September 15, 2010

Newborn Kitten Care

Filed under: Kitten Care — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:02 am

The first four weeks of a newborn kitten’s life are full of growth and development.  Indeed, these initial weeks are fundamental with regards to your kitten’s personality and character as well as for other factors such as their health.  Very young kittens are especially susceptible to health threats and they are also growing at an unbelievable rate.  In most cases, two scenarios for kitten care may be played out.  Your kittens may have a loving and attentive mother who feeds them and helps them to grow, or they may have been abandoned by their mother or be alone for some other reason.  As a newborn kitten owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that the kitten gets all the care it needs to develop normally.

As newborns, kittens generally weigh about 3 ounces but will gain weight every day.  Charting their growth is important to make sure that the kittens are getting enough food.  Usually, kittens may mew but will not fuss or cry when eating.  Moreover, they should gain a little weight every day.  If you notice your kitten is a fussy eater or that it’s not gaining weight steadily, contact your veterinarian.

If you are left to feed the newborn kitten on your own, you have the choice to bottle feed to tube feed the kittens.  Tube feeding can be difficult as kittens need a precise amount of food depending on their weight, so speak to your vet for his recommendations.  In addition, there are other elements of newborn kitten care.  In the beginning, kittens sleep the majority of the day and eat the rest.  However, newborn kittens cannot defecate or urinate on their own and usually the mother will lick and clean her kittens.  In absence of a mother, it is your responsibility to gently clean your newborn kitten and its genital area with a soft, moist cloth.  This should be done every two hours as it helps to stimulate toileting.  Change your newborn kitten’s blankets twice a day and wipe the kittens clean regularly.

About Dr. Amber Reed

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