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Kittens arrived...now what?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Apparently my cat Angelina was farther along than I or the vet had thought. He had predicted she would have the kittens after Thanksgiving. But..yesterday she went into labor. I rushed her to the emergency vet because she's so young and I was afraid of needing a c-section or something, but everything went well and she gave birth to 5 pretty little tabbies.

So..I'm kind of wondering Now What? I have some info from the vet on the next few days, about what should be happening and what to do if its not, but i'm so very lost beyond that. It doesn't tell me much of what to do beyond 2-3 weeks of age.

Any info on raising kittens would be helpful. When do they stop drinking milk and start eating cat food, when do i litterbox train them, should i be letting them jump onto high things. I have more questions than i can currently think of, so if there are any general kitten/cat care sites, i'd appreciate it.
post #2 of 4
In general, if Mom is nursing them and keeping them clean by herself, then you don't need to do anything special except keep other cats away from them.

Feed Mom a premium kitten or all life stages food, both canned and dry, and the kittens will start nibbling when they are ready. This is usually between 4 and 5 weeks, though as early as 3 or as late as 6 would still be normal.

This is also when you can introduce a small, shallow litterbox with plain clay litter. The kittens will learn how to use it from Mom.

As for jumping and things, they will do it when they are ready.

Basically, Mom will take care of their basic needs and you really don't need to show or train them much at all. Just handle them regularly to get them used to people.
post #3 of 4
You may want to give mom a room of her own so she can nurse in private.....move her litterbox, food and water in that room so that she has easy access and doesn't have to travel far from her kittens. Keep an eye on the kittens to see if any are having problems getting to mom's nipple or seem to not be nursing as well as the others (you may have to provide KMR suppliment if one of the kittens isn't getting as much as the others). Also...and I'm sure you are planning on this...but now is a good time to set up mom's spay appt. for when the kittens are weaned (around 6 to 8 weeks of age). Also...I found that having a good cat tree (or 2) does wonders to keep growing kittens occupied.

post #4 of 4
Katie reminded me of another thing. Purchase a postage scale (you can get them for around $25 at Wal-Mart) and weigh the kittens daily. They should gain around 0.3 ounces per day. Anyone that is not gaining should be supplemented with bottle feeding and taken to the vet if this isn't effective within a day or so.
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