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Kitty Cat Help

Updated on May 31, 2009

What To Do With That Newborn Kitten....

Yes, I have done this too. Cats are my favorite animals, and I have had more than one opportunity to help them out in their crisis modes. So what DO you do when you find some kittens, say, with their eyes still closed and meowing incessantly? Help them, of course! It could be the case where your mama cat will just not suckle them, tend to them, or pay attention to them, and will stare at them with unbelieving, confused, and dazed eyes, as if thinking things such as, "Where did these noisy things (rats?) come from?" Yes, just like people, animals sometimes are lacking in mothering instincts and skills. This might be the case if your mama cat is just too young to have babies, but she had them anyway, doggone it! I have seen the look of astonishment and bewilderment on a cat's eyes when this has happened. It is a mixture of fear and surprise. Then they run off. I once had a young cat that gave birth in the litter box, and left her babies there as if they were poop, still with the sacs attached! She had no clue what to do!


So, Step Number 1: If you have in front of you, a kitten that needs mothering help and has its eyes closed, you must act at once. If the placenta sac is still around it, just gently remove it (if you have any light gloves handy you might want to put them on first, but I don't). Wrap the baby in something like a sock....it will help keep it warm. If the baby is meowing constantly it is probably hungry or cold. In that case, you can get one of those tiny feeding bottles (a doll's bottle will do if it has a soft nipple) that are designed for feeding small animals...make sure there is a hole in the tip (if there isn't, you can make the hole by heating a needle in a flame: make two or three holes) and fill the bottle half with water and half with evaporated milk. It can be room temperature but I'm sure that it would prefer it to be warm, but not too warm. Let it drink what it wants...a young kitten will possibly want to eat every hour or every hour and a half....or maybe even, every two hours....it depends...The kitten will let you know simply when it wakes up and starts meowing incessantly. That means that it has a need, and it is calling for its mama (you, in this case).

Step Number 2: Let the kitten sleep after it eats. Do not interrupt its sleep. You should put it in a dark place like a closet, in a shoe box, and make sure that it is warm. You can wrap that kitten in a sock or two, and put it in a shoebox that you have prepared with soft rags or some sort of bedding. That is where the mama would choose to put it, though, particularly in a closet. There is a reason why the mama cat will choose a dark closet....maybe it is because their eyes are very sensitive to light....also, very young kittens should not be handled too much....especially by children.

Step Number 3: Potty training: In a normal situation, the mama will stimulate the peeing reflex after the kittens eat their fill of milk from the teats by licking the kitten's rump and pee pee....but in the case where the bottle is replacing the teats, and you are replacing the mama, this can be done by a moistened washcloth or even a moistened Kleenex tissue, soft paper towel or wipe. You will do this after feeding the kitten....and the kitten will pee. I think in this day and age, it is quite useful to have a box of wipes. Wal-Mart has a great variety of these to choose from.  But the cold feeling of a wet wipe can be disconcerting....ha ha....I just use a dry Kleenex tissue unless there is a horribly big mess to clean up.

This is an important step because it stimulates the organs to start functioning. The mother licks the kittens all over, but of course, you are not going to lick them...ha ha...you are just going to take the washcloth or wipe and give them a good rub down....a good swipe.

Yes, they might start functioning without you doing this, but the kitten will be better off if you can mimick as closely as possible, what the actual mother would do (in the case that it had a GOOD mother).

Step Number 4: After a few days, the kitten's eyes will open, but it will still not be able to see you....but don't worry, it will, eventually. By the time the kitten is a month old, it should have its eyes wide open and it should be taking its first steps, thanks to you! If it isn't, then it is sick and you should take it to the vet. Do not interfere with the opening of the eyes...just let it happen naturally. They should not have a discharge. If there is a discharge from the eyes, then there is an infection. In that case, either take it to the vet or get some Terramycin eye ointment from your local Mexican store and put it on both eyes. I noticed that the Mexican store here has it.

Step Number 5: After about a month, the kitten will start to want to play. Playing kittens are a delight to watch! They will play with the strangest things....practically anything that is on the floor, even! A spool of thread is a great toy for a kitten, a crumpled up piece of paper, an empty toilet paper roll, or/and also a ball of yarn. Whatever.... This is the most adorable time for a kitten....and it is at this stage that they will bring a lot of joy to your home.

Try putting a mirror in front of the kitten so that it can see its image. Of course, it will not know that it is seeing itself...and it will think that it is viewing another cat....the reactions are so delightful!

When the kitten starts playing, is the moment to "Potty Train" them to use the litterbox. The best way to potty train a kitten is to put it into a litterbox, and grab the little paws, one at a time, and make scratching motions in the sand or kitty litter, so that it will know that this is where it has to do its necessities. They will instinctively use the kitty litter from that point on. Who says cats are dumb? Cats are extremely smart. A dog would never learn to pee or poo in the right place by this method! They are just a different animal.

So, good luck with your kitten or kittens! I hope this article has been useful to you.

A one month old kitten playing!
A one month old kitten playing!
Mama cat licking her young. This is what you'd have to do with the washcloth....
Mama cat licking her young. This is what you'd have to do with the washcloth....
A kitten sleeping...they will sleep a lot, just like any other baby.
A kitten sleeping...they will sleep a lot, just like any other baby.
A kitten resting.
A kitten resting.
Kittens going on two months.
Kittens going on two months.

Comments

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    • maricarbo profile imageAUTHOR

      maricarbo 

      4 years ago

      I love cats and I think they are getting smarter each day. I have a cat that opens doors. I'm talking about doors with door knobs. I was her one day. I could not believe it. She is incredible. But I have also seen numerous cats online doing unbelievable things, too! That is why I say they are getting smarter and smarter each day!

    • profile image

      Mary Ann 

      6 years ago

      I appreciate the info. I adopted a 6 mos. old mama and her one surviving 3 week old kitten and have been wondering about their behavior but all is well according to your post, and mama is doing her job. But I found your post when looking up one behavior the mama is doing of kind of sitting on her kitten and even stepping on her. I haven't seen anything about this behavior and it appears she is just keeping the baby near to her by doing it. The baby is just beginning to come out of their bed and walk around on her own.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Maricarbo, this is a wonderful hub. Thank you so much for giving us detailed instructions on how to care for very tiny newborn kittens..step by informative step! GREAT!! Love the pictures, too. I've been running a series about my rescued mama cat and her kittens....I am so in love with cats. While you're at it...WalMart has a great milk replacer for kittens when mama isn't around or unable to nurse...it comes in powdered form (which is to be mixed w/warm water) or as a liquid and is a pretty good source of the needed nutrients and substances which are in mothers' milk which supplies protection against future sicknesses, etc. (I can't think of the right word at present..darn it!). Love this hub..it is so helpful and very very well written. Love the pictures..such beautiful kittens and cats. Thank you so much!!!! Up Awesome Beautiful Useful Interesting.

    • Truth Is Beauty profile image

      Truth Is Beauty 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Wonderful information. The details are excellent. Thank you.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I like cat. And the kitten is very cute and funny. thanks for the kitten picture also.

    • David Fallon profile image

      David Fallon 

      9 years ago from Pomona, CA

      and babies raised this way become VERY attached to people :) little love bugs

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