Consulting with your veterinarian is the first thing you should do, if faced with this circumstance. This guide is about caring for orphaned kittens.
At the time this picture was taken, we lived off a very busy highway. It was the norm to see animals that had been hit by cars, and it always upset me.
Well, I found a litter of feral kittens in the woods behind our house and I had no doubt that, with time, all of them would get hit by cars and die. So I decided to be a good person and rescue them. I thought I would take them down to the Humane Society, and they would be put in a foster home, bottle fed, and given a real chance at life.
Well, there were no foster homes available, and I was sent home with bottles, formula, and instructions what to do.
The week before, someone brought over two kittens they found and, sadly, they didn't make it through the night. I was pretty upset about it which is probably the reason I was determined to save this litter of kittens.
Once over the shock of bringing them back home, I was very determined to do the right thing for the 5 kittens. I set up a huge dog crate and faithfully fed them every few hours.
At the time we had 2 dogs. Parker just took to them like he was their mother. They climbed all over him, and he licked them cleaned. If one cried, he beat me to them.
When they were old enough to go back to the Humane Society, though there were many other kittens, mine got adopted out within days because they had been raised around a dog.
For a 135 pound dog, Parker was incredible with them. I don't know who missed them more, me or him.
By CaroleeRose from Madison, AL
What a beautiful story CaroleeRose. You have a very lovely way of writing, and I truly enjoy your postings.
We once had a miniature poodle named Penny who did basically the same thing. She also helped raise one baby squirrel. My little Rocky Pig squirrel would tangle his tiny hands in her curly fur and ride around on her back or neck for hours. We'd have to find Penny to feed the squirrel until he was big enough to leap off and come a'runnin' when I called "Rocky Pig"
His name came from my first granddaughter who was only 4 years old and was given a guinea pig. Somehow, her guinea pig and our Rocky got mixed up in her little mind, and all small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, squirrels etc became Rocky Pigs. The name seemed appropriate for the squirrel as he grew large and round. LOL
There is something so special about animals who help with other species of baby animals. They just endear themselves to me and I love them most of all.
Our Sir Catty Kit is such a nurturing male cat that I sometimes wonder how do they get that way? What is so different about their lives that makes them gentle and tender to other baby animals. It is a precious quality though.
Thank you so much for sharing your Parker with us. He obviously is one in a million too. Parker is getting my vote. I wish I had a photo of Penny and Rocky Pig to share, but sadly, I do not.
Pookarina and Sir Catty-Kit who helps us make Christmas wreaths too. :-)
Somehow, we expect humans to have that spark of humanity in them, but when we see it in animals as well, it makes me wonder if maybe they are becoming more like humans, then I pick up the newspaper and read where there are still humans killing other humans in horrible ways, and I think the animals may be a lot further ahead than those humans.
Thank goodness there are still people like you who keep the human spark of humanity in us alive. For all of us here, thank you for being a really kind and caring person. We loved your story. Parker is a kind and generous fur-baby, and he has a great human mom.
The mother is gone and three, three week old, kittens are survivors. I got information on baby kitten formula, but at what age do we transition to more solid food and when and what do you recommend? At three weeks, how often should they be fed now? Any help you can give would be appreciated. Thanks.
By Mary from Sumter, SC
I don't know a whole lot. You might want to contact an animal shelter for advice. I do know that most kittens are not ready for solid food till around 8 weeks; till then they need to be hand fed. Also you will need to get a wash cloth.
The kittens cannot go potty on their own. When they are that little the mother cats licks their bum to stimulate them to go. You need to use the washcloth to simulate that action. It's a lot of work. It's awesome that you want to help them. Make some calls you may be able to get some help. Good luck :)
I would start transitioning them from this homemade formula to having quality canned cat food in the formula at around five weeks and on. I would use the formula in the kitten formula for as long as they are still with mom, and even shortly thereafter, by putting some of the formula into their canned cat food.
Here is a video I found that shows you how to stimulate a bowel movement and urination. They can't go by themselves. This is the most important thing to realize, if you feed kittens and take care of them and do not help them eliminate, they will die.
We had eight kittens that we had to bottle feed because their momma was killed.
