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Hand Raising Kittens

Emergency Formulas to make at Home:

Formula #1
Combine 8 oz. homogenized whole milk, 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon salad oil, 1 drop liquid pediatric vitamins (optional).
Mix well and warm before using. Keep refrigerated.

Formula #2
Mix 1 part boiled water to 5 parts evaporated milk, 1/2 teaspoon bone meal per 16 oz fluid.


Mix well, refrigerate, warm before using.

I have found it is very difficult to hand raise kittens, but worth it. You have to work to get them to take the formula, and then make them go to the bathroom all the time. I kept mine in a little drawer with a hot water bottle and fed formula out of a bottle and washed the kit's face off after each time. It is like trying to stuff toothpaste back into a tube, but they get it. They only need a small amount. They have to be burped. Little back leg lifts get rid of constipation, as does a little milk. They need the exercise to get the bowels to moving.

They are so sweet, I end up keeping some of the kittens I hand feed especially if I messed up and spoiled them rotten!

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By Susan (Guest Post)
November 15, 20040 found this helpful

There is a product called KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement), that has all the nutrients required by kittens. I raised an orphaned litter on this with great success.


For elimination, gently stroke the anal area with a cotton ball lightly moistened with mineral oil to simulate the mother's licking.

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By Brittany Sliger from Ft. Wayne, IN (Guest Post)
January 6, 20050 found this helpful

give them lots of love

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May 3, 20100 found this helpful

Our son raised 3 little ones when their mom left them on our front porch, and never returned. She
brought them up to our porch one at the time, and
as far as we ever knew, that was all of them. We
really never knew, and we didn't know why she
never returned either.

The little guys hadn't opened their eyes yet, and
we waited all night before taking matters into our own hands and rescuing the very hungry and yowling little mites. They were cold and so hungry.


We used diluted baby formula, and it worked. They
grew and thrived. Their little claws were like needles
though, and finally (in self defense) our son learned to cut the tops off old mateless socks and put each
little kitty in the cut off sock in order to keep them from scratching his hands and wrists. The socks also helped to keep them from getting soaked with formula as they were fed.

As someone else mentioned, it's necessary to keep them clean
and make sure their elimination systems are working properly.

Keep them warm, and until they are old enough to eat and drink on their own, they should be fed about every 2-3 hours. Not too much at the time either.
You can feel when their little tummies are full, but
not uncomfortably tight. We all learned a lot from
that experience.


The kitties grew amazingly fast, and were so precious it was very difficult to give any of them up. After all, we had all nurtured these little ones just as you would a child and we all became very attached to them. Our son worked so hard for those little kittens, and they were the cutest little fuzzy balls.
He was really good about getting up in the middle of the night to feed them.

God Blesses every person who cares enough to do something so humane. I have an idea if
the situation were reversed, the animals would be taking care of us without even blinking an eye.

Good for you Robyn. Stories like yours renews our faith in the human race.

Julia in Boca Raton, FL

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September 5, 20130 found this helpful

We are currently bottle feeding two kittens abandonded in our garage at two weeks of age. They are now five weeks old and doing well. You can buy various brands of kitten formula in department stores such as Walmart and Kmart and it is more reliable than other mother's milk substitutes, but it is expensive.


They will get teeth at about 3-4 weeks and will experiment with eating solid food at that time, but will still want the bottle for a couple more weeks. About the same time they will start to control their bowel and bladder functions and will start to use a litter box if provided with one that they can get into easily.

Be careful, because once they get teeth they can get aggressive with the nipple! Ours bit two off in the last week. It is fun to watch their development. One word of caution. They must be kept warm at first but not too warm. We use a heating pad set to the lowest setting and make sure they can crawl away from it if they get too warm.

Even with that, one of the kittens got overheated soon after we got it. I was sure it was dying. It was limp and not responsive. I turned off the heating pad and the next morning it had recovered! It is true they are hard to re home after you spend so much time with them and get attached.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 7, 20130 found this helpful

I'm not currently hand-rearing kittens, but have before. I will be saving your article along with those that have replied to you - invaluable info! I'm such an animal lover that I know I'll probably be doing it again, and I want to keep this.


Really appreciate your article! Thanks!

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