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Got Kittens Too Young To Be Away From Mom?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Here's some help! The following information on caring for kittens too young to be away from their mother was contributed by our own Kumbulu ... we sincerely hope it will be helpful.

The first thing that you need to do is confine the kitten to either a small room or a large box. It is not advisable to allow young kittens to be wandering around the house. Prepare some rice socks (instructions can be found here http://www.kitten-rescue.com/cold_kitten.html ) and let him snuggle with those. Find a small clock that ticks and bury that in the bedding - this will remind the kitten of his mother's heartbeat and will comfort him.

You'll then need to make sure he isn't dehydrated.

There are two ways to check for dehydration:

Pinch test - Gently pull the skin up on the back of the kitten's neck and release. If the kitten is well hydrated, the skin will snap back into position in a second. If the kitten is dehydrated, there will be a 'tent' in the skin that takes longer to go back into place.

Gum test - With clean hands, lift the kitten's lip and gently press on the gum and release. The gum should turn white for a second and then return to a nice pink colour. If the gum stays pale or is greyish, the kitten is dehydrated.

I would advise feeding Pedialyte diluted 1/2 and 1/2 with boiled, cooled water. Use a dropper or syringe (without the needle of course) and feed him 2ml every hour for 3-4 hours. Make sure it is warmed a little.

Home-made Pedialyte

1 cup water (boiled then cooled)
Small pinch of baking soda
Small pinch of Salt
2 teaspoons of sugar

Mix all ingredients well. Make sure the mixture has been slightly warmed before feeding to your kitten. The mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Feed 1ml (1cc) every half an hour for the first two hours using a dropper or feeding syringe. Also make sure your kitten is on his tummy and not his back when you feed. Feed very slowly so the fluid does not go down the wrong tube and choke your kitten.

Never feed a kitten cow's milk or human baby formula as this causes stomach upset and severe diarrhea.

Then you can begin to feed either KMR or kitten glop. If he can lap, let him lap this from a tiny bowl or jar lid. If he cannot lap, use the syringe or, ideally, a kitten nursing bottle, to feed him.

Home-made kitten formula (Kitten Glop)

8 ounces water (boiled then cooled)
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
8 ounces whole evaporated milk (not skim)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (not low fat)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (not low fat)
1 large or 2 small eggs yolks (raw)
1 teaspoon clear Karo syrup
* 1-3 drops liquid pet vitamins
* 1 capsule acidophilus
* 1 drop Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)

* Optional, though very beneficial.

Boil the water, add the gelatin and mix well. Allow the gelatin mixture to cool and thicken slightly and then add the following ingredients in order, mixing well after each addition:

1/2 of the canned milk
Mayonnaise and Yogurt
Rest of the milk
All other ingredients

You can substitute canned goat's milk for the canned evaporated milk, if you prefer it. This mixture will keep in the fridge for up to four days. It is jello-like in consistency in the fridge so you can just scoop out as much as you need and warm. It can also be frozen in ice cube trays and defrosted as needed. You can find pet vitamins at a pet store or your vet, and acidophilus and GSE in the liquid form at a good health food store.
post #2 of 3
This is awesome info,I am really glad you included recipes for formula.I had a litter of three day old kittens,I found them in a truck.I had no clue how to raise them,But I quickly found out the most important things.Warmth,constant warmth.Worming.Three out of my four kittens died,one each week.My last kitten almost died at a month old,but I rushed her to the vet and she was treated for an infection caused by worms.She is a 6 year old terror now.This kind of info would have helped saved those other kittens lives if I had known about rice socks.They are so much better than hot water bottles.
post #3 of 3
A good website giving information on how to care for these little kittens is


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