10 day old kittens left for 18hrs - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2003, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
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10 day old kittens left for 18hrs

the young mother, about 8-9 months old herself, has dissappeared, leaving her 5 ten day old kittens unattended-she was a stray, left behind while we were interviewing for a nanny position. We've been feeding her, but she has remained a outdoor cat mostly-we only let her stay indoors when it got bitter cold & we knew she was pregnaunt. The kittens were first out on the screened porch, in a comfy box we provided with blankets and insulation between box & concrete floor-we moved the box inside with the kittens to a back, unused bathroom on the second day, even though a vet said there was no need to-the cat would come to the kitchen whenever it needed to go out-usually she returned within 1-2 hours, sometimes 10 minutes-it has been a little more than 18 hours since she was let out last-the day before, the mother cat had moved all the kittens to a more secluded spot, behind some boxes where we really can't see them too well. I suppose she did this to protect them from; light of bathroom?the new babysitter? as far as I know, noone has touched the kittens or disturbed them in any fashion-I did cover them the night before she moved them when she was gone for 3-4 hours-anyway, what should we do? the kittens are starting to cry, most likely hungry?thanks
andrea is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2003, 10:13 AM
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If the kittens have been left for eighteen hours, I would feed them now! If you decide to wait to see if the mother returns, they will either die or be too weak to nurse. You can buy an actual kitten bottles and formula at a pet store and sometimes at your veterinary office, don't feed the kittens cow milk. You will have to feed them every three to four hours. Also, if their mother doesn't return at all, which can happen, you're going to have to stimulate them to use the bathroom. You should use a soft cloth and dampen it with warm water and rub it gently on their rear. You will also have to do with every three to four hours. They start to use litter boxes at about four weeks. Also, they will have to be kept warm. You can use a heating pad, but don't put it directly underneath them, put it off to the side so if the kittens get to hot they can crawl away from it. Have you ever taken care of kittens this young? If not, feel free to ask as many questions as you have, I've been doing it for years now. I might suggest, if you have a local animal rescues group, you may consider calling them, to see if they’ll care for them kittens because it’s a major undertaking. Most likely the mother wont return if she’s already been gone 18 hours. She was probably too young or traumatized from the move of the kittens. PM me if you have many questions.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2003, 10:47 AM
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sorry to hear of your situation. Sounds like the momma cat was just to young and wasn't able to handle of the stress of having kittens and caring for them. Firsts off I would feed them right away and stimulate them to go to the bathroom.A kitten formula which can be bought at a pet store or vet...KML is a good formula...these come in powder form or ready mix...the ready mix form is handy as there is no mixing, but more expencive. The powder is what I always use and I make several bottles a head of time and freez them and then take them out as is needed. The formula should be warmed to room temp.It may take the kittens a while to nurse from a bottle, but most get the hang of it. A good idea is to weight them if you have a food scale... this will give you an indication if they are getting enough food and growing. This is a major job ahead of you with feedings through out the night every three hours or so along with stimulating them to go to the bathroom...both pee and poop this is done by rubbing the bottoms with a damp kleenex ...works best in a circular motion....they should pee every time you do it and poop once or twice a day. this important to do after every feeding because they can't go on thier own. Also if you have a heating pad this will help them stay warm...at this young age they can't control their own body temp so would have had their momma to keep them warm. place the kittens in a cat carrier or cardboard box and place the heating pad underneath set on low. make sure the kitttens can crawl to an area where the pad isn't placed in case they get too warm. you might find that this job will be too difficult so you might want to check with your local SPCA or vet and see if there is an animal rescue group near by that would be willing to take on this job for you. Good luck and keep us posted.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2003, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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for all of your advice-luckily, the mom cat returned right after getting off of line this morning-all of the five kittens seem fine but I don't want to let the cat out again-We have a old litter box from a previous cat that passed away, will the mom cat use this or do we need to get an other? And is there a brand of kitty litter that is child friendly? we have 15 month old twins and I've always heard the litter is dangerous for small children? I think I will move the kittens back into the box tonite, wearing gloves-do they need to be rubber to disguise my scent? thanks again
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2003, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Oh good. I'm glad the mother cat came back. As for the litter box, your old one should be fine. Non-clumping, non-scented, just the regular clay kind of kitty litter would be good to use. Putting on rubber gloves does not matter; the mother cat already knows your scent. If the kittens are not already in a quiet, warm room, move them there and leave them there. You should only be going into the room to feed the mother cat and change her litter box. If you continue to move them to different locations, the mother cat will become very stressed. This might cause her to ignore the kittens and even worse, kill them . The litter is not dangerous for your children; it’s the cat pooh that could cause problems. Close the door to where the kittens are with the mother and your children shouldn’t be able to get into it. Also, when you go into the room, I wouldn’t suggest taking your children in with you, it will only add more stress to the mother cat. Also, provide plenty of fresh water for the mother cat.
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