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Taking care of very young kitten!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I visited my sister's farm and brought back home a 5-week old female kitten, b/c her mom and littermates had all been killed by a raccoon living somewhere near the farm.

I have been feeding the kitten milk replacement for puppy, (but will soon get kitten milk once that becomes available), and wet food, but no water. Is there anything else I need to feed to the kitten to make sure she's healthy?

I already have a male adult cat at home. At first meeting, he seen interested in the new kitten and followed her all over the house. He didn't growl or hiss at the kitten, but sometimes would swipe his paw at her. It seems to me that he isn't hitting the girl very hard and she suffered no injury. I don't know if the two cats would get along well.
post #2 of 17
I'd keep the kitten seperated from your cat until s/he gets a full vet check & tests FeLV/FIV -.

Milk replacer...KMR is good. I just get stuff from my vet, I *think* ProBiolac? As per the shelter here, at 5 weeks when I've had orphaned kittens they've got milk replacer & canned Science Diet a/d....a/d is a high calorie canned.
post #3 of 17
5 weeks isn't too young - at least not in this sort of situation. Try mixing the formula with some wet food to make a gruel - this has always worked well for me in the past when feeding young kittens. The kitten will also need multiple feedings daily - you'll even have to get up at night to offer one or two meals.
post #4 of 17
I have used Kmr for Kittens that age. She can eat Can Kitten Food too.
post #5 of 17
Get the Kitten milk as soon as possible - its not good for the kitten to be drinking dog milk or cow milk. As far as water ALL cats/kittens should have access to water. I've had 3 week old rex kittens sampling water with mom before they even attempted canned food at 5-6 weeks old!
post #6 of 17
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Try mixing the formula with some wet food to make a gruel - this has always worked well for me in the past when feeding young kittens.
that's what i did for Firefox, too. i used the Just Born brand of kitten milk replacer. it's usually available at Petsmart or Petco. i preferred using the liquid - i could never get the powders to mix thoroughly.
oh, & here're some good articles: kitten nutrition
hand-rearing kittens
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Would being separated from mother at too young an age create behavioral or other problems later?
post #9 of 17
I have a batch of kitten right know. they are 4 weeks old. non of my kittens drink formula, they all like the wet food better. they are eating dry food to. so i would definitly start weening your kitten. and dont worry i did not ween them my self the selter i am fostering them for had them weened all ready. they are perfectly happy. A helpful hint is to always espesialy at five weeks old to depending on your opinion have her be able to free feed on wet or dry food. I have never had one choke. Also you said no water, they need water all the time.
post #10 of 17
she might have some slight problems. just keep a teddy bear or other stuffy in there for her to cudle with. also give her a little extra atention.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
do I need to get the kittens dewormed?
post #12 of 17
Very highly likely. They are usu. born with the parasites, as are pups. Vet can do a fecal test to check to see what's what.
post #13 of 17
When the vet checks the kitten out, he/she will recommend when you can safely have the kitten wormed (may be 8 weeks old - not sure). But I would say it would not be too much behavior problems with being taken from mom so young ONLY cause you have an adult cat in the house that can sub for mom and teach the kitten to be a cat
post #14 of 17
I had a male cat that loved kittens. He raised every one that ever came to my house. Taught them to use the litterbox, kitty manners, everything mom would have taught them. Hopefully yours will be a good buddy to the little one. He may not know what this squirming, squeaky little thing is yet.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2 View Post
I had a male cat that loved kittens. He raised every one that ever came to my house. Taught them to use the litterbox, kitty manners, everything mom would have taught them. Hopefully yours will be a good buddy to the little one. He may not know what this squirming, squeaky little thing is yet.
He doesn't seem overly friendly to the little cat, but isn't too hostile either. I guess he's unsure about the new comer.

I am most concerned about the litter situation though. If the adult cat doesn't teach the kitten to use one, how do I train her to use the litterbox?
post #16 of 17
How old is she?

Once a kitten is five or six weeks old, she will use a litter box on her own, usually. Just put her in a small enough place where she can find it, like in a bathroom, for a day or so.

There ARE tricks if she doesn't tumble to it that way.
post #17 of 17
I just had kittens dewormed at 6 weeks old. I would say get the kitten checked out and dewormed as soon as you can.

At that age they should be litter trained already. Mine started at about 3-3.5 weeks old without any adult cat's help. Put them in the box and show them how to scratch...they catch on fast! The 4 week old feral kittens I had who came from outside knew right away what to do b/c the litter was the only "dirt" in their room.

I have raised 2 litters...one from 4 weeks old and one from 7 days old. Neither litters ever had any social or behavior problems and did not ever have an adult cat around from the time I got them. The 7 day old kittens are now 6 weeks old...they have learned everything on instinct so far...play with siblings, pouncing, stalking, cleaning themselves, etc etc. Just do your best to spend time with the kitten and socialize it.
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