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New kitten.. HELP!!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was surprised last night with a teeny weeny kitten! I have never owned a cat before so I am full of questions!

1. How do I know if its a boy or girl? (I didnt see/feel testicles or a penis, so I'm calling her a girl.)
2. If shes not going in her litter box, is she going somewhere else? It cant be that shes not going at all, but I havent found anything around the room that she's in. I am using the pellet litter, not the crystals, because thats what my mom bought. But I have a feeling that she doesnt know what it is.
3. She oftens make a face like shes meowing, but nothing comes out except for a little burst of breath at the end. Is this normal for kittens? (Also, her breath is kinda stinky.)
4. She isnt interested in toys or playing at all! All she seems to do is sleep and explore, and then sleep again.
5. When she came home she had some crust around her eyes. I cleaned it out and it hasnt come back. Is she sick or was thatnormal?

She is drinking water, but not a lot. She ate a lot when she first came but since then she hasn't eaten much. (It's been about 24 hours) She has not gone to the bathroom in the litterbox or anywhere that I can see. She is a good climber, she can climb up my bed (with the blanket hanging down) which is about 2 1/2 feet from the ground, and she can jump down to the rug from there with just a little stumble when she lands. She is very alert and will trot over to you if you call her and make kissy noises. Despite this, I am afraid that she might be sick, but I dont know kittens so I cant tell!

Kitten-savy people HELP!
post #2 of 12
Someone with more knowledge than I should be along shortly, but in the meantime here are a few questions:

Do you know how old the kitty is?
Where did it come from? (stray? from friends?)
Has it been to a vet at all yet?

If the kitty is very young it may not be able to use the bathroom without stimulation (mom cats do this for their kittens). You may have to take a cotton ball, dampen it and rub it's little bum VERY gently to stimulate him/her to use the bathroom.

Also, if he/she is very young you may want to get him/her some KMR kitten milk from the pet store. Cats are often lactose intolerant so should not be given cow milk - it can cause diarrhea and lead to dehydration which can happen quickly in tiny kittens.

Most kittens are born with worms so this little one needs to see a vet to check it out for parasites/worms. It may be too young to be de-wormed as yet but it should still be vet checked. You mentioned gunk in it's eye - a vet could address that situation as well.

I don't know about the pine pellets, but the litter box should have low sides so kitty can climb in if it's really small. If it is very young, it's possible it's mom didn't teach it to use the litter box before it was taken from her. Mom cats usually teach these things to their babies.
post #3 of 12
Any updates on the tiny kitten?

The silent meowing is normal for some kitties.

Let us know her size, and maybe we can help figure out her age...if she is under 4 weeks old, she probably needs help to go potty. Up to 6-8 weeks she will need the kitten formula or KMR.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: Pika is doing great! She's eating, drinking, and even using her litterbox! I crushed up her food in one of those pill crushers and added some water, and shes gobbling it up. Yesterday when I put her in the litterbox and patted her behind she peed, and then today she crawled in ON HER OWN and pooped!! She seems to be really happy, follows me wherever I go and fights back my finger if I taunt her with it. I think all in all she's doing really good!

Here are some pics. They are camera phone pictures so they're not too good, but its something!


post #5 of 12
Aww she is cute. she isn't all that young, she goes to the bathroom on her own which is a good thing. She should be eating a high quality kitten food (not purina or the grocery store brands) but do the best you can with that. If your mom is the one buying it then she may not want to make the trip to the pet store. Wet food is good too.

You could try an interactive toy or anything on a string for her to follow and chase. And a little cardboard scratching thing that sits on the floor.

It is hard to tell from the pictures but she may be old enough to be dewormed, which must be done at the vet, same with flea treating if she needs it. She can actually be spayed when she reaches 2 lbs and she may be close. You don't want to let her outside now because she is too young and not until she is spayed either.

Are you keeping her?
post #6 of 12
About her chasing your finger--this is cute & harmless now, but make sure she knows hands are not for chasing, because when she's a grown 10 lb cat, she can hurt you without knowing it when she's just playing! Let her chase toys or a bathrobe sash or a sturdy piece of cloth, or a peacock feather... whatever Just not your fingers. Because later on... ouch!!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey guys! Something just happened and I need your opinions!!

