How to Take Care of a Stray Kitten?

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So, you spotted a stray kitty and have decided to take the cute little fellow to your home. However, it is far from a smooth ride. Many questions may come up in your mind- What food does a stray kitten eat? How to take care of a kitten? What if the kitten is injured? And most importantly, are you sure the kitten is, in fact, stray? Therefore, one needs to think like a detective to help a stranded kitten. One sad thing people unknowingly do is separating the kittens away from their mothers. The cat babies need frequent feeding and affection from their mother cat to survive and grow. Hence, it becomes critical to be sure of the fact that the kitten you have found is actually an abandoned one.

Stray cats and kittens are a common sight in the streets. Most of the stray adult cats are feral, which means it cannot be socialized to live indoors along with humans. Therefore, it is ideal to start socializing the cat when it is at a young age. If you find a stray kitten, there are many things that you can do to help it survive and become a loving family pet. You may even take it to your home as your pet or help him/her get adopted into a loving family. Below are the various things you can follow to take care of the kittens that are abandoned or lost in the open.

Be Sure the Kitten Is Actually Abandoned

Mother cats do not always stay with their kittens; they have to leave in search of food and for other needs. If you find a few stray kittens on the street, you need to be sure that the kittens are stranded before you decide to take it home with you. Remember that generally, mother cats keep their newborns in a safe and secure place. Therefore, if you happen to come across one or more kittens, relocate the kittens only when you are confident that there is no mother cat to take care of the kittens. Find whether the mother is coming back to her home. You can also check with the people around and inquire about the cat. Kittens have a better chance of survival, staying with their mother. Fortunately, if the mother cat returns you can place some food and water near it.

The First Interaction

Always be careful before taking the kittens in your hands for the first time. Seeing humans for the first time would frighten them, and they may attack you. Kittens may be cute and tiny, but still, they are armed with teeth and claws that may hurt you. The kitten would also try to run away from you and may get into some other risks. It is better to use a case or carrier along with a cushioned towel for transporting kittens. You can gently hold the kitten with the towel. It is advisable not to use a leash as trapped kittens tend to spin around and this can potentially lead to fatal consequences.

Check the Kitten for Health Problems

Stray kittens are likely to be affected by health issues. Be mindful of such
concerns while you are dealing with them. Fleas and parasites mostly attack kittens, which grow on their fur. You can prevent the growth of fleas by combing their hair regularly. Give them a warm bath after you are done with the combing. It is highly advisable to consult a veterinarian and conduct a thorough wellness exam by taking it to the clinic, once you have decided to take up the responsibility of taking care of the stray kitten.

Get the Kittens Spayed or Neutered

Once the kittens are mature enough, you can take them to a pet clinic and get them spayed or neutered. If possible, provide them with vaccinations and other necessary veterinary services as well. If you have trouble in doing so all by yourself, seek the help of an animal organization that can make this task relatively more manageable for you. You can also ask your friends for help in such a scenario.

Determine the Kitten’s Age

Based on the age of the kitten, it requires specific care and attention. Therefore, it becomes pivotal to determine the age of the kitten you have found.

• 1-14 days old: The kitten’s eyes are shut, and the ears are closed.

• 2-3 weeks old: The eyes are wide open, and the kitten has started moving.

• 3 weeks or older: The eyes are open, the ears are up, and the kitten can walk.

Keep the Kitten Warm and Dry

Until the kitten reaches a certain age, it cannot control the body temperature. They face many problems with regulating their body temperature. They require much external help to stay in a warm and cosy temperature. In the absence of the mother to keep them warm, you must provide the kitten with external support.

• Feel the kitten’s body and if you feel it is cold, warm the kitten by your body heat. Rub its body gently and help with the blood circulation.

• Build the kitten a small place to rest using box clothes for any such things you find in your house. Make the kitten comfortable by placing a blanket or a towel inside the box.

• You can try inserting a heating pad below the towel where the kitten lies. Also, make sure there is enough room inside the box for the kitten to move away from the heat if it is too warm.

• The kitten may spoil the bedding by littering on it. Therefore, ensure that you replace/wash the fabric regularly.

Purchase Kitten Formula

For kittens, without their mother’s milk, the only thing that can help is a kitten formula. Do not try to feed them with cow’s milk, as this is harmful to them. Purchase kitten formula from a pet food store and start feeding the kitten with it. While buying the formula, you will also need to purchase a feeding bottle along with it.

Feed the Kitten Based on a Schedule

Young kittens need to be fed every 2 hours based on their age. Warm milk can be used to feed the kitten but make sure it is not hot. Get any queries regarding the same cleared by a veterinary expert.

Start Litter Training

Start teaching the kitten to use the litter box once it is 4 weeks old. It is helpful initially to place a small box when the kitten starts going for the bathroom. To stimulate the natural environment put enough soil in the litter box.

Finding a Lovely Home for the Kitten

The adoption stage is the most crucial process that has an impact on its overall well being. The ideal age for adoption would be 8 to 10 weeks. You can share the news of adoption with your friend, family, relatives, or animal organizations. Use social media and various other means for finding the kitten a lovely home.

Next time you see a kitten, remember all these points and help the kitten get a new life.

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