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I need help

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
People in my neighborhood must have learned I was foster for kittens. I just got a call asking if I wanted to save a kitten; it was in a cage with an adult that wasn't its mother and animal control was there. I said yes, of course.

I brought the little thing home. It's eys are not blue but not green either. It's ears are ... well, here is a pic of him/her (I don't even want to check just yet, kitty seems so tired and fragile, with some poo or something on here. No terribly noticable wounds.

The sad thing is, when the kittie saw my Pixel, she called out to her. Pixel just hissed and walked away.

Anyway, I am sort of thrown into this now, however willingly. But I need some advice badly. I don't have time to meander around learning here. I need to know what to feed a kitten this age, until tomorrow when I take her to the vet.

And, when I go to the vet tomorrow, I am also picking up nine other cats for foster (not feral). So I just need to know how to get this one to eat and drink before tomorrow. Any advice at all. And, please try to tell the age of this one for me. It is sleeping on my lap or I would give the sex.

post #2 of 31
Awww...looks like it is old enough to eat on it's own...I'd pick up some KMR and put it in a bowl and I'd get some quality kitten food (moist and dry)..I used eukanuba kitten for my fosters.

post #3 of 31
Just so you know, you only need to post in one forum, just give us some time to answer
post #4 of 31
Good luck with this little bundle of fur
post #5 of 31
What a cutie! She looks so forlorn. Thank you for taking her in!!!!!!!!!!

Katie's right - get some KMR as quick as you can. Most pet stores carry it. If you can't find it, canned goat's milk will work too. At her age she'll (he'll?) be eating dry food and wet food - just get a kitten kind, preferably high quality if you can afford it.

Get kitty some toys of its own - that'll help keep Pixel happier, anyway.

For little kittens, we always get a box and make it snuggly for kitty. To help keep her company, she'll find a clock that makes tick-tock noises wrapped in a small blanket really comforting. You may want to keep her separate from Pixel - maybe keep kitty in a bathroom, where you can place a small litterbox. And it's OK to leave dry food out for her, but she made need help cleaning a bit. If you don't keep after it, they get crusty (the reason we stopped leaving little kittens at the vets!).

She should have a vet visit. She may need to be wormed and/or de-flea-ed, and you should definitely make sure she doesn't have anything Pixel can catch (and if they share a litterbox, Pixel may end up with worms too).

Kitten looks like it's 6 weeks - maybe 8 weeks old. It can be very hard to tell. If malnourished with a hard life, kitty could even be 10 weeks old.

When you have time to read-up, you may want to check out www.kitten-rescue.com.

Thank you for caring for this little one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #6 of 31
I don't know what your financial situation is or how committed you want to get, but an expensive alternative to the tick-tock clock wrapped in a towel is a Snuggle Kitty: http://www.epets.com/snugglekitty.html

The younger kittens tend to be into it - your rescue may be a little old to enjoy it. It can go either way.


post #7 of 31
Also, I just posted this in the thread about potty-training a kitten, but just in case....

Ferals are used to using the outdoors for a litterbox. If kitty has any problem using a litterbox, purchase potting soil (without fertilizers!), and cover the litter with a thin layer of potting soil. This helps them understand that the litterbox is for going to the bathroom. Most of our kittens liked to lie in the box - but that stopped once they had to go to the bathroom.

post #8 of 31
I don't have any extra advice - I just wanted to wish you both well. Please let us know how goes.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
When I first posted this I didn't see it show up--I posted in two places also, making it more confusing--so thank you all for the replies with my apologies for not seeing this one until now.

This little guy is going to the vet this week. After feeding him some pedialyte he got an appetite. Then a bath cleaned him up. I've cleaned his ears.

I also had a little gang of kittens (fostering) and have been adopting them out of my home since Saturday. I've got three of six left and should have two more gone soon.

I was calling him "Bat Boy" then Batty, since he looks so bat-like with those ears, but I realize whoever adopts him will rename him. Maybe he will grow into his ears.

I didn't know this at first but the kittens I foster have not had any shots or worming treatments--nothing but spay/neuter--and some of them were also born outdoors and some bottle fed at the vet clinic. So I put him in with the others. This made such a difference for Batty, to see other kittens interact with humans.

