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New 5 Week Old Kitten

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I took in a very young kitten last night - someone had found him abandoned and rescued him, but couldn't keep him, so I offered to take him. He's adorable, and seems to be doing well so far, but I feel a little out of my depth! I've done a lot of reading about kittens, but never actually had one this young.

Our best guess is that he's about 5 weeks old. He is eating soft food and using the litterbox like a champ, although he doesn't bury his waste. (It's actually a pie plate, as our regular litter boxes seem huge next to him.) He weighs about a pound and a quarter, and can toddle around and play with toys.

I will take some pictures later to share with you all.

My first 2 questions are - should I try bottle feeding him, in addition to solid food, or just consider him weaned?
And, what does normal 5-week-old kitten poo look like? His is pretty much toothpaste consistency, which I've heard is normal for newborns, but I'm not sure if it is at this age.
post #2 of 8
I got my kitten Joey at 6 weeks of age...he was kinda the same way. He would not eat dry food at all, so I mixed wet food with some kitten food to get him used to chewing more. He is now 14 weeks old and prefers the wet food. He also did not bury his poop, and I was worried about it because his poop was the same consistency you mentioned...but he was fine! He didn't learn to bury his poop or anything for a couple weeks...and sometimes stepped in it so I had to clean his paws a lot. He weighed about as much as you mentioned, and is now a chub, but part of that is because he is spoiled.
I think he will be fine without bottle feeding, as long as he is eating enough of the regular food. If you notice he isn't, maybe contact a vet or try to buy some kitten milk for him.
(i have no experience with a 5 week old kitten, but I have gotten two kittens at 6 weeks old and they were fine on wet/dry foods)
post #3 of 8
My website will help you Also highly recommend book Kittens for Dummies by Dusty Rainbolt.
post #4 of 8
My Topsy was between 4 and 5 weeks when she was dumped on me

She didn't know how to lap

Blue, my TOM cat, took it upon himself to play surrogate mother. He taught her to lap and eat solid food (mixed with kitten milk so it was very soft), washed her and carried her about like a mother cat would.

Topsy would sleep with Blue and...suckle from him...nothing there of course, but it must have been a comforter to her. Both she and Blue would purr their heads off. They were inseperable all Topsy's life. Sadly, we lost her to kidney failure last year. Blue, since then has looked like a lost soul - he also lost his other pal, Spook a month before Topsy.

With a lot of TLC from me and cat know-how from Blue, Topsy thrived. She lived for nearly 13 years.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the encouraging responses! The kitten rescue site has been very helpful.

I have a few more questions - it's been 20 years since I had kitten, and I was a kid myself then!

How long should I keep him separate from my adult cats? I have one who likes to "mother" everyone, and seems very interested in the room the kitten is in. I want to introduce her fairly soon so she can help teach him how to be a cat. I just don't want him to pass any parasites or illnesses on to the others.

Also, when should I take him to the vet? He looks as though he probably has worms and ear mites. I want to let him settle in a bit before taking him to a stressful, germ-filled place like the vet's office, though.

How much should he be eating, and how often should he be pooping? I've been feeding him a spoonful of wet food every few hours, with dry to snack on in between (he seems to eat it just fine). I can't tell if he's drinking any water, though. I haven't seen him so much as sniff the water dish.

He has already pooped three times in the 18 hours I've had him. The most recent one was more formed than the first two. I have no idea what is normal in that respect, for a little kitten.

Sorry this post is so long. I'm a professional worrier.
post #6 of 8
My Joey would not drink water at first!! He was very picky I think. We ended up giving him just a little bit of milk to make sure he was drinking anything...and he drank some of it. Than we started mixing it with water, adding more water each time until it got to straight water and he drank it.
(he was one of the kittens I got when he was exactly 6 weeks old)
It sounds like your kitten is using the litterbox pretty well. As for the eating thing, my cats share a can of wet in the morning, have dry to snack on during the day and a can of wet at night.
When Joey was new here, he let us know when he was hungry! But about ever 4-6 hours I would guide him to food to see if he wanted some, and eventually he would just pick at it when hungry.
As for the introducing to other cats, if he seems like he has a couple issues, with worms etc, he should see a vet before being introduced to other cats. Atleast thats what my vet told me when I took Billy on Tuesday and let it slip that he had been playing with my other kitten....she said usually you don't want to introduce a new cat to yours until they have been examined/vaccinated etc. So use your best judgment on that one.
As far as when you should take the kitten...if it seems like he has worms and ear mites, maybe take him kinda soon. I am a worrier, but when I got my blind kitty I was reading up on causes of blindness and worms was one. I guess the worms can get behind the eyes and damage them. Of course that probably takes awhile and all...and my kitten didn't have worms, he was blind from birth but I remembered reading it as I read your post. It is really all up to you..if you think the kitten can handle a vet appt soon, take him when you think he will be okay with it. good luck with him....whats his name and do you have any pictures?
post #7 of 8
Most definitely, get him to the vet ASAP to get a thorough check up and to rule out any nasty diseases. Don't expose him to any of your other kitties until you've been to the vet with him.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Don't worry, I'm definitely not introducing anyone until I'm sure he's healthy. I plan to get him checked and wormed on Monday. In the meantime, he's doing well. I exchanged the pie-plate litter box for a small, real box, and he's using it. He is even more playful today than he was yesterday. It's hilarious to watch him! I'll try to get a video of him playing tomorrow when I have help.
For now, I have some pictures and a short video I just took while he ate his dinner:
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