Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kitten Care: Raising Tiny Newborns

It Ain't Easy

Raising newborn kittens may be the most challenging, time-consuming task you've ever attempted, and can be both intensely rewarding and heartbreaking. If you do not have the time or the emotional stamina to deal with the potential of losing kittens you've invested your heart in, you might want to leave the job to people who are trained and experienced. Little lives are at stake here.

So someone has dumped a box of newborns in the court of your apartment building, with or without the mother cat. Where do you go from here?

If the mother cat is with the kittens and seems to be in good health, you're lightyears ahead. She will do a lot of the work for you, and your task will be to make sure she's healthy by taking her to the veterinarian right away; next, that she's nursing all the kittens and attending to their cleaning.
If the mother cat abandons her kittens or was never there, this article will give you some tools to help turn the odds in favor of the kittens.

How Old Are They, Anyway?

Kittens mature so rapidly the first three or four months, that your job as surrogate mother will be determined by the kittens' age at any given time. This key, by Jeri Dopp, gives a quick way of estimating age.