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  • Newborn Kitten

    How to Take Care of Newborn Kittens in Simi Valley

    Whether you’re nursing orphaned kittens or helping a cat mom raise her babies, caring for newborn kittens requires a lot of preparation, time, and dedication. To help you learn more about the process, we’re going to discuss the steps you need to take to prepare for the kittens’ arrival and care for them after they’re born.

    How to Prepare for a Newborn Kitten

    Before we talk about preparation, it’s important to mention that the best way to care for a kitten is to have a mother cat do it, so if you find orphaned kittens or your pregnant cat rejects her kittens for some reason, the first thing you should do is contact your local veterinarian or animal shelter to see if there is a nursing cat who can take on some more kittens.

    If that doesn’t work out, you will need to care for them yourself. There are some steps you can do to prepare for them and ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.

    • Talk to a professional: Even if they can’t find a nursing mother cat who can take the kittens in, your vet will be able to provide you with useful information and tips on how to care for your new babies. Plus, you’ll need to take the kittens in for a check-up at least once during the first few weeks to make sure they’re doing good and developing properly.
    • Prepare their bedding: Newborn kittens are very fragile and get cold easily, so they need a safe spot that’s warm where they can cuddle up for the first few weeks of their life. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Just a box padded with some blankets will do. If they don’t have a mother cat to cuddle up with, you’ll also want to include a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. Place it at one end of the box, making sure to leave enough room around it that the kittens can move away from the heat source if they start overheating.
    • Get feeding supplies: This mostly applies if the kittens you’re caring for don’t have a mother, as normally the mother is the one who would be doing the feeding. However, if you’re caring for orphaned kittens, you’re going to need to get some kitten milk replacer as well as either a bottle or a syringe to do the feedings with. If you’re not sure what kind of milk replacer to get, ask your vet for advice. Never feed a cat of any age cow or goat’s milk, as it can cause diarrhea.

    Caring for a Kitten

    Once you’re all prepped and the kittens are here, the hard but ultimately rewarding part of the process begins. Just like human babies, cats need round-the-clock care and attention for the first part of their lives.

    If they’re with their mother, she’ll handle the feeding for the first few weeks of life, but if not, the responsibility falls to you. For the first week and a half or so, you should feed the kitten every two hours, and after that you gradually decrease the frequency until, by week four, they’re eating 3 or 4 times a day. Follow the instructions on the box to mix up the amount of milk replacer you need. Then put the solution in a bottle and warm it up by heating it in a pan of water.

    Before feeding, test the temperature on your wrist, making sure it’s warm but not hot, and then you can begin feeding. When you do, make sure not to feed them on their back, instead holding them upright, as otherwise they could aspirate.

    After each feeding, you’ll need to take a warm, damp washcloth or cotton ball and massage the kitten’s anal region to promote excretion, as kittens aren’t able to go to the bathroom on their own for the first few weeks of life.

    The Best Place to Get Emergency Care for Kittens

    One of the most important parts Newborn Kitten With Vet of caring for newborn kittens is ensuring they are developing properly. That’s why you should take the kitten to the vet immediately if you notice that something’s wrong.

    If you live in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, or areas nearby Ventura County, Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency is happy to help you with all of your kitten and animal care needs.

    posted on March 1, 2021 at 6:53 am by Doctor Ron