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Animal Rescue | The Abandoned Kitten
Don't let the cuteness fool you, it is a lot of work!
Last week my wife agreed to adopt a four week old kitten from a co-worker of hers. The kitten was found under a bush, it was so young it still did not have any fur. The mother had abandoned it for reasons unknown.
There are three main reasons that a mother cat will abandon one of her babies:
a. She senses a genetic defect with the cat (the runt of the litter) and leaves it to die.
b. She's had an exceptionally large litter and did not think she'd be able to support that many kitties so she left one behind.
c. She was simply moving her litter and the kitten was found between trips.
Whatever the reason, she found the kitten, nursed it to health and it survived, and now we have it! It's so cute! It's the smallest living thing I've ever held. It was barely able to walk, they really do walk like little babies. They have the littlest little mews when they're cold or hungry, but they sleep quite a bit and can be a little boring (especially to a six year old).
Bottle or breastfed? Bottle please!
It is a lot of work having a four week old kitten. First there's the feeding. At this age you still have to feed them with a bottle. The catmilk (yes catmilk) formula must be a little warmer than room temperature. I usually put the kettle on to boil and drop the bottle in there for about a minute. I then squirt some milk on my arm to test the temperature, just like a human baby. Once the bottle's all ready and the temperature is good, you have to position the kitten properly. You cannot hold the kitten like a human baby while feeding, the kitten must be on his belly with his head up. It may be difficult to get the kitten started, I found that by squeezing the bottle while the nipple it is in his mouth introduces the milk to the cat's taste buds, thus enticing him to start sucking. Once he starts he will keep going until he needs a break. You're supposed to give them about 4oz total per day or more. You can get away with less if you are starting to feed him some soft food. A little advice about soft food, they will walk all over it, smush it all over their little paws and get the stuf everywhere. I suggest you feed it to them with a small spoon. You must also be careful not to get to much food on the fur around their mouth. It will be very hard to clean off if it is left to dry and may even cause a painful rash to the cute little kitty.
Usually at this age you must pee the cat before and after feeding . You've got to moisten a paper towel with warm water and rub their genitalia with it until they go. This action mimics what mother cats do to get their babies to go pee. The roughness of the paper towel is rough like their mother's tongues on their patouties. Be careful not to rub to much, you can cause their genitals to become raw with all the rubbing. When they start going on their own (usually all over the floor) you should begin to train them to go in the litter box, my kitty got it in a few days. Whenever it has an accident you simply pick it up and put it in it's litter box. The last time he peed on the floor I rubber his nose in it and placed him in the litter box, he hasn't peed the floor ever since. The key is to not make a big fuss about it when he has an accident, this will just cause your kitty more anxiety and more than likely make the problem even worse. You should make a big deal when he does go poo and pee in his litter box, this will encourage more of the behavior that you desire.
Well worth all the work, like having a baby!
It is a lot of work but it is worth it. My now five week old kitty is sitting on my shoulder purring his little butt of as I type this. I just finished giving him his bottle and he's just about to take his little nap he takes when his little belly is full. He's using his litter box with no accidents for about three days now and is eating his soft food on his own without mushing it up all in his paws. He's getting more and more playful every day and is starting to pounce and run everywhere. They really grow up fast!
Adopt a pet from a shelter, stay clear of pet shops
If you are interested in getting a pet I would highly recommend adopting a rescue animal either through a shelter like the SPCA or through someone who found an abandoned kitten like in my situation. The animal shelters are overflowing with unwanted animals who need good homes and loving owners. I`ve heard many stories of people who got their animals at shelters and they turned out to be excellent pets. One lady I know who got her cat at a shelter told us that her cat was the one who chose her!
- Help Save Animals
Animals need our help more than ever. Fortunately there are some simple actions you can take that will help save animals.