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Fostering: Orphaned Kitten Litters
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Responsibilities Of Orphaned Kitten Litter Foster

Orphaned kittens are the most vulnerable creatures that we place in foster and REQUIRE labor intensive care.  At a minimum, you should be prepared for the following:

  • Kittens will soil their nest box daily, so use disposable cardboard boxes and washable or disposable bedding.
  • Use a heating pad on one side of the nest box only, so that kittens can move away if they get too warm. It is important to keep the pad at a low setting.
  • Buy commercial kitten formula and a feeding bottle or syringe that holds between two and four ounces. Feed slowly! (NOTE: Ask your veterinarian, shelter or rescue group to show you the ideal ways to bottle feed kittens.)
  • Sterilize feeding bottles with boiling water before filling with kitten formula.
  • Don’t warm formula in the microwave – it creates hot spots that might burn the kitten’s mouth. Instead set the filled bottle in a bowl of very warm water to raise it to the right temperature.
  • Feed kittens while they are resting on their tummies. Tipping them on their backs to feed can cause them to aspirate fluid into their lungs.
  • Newborn kittens need to nurse every two to three hours.
  • Until the kittens are about three weeks old, they need help with urinating and defecating. After every feeding, use a damp, slightly rough terrycloth washcloth to stimulate the anus and urinary openings.
  • By four weeks of age you can introduce some solid food. Strained baby food meats or premium canned kitten foods are a good choice early on.
  • As soon as the kitten starts eating solid food, a bowl of water should be available at all times.