How to Raise a 3 day old kitten, This is how I did it.
Mama's Boo Boo Day
Let me tell you the tale of a little black abandoned kitten. It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I love animals. So because of this virtue it is no surprise that I always have people calling me trying to get me to take another abandoned stray. So when I got the call in April of 2000 I was not surprised. This is going to be a long one. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I have enjoyed living it.
I already had two cats and a dog. I was working hard and trying to make ends meet. Then on April the 3rd of 2000 I received a call from a friend of mine imploring me to please help this little baby kitten. My first thought was "Oh No, I can not take on another mouth to feed". Not to mention the veterinary costs and time needed to care for this baby. After hearing the story behind the abandonment I could not say no. There was a litter of 4 baby kittens abandoned in a stack of cardboard boxes outside the body shop of the Ford dealership. My friend worked at the dealership and a coworker had heard the mewing in the boxes and discovered the babies. There was no mama in sight. They had been discovered on the morning of April 1, of 2000. After watching the box all day and realizing that no mama cat was coming to feed the babies at day's end my friend decided something had to be done. Each person at the body shop took a baby home. When I got the call on the 3rd of April it was desperate. The other three siblings had passed. This last baby was on the verge of passing also. It was an early Easter that year and so happens I was getting off work early that day. I was leaving at noon. I heard the desperation in the voice of my friend; and knowing I really did not need another cat I still agreed to take the baby. In fact I guess I was a little excited. Also, there was the chance that the poor little thing would not survive anyhow.
I arrived as quickly as I could after stopping by the store to pick up the supplies I would be needing to make the special formula for feeding the baby. I have a great formula for babies in need. I will share this formula at the end of the post. I knew this formula was proven because I had already nursed a litter of puppies from 4 days old using this super food. When I got to the Ford dealership and my friend brought out the little bundle wrapped in a wash cloth, I fell in love on site. The littlest baby I have seen. Just three days old, had three siblings die before her, and it was the 3rd day of April. Well I named her "Trinity". I already knew she was a she. I am very experienced in telling the differences in gender; because, by the time I took on this baby I had already cared for many litters of babies, both kittens and puppies. "Little Trinity" I said. Black tabby was her colors. Cute little tiny face, eyes still closed. She was only about 2.5 inches in length. She was as big around as my index finger but with an extended belly. I could tell by looking at her she was in bad shape. The people caring for her tried to do the best they could, but being inexperienced they had no idea of what is involved in caring for a newborn baby kitten. For one thing, the formula they were using was that canned powder stuff from the pet store. I do not recommend it. It might work for some people but I highly promote the formula I make and have used with much success.
Baby newborn animals have to be helped to make bowl movement and urination. After feeding the mom licks and cleans and while doing this she helps stimulate the areas to make the babies go number 1 and number 2. Gross I know, but that is how it is. So after you feed the baby some formula you then have to take a cotton ball (or a few) and moisten them with warm water. Not hot, just warm like a mother's tongue. You should have plenty of baby wipes handy as well. Then you just wipe around the front and rear in a steady motion similar to the mom's licking. Soon enough the baby will do the business. Then you clean them up and dry them off and let them sleep. I like to use an empty water bottle and put semi hot water in it and wrap it in a towel and put it close to the baby. This gives them warmth and simulates sleeping close to the mother. Baby Trinity had not been stimulated to "go" for almost two days so that is why she was not eating and almost dead. I prayed that she would hang on until I could get her home and take care of her. I was really worried for a while. I went as fast as I could safely go, with out speeding too much (only 7 miles over), to get the baby home. When I got home I wanted to feed her and get her to go to the bathroom immediately. I chose to just use the formula that my friend had given me. It takes a little while to prepare my formula and I really just wanted to try to feed and help the baby go potty. I mixed up the formula and tried to feed baby Trinity. She was not having anything to do with that formula. It broke my heart what happened next......that little baby lying in the palm of my hand, not even 3 inches long, she put her tiny paw up to the nipple of the little animal bottle I was using to feed her and she pushed it away. Then she put her tiny paws on her tummy and moved them up and down and when she cried it sounded just like a baby. I got cold chills when I heard that baby crying and trying to show me that her belly hurt. I just threw that formula away and I proceeded to help her go potty. I was afraid because it had been so long that I was not going to be able to help her. It took a long time and alot of patience and wiping. I was in tears because I thought she was too far gone for help. Then all of a sudden it broke loose. That baby pooed almost a handful and urine too. When is was all over with she was so skinny she was only as big around as my index finger. I cleaned her all up and washed her off and dried her and then I let her rest while I mixed the good formula.
