How to Take Care of Rescue Kittens

Taking care of rescue kittens is a daunting task as they need a lot of care and love. You must know what to do in order to be able to keep these fragile pets in good health.

Get Milk Fit for a Kitten

A mother cat generally starts weaning her young when they are 4 weeks of age. The weaning is completed by 8 weeks, by which time the kittens can eat solid food. If the rescue kitten you’ve acquired is less than 4 weeks of age, you need to take special care of him. Cow’s milk should never be given to a young kitten as it isn’t nutritious enough. Moreover, the kitten may get diarrhea after consuming cow’s milk.

It’s therefore best to find a female cat with a litter and get her to feed the rescue kitten. If this isn’t possible, you can purchase mother’s milk replacer and a bottle kit at a pet store.

Keeping out Fresh Water

Clean, fresh water in a bowl should always be accessible to the kitten. Ensure that the edge of the bowl low so that the kitten can drink easily from it. The bowl should also be heavy so that it can’t be tipped over by your playful pet. You should ascertain that you keep your pet’s food and water bowls in a place where they won’t get contaminated.

Feeding Quality Kitten Food

Buy enhanced food that’s fit for consumption by kittens instead of adult cat food as the latter may lack some of the essential nutrients that are required by young kittens. It can either be canned food or dry food. Ensure that the food you buy is rich in proteins, calcium and other nutrients. Since your kitten’s stomach is small, be sure to feed him every couple of hours or sooner. You can also keep a bowl of dry food within easy reach so that he can eat when he’s hungry.

Make Sure the Kitten is Warm

Kittens under 3 weeks of age can’t control their body temperature. Consider keeping your pet warm with a warm water bottle or a heating pad covered with a towel. Never feed your kitten if he’s cold as he won’t be able to digest his food properly. Keep a box or a carrier in a warm place and cover it with a warm blanket or towel and let your kitten sleep in it. Also be sure to change the bedding daily as young kittens don’t have proper bladder control.

Your kitten’s bed area should be dry, clean and safe so that he gets the required amount of sleep he needs to grow.

Maintain a Litterbox

  • Train your kitten to use the litter box as he gets older
  •  Use a litter box that the kitten can easily climb into or out of
  • The litter box should be filled with regular litter as the clumping variety can be ingested by your kitten during self grooming and this can cause a blockage in his digestive track 
  • Always keep the litter box clean to encourage good litter box habits.

Know When to Go to a Vet

Unless your kitten is ill and is suffering from diarrhea, loss of appetite or lethargy, you can delay the trip to the vet by a couple of days to give him time to become stronger. He should also be de-wormed as advised by the vet. Ensure that your kitten gets the required vaccinations for rabies and distemper and that he is tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus at the right age.

By taking proper care of your rescue kitten, you can train him to be a sociable and loving companion.