How to feed a newborn kitten

How To Feed A Newborn Kitten

Ways to feed the baby kitten Ideally, kittens ought to reside close to as well as a nurse through. The way you can their mother’s cat with regard to around eight days prior to becoming separated as well as or even used. In how to bottle feed newborn baby. Bottles that feed your newborn easily you finally choose your formula and just know when and how you can feed your baby.

If you need to start if you‘re taking care of the newborn orphan kitten, the syringe can be a very good choice. However, you would like to ensure you do it right very carefully. Here is the way you feed your baby is that the first nutritional decision you will make for the child.

In several cases a person, the actual owner, don‘t need to worry concerning feeding the actual newborn kittens, as a result of their own mother can do it right correct towards the assured individuals. But, in certain situations, your woman may not really possess a chance to handle the woman‘s which these people must be handled such as orphans as well as ought to be fed bottles.

How to feed a newborn kitten


The Colostrum is that the first mother’s milk. containing all of the antibodies needed to stay the young kitten strong and immune. Inside Colostrum shouldn‘t be the very first beverage of kittens however they should acquire with their first 36 hours. When the kitten has breastfed from its mother It‘ll have colostrum, otherwise, the colostrum ought to be obtained elsewhere. A veterinarian is best places check cat colostrum, as some could have frozen supplies. Inside the emergency calf colostrum could be fed, although not the most suitable.

Milk Replacer

In case a kitten has colostrum then it requires the ideal cat milk. Don‘t result in the mistake of using cow’s milk, because that’ll cause diarrhea and can also make kittens very sick. You also Shouldn‘t use cat milk to cure, because this really is even more of a ruse and never really nutritious. Instead, you ought to find the ideal kitten replacement, often sold as KMR. These are available powder or liquid form, the powder form being the foremost economical.

First Feeding

When the kitten is basically newborn, with eyes closed the very first meal is a little complicated since the sucking habit has not been formed and also the condition is extremely weak particularly if orphaned or malnourished before. As the very best thing to make use of to feed them is really a syringe (with no needle ). It could be crammed with milk and slowly drip or squeeze straight into the kitten’s mouth.

Hold the kitten with one hand and become careful to not get too fast or you risk spraying milk straight into the lung of the cat. Stop once the kitten refuses to drink. It ought to be repeated every 2-3 hours for the very first 36 hours of kitten’s life. Eat every 4 hours a night.


And this how to feed a newborn kitten with a bottle, choose the best kitten feeding bottle rather than the regular baby bottle. The cat bottle may have an inferior nipple, which the kittens can drink. A few cattle feed shops sell nipples hooked up along with plastic material beverage bottles which may be utilized whenever there‘s the litter associated with kittens. Always sterilize bottles, and nipples, after each use.

Later Feedings

After the very first day, or two days, labor could be every 4 hours apart, having a 6-hour stretch overnight. Let the kittens drink around they need and monitor for growth. because a newborn kitten without a mother


You ought to assume parenting tasks when it comes to stimulating the kittens to urinate and defecating. Mom will try this by licking, you‘ll try this having a damp cloth, warm, cloth, or cotton. Having a kitten on her back (either with your hands or upon the bed ), gently rub the bottom of her stomach into her anus, should urinate and defecate within minutes.


As soon as you have other problems. don‘t hesitate to make contact with your vet, the life from the fragile kitten, and otherwise fed properly, they could get very sick.

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How to feed a newborn kitten

To ensure the survival of a newborn kitten, ample nutrition must be provided. Sometimes, however, the mother cat grows ill and cannot nurse her young or she alienates a kitten from the litter due to an injury or disability. In these situations, you will need to step in and take on the role of the mother cat. This often requires bottle feeding a newborn kitten until the kitten is strong enough to eat regular cat food.

Preparing to Bottle Feed Your Kitten

Depending on its size and condition, your newborn kitten will need approximately nine to 12 daily feedings. For the first two weeks of life, you will need to count on feeding the kitten every two hours during the day and every four hours overnight.  

In order to bottle feed the kitten, you will need to gather a few supplies. Regular human baby bottles will likely be too big, but most pet stores have newborn kitten bottles and nipples, as well as a commercial formula specifically designed for kittens. If your kitten is a preemie, you will need to dropper-feed it until it’s strong enough to suck on the bottle. Make sure to check with your veterinarian if this is the case.

