Health Tips For A New Kitten
While feeding your kitten a high-quality diet is the most important thing you can do to support its health, you should also find a good veterinarian and start making regular visits.
Take your kitten to the vet within a week or two of bringing it home so you can get started with vaccinations and other basic health protocols.
When you take your kitten to the vet for the first time, he will probably recommend deworming. This is because most kittens adopted from shelters are born to stray mothers, which means there is a high risk that they contract intestinal parasites from their mother or from the shelter. Fortunately, deworming is simple, and the treatment is very effective.
In addition to deworming your kitten, you will also need to have it vaccinated. Here is a quick overview of the first three vet visits for kittens:
- First Visit Fecal exam for intestinal parasites, blood test for feline leukemia, vaccinations for rhinotracheitis, calcivirus, panleukopenia, and chlamydia.
- Second Visit Examination for parasites, first vaccine for feline leukemia, second vaccinations for rhinotracheitis, calcivirus, and panleukopenia.
- Third Visit Second feline leukemia vaccine, first rabies vaccine.
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Let Your Cat Set The Pace
Just as human mothers have strong maternal instincts, so do feline mothers. While formula is useful and convenient, nothing is better for kittens than their mothers milk, which provides all the essential nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. However, some mothers are unable to produce enough milk, and others even neglect their newborns. If thats the case, youll want to bottle-feed your kittens and help them eliminate waste and urine every three hours.
Is The Mother Present
The first question you need to consider when caring for a newborn kitten is whether the mother is present. If she is, then there is less that you will need to do. Most cats know instinctively how to raise their young and will do all the necessary actions at all the right stages in the kittens life. It is your job to simply make sure they are warm, safe and protected.
But if you have found a newborn kitten that doesnt seem to have a mother, you will need to take on all her duties. If this is a stray kitten, do make sure the mother is not coming back before taking the kitten in. If you are not careful, you could separate the mother from her young.
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Have Your Kitten Spayed Or Neutered
After your kitten has gotten its vaccinations, you may not need to see the vet again until it reaches 6 months of age. This is when most veterinarians recommend having a kitten spayed or neutered .
Having your kitten spayed or neutered provides the following benefits:
- Spaying a female kitten before her first heat cycle greatly reduces the risk of cervical cancer and completely eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Neutering a male kitten helps reduce aggressive and territorial behavior in adulthood.
- Unspayed females that go into heat may try to escape the house in search of a mate spaying the kitten will help keep it safe.
- Both male and female cats sometimes exhibit spraying behavior to mark their territory spaying and neutering may reduce this behavior.
- Having a female kitten spayed greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer which is fatal in about 90% of the cats who contract it.
- Spaying female kittens and neutering male kittens reduces the risk of unwanted litters because females wont go into heat and males wont be able to impregnate a female.
Most shelters will spay or neuter a kitten once it weighs two pounds or more, so dont feel like you have to wait until your kitten is 6 months old. In fact, some female kittens go into heat early, so talk to your vet about the best time for this procedure.
How To Help Your Kitten Sleep Well
After playtime, your kitten will likely participate in one of her other favorite pastimes: sleeping! Eight- to 12-week- old kittens can sleep 20 hours a day, but it depends on their activities, says Marilyn Krieger, certified cat behavior consultant and author of Naughty No More! Highly energetic kittens may sleep longer.
To help your kitten establish sleep patterns, play with her an hour or so before bedtime. This helps use up her energy to sleep through the night but still gives her time to come down from the revved up energy of playtime.
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How Do I Care For A Litter Of New
So youre wondering what to expect now that your cat is expecting? Youve come to the right place! This blog should leave you feeling comforted that you can thrive at taking care of your new litter of kittens its not as daunting as you might think.
There is something extremely rewarding about raising kittens from birth and the process is exciting. So without further ado lets delve into how to take care of your anticipated baby moggies.
When Should Vaccinations Begin
Kittens from a healthy mother will have passive immunity to some feline diseases before and shortly after birth. Before birth, the mother’s antibodies cross the placenta and enter the kittens’ circulation. Immediately after birth, the mother produces colostrum, or first milk, which is also rich in maternal antibodies. These maternal antibodies protect the kittens against the diseases to which the mother is immune. This explains why it is often recommended to booster the mother’s vaccinations a few months prior to breeding.
“Although very protective, maternal antibodies last for only a few weeks after this time, the kitten becomes susceptible to disease.”
