Your Guide to Taking Care of Newborn Kittens
Newborn Kittens – if you have ever been around a cat giving birth, it is hard to believe that the tiny kittens grow into beautiful majestic cats. Newborn kittens are tiny, delicate creatures that require a lot of care and attention in the first few weeks of their lives. They depend completely on their mother or surrogate caretaker for survival, as they cannot independently eat, eliminate, or regulate their body temperature.
Therefore, if due to some circumstances, you are responsible for the care of newborn kittens, it is essential for you to do your research to raise them carefully until they can fend for themselves.
While caring for newborn kittens may seem like a massive responsibility and an intimidating prospect, it is actually quite rewarding. Watching them grow in front of your eyes is a treat, and the kittens also get attached to you in the process, which is emotionally fulfilling.
However, there are certain aspects you need to take care of to raise the kittens safely. We have compiled a guide for you to know all the essentials of caring for newborn kittens.
How To Care for Newborn Kittens
As mentioned before, a newborn kitten completely depends on its mother for fundamental bodily processes. In the absence of the mother, it is on you to stimulate those processes and care for a kitten. Here are the basics of providing care for a newborn kitten:
1. Provide Warmth
Newborn kittens cannot regulate their body temperature, so keeping them warm is essential. Ideally, they should be kept in a room around 30 degrees Celsius. You can use a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a special kitten heating pad to provide warmth.
Make sure the heating source is placed underneath a blanket or towel and not in direct contact with the kittens. Keep a close eye on the temperature, as overheating can be just as dangerous as being too cold.
2. Provide Nutrition Through Feeding
Newborn kittens depend completely on their mother’s milk or a surrogate milk source for survival. Kittens that are not being cared for by their mother will need to be fed every 2-3 hours, around the clock, for the first two weeks of their life. Once they reach two to three weeks old, their feeding schedule can be reduced to every 4 hours during the day and every 6 hours at night.
For the first week or two, you will need to feed kittens with a syringe or an eyedropper until they can lap from a dish. You can purchase a commercial kitten milk replacer or make your own by mixing evaporated milk and water, but it’s important to consult with a vet before making any homemade formula.
3. Help Eliminate Waste Products from The Body
Unlike human babies, excretion needs to be stimulated by the mother in kittens. The mother helps kittens eliminate by gently rubbing the genital area of the kitten. In the absence of a mother, you will need to stimulate their bowels and bladder with a warm, damp cotton ball or a soft cloth. Gently rub the kitten’s genital area until they defecate or urinate.
4. Help Keep Newborn Kittens Clean
Kittens are kept clean since their mothers groom them regularly. Keeping newborn cats clean and dry is essential for their overall health and well-being. Make sure to clean their eyes, ears, and genitals regularly, and always ensure that they are dry after each feeding or elimination. You may also want to consider giving them a sponge bath if they become dirty. Be sure to use a mild kitten-safe shampoo and keep them warm and dry afterward.
5. Help Integrate Newborn Kittens into Society Through Adequate Socialisation
Newborn kittens need socialisation to develop properly. This means handling them frequently, talking to them, and exposing them to various sights, sounds, and textures. Kittens that are not socialised properly may become fearful or aggressive as they grow older.
6. Schedule Vaccinations and Vet Check-Ups to Eliminate Any Health Fears
It is recommended to schedule a vet check-up as soon as possible after birth. To discuss a vaccination schedule, along with a deworming plan and any other preventive care they may need. Even if the mother cat is healthy, it’s important to have the kittens examined by a vet to check for any health issues that may not be immediately visible.
7. Help Find Loving Homes for Them
While it’s tempting to keep the cute and cuddly kittens, it’s important to remember that they will grow into adult cats and require a lifetime commitment. It’s best to start looking for potential adopters as early as possible so you can ensure that they find loving, permanent homes. Ensure to research the potential owners properly before giving away the kittens.
Final Thoughts on Newborn Kittens
Taking care of newborn cats can be a lot of work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. With patience, dedication, and a lot of love, you can give these little creatures the best start in life. Remember to seek professional help if you have any concerns or doubts about the kittens’ health. Always prioritise their needs and well-being.
It is best to be fully equipped. Purchase all the necessary supplies to provide the best care for your newborn kittens. Purpose-built supplies will help you save time and provide the best results when caring for newborn cats. If you are looking for newborn kitten supplies in the UK, visit our website now to purchase everything you need to care for your precious little furballs.