What You Need

  • Newborn kitten bottles and nipples
  • Dropper (if needed)
  • Kitten formula
  • Soft towels and washcloths
  • Kitchen scale

Prepare the Formula

Just as with human babies, it’s important that you feed your kitten with sterilized bottles and warm the formula before offering it to the kitten. Taking a few minutes to prepare everything properly will make each meal go a little smoother.

  1. Sterilize the baby bottles and nipples in a boiling water bath for about five minutes. Allow them to drain on a clean towel before using.
  2. If you are using a new nipple, you will need to make a small hole in the tip. Make sure to keep the opening small so the formula does not come out too fast. You can use a pair of cuticle scissors to cut the tip off the nipple. When held upside down, the formula should drip out.
  3. Place a large towel, a washcloth, and a bowl of warm water on a table next to a comfortable chair.
  4. Mix and fill one bottle with kitten formula according to the directions on the package.
  5. Warm the formula by placing the bottle in the bowl of hot water.
  6. Test the temperature by dripping a few drops on your forearm. If it burns, it’s too hot; body temperature is just right.  

Bottle Feed the Kitten

Sit in the chair with a towel folded in your lap. Place the kitten face down on your lap. You can wrap it in the towel to make sure the kitten stays warm while it eats.  

Without raising the kitten’s head, place the nipple in its mouth. The kitten should instinctively start sucking right away. Continue to feed the kitten until it pulls away.

Burp the Kitten

Much like human babies, kittens need to be burped after nursing.   The best way to accomplish this is to hold one hand under the kitten’s abdomen and gently pat its upper back. But do so gently—you don’t want the kitten to vomit. If it doesn’t burp right away, don’t worry, just move onto the next step.

Stimulate Elimination

The mother cat stimulates her kittens’ elimination by licking their anuses and genital area with her rough tongue. You can imitate this process by placing a warm, damp washcloth in the same general region, wiping softly.   Be careful not to wipe too vigorously as this can cause irritation to the sensitive skin in that area. It may take a couple of feedings to see results, so don’t despair. Urination may take even longer.

Let the Kitten Sleep

After nursing, your kitten will most likely fall asleep. Place it in a warm cat bed and let the kitten sleep undisturbed.

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How to feed a newborn kitten

Up to 8 weeks, a newborn kitten needs to stay close to its mother. Therefore, an experienced breeder will never give a kitten to new owners before this age. However, situations are different: the cat refused to feed the kittens, you found a crumb on the street, or the mother cat died. Then you must come to the rescue. A careful approach to business and proper preparation will turn the artificial feeding of a kitten into a soothing and comfortable procedure. When it grows up, it will be indistinguishable from the cats fed by the mother cat. Today, we will tell you how and what to feed a newborn kitten. However, before proceeding to the instructions, carefully read the answers to these important questions.

  • Can newborn kittens drink milk? Of course, kittens need milk in their diet. However, it is a tricky question. Therefore, the answer is yes and no. Regular milk can harm your kitten. In the most favorable scenario, it will have diarrhea. And the worst – the kitten will constantly experience feelings of hunger and slowly die. There is a widespread belief that cow’s milk can replace cat’s milk. However, is it so? Absolutely not. It also does not provide adequate nutrition for a newborn kitten.
  • What kind of milk do you feed kittens? If you have problems with breastfeeding, then you buy a special formula for the baby. A similar mixture is sold for kittens. It is a great and safe milk replaced for them. These foods are available in canned and powdered form. However, we recommend that you use the powder mixture to avoid diarrhea for sure. Where can you buy special kitten food? In any pet store. It would not be superfluous if you turn to the veterinarian for advice and get several recommendations.
  • How often to bottle-feed kittens? Remember that a kitten’s daily diet is 2 tablespoons per 4 ounces of weight. For example, if the kitten weighs 6 ounces, then you should distribute 3 tablespoons throughout all feeding stages. The frequency depends on the age.
    • Kittens under 2 weeks old are fed every 2 hours.
    • Kittens from 2 to 4 weeks old – every 3-4 hours.

If your baby is asleep, and it’s time to feed, you don’t need to wake it up.

  • Nursing newborn kittens: how long can they live without milk? Their life expectancy is no more than 12 hours. However, if you find a kitten 3-4 weeks old, it can live 2-3 days without milk.

How to Feed a Newborn Kitten?

