needs to be changed frequently. Keep the kitten out of drafty areas but do not get her too hot. Keep her away from heating and cooling vents. Up to age two weeks, she will need to be kept in an area that is approximately 92 degrees Fahrenheit. You may use a heating pad under the kitten's bed to help keep her warm enough.

Before you rescue a stray or orphan kitten, first make certain the kitten needs rescuing. Then take the kitten home and provide a warm and safe environment for it. Consult with a veterinarian (such as one from Grove Center Veterinary Hospital) about kitten formula or any other concern you may have about the kitten's health. After that, prepare to spend several weeks constantly feeding your kitten. After about seven weeks, your kitten will be weaned and ready to enjoy the rest of its long and healthy life.