Although very protective, maternal antibodies last for only a few weeks after this time, the kitten becomes susceptible to disease. The kitten should receive its first vaccines at about six to eight weeks of age. In order to provide strong immunity, one to three booster vaccines will be required to complete the kitten vaccine series. Kittens should be vaccinated against feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, feline leukemia , rabies, and possibly against Chlamydophila felis. Your veterinarian will discuss your individual cat’s needs at the time of the first visit for vaccinations. The specific vaccines and frequency of vaccination will be based on your cat’s lifestyle and its potential risk of contracting infection.
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How To Tell If Newborn Kittens Are Healthy
Kittens grow and develop rapidly during their 4-week newborn period. Heres what to expect:
- Kittens eyes open at about 14 days. If this doesnt happen normally, the veterinarian can open them manually.
- Kittens also become more mobile during the first month of life. At two weeks, theyll try to stand and will rapidly advance to climbing out of their nest at about three weeks. At four weeks, theyre running and playing with their nursery-mates. Itll be time to introduce them to a few simple but irresistible toys like string and small stuffed animals.
- Solid food can be offered at about 31/2 to 41/2 weeks. The kittens should naturally go for the mixture and graduate to only solid food after a week.
- Wellness visits to the veterinarian begin at six to twelve weeks. The kittens will receive their first vaccines and have a thorough checkup to ensure theyre healthy.
Caring for a pregnant or breeding cat can be expensive. Most accident and illness policies dont cover costs related to pregnancy. But some providers, like Trupanion, offer add-ons that reimburse vet care costs. Start comparing pet insurance plans today to find the right fit for your fur-baby.
How To Care For Kittens From Birth
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS and by wikiHow staff writer, Jessica Gibson. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 91% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 74,896 times.
You’re probably anxiously awaiting the day when your cat gives birth to a litter of kittens. However, the excitement may quickly wear off once you realize that you’re responsible for several vulnerable kittens and a new mother. If you have no idea where to begin, start by nurturing the newborns and learning how to care for them as they grow.
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How Do I Care For Newborn Kittens
By Leslie Ingraham
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So your Mama cat has just given birth to a litter of kittens. If you dont have experience with kittens, especially tiny newborns, you might have questions. We hope to answer some of them for you.
Newborn kittens can be fragile for the first couple weeks of life. They have few needs, which their mom mostly provides, but she and they are fortunate to have a human watching over them to be sure they thrive and grow. Read on to find out what you can do to ensure your new felines stay safe and healthy.
How To Take Care Of Newborn Kittens
Newbornkittens need special care and attention up until around four months of age. Knowinghow to take care of newborn kittens ensures that you raise a healthy litter,working in harmony with the mother cat. In some cases, you may find yourselffacing the emergency of a newborn litter without a mother to provide thekittens basic needs. In this case, we will also provide tips and guidelines onwhat you should do.
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What Should You Expect When Caring For Newborn Kittens
Caring for orphaned neonatal kittens takes round the clock effort, but it can be done if you are willing to put in the time and dedication. You have to be prepared to get up throughout the night for the feedings. Its very much like caring for a human baby in that regard. However, they grow up much faster, so you are not doing it for months at a time. But it still takes a similar dedication. You definitely have sleepless nights and periods of worry. Are they getting enough to eat? Are they growing the way they are supposed to?
It can also be really sad sometimes, because they dont all make it. Some studies say that the mortality rate for kittens can be up to 40 percent. But you definitely create a real bond caring for them through that period.
Postnatal Care Of A Mother Cat And Her Newborn Kittens
The Spruce / Bailey Mariner
Postnatal care of a mother cat and her newborn kittens is crucial after she has given birth, and your observational skills are essential during this delicate time. In the first few weeks, look for warning signs of health issues and kitten developmental milestones like their physical activity.
Postpartum may occur in the mother cat, so make sure she and her kittens are in a comfortable, warm space that is separated from busier parts of the house. Thoroughly checking for any abnormalities in behaviors or physical appearances will also help you indicate issues quickly, so you can get veterinarian help.
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What Health Issues Should I Look For When Caring For Abandoned Kittens
In the first few weeks, healthy kittens should eat or sleep for 90% of the time, and generally appear relaxed. If you are concerned at all, it is important to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible because kittens can deteriorate very quickly. After birth, the umbilical cord should dry up and fall off after a few days and kittens will usually open their eyes at around 1-2 weeks of age.
