Fostering Kittens: 0 to 8 Weeks Old, And Taking Care Of Young Kittens

If you are doing this for an organization, remember they are the owners and are responsible for the animal.

Kittens: what you may need: bottle, formula, warming devices, baby wipes, thick gloves, lots of paper towels, a kitty litter box, bed, and food and water dishes. Also very important to have are toys – so they don’t get bored. Absolutely no catnip at first.

You may want to visit a Veterinarian, to get an idea of age of the kitten if you are not experienced with kittens. Veterinarians are also great on getting tips on what to do, and will provide formula if you need it.

Zero to four weeks: This is a time when they should be left in care of Mother cat, but sometimes kittens show up without her.

You will need to keep a very tight schedule: feeding at least every 2 hours with kitten formula. Remember, all babies have special needs. Cat milk or human formula is not for kittens, please do not use. Formula should be warmed in a saucepan or in a warmer. Do not use microwave to warm up formula is not recommended – it destroys nutrients and can become much hotter than you intend it to. You can hold the kitten while feeding, for first few weeks you can do it with bare hands, after that use thick gloves. The hand that holds the bottle will need it. Kittens will massage fingers with claws, as they would do to their Mother.

Baby wipes are used to clean around the face, and can be used to stimulate bowel and bladder movement. The Mother cat would lick her kittens to do this. You must gently rub the lower stomach. Have paper towels in the area to catch the waste, cradle kitten in the paper towel, and use thumb to make downward strokes, from ribs to tail, like Mother cat would lick..

Keep kittens warm – they need help with this, a hot water bottle in a towel works fine.
A house breaking pad under the kittens is a good idea, and will come handy later.

Four to six weeks: They have teeth and will be willing to eat some solid food, but formula is still needed – use canned kitten food mixed with formula. Feeding is also less frequent, about every three to four hours. Food must still be warmed. When first feeding, do not be surprised to see kittens playing or sitting in the food before they figure out what it is. They will clean their paws and then they will go back for more. Dry kitten food should also be introduced slowly. Leave a small amount of dry food out, in a small dish. They will play with it, but it will get eaten.

The kittens are now able to void their bladders, and move their bowels. So now it is time for litter training, any litter is fine. You will need a very low box. The kittens will catch on quickly. The first time, use a house breaking pad (the one they laid on) with small amount litter on top. Their scent is there so they know it is safe. If there is a mistake, simply place kitten in the litter box.