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Need advice as a new owner of 4wk old abandon kitten.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi all I am new to this forum, and I'm also new at kitten ownership. In the past I have only owned adult cats rescued from shelters. However, This past Sunday a friend of mine and I found this tiny little kitten, covered in dirt on the side of a very busy road.

I have since taken Snowman (the found kitten) to the vet and obtained a clean bill of health. Dr. Runt thinks the kitty is about 4wks old.

What I would like is some advice from knowledgable owners.
1) Does he need any thing special other than the soft kitten food the vet gave me?

2) Snowman bits, in fact most of the time its the first thing he does. Is this a phase in baby cat growth? or is this a message I'm not getting?

3) The vet believes that Snowman is a Siamese cross. How do I know when the cat is crying because it needs me, or if its crying because he just likes to talk?

So Basically ANY advice would be helpful.
post #2 of 15
I am not expert, so I'm hoping others will back me up. But...

A 4wk old kitten can be weaned. Really, I'd keep an eye on how much he is eating. If he seems to be eating a lot of food than the wet food is probably fine. If he doesn't want to eat, then you might want to try some formula.

The biting I'm not sure about. My kittens tend to bite a lot and I have to try and teach them not too.

The crying, some kittens cry more than others. Sometimes they just cry because they want attention, or you picked them up when they didn't want you to, and of course they will cry because they are hungry. If the vet gave him an OK and he's not crying when you handle specific parts of him (like he's injured or hurting) I probably wouldn't worry too much.
post #3 of 15
Bless your heart ... you are so wonderful to take this little one into your home and heart - thank you!

OK, about your questions ...

1) Does he need any thing special other than the soft kitten food the vet gave me?

What kind of soft food did the vet give you? You want a growing kitten to be on the best food you can afford to ensure proper growth and organ development. Soft food is better, IMO, but at 4 weeks old, there might be an interest in dry kitten food too. Have you tried dry to see if he likes it? I like Nutro Natural Choice Kitten dry myself. I also like the Nutro Natural Choice kitten canned.

2) Snowman bits, in fact most of the time its the first thing he does. Is this a phase in baby cat growth? or is this a message I'm not getting?

It may be a bit of both ... right now, he would be still with his Mom and littermates, learning the "social graces". Without their influence, you will sort of have to teach him what is acceptable and what is not. Never play with him with your hands - always use a toy. If he bites you, squeal out loudly and stop playing with him until he can calm down a notch or two. He may also be getting in his little baby teeth and needs something to chew on to help them break through.

3) The vet believes that Snowman is a Siamese cross. How do I know when the cat is crying because it needs me, or if its crying because he just likes to talk?

With a Siamese, one is the same as the other. They ALWAYS need you because that is how they are - they bond VERY closely with their people and since you are now surrogate Mommy to this one, you can't ignore his cries, even if they are conversational in nature. If he cries, you have to respond.

Hope this helps,

~gf~
post #4 of 15
Bless your heart for rescuing Snowman (what a cute name!) Welcome to TCS! I hope you'll get a chance to post some pics.
post #5 of 15
Good luck with your new Kitty!!! Can I assume that Snowman is White? Maybe not a safe assumption. Your post reminded me of when my mom and I rescued a white cat one time that was filthy when we found her. She was very agreeable to being bathed so Mom and I bathed and bathed her to get her clean but there was a greese spot on her head that would just not come off. When we finally gave up and went to present her to Dad we were informed amid a vast amount of laughter that the greese spot was a natural spot on her now sore little head. We named her Angel. I hope you have as much fun with Snowman as we did with Angel!!!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi, Thanks for the Info.

The vet gave me these little cans of "Wellness" for Kittens. Its like a dollar for 6oz he really seems to like it. He eats about every 2 hours or so. I also have Iams dry food for kittens but, he will only eat it if the wet food is out.

As for the biting, any tricks for teaching him not to play quite so rough?

Talking...When he meeps, or crys at me I talk back to him, if he continues I pick him up and cuddle for a bit. I seems to be working.

Thanks again for your advice
post #7 of 15
Awww... sounds so cute.

I always pull my hand right away if they start using it as a toy, so they know it is not okay. I try to give them something else to attack, like an old stuffed animal you don't mind being destroyed (be sure to keep an eye out that he doesn't yank off parts and eat it though).
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Never play with him with your hands - always use a toy. If he bites you, squeal out loudly and stop playing with him until he can calm down a notch or two.

