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Orphaned Kittens - 7 Household Objects That Can Save A Life

Jan 24, 2008
Are you capable of saving an orphaned kitten's life?

Tragically, so many newly born kittens are either abandoned or orphaned. So what should you do if their fragile lives depend on you? Could you be a surrogate mother to a small and precious orphaned kitten?

It may surprise you to learn that it is relatively straightforward to care for an orphaned or abandoned kitten and the most onerous requirement will be that of your time. You will also need to find seven essential items to help you with your task. Maybe the easiest to find is a good sized cardboard box. Then you will need:

A hot water bottle.

Suitable nesting material.

An eye dropper.

2ml hypodermic syringe fitted with 5cm plastic tubing.

Sterilizing solution as used for a baby's bottle.

A towel.

These items will enable you to provide your orphaned kitten with the basics of life - warmth and nourishment.

Kittens generally get their warmth from their mother and is is essential that your orphan doesn't become chilled. This can happen very rapidly and you will need to maintain a temperature of 30-35 degrees centigrade in the first week of life and 25 degrees thereafter. Placing your kitten's box near a radiator is a good way of achieving this.

As an alternative, a hot water bottle placed under one corner of their box will provide the warmth needed and your kitten will have the choice of moving to a cooler area of its home if it chooses.

When selecting a suitable a nursery box, make sure that your kitten is unable to climb out of it unaided. If your kitten manages to escape its warm home it will rapidly become chilled once outside its secure environment. Be certain to check that the box is big enough for the kitten to move around in freely with enough room to play in, whilst remaining enclosed enough to provide security and retain sufficient warmth. Partially covering the box with an old towel will help retain heat.

As you are acting as 'mother cat', it will be your job to keep your kitten's bedding clean. Old newspaper is great to use as bedding material as it can be easily removed and disposed of when soiled.

Feeding is a priority once warmth and security have been dealt with.

Here, patience and persistence are what is required as you learn to effectively administer each milk feed via an eye dropper or, as your kitten grows, a hypodermic syringe fitted with an appropriately sized tube attached in place of a needle. Your vet will have kitten formula milk and will also be able to supply you with the equipment necessary to administer it with. Alternatively, good pet stores will sell specialist feeding bottles for use with orphaned or abandoned kittens. Always make sure that the feeding equipment is sterilized after each use, just as you would for a baby's feeding bottle.

Place your kitten on an old towel on a firm surface - you lap will do if you feel that is sufficiently secure. Gently steady your kitten's head as you carefully squeeze a drop of milk into its mouth. With luck and patience, your orphaned kitten's suckling reflex will kick in and they will start to feed. Ensure that the teat is always full of milk and that you keep up a gentle pressure in response to your kitten's sucking.

Consult your vet regarding the amount of milk required to keep your orphaned kitten healthy and growing well. Be aware at all times of whether your kitten is acting normally and is generally well. If you see any signs that something is not quite right, consult your vet swiftly. Young, motherless kittens can become very unwell very quickly.

As you watch your orphaned kitten grow, you will rightly feel parental pride in the role you have played in saving its life. Your care, dedication and love given freely to a helpless and tiny creature will have safeguarded its survival and without you it would surely have perished at birth.

So, yes! You certainly can save your orphaned kitten's life. But to succeed in this endeavour you will need to learn a great deal about how to give the essential care needed to replace a missing mother cat. It will be necessary to have all the information and guidence to hand and it will be your responsibility to acquire it and put it into practice. Your trouble will be well rewarded in the joy and pleasure of sharing your home with your healthy, loving kitten!
About the Author
Are you fully able to help your orphaned or abandoned kittens? Discover everything you will need to know about orphaned and abandoned kittens and subscribe to Jane Tompsett's free Cat Owners Confidential newsletter by following these links.
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