There are a lot of strays in the city, and as much as you want to give them a home – you simply can’t. But with their number, there are also unfortunate circumstances that orphans a kitten – even from birth. These kittens are weak and it’s prone for bullying, abuse, and even killed fending for itself. If you manage to rescue one, it’s a blessing for both of you! But what do you do when you get your hands on a stray orphaned kitten? But first, understand why kittens are usually orphaned since birth.
Why some kittens get orphaned
Aside from the sad possibility that the mother feline got killed, it might also due to a condition called agalactia – she cannot produce milk to take care of her kittens or maybe there’s an abnormality in her psychological qualities that makes her unable to care for her young. It can happen as early as the kitten is only a few days or weeks old and it’s usually in harmful and dangerous places.
How to Care for Orphaned Kittens
Kittens by nature needs a lot of care and affection, and it should also be a detailed schedule wherein there’s a time for feeding, playing, and sleeping to help them grow into healthy cats. It might be a time consuming and tiring task, but at the end of the day, it’s a beautiful experience. You get rewarded with its loyalty and you get yourself your new best friend! Here are helpful things you should keep in mind when you care for these babies:
- Nutrition and Weaning. Since the mother is not around, you need to tube feed the kitten with milk and supplements. It should be done slowly and with care – if you push too much, some of the food will actually enter the lungs and make the kitten choke. If you’re not confident about this, you can use a nursing bottle to regulate the flow of the food. But if the kittens are weak and can’t feed, you may need to visit your nearest vet to take care of this. Make the kitten lie on its belly when it’s being fed. The kind of milk you can use can be found in almost all pet stores – opt for one specifically for kittens. But do not let the cat drink cow or goat’s milk since they lack the needed vitamins for the kitten’s growth.
- Ensuring Bowel Movement. Unlike a human baby, kittens do not have the necessary muscle control to defecate and even urinate. The grooming and the licking by the mother is the stimulation that ensures the bowel movements – and this should be done every after feeding. You can use a cotton ball or a microfibre towel and wet it with warm water to wipe the genitals and the anal. It will help them do their business with ease.
- Regulate Temperature for them. A proper room temperature is needed when you need to care for the kittens. They can’t store and even create body heat by themselves yet, so you have to go for artificial warming pads or a DIY incubator. If the weather is too hot, make sure they get enough cool air that their body can handle – if you adopted a litter, you need to spread them out to maintain temperature. Ideally, you can store these babies in a nice blanket and make them cozy and warm. If you have other pets, make sure they don’t touch the kittens too much – or keep them out of reach.
- Immunise. Like human babies, they are too weak to battle against the germs and disease-carrying bacteria, so it’s important to get their vaccinations and maybe supplements as prescribed by vets.
- Attention and Social. They also need your love and attention! Don’t bother them too much, but gentle cuddles and pets will be a good way to start a relationship with your cat. If they’re alone, you can put some soft and small stuffed animals in the blanket with the baby to make sure it doesn’t feel lonely – everyone loves cuddles! Shower them with love whenever you can.