Orphaned newborn kitten care guide

Newborn kittens

Unfortunately when spring arrives and especially summer it is relatively easy to meet orphaned newborn kittens. But, what care do you need I feel so small? How to get it done? Until he is two months old, his health and his life will depend completely on the human who takes care of him. A human who must assume the role of mother cat so that the little one can fulfill the long awaited and desired eight weeks of age.

As it is not an easy task, we have prepared this orphaned newborn kitten care guide.

How old is my kitten?

Baby kitten

Before you start talking about care, you are probably wanting to know how old she is, right? Well, 100% sure you can't know, but this can serve as a guide:

  • 0 to 1 week: During these first days of life the kitten will have closed eyes and ears.
  • 1 to 2 weeks: After 8 days it will begin to open its eyes, and it will finish opening them after 14-17 days. At first they will be blue, but it will not be until 4 months until they acquire their final color. The ears will start to detach.
  • 2 to 3 weeks: the kitten will start to walk avoiding obstacles, yes, wobbling a bit. At about 21 days, you will have learned to relieve yourself, and you will be able to regulate your body temperature.
  • 3 to 4 weeks: At this age, her baby teeth begin to erupt, so she can begin to eat solid foods.
  • 4 to 8 weeks: During the second month of life the baby kitten learns to walk, run, and jump. Its senses are at full capacity, but the animal will have to refine them as the weeks go by. With two months it should stop giving milk.

How to care for newborn cats?

Tricolor kitten

0 to 3 weeks

From birth to 3 weeks, baby kittens are going to be more dependent on a human than ever: they will need to receive heat 24 hours a day, eat every 2/3 hours, and be stimulated to relieve themselves. It is, therefore, hard work, but it is very worth it, especially when the days go by and you see that the baby kittens are growing.

Let's see in detail how to get them healthy:

Give them heat

If you have just found some newborn kittens, I recommend putting them in a tall cardboard box (about 40cm) and wide, since although they are small now, they will not take long to crawl. Inside it put a blanket, a thermal bottle that you will have filled with hot water, and prepare a second blanket to cover the kittens so that they are well protected from drafts.

Feed them the best way

Sasha eating

My kitten Sasha drinking her milk.

During this time the baby kittens will need to be fed milk for kittens sold in pet stores or veterinary clinics (never with cow's milk, as it could make them feel bad) every 2 or 3 hours. It is important that it is warm, at about 37ºC, and that they have their body in a horizontal position and not vertical, since otherwise the milk would go to the lungs and not the stomach, which would cause pneumonia and death in a few hours . Of course, if they are well and sleep through the night, do not wake them up. You can give them milk with a syringe (new, so they can suck without problems) or with a bottle for kittens that you will find for sale in pet stores.

If we talk about the quantity, it will depend on the brand of kitten milk. The one I'm giving Sasha, the little girl of the family, the dose is:

  • First and second week: 15ml of water and a spoon (found inside the bottle) of milk in 10 doses.
  • Third and fourth weeks: 45ml of water and three spoons in 8 doses.

Anyway, the amounts are indicative. If the kitten is satisfied, as soon as you put it on its bed, it will fall asleep; otherwise, you will have to take it out to give it more.

By the way, if you find them in autumn or winter, wrap them with a blanket so they don't get cold.

Help them relieve themselves

Kittens are born blind, deaf and unable to relieve themselves. They are completely dependent on the mother for absolutely everything. But not always the cat can fulfill her role as mother, either because something bad happens to her, or because she feels so stressed that she rejects the young. So, for the furry ones' own sake, someone has to take care of them. This means that if you have just found some baby kittens you will have to help them, too, to relieve themselves. How?

Well, the little ones have to urinate after each meal, and defecate at least 2 times a day (ideally, they should do it after each milk intake). To do this, after they have been satisfied, we will let 15 minutes pass during which we have to gently massage their tummies, circling clockwise to activate your intestines. Normally, in the course of very few minutes -2 or 3- we will notice that they urinate, but defecating can cost them more. With some wet wipes for animals you have to leave them very clean, using clean ones to remove the urine and new ones to remove the stools.