Previously he was very good at disappearing. He continually ran to hide. He still has a tendency to be by off by himself, and it's adorable when I place him next to another snoozing kitten, he just melts...I really love him. He looks kind of forlorn, to me.

He's gained four ounces in three days and weighs as much as the others now.

Tonight, another one of his siblings was caught in a cat trap here where I live so the people called me. I went down to get a very pretty silvery white kitten, much healthier looking than Batty was. It KILLED my hands--I thought I was going to have an allergic reaction--they were on fire and itching for about 20 minutes. Fortunately, that has stopped.

He was just screaming and fighting with me. I held the back and front paws in one hand and had the skin behind its neck in my other, but it still managed to do some serious damage to my skin!!

I have him/her in a carrier now in a place were he can see the other kittens playing. Gave him some water and peeked in a little bit ago to see him drinking. I think he ate the entire can of tuna they put in the trap. There are two other wild kittens from that litter, I am told.

I don't know if the program I recently started fostering for will take such wild kittens in, so tomorrow I need to schedule another vet visit and find someone who can work with this wild kitten and maybe the other two.

But Batty is going to be fine. He was weak when I got him, I guess, and he is playing and eating and coming along nicely. I am glad I found him when I did. They were going to take him to the "shelter" where he would be put to sleep.

I also wanted to say thank you for the advice on the things to make little kittens more comfortable, the food, the potting soil as litter (great idea) and everything. I am so new to this but know where to find good advice from amazing people. Batty is using the litter box just fine, but I'm sure watching the others using it helped. Now with this new one, the potting soil could be a lifesaver because the way he was acting tonight, if that continues, I cannot put him in with the others.

I've got two litter boxes in the kitty room, and Pixel has her own. In fact, Pixel still runs from the kittens when they make a noise or cry. At night she comes to me and cries and hisses while I comfort her. She gets LOTS of extra attention right now and is adjusting sloooowly.
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
This morning I called around to all the animal rescue organizations, hoping to find a foster home for the little white one I picked up last night. Everyone is swamped with kittens here.

I was advised to turn him (and I know now he is a male) to animal control for euthanasia.

I had the little critter in my cat carrier, covered in whatever, and being at the point of tears I decided to reach in and pet him for awhile.

Then I picked him up. He wasn't freaking out like last night. I put on some classical music.
Then I held him. He was burying his nose into my skin, licking it, trying to nurse.

I put some food and water down and he had some of both.

After awhile I bathed him in Dawn soap.

I dried him, and the pics below show him during the last stage of the drying process.

Then I put him in a blanketed box with a sock filled with white rice, heated up.

He finished warming up. Now he is in with the other kittens, one of which is his brother. Beyond trying to hide, he is doing well so far. The other kittens are trying to play with him.

I'm going to ask the park here to call me if they capture the others. Then, I'm going to try to get some donations for funds to have them spayed and neutered and put up for adoption. Living on a fixed income, I can't keep doing this. I just barely make it to the end of the month and am about to lose my car unless my refinance comes through. So I guess my biggest problem right now is getting these some vet care and neutered.

Above I put some text in italics. These are the things I would not have known to do if it weren't for you lovely people who give information out of love for these creatures. Thank you so much.

There are some adorable pics of this new kitten at the link below as well as the other kittens I currently have with me. Password, if you need it, is "bandwidth."


post #11 of 31
Oh my goodness, the new baby is just precious! Once he's more social you won't have any problems finding him a new home.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Heidi I KNOW. He looks like an expensive kitten, doesn't he? He is just gorgeous!

I cannot believe how fast this one is coming around. Tonight the gray one, "Batty," jumped over the fence I have up at the door to their room, so I figured he could use some one-on-one attention. I laid back on the sofa with him on my chest and petted his ears. This kitten can melt you with a look. He is very expressive, let's put it that way. Well, he came up to my neck and rooted around in my hair for an hour, licking my ears and purring. The behavior and the purring just floored me. Earlier he was chasing around the other kittens and looking like he had not been starved and beat up one bit!!!

So when I finally put him back with the group, I thought I would try giving the new white one some time and he did THE VERY SAME THING. Only he wasn't purring, he was meowing / crying.

The poor little guys seem to miss their mommy. And I am their surrogate. Which kinda melts my heart, y'know.

