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    How to look after newborn kittens

    Articlecat health and wellbeingThursday 13 June 2013
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    For whatever tragic reasons or circumstances kittens can become on their own out in the wild without a mother you can still help and look after them. Thankfully there are many of us who are here to help kittens  get the best possible start to life. It is only fair for them. The problem though is that looking after kittens at such a young age without their natural mother is very challenging. We have provided some advice and tips on how best to do it. You can be sure that if the situation arises and you can bring them up in the right and careful way then you will be rewarded for life with a good deed done for the feline population.
     
    Before we begin some important notices:
    There are some primary considerations that you need to take into account too.
    1. Young kittens cannot control their body temperature and they must be kept warm at all times. Remember that felines originate from a desert climate and not the UK.
    2. They must drink their mothers or or a milk formula. No other foods or fluids should be given at this crucial time.
    3. Their bladders and bowels must be stimulated a few times a day so they can urinate and defecate as they are not able to accomplish this on their own to start off with.
    4. Without their mothers milk, a new born kitten’s immune system is very week. Make sure you wash your hands and keep their living environment as clean as possible.
    • Remember that no matter how much effort you are willing to put in are attentions you give to the kittens, you will never be as good as their mother. Their natural mother is by far the best solution. Therefore if you have discovered kittens on their own, wait a while from a distance to see if the mother returns and also check with local vets or animal welfare centres to see if the cat has been brought in with injuries or collected as a stray. A mother is the best thing that these kittens need to survive.
    • The kittens must be kept together. Whatever you do, make sure you do not separate them. By being together, they can share body heat and also they can important social skills during this crucial period.
    • Make sure the kittens are kept in a nice living area. Just how you like your bedroom to be cosy, clean and warm, the same goes for the kittens. Make sure you provide a box, pet carrier or laundry basket to make them feel at home and give them protection away from the busy world. You should also provide fresh blankets and clean this area once a day as it will get quite messy.
    • Warmth is vital due to kittens originally coming from a desert climate. As suggested earlier, kittens need to be kept near each other so they can share body heat. You can try using a lamp to heat or a very warm room. The moment a kitten starts crying, it is likely due to it being too cold.
    • The milk you give your kittens is very important indeed. It is recommended that you go to a trustworthy pet store to find the right stuff. If you are in an emergency situation then look up how to make it yourself but this is not recommended. When ready, make sure that the temperature of the milk is warm but not hot.
    • Once you have fed them then you need to burp them as you would do to a baby. This should be done for every feeding.
    • You will need to feed the kittens regularly. Newborn kittens that are under one week old will need to be fed every 2-3 hours including the middle of the night (Remember we did say that this was going to be hard work!). At 2 weeks then you can do this every 4-6 hours.
    • Keep track of the weight of the kitten. If the kitten is not putting on weight then this is a serious problem and we recommend that you see a vet as soon as possible.
     
    Remember that if you are not able to look after them or feel you are not doing a very good job then seek out an animal welfare sanctuary or a vet and let them take care of the kittens. They are skilled and trained and know what they are doing in this regards.
     
    Source: Wikihow
     
    Photo: Wikimedia
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