If we see that time passes and we do not succeed, we will put them in such a way that their anal area is in front of us, and putting our index and middle fingers on their tummies, we will do gentle massages only downwards, that is, towards the genital area. . After a couple of minutes, with the thumb and index finger we will massage the anus for 60 seconds. After that, or before the end of that time, the kitten has most likely already defecated, but if he has not done anything, we will try next time.

In any case, do not allow more than 2 days to pass without defecationWell, it could be fatal. If they are constipated, something that is very common when they are fed with kitten milk and not with cat's mother's milk, what we can do is take a swab from the ears, moisten the cotton with warm water, and then put a few drops of oil olive and then pass it through the anus. And if they still don't do anything, you have to urgently take them to the vet.

3 to 8 weeks

Very baby cat

During this age, newborn kittens have to start eating solid food and relieving themselves. But they will need help, otherwise it will be very difficult for them to learn it on their own.

Tasting your first solid food

From the third week on, solid foods can be gradually introduced into their diet. Keep in mind that they are still very young, and that everything has to be done without haste. To do this, we will take the following as a guide:

  • 3 to 4 weeks: You have to give them about 8 shots of milk (in the bottle of it you will specify it), and you can take advantage of it to give them 2 or 3 times cans of wet feed for kittens.
  • 4 to 5 weeks: At 30-37 days old, newborn cats have to be fed milk every 4 to 6 hours. Find out here what does a one month old cat eat.
  • 5 to 6 weeks: After this age, the furry ones can begin to eat solid food, such as wet kitten food. They can also be given dry feed soaked with milk, or with water. The amount will be indicated on the bag.
  • 7 to 8 weeks: baby cats no longer be babies to become puppies, that is, animals that have everything they need to be, in just 10 more months, gentlemen adult cats; they just need to improve it by feeding on kitten food or natural food.

The discovery of the game

With four weeks you will see that they move a lot, that they begin to walk and want to explore. It will be then when they begin to play, to investigate everything that surrounds them. During this time is when you will have to go acquiring a scraper and your first toys: a ball, a stuffed animal, a cane ... whatever you prefer.

Now is when they will discover the game, and when they will inadvertently begin to hone their hunting techniques. Make sure they are in a safe place so nothing happens to them.

Learning to relieve himself on the tray

Starting at 5 weeks, baby cats must be taught to relieve themselves in a litter box; although it must be said that these animals are very clean and that, in general, they will learn it practically on their own. But sometimes we can find kittens that need someone to teach them, in which case we will:

  1. We will buy a wide and low tray.
  2. We will fill it with natural materials, such as chips.
  3. We will spray with a urination attractant.
  4. After 15-30 minutes after the kitten eats, we will take him there, and wait.
    -If you leave without having done anything and then relieve yourself elsewhere, we will take some toilet paper and pass it through them. Then we run it again, this time through the chip.
    -If you have made them on the tray, we will give you a treat for kittens or cuddles.
  5. We will repeat these steps every time you eat.

Socialization

Being orphaned baby kittens and being in constant contact with humans, it is very likely that they will not have any socialization problems with them. Still, keep in mind that it is very, very important to always treat them with respect and affection, since otherwise they would grow up in fear.

During the socialization stage, that is, from about two to three months, they must be with people, and with the animals that will always be with them. This prevents unexpected surprises from arising.

My baby kitten has fleas, what do I do?

Depends. If it does not have many and is healthy, you can or not do anything until it is at least three weeks old, which will be when it regulates its body temperature, or else pass it a little vinegar and then dry it well. On the other hand, if you have many, there are veterinarians who advise spraying Frontline (from 3 days you can spray), but if the kitten is less than a month old, you can opt for bathe him with kitten shampoo, which is much less dangerous (look for one that is suitable for baby kittens).

Yes, do it in a heated room, and when you finish, dry it well with a towel (never with the hair dryer, as you could burn it).

And what happens after two months?

Baby kittens

At eight weeks old you have to take your kitten to the vet to be examined, and incidentally, to give him the first treatment for intestinal parasites and give him his first vaccination.

Now is when you can enjoy having a naughty puppy cat at home.

We hope this guide has helped you to take care of your little one.


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  1.   cariza said

    Thank you for the guide, it is very useful, kitten is looking and she told me 4 kittens and I did not know what to do or what to thank them

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      I'm glad it's useful for you, Cariza 🙂. Let's see those little ones grow hehe. All the best.

