Feeding a newborn cat is an extremely arduous task. The renowned English veterinarian Liz Barton describes the steps to follow for a puppy to grow up healthy and healthy.
No one can care for a newborn cat like his own mother would . However, if it does not appear, has died or cannot take care of its young, it is time for you to intervene and save the lives of the puppies. Read on to find out what to do and when to see a vet.
Preparing to care for a baby cat
Be prepared to get up several times in the middle of the night and feed him every two hours for about two months. Baby cats can be adopted between 8 and 9 weeks of age , so this stage will end relatively quickly.
Newborn cats need care all day, but it doesn’t take long. A few minutes of care every so often can save your life.
How to feed a newborn cat
Newborn kittens are so small that they have very little energy reserves . If the cat is not fed properly, its development and life will be in danger.
Cats that are only days old can have low blood sugar and can quickly become cold and dehydrated.
What to feed a baby cat
Do not give him cow’s milk that you consume , this is not going to help them at all. They need a “special milk” for nursing cats.
This milk is sold in veterinary clinics or animal supply stores. It can also be purchased online by finding out beforehand the quality of the product.
This food reproduces the composition of cat’s milk . It usually comes with a dosage chart, a teaspoon to measure the amount, and a bottle with its nipples.
Milk temperature is very important
You have to be very careful with the temperature of the preparation. As would be done with a human baby, the milk must be heated in a water bath.
If we heat it in the microwave, very hot bubbles of liquid will form and others very cold. Remember to take a little forearm to test the temperature, which should be about 37-38 ° C .
⚠ You have to feed the baby kitten with its legs down, as if it were resting on the ground with all four legs .
If you put it on its back, the milk will go to the respiratory system instead of the digestive system and can even cause death. You have to think about the posture she would have when sucking on her mother, practically horizontally and belly down .
How to know the age of a newborn cat?
- Between 0 and 3-4 days of life: He still has the umbilical cord and his eyes closed.
- 5-6 days: moves clumsily, crawling. They no longer have an umbilical cord but their eyes are still closed.
- Between 7 and 9 days: your eyes begin to open.
- Between 10 and 18 days: his eyes are open but he has no teeth. To check it, you can put your finger, very delicately, in his mouth to feel his gum.
- Between 15 and 20 days: the lower teeth are felt when they touch your gum.
- Around 20 days: period in which the teeth come out.
- Between 20 and 30 days: he already has teeth and is more agile.
How much milk should a cat drink according to its age
The Feline Protection association , which has been fighting for more than 10 years to protect the cats of Madrid, has published a table with which you can guide yourself with the amounts .
Of course, apply common sense and the indications of the milk substitute that you have bought.
|0 – 5 days||Every 2-3h||Between 2-5ml / in each dose|
|5-10 days||Every 2-3h||Between 3-7ml / in each dose|
|10-15 days||Every 3h||Between 4-10ml / in each dose|
|15-20 days||Every 3-4h||Between 5-10ml / in each dose|
|20-25 days||Every 4-5h||Between 8-15ml / in each dose|
What if a baby cannot breastfeed
If the puppy is too weak to suckle and attempts to feed him are unsuccessful, this is an emergency situation.
May kitten spit milk through the nose and mouth . However, if you swallow a drop, it is already an achievement.
If he does not swallow anything, it can be rubbed very delicately with a little sugar water on his gums, but he must be taken to the vet as soon as possible. Once they can suckle and swallow, kitten milk replacer is the best option.
How long can a newborn kitten go without eating?
Ideally, feed a newborn kitten every two hours during the day and night . Their stomachs are small. If they had their mother they would drink milk every little time and little quantity.
What to feed abandoned kittens?
As we’ve noted above, there are quite effective newborn cat specific milk substitutes.
If your cat is orphaned and you don’t have immediate access to kitten milk replacer, giving a small amount of sugar water will help keep the kitten hydrated until you can purchase the breast milk replacement product.
Give milk with a syringe to a cat that is days old
Ideally, use a special bottle for newborn cats. The syringe is nothing like a mother’s nipple, because of its hardness and texture. The syringe should only be opted for in an emergency.
If you use it, it has to be very slow so that it falls drop by drop. Also, NEVER introduce it from above, “that it does not fall from the sky . ” It must be lateral, that the syringe points to the palate.
Fundamental care of a cat less than a month old
A mother cat will not only feed her kittens, but keeps them warm and encourages them to urinate and excrete by licking under their tails after each meal.
You can contact a local shelter to see if they have nursing cats . Mother cats often accept baby kittens that are not their own. If not, you should take care to keep it warm and clean.
How to keep a newborn cat warm
If you can get it together with other cats, the better. Sharing body heat with other kittens in a warm room is a good option. If not, you can use a mat, pillow, or thermal towel.
Be careful not to get too hot, as kittens can also overheat. Cat babies cannot regulate their own body temperature.
In Company, Better
You can place the kitten on your chest so that it feels your heartbeat , just as it would feel its mother’s. It is also very positive to give them gentle massages between our hands. Of course, remember to heat them before if you have them cold, the puppy can cool down very quickly!
What milk does a cat that is days old need?
They need to drink their specific “milk” for newborn cats every two hours, day and night , until they are between 4 and 5 days old and can take slightly larger feeds less often. See the table above.
It can be special powdered milk for cats that contains colostrum, if it is natural better than better.
How to clean a baby cat
The puppies have to be dry and clean. If you notice that they are sticky or wet, you should dry them very carefully with a clean towel.
If the baby has been stained, either with milk or vomit, it must also be cleaned. So that it does not get cold, you can moisten a gauze in warm water and, completely drained, pass it over the area where it is dirty.
Remember that afterwards you must leave it completely dry . If he were with his mother, she would continually wash him to keep him clean.
You have to help them pee and poop
After feeding, they need to urinate, so you have to gently stimulate them under their tails with a wet cotton ball (imitating the mother’s lick) until they urinate and excrete.
What should I ask my vet about feeding a newborn cat?
A vet will advise you on the best breast milk substitute for your newborn cat.
Cat’s milk is very different from milk from other species with high levels of protein and fat , so feeding it with other types of milk (cow, sheep, goat or non-dairy milk) can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems, and it will not give the kitten the nutrients it needs.
After weaning, you can start giving them solid puppy food.