How to feed a newborn kitten

The feeding process consists of the following stages: preparation, feeding, and burping. You should prepare for each of them so that the feedings would pass without unpleasant surprises. You will need:

  • Dry mix for feeding.
  • A kitchen scale to weigh the mixture.
  • A special bottle for feeding kittens (a bottle for a human baby will be too large).
  • Towel.

Let’s have a look at bottle feeding kittens’ instructions in detail.

Dry Mix Preparation

Be sure to sterilize baby bottles in a boiling water bath for about 5 minutes. Let them drain on a clean towel before use. If you are using a new nipple, you need to make a small hole with a needle. Mix kitten food according to package directions and fill the bottle. Place it in a bowl of hot water to warm up the mixture. Check the temperature by dropping a few drops on your hand.


Feeding baby kittens is not an easy task, but if you do everything according to instructions, you will cope with this process. Sit in a chair and place a prepared towel on your knees. Place the kitten there. Many veterinarians advise wrapping a baby in a towel so that it feels warm and comfortable while feeding. Bring the bottle to its mouth and feed until the entire mixture is finished. By the way, almost all kittens instinctively begin to suck, but if this does not happen, then press a little on the jaw so that the kitten opens its mouth.


Kittens need to burp after feeding. Place one hand under the kitten’s belly and gently pat it on the upper back. If your kitten hasn’t poked, don’t panic, just leave it as it is. Most likely, the kitten would cope on its own after a while. By the way, have you noticed that cats stimulate the secretions of their offspring? You can simulate this process with a warm towel. After feeding, the kitten most likely falls asleep.

We would like to recommend that you keep newborn kittens’ feeding schedule, so as not to miss a single feed. You can also leave notes after each meal. If your kitten does not eat well, then immediately contact your veterinarian, and they can examine the pet and help with nutrition. We hope our article was useful and answered all your questions. If not, write them in the comments. Thank you for reading the article to the end. See you soon!


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How to feed a newborn kitten

Choosing the right food for your kitten is an important decision. Nutrition supports her growth, development and can even affect her behavior.

Giving her high-quality kitten food now will help support many long, healthy years as an adult cat. If you’re a first-time cat owner, choosing the right food and knowing how much to feed and when is a daunting task. We’ll help you understand what to feed and when to help set you and your kitten up for success.

What Do Kittens Eat?

Newborn kittens get their nutrition from their mother through nursing. If separated from their mother, a kitten milk replacer may be used. The weaning process may begin around three to four weeks of age, at which time more solid foods can be introduced.

Kitten Nutrition

Kittens need a complete and balanced diet formulated to meet their unique growth and developmental needs.

Look for a protein-rich kitten food to support her growing body and high energy. Calcium supports her teeth and bones and DHA helps support healthy brain and vision development.

Can Kittens Drink Milk?

Once a kitten has been completely weaned from her mother’s milk, she does not need milk in other forms.

Although cow’s milk is often appealing to kittens and adult cats, it doesn’t contain the nutrients they need and cannot replace a complete and balanced diet.

When Can Kittens Eat Dry Food & Wet Food?

As kittens begin to wean, they can start to nibble (and play with) solid foods. Starting with wet kitten food or moistened dry kibble will help through the transition.

Start by combining one part of warm water and three parts of dry or wet kitten food (it should look like oatmeal). Over the next two weeks, gradually decrease the amount of water and increase the amount of food.

By six to eight weeks, kittens can eat wet or dry cat food at will. With wet food and/or dry food, you can provide a greater variety of flavors and textures, which will help support her adventurous nature. You can also feed a combination of wet and dry food or dry kibble by itself.

Once your kitten is fully weaned and eating solids, choose whichever option is recommended by your veterinarian and works best for your situation.

Above all else, make sure the wet or dry food you choose is specifically formulated for kittens.

How Much to Feed a Kitten

Now you know what to feed a kitten, but how much should you feed her? The kitten feeding guide on the back of the package will tell you how much to feed your kitten.

If you’re feeding dry kibble, you can put an entire day’s serving out at once or divide in half and feed her twice a day.

You can also divide wet food in half and feed her twice a day. Any leftovers in her bowl should be discarded. You can store an open can of wet food in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bring it up to room temperature before serving.

The chart below can help you determine how much to feed your kitten. Refer to your kitten’s food packaging and consult with your veterinarian to ensure your kitten is getting the correct amount of calories each day.

Kitten Feeding Chart

Feeding charts are required on all kitten food packaging, but they don’t all look the same. Pay close attention to the chart on your kitten’s food label to ensure you’re feeding her the right amount based on her age and weight.