    2.    Morely's said

      Thank you for this comprehensive page, I have gotten 3 baby kittens that still don't open their eyes, thanks to this page I have been able to orient myself. Only that I had to take them to the vet because I couldn't get them to poop, apparently they had eaten sand and that's why I couldn't help them, but I can assure you that what you put there, well, it works since exactly that is what the vet commented.
      Thanks thousands!
      I'm just using your flea recommendation, just not clear yet if the vinegar should be mixed with something to soften it? Anyway, thank you very much

      1.    Monica sanchez said

        Hello Morelys.

        We are glad that you found it interesting 🙂

        As for vinegar, being baby kittens it is better to dilute it a little with water (1 part of water with another of vinegar), and apply with a cotton ball.

        Greetings, and encouragement to take care of those little ones!

  2.   Javier Luna said

    Today when I was doing some shopping near my home I quickly noticed a kitten cry, when I find them they are 3 cute kittens between yellow and orange I calculate 2 weeks since their eyes are partially open, someone left them on the street unprotected and I made the decision to take them to my house, I live in Venezuela, a country that is not having a good time, which implies that there are things that are not achieved quickly after going to several pet stores without having I successfully got one where they have the formula to give the kittens milk. I must say that I felt a great relief since I did not know how to improvise an effective formula for them. It is the first time that I take care of 3 kittens without their mother, I feel good because I am trying to do everything possible so that they have a good growth and in the future they have a good home where they can be cared for. I wholeheartedly appreciate all the information on this site and I hope that all of this information will be useful to people. Soon I will let you know how they have grown.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Javier.
      Yes, I hope Venezuela recovers soon. Much encouragement and strength from Spain!
      With regard to kittens, they could not fall into better hands 🙂. If you have any questions, write to us and we will answer you as soon as possible.
      A greeting.

  3.   Xavier Moon said

    Greetings again I am addressing a query that has me a bit worried the kittens already have 4 days with me of which they have eaten well and have urinated after each feeding repeatedly and they sleep from 3 to 6 hours in a row and they are quite active, but As I mentioned, there is an issue that has me worried that they have defecated very little of these 4 days, only 2 have done in a somewhat pasty way and it was only one day and one very little, like the size of a peanut, I read in homemade medicines that it was good Give them a little olive oil and that is what I did, I gave them a little but the remedy has not worked. Early tomorrow I will take them to a veterinarian who recommends me anyway I would be grateful if there is any other way to help them. Thanks a lot

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Javier.
      If the oil does not work, the best thing to do is that, take him to the vet. There he will probably give them a little paraffin oil, which will help them defecate.
      A greeting.

  4.   Mar Munoz Shopkeeper said

    Hello, I have a kitten of a month or so, I had it two days ago when I picked it up towards the loose poop and it is still like that, they told me that when changing the diet is normal, I would like you to give me your opinion. Thank you.

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Sea.
      Yes, diet changes can give cats diarrhea, especially if they are small.
      Little by little it should be removed.
      A greeting.

  5.   Carolina said

    Hello, my cat had kittens and they are two days old. From what I have read, my cat has done a good job of nursing them, encouraging them to relieve themselves and keeping them warm. But I have a very big concern: my cats are totally homemade and I don't know how (I think it was by entering some plants that we brought from a forest) that they have fleas, therefore kittens have fleas ... I don't know what to do since I eat They have the mother I am worried about smearing them with vinegar as they advise, because it scares me that the mother rejects them because of the smell or taste and does not want to be with them anymore… what can I do? Can you give the mother topical flea control on her back? What can I do with the kittens? ... Thank you very much for the collaboration

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Caroline.
      Since they are so small, I recommend you pass them a comb that has stiff, short and close-together bristles. This way you can remove the fleas without the need to smear them with vinegar.
      Have a container of water ready to pour out the parasites (be alert, because they jump very high and fast).

      If you can, try to get a flea comb from a pet store.

      A greeting.

