Orphan Kitten Care
Basics

Giving a newborn orphan kitten care.

Most of us can’t resist a helpless little kitten. They look absolutely irresistible and can steal your heart clean away in a very short space of time.

Each year, thousands of caring families rescue and adopt an orphan kitten or kittens.

newborn kittens

Unfortunately an even greater number of these precious little animals are not so lucky and must fight to merely survive.

It is important to note that abandoned kittens over the age of eight weeks old are sometimes impossible to tame.

You will have much better luck taking in a kitten that is four to five weeks old. (Although, should you find yourself caring for an orphaned kitten, chances are he or she will be much younger, even a newborn.)

Orphan kitten care is really quite basic.

These little balls of fluff need warmth, food, love and, in some cases, immediate first aid as they are often found cold and hungry.

What you will have to do is provide all the love and care that the missing mother cat would give her kitten.

Any orphan must be seen by a vet as soon as possible.

Until it has been given a clean bill of health by the vet, you must keep the little one isolated from any other pets.

The ideal place to keep a newborn kitten until she is comfortable with her new surroundings is an ordinary box or, if available, a cat carrier.

It needs to be placed in a warm, draft-free area apart from other animals.

If opting for the box, it should be covered with a blanket or towel.

A towel should be placed inside the box, as well. Kittens have lots of accidents. (Change this bedding frequently.)

Providing the proper diet is essential when faced with the responsibility of orphan kitten care.

Cow’s milk is not recommended.

Cow’s milk does not contain the needed nutrition and can cause diarrhea, which is extremely dangerous for a newborn kitten.

It is very dangerous to feed a chilled kitten. If the kitten is chilled - cold to the touch, hardly moving and not screaming for its mother - then get it to a vet right away.

If that is not possible, phone an emergency clinic for advice.

Body heat must be maintained at all times, (of course avoid overheating.)

Orphaned kittens under three weeks old should be kept out of direct sunlight.



Many pet stores carry orphan kitten care kits that contain kitten formula and other items, necessary for a successful rescue.

You can also contact your local animal shelter, many provide care items at no charge if you are only fostering the kitten, until it reaches an adoptable age.

Vets are also often very generous with supplies, if you are caring for an orphaned kitten, on a temporary basis. Some may go as far as waiving the fee for the initial office visit.

Newborn orphan kittens should not be overfed.

They need frequent small meals rather than a substantial one, avoid an over-full tummy.

Feeding Newborn Kitten

After feeding rub kitty gently all over with your hand or a cloth to substitute the licking the mother cat gives the kitten.

The kitten formula should be slightly warmer than skin temperature for newborn kittens, room temperature for older kitties.

If you happen to rescue a kitten during non-business hours, you can do an Internet search for emergency kitten formula, you can also find a wealth of information about caring for orphaned kittens on these emergency kitten formula sites.

Kittens four weeks and older are usually ready for litter box training basics.

Younger kittens must be stimulated, a task originally performed by the mother cat, in order to eliminate waste products.

It isn’t as bad as it sounds.

Gently rub the kitten’s stomach, rectum and genitals, for about 60 seconds, with a cotton ball that has been moistened with warm water. If results aren’t achieved in that time, repeat procedure after next feeding. (This should be done after each feeding.)

Orphan kitten care is not complicated, but there is an element of commitment involved. However, this commitment is worth it and it is guaranteed that you will feel the same way, each time you look into that fuzzy little face!

Comprehensive advice about caring for orphaned kittens can be found here Orphan Kitten Care FAQ

basket of kittens

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