I got on my hands and knees on the bed with the two of them and they spent some time walking around under me, like in a cave. They liked it when I let my hair hang down like curtains and they nuzzled around in it for a long while. Freaking adorable!!!!

I know I will NOT have a problem adopting either one of them out. At this point if someone wants either one I have them pick them up from the vet hospital after their surgery.
post #13 of 31
I'm sorry Vic61 I didn't see where you were located. There has got to be a low cost spay organization around you somewhere. Ask your vet maybe they know of one.
post #14 of 31
OMG - how gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did forget to mention - though maybe you've seen it in other threads by now - calling around to local vets is a GREAT idea. You don't have to stick to just your vet. If there is a local crazy cat person or shelter or someone who can help, they often know. Starting the conversation with a "I'm so sorry to bother you, but...." - and as soon as they know you're just looking for helpful info, either they'll know someone or some place or they won't.

Also, what may help Pixel is this. Take a hand towel or handkerchief or something like that, and rub it on one or two of the kitties (all over, especially the cheeks). Put that under Pixel's food dish. Take another one, do the same thing, and at some point, put treats for Pixel on it. Keep doing the treat thing. This will help Pixel come to associate the kitty(ies) smell with good things.

Thank you for all you're doing!!!!!!!!!!!! And keep us posted!

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Yes, I need to resmellify the wash cloth for poor Pixel. She is still having hissy fits (at least now I know where that term comes from!).

It's amazing how inexpensive the kittens cost, based upon the fact that people pay only for the cost of spay or neutering. So females cost $40 and males cost $25. But I can't seem to find a vet for this price.

I think I need to ask for the same deal as the woman who I work for doing the foster work. But right now, she is literally swamped. I have four of her kittens, plus two I came across, and SEVEN MORE THIS WEEKEND due to move in. Yikes.

I called one of the main news stations here in El Paso and they said they would "send someone out" to do a story on us. At that point I will ask for donations as well as for people to adopt these darlings. Talking to the ladies who are doing this work is talking to people at the point of tears if not IN tears. They are turning kittens away and that can only mean one thing....

I am still enjoying them.

The one problem, and I could use some advice, is their litter boxes are stinking very quickly. I didn't think I would go through this much litter so quickly since Pixel's litter lasts so long. But man, they go a lot of course, and I am cleaning their two boxes four times a day and still fighting the smell. Any ideas for me for this problem?

Off to spend some time with Pixel after rescenting her towel. Thank you so much.
post #16 of 31
What are you feeding them?? I have found that higher quality food actually improves their ability to 1. retain more nutrition and thus not have to "go" so many times and 2. when they do go, it tends to not smell as much.

post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm only feeding them Purina Kitten. It's what they give me through the program.

Today I cut a hole in the top of a large box to contain them while I cleaned their room. They kept jumping out of it so I had to completely enclose them in a box, the poor things. I worked quicky since it HOT here. It's nice and fresh in there for now and I need more supplies.

Is there a wet food I should feed them, maybe a lesser expensive brand? Would that help?
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Well, I have two more wild kittens, brought to me yesterday in a cage. These two have had an extra two weeks in the wild, more than the two lovey littermates that are totally ready for adoption after neutering.

These two will be more challenging. So, I came back in here for a refresher. Have tried wrapping the biggest one (white) in a blanket and petting his ears and head. Have been blinking slowly while looking at him. Have been playing classical music. Still crazed and wild. Plus, the white one is defecating wherever he wants...no fun at all for me and the others.

On the good side, I have two young girls who are helping me by coming in and spending time playing with the kittens. Much needed human attention, and the girls love it too.

post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
What an amazing series of moments tonight. The white one gave me a look as I was lying on the bed with three of the tame kittens on various parts of me, all lovey dovey.

I got the impression he wanted me to pick him up! He looked at me with a pleading but fearful look, I could sense his internal conflict. So, I put him on my belly, and, by the way, I was in a very awkward position, my neck was up against the wall and it hurt but I didn't want to move for awhile ...and he stayed, almost even played a little with the string on my sweats. The other kittens were around the whole time, climbing all over me too.

I was floored. I put my finger out in front of him about an inch from his face, and he reached his nose out and sniffed it, all over!!!

Later, I spent time with the smaller black one.

