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Fostering Kittens: 0 to 8 Weeks Old, And Taking Care Of Young Kittens
If you are doing this for an organization, remember that they own and are responsible for the animal.
Kittens: what you may need: a bottle, formula, baby warmers, thick gloves, plenty of paper towels, a litter box, a bed, and food and water bowls. It is also very important to have toys – so they don’t get bored. Definitely no catnip at first.
You may want to visit the vet, to get an idea of the cat’s age if you don’t have experience with kittens. Veterinarians are also good for advice on what to do, and will provide formula if you need it.
Egg to four weeks: This is the time when they must be left to take care of the mother cat, but sometimes the kittens appear without her.
You have to keep a very strict schedule: feed at least every 2 hours with kitten formula. Remember, all babies have special needs. Cat milk or human formula is not for cats, please do not use. The formula should be warmed in a pan or heater. Do not use the microwave to heat the formula is not recommended – it destroys the nutrients and may be hotter than you wish. You can hold the cat while feeding, for the first few weeks you can do it with bare hands, then use thick gloves. The hand holding the bottle will need it. Kittens will rub their fingers with their claws, just like they would their Mom.
Baby wipes are used to clean the face around, and can be used to stimulate the bowels and bladder. The mother cat would lick her kittens to do this. You should gently rub the lower abdomen. Have paper towels in the litter box, the kitten on the paper towel, and use your thumb to make strokes down, from the ribs to the tail, like a Mama cat would lick.
Keep chicks warm – they need help with this, a hot water bottle in a towel works well.
A housebreaking pad under the cats is a good idea, and will come in handy later.
Four to six weeks: They are teething and willing to eat solid food, but formula is still needed – use canned cat food mixed with formula. Feeding is also rare, about three to four hours. The food is still warm. When you start feeding, don’t be surprised to see kittens playing or sitting on food before they know what it is. They will clean their paws and then they will go back for more. Dry cat food should also be introduced slowly. Leave a small amount of dry food outside, in a small bowl. They will play with it, but it will be eaten.
Chicks are now able to empty their bladders, and move their bowels. So now it’s time for litter training, any litter is fine. You will need a very cheap box. Cats will catch on quickly. For the first time, use a housebreaking pad (the one they put it on) and a little trash on top. Their smell is there so they know it is safe. If there is a mistake, just put the cat in the litter box.
Play is now a great teaching tool. Moving the toys around they will get their hands not only to cook and clean, but it’s fun.
Six to eight weeks: Cubs are now eating solid food, litter trained, and playing with little balls of fur. No more formula needed. At the end of eight weeks, the kittens will be ready to go to their forever home.
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