Since she came to us Sunday night, she has only eaten a very small amount (probably less than 2 tbsp) of dry kitten food. Tonight my dad called the lady we got her from and she said she had given the kitty some cut up pieces of chicken and she loved it! So we took some chicken and started cutting it up and giving it to her, and she became an monster! She snatched all the pieces in my hand, and then followed the scent over to the bowl that the bigger pieces were in and snatched one of the big pieces! She scampered away and attacked us when we put our hands near her. Then when I finally got her, she was freaking out and biting and scratching with all 4 paws until I just let her go. We let her chew up the big chicken piece, and then cut some up and put it on a plate for her, which she devoured.

I feel like the reason she's been so sleepy and unresponsive is because she was starving! I just assumed that kittens dont eat that much, or she was nervous from the move, but I guess she just didnt like the dry food.

Please let me know your suggestions on kittens and wet food/chicken. I dont want her to get sick from too much food or the wrong kind.
post #8 of 12
Wet food is fine for kittens; look for "kitten food" specifically. Make sure it's high-quality. Or try meat baby food [edit: for human babies] (no onions in it--those are bad for cats).

If you feed her chicken, cook it thoroughly first--salmonella is no joke! Boiled/baked is best; and no spices--you don't want to irritate her stomach.

If she doesn't like your dry kitten food, you can try wetting it with KMR. Your kit looks pretty young yet, so it's not going to hurt her to drink some extra kitten milk. Just make sure to leave it out for only a short time, just like you would with wet food, or it'll get goopy and gross.

Leave dry food out for her whenever she wants it. Make sure it's a good kitten food with a lot of protein in it--she's a growing girl and needs all the nutrition she can get.

Your kitten shouldn't eat too much food. Like most babies, she'll eat until she's full and then stop. Overeating in cats doesn't usually start until adulthood, when it occurs mostly out of boredom.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!! Little Pika is doing really well. I just emptied out her old dry food and put some fresh in and she ate about half of the little bowl and then went to explore. Thank you guys soo much for your suggestions!! I will probably start to enhance her diet with the KMR Formula. I also found out tonight that she is 6 weeks old. How old are they supposed to be when the stop the KMR?
post #10 of 12
I also found out tonight that she is 6 weeks old. How old are they supposed to be when the stop the KMR?
Kittens wean around 6 weeks of age...but since she is so young and isn't with mom...I would give her a saucer of KMR as a treat. You can give this to her as long as you have concerns about her weight.

This is a really good site:


post #11 of 12
Just cooking up human chicken for kitty is OK for a treat once in awhile but should not be given as her regular food. It does not contain all the nutrients cats need such as taurine. Same thing goes for human baby food. Some folks try those things with cats that have stopped eating to try to stimulate them to eat. Sounds like your kitty doesn't need a lot of stimulation to eat.

The best thing you can do for your little one is to feed her a good wet (canned) kitten food with a good quality dry food to snack on in between meals. Canned (wet) food is really better for your kittie than dry food so if she isn't fond of dry food it's not a problem.

Dry food really doesn't do much to clean their teeth so don't worry about that issue.

While she is young, try playing with her paws or just holding them when she is calm and sleepy to get her used to having her paws touched and then you can move on to clipping her sharp little claws. You might also want to start "brushing her teeth" to get her used to that too. There are some soft rubber brushes that you put over your finger to rub around the root of her teeth to help removed tartar and keep her teeth clean. She probably still has her baby teeth right now though so shouldn't be a problem except for the getting her used to having your finger in her mouth.
post #12 of 12
I took care of a very small kitten for my mother in law and he would not touch the dry food either. Turns out he was just picky!!!!! I dont know what he was fed before he came to her but he would eat absolutely anything from the table even lettuce!!! he was the same way you describe your little kitty he would run with it and growl and snarl if you tried to take it from him! but put a bowl of dry kitten food in front of him and no way no interest in it at all!!

I bought the tiny cans of wet kitten food and mixed it with the dry half and half then everytime I fed him mixed less wet to dry because my mother in law wanted him on dry food. it took about 2 weeks but now he eats the dry food just fine!!!

This method seems to work if you really want him to be on he dry food!
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