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4-5 Week Old Kitten Care?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I may be taking in a 4-5 week old kitten that was abandoned by it's mother, but I'm unsure what is needed and want to be fully prepared before agreeing to take it. I would really not like to take it only to find out that I wasn't prepared and have to shuffle it off somewhere else.

We have a spare dog crate that I was going to set up for it for the first few days to introduce it to our cat and the dogs, after it has been seen by a vet then I would start introductions. Prior to that, it will be kept in the "studio" in an exercise pen that we have for puppies with a small litter box, water and some food.

Does this seem like a reasonable set up until it can be introduced properly? It will be kept in there when we are not home to watch what's going on with it and our cat, the dogs are always crated when we can't watch them so that won't be a problem.

We still have quite a bit of kitten food left over from when we got Leiki (in Feb), she was about 10 months old when we got her so we transitioned her to adult food right away as per our vet's recommendation. The food has been kept sealed and in the freezer, so there shouldn't be anything wrong with it. We also have quite a bit of wet kitten food left still (I found the stash yesterday, I had forgotten where I had put it when we got her). Are kittens eating mush or solid food at this point? Or will the baby have to be bottle fed? My boyfriend is working from home right now, so someone will always be here except for when we go grocery shopping or something similar - the most we would be gone would be 2 hours.

Other than that, is there anything that I should be prepared for that I'm not thinking about? Like I said, I don't want to have to shuffle the kitten at such a young age.

On the plus side, if we do take it in, we may have two homes interested. One is our assistant building manager, he's been looking for a cat for quite some time. The other is a friend of ours that was staying with us, he fell in love with Leiki (no idea why, she's a PITA, lol) and wants to get another cat. He had persians growing up, so he's been around them a lot. He wants to get a cat to keep him company, and also for his daughter when she visits. She's 2 but VERY good with animals. She listens very well and has always been gentle with all of our pets.

We will only be taking it in if we can get a rescue lined up for vet care and petfinder listing though, as I simply cannot afford the vet bills for a kitten right now with everyone else's shots and exams coming due in the next few months.

Any advice appreciated!
post #2 of 6
I believe my last litter of feral rescues was still on the bottle at that point, but also eating canned food mixed with formula(this is very messy.)
I would be careful with the exercise pen depending on what type it is because the kitten may be able to stick their head through the bars or possibly climb out, and as the kitten get older will be more likely to be able to climb it. The dog crate should work fine. I used a large cage (rabbit cage) for mine when I wasn't there to keep an eye on them.
S/he will probably need to be wormed and should also be virus tested before you introduce your cats.
post #3 of 6
Depending on when her mother booted her out, she probably won't need a bottle anymore. At that age I have them on canned food mushed with kitten formula, and offer a bowl of dry food for nibbling, but they don't usually eat much dry food for at least a couple of weeks. If her mother only recently left her, she may want a bottle. . .it's a case-by-case kind of thing.

I offer a shallow box (like a cardboard can tray) with some non-clumping litter in it. At that age they usually get the point.

I use a rabbit cage to keep them safe when I'm not there to watch. Dog crates sometimes have too wide of bar spacing and some kitties can squeeze out. I do use an exercise pen sometimes, but they will learn how to get out by 6-7 weeks.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info! I still haven't heard back from the lady that has it right now, still waiting. It's possible that she's been busy with the kitten and work and hasn't had time to check the chat board. It's a rescue type group based in the city that I live, more to rehome pets responsibly than actual rescue things - this type of situation comes up very rarely on it. A lady that works with the rescue group that I used to work with has worked with this lady in the past with problems she was having with her dogs and they have kept in touch, so I don't feel that it is a scam of any sort. She will be going with me to get the kitten if everything works out.

Our cat is not allowed in that room, the dogs aren't even allowed in there unless we are in there with them and it's easily cleaned if the kitten does happen to be sick.

The bars on the ex pen are very close together. We have used it for new born small breed dogs when we've had them in rescue (chi's mostly), and there was no way that they could get their heads through even if they were able to move, so I don't think they will be too far apart for a kitten. If they are, I have a large plastic crate that we use in the car for the dogs that I can keep it in until we know that it's safe for it to be around our cat. It would also be in there when we are not home.

We have goat's milk on hand, my boyfriend likes it for something (I never see him drinking it, but it's always going down so I assume he cooks with it or something, lol). So if worse comes to worse and we have to get it in the middle of the night, we're alright until the morning when I can go to the store down the street for KMR.

Here's hoping that I hear from here within the next day.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdrock View Post
We have goat's milk on hand,.... So if worse comes to worse and we have to get it in the middle of the night, we're alright until the morning when I can go to the store down the street for KMR.
ah, if you do have goats milk at home, dont even bother to buy this KMR.

Goats milk is entirely OK.
the question is, if goats milk may perhaps even be better. but it is another story.
Use goats milk in situations here.

Good luck!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post
ah, if you do have goats milk at home, dont even bother to buy this KMR.

Goats milk is entirely OK.
the question is, if goats milk may perhaps even be better. but it is another story.
Use goats milk in situations here.

Good luck!
Thanks for the info! We use the goats milk mixture for fading puppies or puppies that were orphaned/abandoned... I wasn't sure if it would be alright for cats too (alone, or in a mixture). We also have unflavoured pediatric electrolyte if the baby is dehydrated and we get it late at night. Our emergency clinic here is a joke, so I would rather not go there unless absolutely necessary (our vet clinic opens at 6 or 7 am anyways).

I still have not heard from the lady that has it yet
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