What kind of toys do you suggest? Right now we have half a dozen of those little plastic balls with a bell in them. We have one of those round toys the one with cardboard in the center and a ball that rolls in a perpetual track (he seems to really dig this toy). We also got him some of those little furry mice things (my friend called them Norman's). Other than that we have a brush, he loves.
post #9 of 15
I have a kitten with the same problem. I found a glove at the pet store in the cat toy section that has really long fingers and balls in the end. When she wants to play with hands I put that on. Plus we are teaching her the word 'no'. My older cat learned 'no' and he knows when he is doing something bad we say no and he stops. It works with him if he starts to play to rough or most things he does that is no appropriate.

I think someone mentioned pulling away also when they play to rough. I started that with my kitten and just a few days ago I finally noticed it was working. We use that in combination with no, trying to teach her that word. She was playing with claws and biting and I said no then pulled back from her, quit playing and ignored her. She stopped what she was doing and changed her tactics then started playing with me again. If she is playing nice when she comes back I play again, if not I say no and ignore her again. It took a couple of weeks but I really think it is working. She is biting less and less and paying attention to the appropriate way to play.

I hope this helps.
post #10 of 15
Next time you are out nearby a Petsmart or local pet store, check out the Cat Toy aisle ... *grin* ... there are all sorts of fun things you can buy to play safely with your kitty. Get something big and easy for Baby to chew on without destroying it ... some of those little knotted dog tug toys are excellent for this.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks I will try that.
post #12 of 15
i put two thick bed socks on my hand and wrist and wrestle with mine. they learnt pretty quickly they can only attack the 'wrestle sock'. A oven mitt would work well too.

I also hissed at my cat when ever she bit me. I was really stupidly lax at training her not to bite because i thought it was 'cute' at first. Stupid me didnt think it wouldnt be so cute when she had adult teeth and claws with a bit of weight behind them! She learnt in about two days and she was about 10 months when i taught her this.
post #13 of 15
You are an angel to have taken the little baby in. I just can't beleive some people are inhuman enough to leave a baby on it's own by the road. It just breaks my heart to picture the poor thing. I am so glad you're taking care of her.:P
post #14 of 15
Hey there,
I was getting a twinge of jealousy while reading the questions you were asking about how to raise a 4 week old kitten. I miss having kittens.

I have another suggestion for you. Though I'm not sure if this is something you're 'supposed' to do with a kitten.

When I found my Natalie Bean, she was only four weeks old. I heard her screaming her little lungs out at the bottom of a pipe that was in this big patch of bushes. It was about 4:00am and I was just getting in from a charter. {I work on a sportfishing charter boat and while cleaning fish had cut the hell out of my thumb} I tried putting her down and walking away but she would follow my feet every time. So I grabbed her up and fumbled with her in my pocket till I got home. Since I couldn't work (arm in a cast) it was great having her to take care of. But what I didn't know at the time was that I should have been introducing her to new people. I think because I was stuck at home for about 3 months and didn't have anyone over (it was summer and all my friends were working long trips on the boats) she didn't get accustomed to strangers. Now when she hears anyone coming up the stairs she runs like a striped ape into the bedroom. And the neighbors think she is feral because she runs from them too.

I'm pretty sure it would have made some difference in her attitude about strangers had I done things differently and introduced her to more situations with other people. Kinda like you do with puppies.

I also learned the hard way about not using your hands as a play toy for a kitten. I knew better but she was so cute attacking my hand. HA! She still chomps on me to this day. But I love her to pieces!

Bless your heart for taking in that helpless little baby.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangcatsfault
Now when she hears anyone coming up the stairs she runs like a striped ape into the bedroom.
*grin* And I'll also wager that those paws sound a whole lot like the herd of African Elephants that live in my house too! This made me laugh and I just had to tell you so!

dangcatsfault is right though - allowing a kitten access to different people and experiences is one of the best ways to get a well-rounded personality to emerge in kittens. Mom normally teaches them the finer "social graces", but she can also sometimes put her own issues onto the kittens - you have the unique opportunity to allow this baby to respond favorably to the normal traffic of your home - this is something even Mom can't teach them.
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