How To Care For Orphan Kittens

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How To Care For Orphan KittensPhoto © Cherry-Merry – Fotolia.com

Caring for an orphan kitten can be both rewarding and challenging. In addition to kittens with no mother, a kitten may also be considered as an orphan if the mother becomes less capable of caring for its kitten adequately. For example it may be that either that the mother may not be capable of producing milk, or she is suffering from sickness or serious psychological / behavioral problems.



Rearing a motherless or orphaned kitten may take a lot of time, attention, and patience. Before anything else, you must be aware that kittens should be kept warm. However, they do not have very good ability to regulate their body temperature. As owners, you must provide a clean and dry space where the litter can have physical contact and share body heat. [1]

In adopting an abandoned kitten, owners must bring them to a veterinarian to check the feline’s overall health condition. Without its mother, kittens may require sufficient fluid to prevent dehydration – which would result in low energy level, and poor appetite.

It is important that kittens be checked by a professional veterinarian because they are susceptible to several health diseases which may include upper respiratory infections, eye illnesses, distemper, and diarrhea. As part of their sanitation regime, kittens must also be cleaned, with special attention being given to getting rid of fleas or ticks.

With regards feeding, the mother’s milk is still the best for kittens. If the mother is not available, kittens can get ample nutrition from a foster cat. However, this is only possible if the actual kittens of the foster cat are less than 14 days of age. Otherwise, owners can only depend on artificial formula milk for kittens.

Just as with humans, all feeding equipment must be sterilized and hands must be clean always when handling these items. Kittens that are fed on formula milk don’t have the privilege of having antibodies that are only transferred through the intake of mother’s milk. So when preparing the formula milk, extra care must be taken because kitten can be very vulnerable to infections. [2]

Research shows that the first week of a kitten’s life is a critical time with a greater possibility that they may die. But with ample care the chances are higher that the kitten will survive.

What we have discussed so far are just some of the most basic tips in caring for an orphan kitten. Other important aspects such as nurture and socialization, disease prevention, temperature and humidity, nutrition, weaning, sanitation and safety of the kitten are yet to be tackled.

For more detailed info, please visit this website: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2230&aid=912.

References:

[1] http://www.feralcat.com/raising.html
[2] http://www.cat-world.com.au/raising-orphaned-kittens



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