Here’s a sample kitten feeding chart, similar to what you’ll find on kitten food labels:

Age Weight (lbs) Dry Food Amount (cups)
6 weeks 2/3 to 1-1/3 1/4 to 1/3
7 weeks to 5 months 1-1/2 to 5-3/4 1/3 to 1
6 months to 1 year 5-3/4 to 12 2/3 to 1-1/4

Note: Amounts listed above are for a 24-hour period. Kitten feeding amounts vary from product to product based on calorie content and formula. Consult the feeding chart on the back of your kitten’s food packaging. Individual needs can vary, so consult with your veterinarian regarding special dietary needs.

When to Feed a Kitten

Once you know what to feed your kitten and how much, it’s time to create a feeding schedule that works for you both.

Use your kitten’s name when feeding to help her learn her name, while also associating you with a pleasant activity.

Creating a routine and feeding her at the same time each day can help your kitten feel secure and will aid in forming a bond between you two that will last for many years to come.

You can feed your kitten one to three times a day, as long as you don’t give her more than her total daily calorie needs.

For example, you can put dry kibble in her bowl in the morning and she can graze throughout the day. If a twice-a-day schedule works better, give half her daily amount in the morning and half in the evening.

Same for wet food or a combination of wet and dry food. Just make sure the wet and dry food combined meets the total amount of calories she needs in a day.

When to Stop Feeding Kitten Food

Kittens grow fast and before you know it, you’ll need to switch to adult cat food. For most cats, this transition should happen around her first birthday.

Large breed cats like Maine Coons, however, take a little more time to mature. They may need to continue eating kitten food until between 18 months and 2 years of age.

Your kitten’s first year goes by fast, but ensuring she’s getting the right nutrients during this time will help support her in the years to come.

For more on kitten feeding and nutrition from our experts, visit our Pet Expertise page.

How to feed a newborn kitten

Kittens need protection and tenderness, but new owners always doubt what the best way to feed them is, as this will depend on whether the animal was weaned or not, so to dispel doubts on there are some suggestions about how to feed a kitten.

If for some reason you find a small, or newborn cat, which has clearly not yet been weaned, you should know that you can only feed it milk. Specialists suggest to look for breast type milk at the vets, so that the animal can digest it, but in case of emergencies skimmed milk works fine.

Because the animal is very small and possibly the smallest bottle you find at the pet shop will be too big for it, it is best to feed it with a 3 cubic centimetre syringe, without the needle, fill with milk and slowly push the syringe down so the animal can drink until satisfied

How to feed a newborn kitten

If the kitten is less than 15 days old it should eat every three hours, if it is between 15 days and one month, every 4 hours, if it is between one month and one month and a half, every 4-6 hours, by this point it can already drink milk in a bowl, older than 1 month and a half you can incorporate solid food mixed with milk or water to the diet like baby food.

If your cat is weaned you should feed it special food for kittens, containing all the benefits and nutrients it needs to grow, consult your veterinarian about the need to mix the food with a little water or milk. If your kitten won’t eat, you can use some tips from the article what to do if my cat won’t eat.

If you find a newborn cat in the street, not only will you have to feed it but you will also have to encourage it to defecate and urinate, because they cannot by themselves. Their mother is responsible for licking their genital area to produce the stimulus, in the absence thereof, soak a cotton ball with warm water and pass around their genitals and anus, if you do not your cat is in danger of dying.

For any concerns, consult a veterinarian.

If you want to read similar articles to How to feed a young kitten, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

When a kitten is without a mother, it’s up to us to lend a hand. Bottle feeding is an essential skill for any kitten rescuer, and Kitten Lady makes it easy to learn with this step-by-step tutorial. Anyone can learn to bottle feed, but there are some tips you’ll want to have in order to do so safely. Let’s get started!

How to feed a newborn kitten

1. Get a Bottle and Nipple

You can purchase a bottle at any pet supply store or feed store, or online. Be aware that the nipple that comes on the bottle is not cut; you will need to cut a hole in it yourself. The hole should be big enough that if you hold it upside down, formula can slowly drop out of it — but not so big that it flows out freely. Pictured here are Kitten Lady’s preferred nipples for kittens, available by PetAg, Pet Nurser, and Miracle Nipple.

