If you wind up with a small kitten that's too young to be away from its mother, then you will need to take over mothering it until it is old enough to be more independent. A young kitten will depend on its mother to feed it, to help it relieve itself and even for its warmth. This article will serve as a guide to help you learn what you will need to do to care for that kitten as its mother would.
How to feed an orphaned kitten properly
One of the first things you want to do is to make sure you get some nutrients into the kitten on a regular basis. You can purchase kitten formula and a very small bottle at a pet store, pet supply store or veterinarians office. You should never give a young kitten cow's milk; it can cause them to experience digestive problems that can lead to serious issues and has no nutritional value.
Once the kitten formula has been opened, it should be refrigerated. When you put some into a bottle to feed the kitten, run the bottle under hot water for a few moments to heat it up. Since the bottle is so small, it won't take long to get the formula warm; always test it on your wrist so you don't accidentally burn the kitten due to it being too hot.
You can hold the kitten to feed it. Tap the nipple on the kittens lips gently and it will start eating. Let it eat until it is content. If the kitten is very young and it isn't taking the bottle, then you may need to give it formula through a syringe, which you can also buy where you get the formula and bottles.
The important thing to remember when using a syringe is to push the formula into the kitten's mouth and give them plenty of time to drink each drink. Otherwise, you can cause some formula to get in their lungs and this can lead to pneumonia and can be fatal.
Helping the kitten to go to the bathroom
Each time you are done feeding the kitten, you want to help it to go to the bathroom. The mother cat does this with her warm tongue, so you will need to replicate the feel of her tongue by using a soft material, such as a piece of cotton or gauze. Get it wet with a small amount of warm water and rub it on the lower part of the kittens belly and gently work your way down. The kitten should urinate several times a day, but don't be surprised if it doesn't pass feces every day.
Keeping the kitten warm
The easiest way to keep the kitten warm is to keep it in a small box with towels in it. Under the towels, you can place a heating pad. Try the heating pad on the lowest setting first. With a small box, a low setting should do the job.
You should notice the kitten getting stronger and growing on an almost daily basis. If you notice the kitten doesn't appear to be thriving, then you should take it in to a veterinarian at a clinic like Beaver Lake Animal Hospital to make sure it is healthy.