Care for orphan kitties

Newborn kittens require nursing by their mother to adapt effectively from in utero environment to outside. If the mother raises the kittens, their health, development, and growth depend on the nutrition and health status of the mother during and after pregnancy. If the mother is unable to raise her kittens, due to any reason, the kitten is considered an orphan. An orphan kitten requires special care due to their unique needs to grow and develop healthily. Following are some of the essential measures that should be kept in mind to raise an orphan kitten and care for them properly:

Keep a Logbook:

The first thing is to keep a logbook for tracking the health status of orphan kittens to document irregularities in their development. The following parameters should be recorded in the logbook:

  • Weight of kitten
  • Time at which their eyes open
  • Time of beginning of the growth of teeth
  • Amount of food intake
  • Milestones
  • Stool consistency

Average Weight for Kittens at Different Ages:

The weight of a kitten should be recorded at birth and should be weighed each day until four weeks of life. From the fifth week, you can consider your kitten once a week. Keep a measuring machine with the ability to weigh up to 5 pounds. The average weight for the kitten at birth is 80-120 grams, and gain 100g per week until they reach six months of age.

Proper Nutrition for Orphaned Kittens:

Orphaned kittens need adequate water supply that is about 150-230 ml per kg of their body weight. Water is necessary for all the age groups, but kittens require an increased amount of water. Commercial kitten milk replacers are more effective than cow’s milk for the development of the kitten. Cat’s milk has high protein content, and cow’s milk does not compensate for the kitten’s requirement, but commercial milk replacers have approximately the same amount of nutrients as in cat’s milk. Kittens require about 180 milliliters of fluid per kg of their body weight each day (including milk replacers). Homemade mixtures is another better option as compared to cow’s milk. Anything you feed to your kitten should meet the following criteria of nutrients per 100g serving:

  • 7.5g crude protein
  • 79 g moisture
  • 8.5g fat
  • 21g dry matter
  • 4g lactose

Feeding an Orphan Kitten:

To feed milk replacer, you need small pet nursing bottles. The opening in the nipple should be small enough that it should allow one drop of milk at a time to avoid the increased outflow of fluid that may cause pneumonia due to aspiration or even death. During feeding, grasp the kitten from the head-neutral position horizontally. In the case of a weak kitten, ask the vet for alternative feeding methods such as tube feeding method.

Orphan kittens need a continuous supply of food about every 3-4 hours. You can feed 4 to 5 meals per day to your kitten in the first two weeks of life. Diarrhea is a common illness affecting kitten, so limit their single feeding to less than 30ml, while in small breed kitten, 10ml per day is enough. 

Commercial milk replacers have all the information about the usage printed on the bottle. To prepare a mixture for your kitten with accurate serving size, mix the milk replacer (as mentioned on the commercial milk replacer sour or bottle) in water and make a total of volume of 180ml/kg. Divide the prepared mixture into the desired number serving for your kitten.

Before feeding the mixture to the kitten, heat the mixture to 38-degree centigrade. Feed the precise amount of mixture which should neither be cold nor overheated. Any error related to the amount, frequency, or temperature of the feeding mixture may result in diarrhea, aspiration, regurgitation, and bloating.

Help your Kitten to Urinate or Defecate:

Kittens don’t defecate or urinate on their own but require stimulation by their mother or caretaker. You can help your kitten to defecate or urinate by softly patting the area between the penis or vulva and anus with the help of a moistened, warm, soft cloth. You can ask your vet for teaching this method.

Keep Proper Hygiene for your Kitten:

You need to pay attention to the hygiene of your kitten to maintain her health. Here are some of the hygiene practices that you can carry out for the proper health of your kitten:

  • Before and after using the nipples and bottles, properly sterilize them
  • Prepare the feeding mixture for 24 hours use (not more than this) and keep it in the refrigerator
  • Do not use the feeding mixture if you forget to put it in the refrigerator for one hour
  • Wash your kitten two times in a week with a soft moistened cloth

Shawna / Partner

Hi! Thank you for visiting YHPC’s site. I’ve been a lifelong pet owner, and for the past fifteen years, I’ve been in the telecom and technology sector, working for Fortune 500 companies in sales and marketing. Frequently I traveled for work which meant leaving my two dogs, Keiko, an 85 lb Akita and Gypsy, a 90 lb rescue, in the care of others. Leaving always caused stress and anxiety because I did not know who to trust to care for them regularly. During trips, I would wonder when the person arrived/departed and if my dogs were ok. Given my background, I was aware of the technology that could help answer those questions and decided to create Your Home Pet Care. I’m glad you found us, and I hope you give our pet care services a try!

Certifications: Pet CPR + First Aid