She did not sleep long, I had just gotten the formula mixed when she started crying. I use the small bottles that you can purchase from the pet store. You will have to increase the size of the hole in the nipple in order for enough formula to come out. If you do not increase the size of the hole the formula will not come out very well and the baby will have to suck too hard to get food and eventually will get frustrated and stop eating. You don't want this to happen. You can increase the hole by heating a large needle and inserting the heated end into the opening and wiggling it around. The heat will melt the rubber of the nipple a little to increase the hole size. Not too large either, this could cause the baby to choke.
I was anxious to see how she would react to it. She Loved it! She grabbed the nipple and started sucking on it and drank almost the whole baby bottle full. Then she had her bathroom break again and she was ready to sleep. I was starting to feel relief now. It seemed that she was making progress.
I was glad it was a long weekend. I stayed home and cared for my baby. Trinity got on a good schedule of eating and sleeping. She was so cute. She could not see me but she could smell me. I would love on her and coo at her and make purring sounds while I fed her. Soon she was making the cutest little purring sounds. It was so adorable. I would hold her sometimes after she ate and just walk around with her. She seemed to be doing well. The formula was a hit again and she had made it past the danger zone.
My first day back to work was Tuesday. I had no choice but to take my baby. I had a carrier with blanket, water bottle, her formula wipes, and everything a good mom carries. Yes, it was funny looking. Me showing up to work with this baby kitten. Luckily I worked at an apartment community. I was not in an office environment. My job was in the maintenance department. This gave me freedom to check in on the baby frequently. I put Trinity on my desk in the shop and made regular visits every 2 hours to feed her and check on her. She was a big hit at work. All my coworkers wanted to hold her and play with her. I had to be protective. One of the guys I work with just could not help himself, he is a big animal lover too. He just kept trying to look at her when I was gone and if you messed with her she would wake up and would immediately want to eat again even if she just ate a minute ago. Paul would call me on the radio and put the microphone up to the carrier door so I could hear Trinity screaming and say " I think the baby wants you". I had to tell Paul to stop messing with her so she could sleep and I could get some work done. This went on and on for days. Little Trinity was growing like a weed, that formula was doing her justice. She got bigger and fuzzier. By bigger, I mean compared to the tiny thing she had been. She was still small to me. Soon her eyes began to open. Baby kitten's eyes open around day 10, 11. I could see her eyes beginning to crack open, I knew it was coming.
It was a grand day when baby Trinity opened her eyes. Those beautiful blue baby eyes. All babies kittens have blue eyes when they first open. The blue lasts for a while, then as they get older the real eye color starts to appear.
Little baby Trinity opened her eyes and got her first look at her mama. She was so cute looking at me and trying to figure out just what the heck I was. She put her tiny paws on my face and patted me. I made all kinds of loving, cooing, purring sounds and loved all over that baby. From the moment she opened her eyes however, life changed. Once she could see she became a little terror. Now she was much bigger, she had grown to about 4.5 inches and weighed several ounces. She was now mobile. When she was not sleeping she was exploring around her carrier. She could "see" me now on the outside and she would wail loudly and reach through the cage door yelling for mama to get her out. I let her out very frequently to play and roam around. While I was at work it was much harder. I could not leave her at home, she still required regular feedings. I would bring her in to work with me and feed her and get her to sleep so I could go out and get some work done. She still slept for long periods, but it was when she was awake that she wanted to play some and have some exploration time. Driving to work now was a challenge. I would get situated and ready to go. She would be in her carrier on the front seat next to me and facing me so she could see me. Moving her from the house to the truck would awaken her so by the time I was ready to back out of the driveway she would be reaching through the bars squalling for me to get her. It was our routine. I would tell her to be patient until I was in the position to be able to hold her while I drove. She would lie on her back in the palm of my hand and I would hold her up to my chin so I could kiss her little belly and blow on her feet. She would playfully pat at my chin and kick it with her hind feet and occasionally lick me on the chin. I would talk to her and play with her. Luckily I did not have to deal with traffic issues or major roads on the way to work. I was driving to work one morning as usual, playing with little baby Trinity, when the radio station I was listening to started talking about Harry Belafonte. Next thing I knew they were playing a song by him called "Mama Look A Boo Boo". It was such a cute funny song. One line in the chorus says "Mama Look a Boo Boo Day", and that is when I said to little Trinity "you are mama's little boo boo day". It just stuck with her. That is how she became my Boo Boo Day.