I would always put them in the bathtub, on a towels, and then put the formula in little lids. It took about four lids full to feed them all.
Then when they were done I would burp them, and then use a piece of toilet paper, and rub their tiny openings on their bottoms with it while holding them over our wastebasket in the bathroom. Sometimes they may not seem to go, but there will be a little wet on the toilet paper and a little bit of stool if they have to go.
After that came the face washes with a paper towel or rag that was washed and warm, to clean them from any formula so it wouldn't spoil on their little faces. Then came another bit of burping, soft talking and then they went back into their storage bin with the lid half on it, making a covered area so they could not see out all the time. I always have old clothes on hand for this kind off need.
I would make my own formula out of:
1cup evaporated milk
a little bit of water or pedialyte
a little splash of homemade or store bought pedialyte
2 egg yolks, (no whites),
1 tsp baby vitamins drops, one drop per kitten (mix it into the formula for how many kittens you are making it for)
a drizzle of light corn syrup, the clear kind
and a small amount of vegetable oil maybe one or one half teaspoon.
Mix this all up really well.
If I was in a bind and didn't have eggs on hand I would use a couple of teaspoons mayonnaise, but yolks alone are best for them.
I would put all this in a little bowl, and mix it up and keep it in the fridge for no more than 48 hours.
Microwave it for a few seconds until just at body temp when you test it on your inner wrist, a drop of it. It should feel warm not hot. After they eat you have to wash their faces and do their potty work for them, and burp them.
Then for eight kittens I would use about four lids from bottles such as mayo or such; fill them with the formula when they were old enough to lap it up. You might have to smear some on their mouth with your finger. Careful, kittens can bite hard if they think your finger is the same as the formula...:)
This formula is really good for them and they can even have it when they are older and feeling that well.
Put them into little lids in the bathtub, or from child medicine doser that you can get free from the pharmacy or that you can buy really cheaply. They are the ones with the plungers, and they have measurements on them.
This is easier than a bottle when they are too young to stand and drink out of a little lid bowl.
Give each of them at least 1 cc every 2 hours until the kittens are at least 4 weeks old and can be given small amounts of soft kitten or cat food with their formula. I would go further on into the fifth week or so on this formula and make sure you are giving them really quality kitten food from a can when you start mixing it with the formula.
The above formula is mine that I have used over and over and it has been really helpful when I had orphaned or foster kittens that had no mom.
Here are a few resources kitten formula, but stay away from ones that say to give them whole eggs. Egg whites are not good for the kitten, even though there may be egg whites in mayonnaise, it is wise to just give them yolks in their formula.
Read more: How to Make Kitten Formula | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5190995_make-kitten-formula.html#ixzz1qyD7ynb7
Here is the homemade pedialyte, and if you have stray that is upset or in shock as a kitten, give it pedialyte first as most stressed kittens have a need to be rehydrated before they will eat. Also you can use this in the formula too. Just a splash of this recipe in the formula would be great or about a tablespoon.
Pedialyte for kittens, cats, puppies and dogs
1 Cup Water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
7 tablespoons sugar
1 packet koolaid, plain no sugar substitutes.
Note: This pedialyte is not the formula but can be used in the formula in the place or water.
If you are using the pedialyte mixture in the formula you can omit the corn syrup if you like.
My kitten is only 7 days old. It has only had 2 bowel movements since he was born. I know how to raise orphaned kittens, but have never run into this problem before. What should I do? My family is really attached to him, and I would hate to think that I did not do all I could for him. Please help!
Wet a paper towel with warm water, and wipe the kittens bottom with the towel till the kitten relieves himself.
I have an orphaned kitten who is 3 weeks old. Our veterinarian has just administered a deworming agent. Will she be able to drink her formula milk immediately after being dewormed?
By rox from Cebu, Philippines
I think you should be asking her veterinarian these questions (both this one about formula after de-worming, and the other question about what to give to help with rehydration). Give the vet's office a call, and see if they can give you some advice over the phone. Best of luck with your kitten. I hope she's feeling better soon!
Yes, she will be able to drink her formula but she shouldn't have been dewormed at three weeks! I'm in the U.S. but don't know of any product that can be used on such a young kitten. Keep an eye on her as this may be a bit of a shock to her system at such a young age.