Supplies You Will Need For Newborns And Young Kittens:
- Kitten formula such as Just Born or KMR . The liquid formula is best to use if you are not sure what to do.
- Feeding bottles and several nipples .
- Eye dropper or syringe in case the kitten will not eat from the bottle.
- Several bath towels for bedding and cleaning kittens.
- Kitchen food scale for weighing kittens .
- Digital rectal thermometer
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How Often Do Newborn Kittens Poop
As you care for the kittens, you’ll need to keep a close eye on their toilet habits. And although they’re only small, kittens are big poopers! In fact, it’s not unusual for them to poop as many times as they eat. But don’t worry, they slow down after the first two months!
If you are bottle feeding newborn orphan kittens, you will need to stimulate them to poop as their mum would have. Do this by wiping their bottom with a warm cotton wool after their meal.
How To Care For A 4
Most kittens begin to eat solid food when they are between 4 and 5 weeks old. The mama cat will still be nursing the kittens, and its time to start weaning them onto solid food. Mix a little canned cat food formulated for kittens in with the formula and try serving it on a tablespoon or a very shallow dish. You may need to encourage your kitten to eat by rubbing a little on his lips, but he should catch on quickly. Also, have a very shallow dish of clean water available at all times. This is also a good time to add a low litter box that these little guys can climb in and out of easily.
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How To Care For A Newborn Kitten
A mother cat will provide everything a young kitten needs until he is about 4 weeks of age. All you need to do is keep the family warm, dry, and in a dark, private location. Mom will do all the feeding and cleaning. Sadly, however, sometimes the mother of a baby kitten is not around or unable to care for her little ones. If thats the case, youll need to step in to help keep the kitties warm and fed.
One of the most important things you can do to keep a kitten alive in his first few hours is by keeping the kitten warm. If a young kitten has cold ears, lips and paws, slowly raise his temperature by wrapping him in a blanket and holding him close to your body. Once he warms up, you can begin feeding him milk replacer formulated for kittens.
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How To Take Care Of Newborn Kittens And Mother Cat
March 24, 2021 by Elisa Rois
Finding your pet waiting when you return home puts you in a cheerful mood. This feeling elates you when you own a cat. As a responsible cat owner, you need to go through these necessary points to ensure the health of your mother-to-be cat and newborn kittens.
After delivery, the crucial period begins, both for the mother cat and the owner. Observation skills come in handy during this time.
If you ever come across a momma cat as a caregiver or an owner, below is a comprehensive guide on how to take care of newborn kittens and the mother cat.
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When Should I Intervene To Help A Queen And Kittens
Wherever possible, its best for kittens to be brought up by their mother. This way, they will get the right nutrition, socialization, and care they need to grow into healthy adults. In some cases, a queen may not be able to look after her offspring. So, the owner may need to step in to take care of the kittens or lend her a hand.
Situations like these can arise if a queen has had a very large litter. They can also be caused by a traumatic birth experience . Furthermore, mother cats can develop mastitis just like humans, which can make it painful for her to feed her kittens. In all of these cases, the kittens can usually be left with their mother, and just offered some additional supplemental care. However, if your queen is not alert, eating, and feeding her kittens, you should seek professional veterinary advice right away.
A Clean Kitten Is A Happy Kitten
After feeding, clean any formula, urine, feces or other messes off the kitten using a clean, soft, warm, damp cloth. This action simulates how the momma cat would clean the kittens. If more cleaning is required, you may use a wetter washcloth dipped in warm water to loosen up caked-on messes in the kittens fur. Do not use soap or pet shampoo directly on the kitten. If you must use a shampoo to clean the kitten, add one or two drops of shampoo to a cup of warm water, then use the cloth dipped in this mixture to clean the kitten. Rinse the cleaned area with another cloth dipped in clear, warm water. Gently dry the kitten with a soft towel. Do not allow the kitten to become chilled. Once the kitten is clean and dry, place her back in the carrier on the covered heating pad, which should be covered in clean layers of bedding.
Kittens ears should be clean and dirt-free. If the ears are dirty, gently clean the area with a Q-tip you may need to dampen it in warm water. Do not use ear-cleaning solution because it could be harmful to the kitten. Only clean the outer area of the inside ear, just the part that you can see do not push the Q-tip down into the ear. If the ears are extremely dirty or you see signs of ear mites , contact your medical staff about treatment options.
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