Progress was made tonight, with both the wild kittens--they did it, not me! I keep gaining more respect for these brave little creatures the more I come to know them. I know they were scared but they took serious risks, and for what? There is food and water here always available--so for what--for the sake of a relationship with a human?
post #20 of 31
How exciting! Isn't it GREAT?

And WOW are they cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
It's very interesting, yes.

At first I thought the bigger white kitten was the more dominant one. But he isn't. Interesting that when they are both at the food bowl the black one will keep one paw on the white kitten's ear while he is eating! The white one is not allowed to eat until blackie is done.

I have three other bowls of food but the white kitten just waits for his turn at the black kitten's bowl.

Should I let that continue, I wonder? The white one seems to be okay with it.
post #22 of 31
Cats' social structures are actually pretty complicated, but they do work with a heirarchy. It's best not to interefere. It's a natural thing, and they work it out. Or they don't - and there's lots of fighting. Seems like you got lucky.

Actually - in a multi-cat household, it can be very important to provide vertical space. That's why so many people do turn to "cat furniture" - cat trees and gyms and "cat walks" and stuff. Vertical space can help them define their hierarchies without the fighting.

But that paw-on-the-head thing is very normal, and it's nothing that needs to be discouraged. They'll progress to butt-sniffing at some point, though that paw-on-the-head thing is something black kitty may always do as long as he's alpha cat.

And as you've already learned - "alpha cat" has nothing to do with size!

post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 

There is some vertical space here now, a bed, a couple of platforms higher than a bed. I'll have to watch to see what they do with it now that I am aware of this. Thanks so much.
post #24 of 31
Yeah - it was all so fascinating when it was all new! Not that it's not now - but I was just so interested in everything our cats did the first few years. Now? I'm happy if they're not bugging me.

The vertical space thing IS fascinating. We've got multiple cat trees throughout the house. The one that was alpha before our current alpha was rescued LOVES to be on the top. He'll sleep in the highest vertical space - until the current alpha decides he wants to be there. There's often a little scuffle in the "shift," but (usually) no one gets hurt.

On the other hand, our deaf, partially blind (vision very impaired in one eye and the other eye removed) cat was rescued after the "new" alpha (Tuxedo) had been living with us for about four or five months. They all seemed to get she wasn't normal - and whenever she's up top, no one ever bothers her. Not even our alpha. It's weird.
post #25 of 31
Thread Starter 
I've always been intrigued by dog packs, in the wild or the home setting. I had no idea cats had a similar thing going on although I should've known since they are social and some wild cats live in groups.

Recently my BF has been telling me of the behaviors of the cats in his home--there are four and a fifth who lives on the lower floor. So the concept is new to me, yes.
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 

Well, these are two kittens that were found in the wild. The gray one is the one who was sick and the white one nearly tore my hands apart as I was removing him from the cage and getting him home.

They just got neutered two days ago. I would've like to have waited a couple more weeks but I needed to get them into the low cost neuter program so I had no choice. By the beginning of next month I will either have officially adopted them or found them a home together.

They are incredibly loving and nice kittens.

I've separated them from the other kittens I foster and last night they spent their first night in my home away from the others. Pixel is still freaking a bit but she's come a long way (still has a way to go with them). However I found it amazing she was just sitting there watching the white one eating from HER food bowl. (That was accidental on my part--I have their food and litter in a different part of the house).

Aren't they adorable? I need names for them...
post #27 of 31
I woud name them something like Cookies and Cream..they definately seem bonded.

post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
yes, I definitely want to name them as a pair. That picture wasn't staged, they are quite a little team. When one gets lost in the house the other helps me call him.
post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 
After spending yesterday chasing them all around the house, today they actually seemed to tell me where they wanted to spend their time until they get bigger. I have three bedrooms in this tiny house and they want the computer room next to the cat room where they used to be with their friends. I mean, I came into their new room three times today and I found them in three different positions sleeping on the chair. They must've been tired from all the excitement yesterday because today they were slackers.

I am thinking of naming them Peek and Boo, since I've always leaned toward calling the gray one Boo.

God they look so cute running around chasing each other, honest.

Not staged pictures below, they should be in the dictionary under the word "adorable."

post #30 of 31
Peek and Boo would be such cute names for them!

And boy - they are INCREDIBLY adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for taking everyone in and doing such a great job with them!!!!!!!!!!

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