How to feed a newborn kitten

2. Assess the Kitten

Before you feed a kitten, always make sure you’ve assessed her to make sure it is safe to feed. If a kitten is overheated or too cold, it is not safe to feed until you have gently stabilized their temperature. If a kitten is not able to swallow, it is not safe to feed. If a kitten has a cleft palate, it may be riskier to feed. Be sure that you’ve assessed the kitten’s temperature and body condition before feeding.

Ensure that the kitten is able to swallow by placing a drop of formula on their tongue and feeling the throat with one finger. If the kitten appears stable and is swallowing, proceed.

How to feed a newborn kitten

3. Prepare Your Bottle

You’re going to need to purchase kitten formula — you cannot feed kittens the milk that is in your fridge. Never feed a kitten cow’s milk or other dairy products, dairy alternatives, or human baby formula, as this can be dangerous or even fatal to the kitten. Instead, purchase a kitten formula from a pet supply store, feed store, or online. Once opened, keep the formula refrigerated. Prepare the formula according to the manufacturer’s instructions, making sure that it is fresh, clump free, and comfortably warm.

4. Feed the Kitten

Lay the kitten in a natural, belly-down position — never, ever on her back. Hold the kitten’s head stable with your non-dominant hand. Gently slide the nipple into the kitten’s mouth and invert the bottle to start the flow of formula. The kitten should roll her tongue into a U-shape and begin to swallow. Follow the feeding chart for a guideline of amount and frequency.

Be very careful not to squeeze formula into the kitten’s mouth as this can cause aspiration. If you are feeding a very young kitten and having a difficult time controlling the flow, consider syringe feeding.

If the kitten latches, that’s great, but it’s okay if it takes a while for her to get the hang of things! Bottle feeding is an art form that improves with time, so be patient and don’t give up. If the kitten is having difficulty, try these tips:

How to feed a newborn kitten

Follow this guideline to determine the proper amount and frequency of feeding. Remember that every kitten is different, and this is a guideline–not a rule book!

Be sure you’re holding the head and body stable to guide her. Kittens don’t necessarily understand what you’re trying to do, so it’s up to you to hold them steady and show them.

Take a look at your bottle and nipple, and make sure there are no issues such as a nipple that is cut too big or too small, or clumps in the formula that may be causing a blockage.

Wrap the kitten in a small baby blanket if need be to help her feel focused and swaddled; just make sure she is still in a proper belly-down position.

Rubbing the face with a cloth or toothbrush can simulate a mother’s tongue and help them feel prepared to eat.

How to feed a newborn kitten

5. Complete the Routine

After feeding, always ensure that you’re cleaning the face by wiping away any formula with a warm, wet cloth or baby wipe. Formula left behind can cause the kitten to get a crusty face or moist dermatitis that causes the fur to fall out, so keep her clean.

Once the kitten is cleaned up, make sure she has been stimulated to pee and poop, and is placed back in her warm, safe spot.

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In this video, I share helpful tips for feeding bottle baby kittens who are having a hard time latching.

Bottle feeding is the standard method for feeding orphaned kittens, but if you’re having difficulty feeding a kitten under 2 weeks old, you may want to consider switching from a bottle to a syringe. Before you get started, learn about the benefits and risks of syringe feeding!

A syringe can be greatly beneficial for kittens 0-2 weeks of age. Syringes make it easier to measure in small increments, so you can feel confident that the kitten has eaten a full meal. However, it does come with some risks, as very young kittens don’t have a gag reflex and can easily aspirate if fed too quickly. Here’s what you need to know if you’re going to syringe feed a kitten:

1. Pick the Right Supplies

How to feed a newborn kitten

For small babies, I recommend a 3cc oral syringe (with no needle, of course!) You can find these online for less than ten cents a piece. In a pinch, ask your local veterinarian or animal shelter for a few 3cc syringes; they will definitely have some on hand.

Ideally, you will use the 3cc syringe in combination with a Miracle Nipple. The Miracle Nipple is a very helpful tool that fits on a bottle or on a syringe. The nipple comes in both small and large sizes, and is perfect for helping tiny kittens get a good latch. If no Miracle Nipple is available, it may be challenging to get a kitten to latch, and you may want to opt for a standard bottle.

You will also need to purchase kitten formula. Do not attempt to feed a kitten cow’s milk or other dairy products, dairy alternatives, or human baby formula, as this can be dangerous or fatal for the kitten. Kitten formula can be purchased at most pet supply stores, or can be found in rural areas at feed stores. You can also buy it online by visiting the links on my supplies page.