She continued to grow and get stronger everyday and the bond between us grew and grew. She eventually went off of her formula at around 4 weeks of age and started eating kitten chow mixed with formula. This soon became only kitten chow. She was still tiny looking to me. Compared to the two adult cats in the house she was a just a speck.
Her very first litter box was a Stoffer's Lasagna tray. After she ate her meal of kitten chow and formula she instinctively waddled over to her litter box and did her business. I only showed her that box once and she acted as if she already knew what the purpose of it was. It was just darling to see how she was growing and becoming a wonderful young feline. She was a fierce tormentor of the other two full grown cats in the house. She could hold her own despite being so tiny and still wobbly at 5 weeks old. She was progressing along and making her self known to the other animals of the household. She was finally able to stay at home while I went to work. I worried about her at first. I eased up on that worry after the first few days of coming home and seeing that she was alright. When I would get home she would climb up my pants leg to get to my face where she could look at me and love me under the chin and make purring and squeaking sounds. She would ride on my shoulder everywhere. She had to be right up under me constantly. I once gave her another nickname of "Visa" because as the commercial says "It's everywhere you want to be". That was Boo Boo Day, she was everywhere I wanted to be.
This year in April of 2011, Boo Boo Day was 11 years old. She weighs about 8 pounds, and her eyes are a beautiful golden color. She is still a very small framed cat. She is still up to her crazy antics. I have a greater bond with this cat then all of my others, even though I loved them all very much. There is something special about raising a little baby kitten with it's eyes still closed and having to actually take care of it as if it were a baby. I still am cautious about her because of the fact that she never was able to get any of her mother's antibodies in the mother's milk. If she did it could not have been more than one feeding's worth before the mama cat disappeared. I wonder what happened to the mama. I am heart broken that the three other babies did not make it. I am overwhelmed that I was able to bring this baby from the brink of death to a full grown spoiled rotten cat. To this day she thinks she is human and I am Mama. When she gets scared or if she can not find me; instead of meowing, she lets out a little "mama" sound. All whom have heard it agree it sounds just like her calling "Ma Ma". She still has to be everywhere I am. She is so clumsy and UN-cat like it is funny. She dearly loves the big German shepherd dog I have now. She likes to hang out with him. He is mutually loving to her.
I know that everyday she is with me is a blessing. I know I sound like an overly obsessed animal lover. Really I am not that obsessed. I just have a bond with this cat in particular because of raising her the way I did. I am just a blessed person for the gifts I have in handling animals. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for all animals.
I promised to give out the formula recipe for babies in need of milk. This formula was given to me by a country veterinarian. I must say he knew what he was talking about.
First you will need a can of evaporated milk. Just the regular kind, not the sweetened condensed kind.
You will also need two eggs. Yolks only.
One tablespoon of either, honey, molasses, or corn syrup. I prefer honey.
The reason is because honey has a been known to be used as a medicinal remedy. I think it is better for the baby. It has antibodies.
First you empty the can of evaporated milk in a jar, then you add a can of filtered water, (use the milk can).
Then you add the eggs, YOLKS only, disgard the whites.
Then you add one tablespoon of honey, you can add a little extra to taste. It is the sweetness of the honey that makes the babies go crazy and drink the formula.
Mix well and store in the refrigerator. You only take out what you need and warm it up just to body temperature. I would put the baby nursing bottle in a glass of warm water until it reached the desired temperature. And, Yes, you test it by dropping a drop on your wrist. Do not leave it in the refridgerator for too long. It does not have a long shelf life. Mix in the small batch as described above.
This formula will sustain your baby animal. And do not forget to stimulate the areas for bathroom functions. This is a vital neccesity for survival. I have used this formula on puppies, kittens and a baby squirrel.
Boo Boo Day today
Feel free to comment or leave questions
I am happy to answer all questions anyone may have regarding this hub.
I love animals and I have enjoyed writing about this adventure.