  6.   Rocio said

    Hello, good afternoon, my name is Rocio. I have a kitten that is supposedly 50 days old but yesterday I took him to the vet and he told me that he has a maximum of 30 days and that his sex still cannot be deciphered, but I think she is a female lol the issue is how I can feed him being so small from what the vet told me grilled meat or grilled chicken breast, since he is small he still does not know that it is a cat food and he may not eat it, that is why he told me to give him that, but What else could you recommend? Oh and another question today I defecate and I did not think I was going to do this that I end up eating it a little until I remove it, I was scared because the vet told me that it has parasites. It already gave him the droplets if he does not vomit or does not defecate with worms, everything is fine but if it happens, urgently bring him back. Any solution to that?
    Thank you very much for your collaboration. Greetings

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Rocio.
      Kittens that are so young certainly have to eat soft and well-chopped foods. You can also give him wet kitten food (cans), or cooked chicken (boneless).

      With regard to parasites, at that age you should take some syrup to eliminate them that must be prescribed by a professional. And yes, you have to prevent him from eating his own feces. In any case, if you have already taken medication for worms in principle, there is no reason for problems.

      A greeting.

  7.   Guadalupe Pinacho Santos said

    I found some kittens and I have been with them for three days and they have only urinated but have not defecated, I will greatly appreciate your help. Beforehand thank you very much

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Guadalupe.
      In order for them to defecate, you have to stimulate their anus with a gauze or damp paper -with warm water- ten minutes after having taken their milk.
      To help them more it is also highly recommended to massage the abdomen, with the fingers making circles in a clockwise direction for 1-2 minutes.
      And if they still can't do it, put a little vinegar on their anus, or put a little bit - seriously, very little, a tiny drop - in the milk.

      In the event that they cannot, then a vet will need to see them so they can be catheterized.

      A greeting.

  8.   Danah Delgado S said

    Hello from Mexico!!

    I have a problem that worries me, 4 days ago my cat gave birth to 3 beautiful kittens, the problem is that they have been attacked by fleas, and since they are too small, they have told me that they cannot bathe or undergo anything topical Could you give me a home remedy to fight the bugs?

    thank you very much!

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hi Danahé.
      You can buy a flea comb at pet stores, and take them off like that.
      After 6-7 days (I don't remember when exactly, I don't know if it's earlier. The product packaging indicates it) you can treat them with Frontline's antiparasitic spray.
      A greeting.

  9.   Jose Rodriguez said

    My wife found four kittens from 1 to 2 weeks old, I buy them substitute milk for cats and we have sold it to her according to what is indicated on the bottle, but something serious happened to us; We were not careful when giving it to them and sometimes they choked and it came out through their noses, last night they were very restless they meowed all night and at dawn I saw that one of them had no strength or appetite and later I put them to give it a little sun but the one who was weak was worse and his meow was barely heard he was dying I gave him some fresh simple water and he reacted, I heated him with my body and apparently he was already well he already had movement, I placed him with the other kittens and They fell asleep but when I went to see them 4 hours later so they could eat, he was already dead and another was in agony. from what I have read I caused them pneumonia by not being careful when feeding them the milk went into their lungs and they died. I comment on them so that they take extreme precautions and the same does not happen to them; The care of the kittens babies is a lot of responsibility, now that I already find out about the care for the baby cats, I am doing it with the two that are left hopefully and they do not die because I also gave them the same treatment and it is very likely that They also got pneumonia because the milk also went into their lungs. I have already been looking for information on a medicine or remedy to prevent them from dying too (from pneumonia) but until now I have not found it. there is only for cats over 8 weeks

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      Hello Jose.
      As indicated in the article, kittens should drink milk by placing them on their four legs on their lap or on a surface, which is the position they would adopt if they suckled from their mother. If they are positioned as if they were human babies, the milk goes to their lungs and the risk that they will not get ahead is very high.

      I recommend you take your remaining kittens to the vet (I am not). I hope they improve.

      Cheer up.

  10.   Carmen Ines said

    Good evening everyone from Venezuela. Yesterday afternoon, on a casual outing to the beach, I find myself in a parking lot open to a very young kitten who seems to be only a few days old, since neither his eyes nor ears have been opened. I was very worried until now because my belly was very full and I could not defecate. But he kept asking for food.

    As an inexperienced 13-year-old in recent society, I searched the internet and so far it is the page with the most exact instructions. I really want to thank because the page has helped me with various things about my 4 different little ones. Really thank you very much, you have helped me a lot. Keep it up <3

    1.    Monica sanchez said

      I am glad that it has served you, Carmen Inés 🙂