Tip: Be sure to pick up at least a dozen syringes, as you don’t want to use them over and over again, even if you’re sanitizing them. Used syringes can operate less smoothly, making it harder and more dangerous to feed the kitten.

How to feed a newborn kitten

A neonatal kitten with a 1cc syringe

2. Assess the Kitten

Before you feed a kitten, always make sure you’ve assessed her to make sure it is safe to feed. If a kitten is overheated or too cold, it is not safe to feed until you have gently stabilized their temperature. If a kitten is not able to swallow, it is not safe to feed. If a kitten has a cleft palate, it may be riskier to feed. Be sure that you’ve assessed the kitten’s temperature and body condition before feeding.

Ensure that the kitten is able to swallow by placing a drop of formula on their tongue and feeling the throat with one finger. If the kitten appears stable and is swallowing, proceed.

3. Feed the Kitten

Prepare the formula according to the manufacturer’s instructions, making sure that it is fresh, clump free, and comfortably warm. Pull the formula into the syringe. Lay the kitten in a natural, belly-down position — never, ever on her back. Gently slide the syringe into the kitten’s mouth and slowly drip formula onto the tongue. The kitten should begin to swallow. Very slowly continue to drip formula into the mouth. If the kitten latches on and is suckling, that’s great! Just make sure that she isn’t eating too quickly; help the kitten keep a slow and steady flow.

Tip: Exercise extreme caution while syringe feeding–feed as slowly as possible to avoid aspiration.

How to feed a newborn kitten

Use this chart as a guideline for feeding. Remember that every kitten is different, and this is only a guideline–not a rule book!

Having new babies in the house is a big responsibility, no matter the species. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to keep a litter of newborn kittens healthy and happy, keep reading! We’re going to discuss common health concerns and how to avoid them, even if mama is no longer around.

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Common Health Concerns

The 3 most common issues with newborn kittens are:

1. Low body temperature

2. Low blood sugar

Body Temperature

Newborn kittens need to be kept warm, especially if the mama isn’t present to keep them warm with her body heat. A heating pad on the lowest setting and wrapped with several soft towels works nicely. If you don’t have a heating pad, no worries, you can fill a few water bottles with some warm water and place them next to the kittens as a nice substitute. Make sure your heat source isn’t too hot – the kittens can be easily burned. Also, make sure the kittens can move away from the heat if they get too warm.

Don’t attempt to take the kittens’ temperatures orally or rectally, just check them frequently and make sure they are all equally warm to the touch. You’ll become familiar with their normal temperatures.

Blood Sugar and Feeding Concerns

To maintain stable blood sugar levels, newborn kittens need to be fed about every 2 hours, day and night. If they’re nursing well, their bellies should become somewhat round and they should sleep well between feedings.

If bottle feeding, be sure to use a commercially prepared formula for kittens and feed the kittens in an upright position. It’s extremely important to feed them a nutritionally balanced commercially-prepared formula, this is no time to consult with Google. Also, mama should be on a commercially prepared kitten food as she’s going to need the extra calories while she’s nursing.

To ensure that each kitten is being fed and growing appropriately, it’s a good idea to come up with some sort of system to identify each kitten separately. Try using different colored yard “collars”). Weigh each kitten daily using a kitchen scale. They should gain at least a very small amount of weight every day. Not gaining or losing weight is one of the first signs that something is wrong and the kitten should be examined by your vet.

After they eat, if mama isn’t present, the kittens will need to be stimulated to poop and pee (the mama normally does this by licking them). A cotton ball or tissue dipped in warm water and squeezed out can be used to lightly stroke them along their lower abdomen and onto the genitalia. Be sure to hold them in an upright position while doing this in case there’s any vomiting.


Kittens can become dehydrated for many reasons. The most common are not nursing or being fed frequently enough, intestinal parasites causing vomiting or diarrhea, or being fed a non-commercially prepared formula.

To check for dehydration, look for subtle changes in skin turgor or elasticity. This means that the kitten’s skin doesn’t “bounce back” normally when pinched. Be sure to check this frequently to get an idea of what their normal skin turgor looks like. A good place to check is right below the back of the neck near the shoulder blades.

Another good way to check if the kittens are well-hydrated is to simply lift the upper lip and check their gums. They should be pink and moist. Again, it’s a good idea to check this frequently and become familiar with what’s normal (before you’re faced with any sort of potential issue).

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