If your mother cat is unable or unwilling to tend to her young, or if you have just rescued newborn kittens, the responsibility falls to you. Taking care of newborn kittens is a full time job that resembles full-blown motherhood.
You'll find yourself on a two-hour feeding schedule and worrying about bowel habits just like a mother of a newborn baby. In order to care for your kitten, you'll need to learn the proper techniques for feeding him. This simple task forms a bond between you and your new pet that can last a lifetime.
Things You'll Need:
Small feeding bottle
4 oz. Evaporated milk
4 oz. Water
1 Egg yolk
1 Tbsp. Sugar
Damp paper towels
1. Purchase a small feeding bottle that's specially designed for kittens and puppies from a veterinary clinic or farm supply store.
2. Make a homemade formula that will meet your kitten's nutritional needs. Mix together 4 oz. of evaporated milk, 4 oz. of water, 1 beaten egg yolk, and 1 Tbsp. of granulated sugar. The egg yolk provides essential protein for your growing kitten and the sugar gives the formula a sweet flavor so it resembles mother's milk.
3. Pour 4 cc of kitten formula in to the bottle and heat it by placing the bottle into a cup of hot water for about a minute. Be sure to refrigerate the unused formula in a sealed plastic container.
4. Test the temperature of the formula by tipping the bottle upward and allowing a few drops of liquid to fall onto your wrist. If the formula feels too warm, it probably is and you should let it cool before feeding your kitten.
5. Hold the kitten in one hand and insert the nipple of the bottle into his mouth. Keep the bottle turned slightly upward, ensuring that the nipple stays full of milk to prevent the kitten from swallowing air.
6. Let the kitten eat until he's no longer interested or until bottle is empty. Resist the urge to feed your newborn kitten more than 4 cc of formula at a time.
7. Use a damp paper towel to gently massage the kitten's abdomen. Mother cats lick their kittens' stomachs to encourage them to have a bowel movement. You will need to assume this role of motherhood in order to keep your kitten healthy. Gently massage his abdomen in long, downward strokes until he goes. If he doesn't go after five minutes, let him rest a bit and try again later.
8. Clean up and get ready to feed your kitten again in two hours. Clean your kitten's bottom after he's produced a bowel movement and wash the bottle and nipple in warm soapy water.
9. Be prepared to adjust your kitten's formula allowance as he grows. You'll know your kitten is ready for a larger meal if he roots for food after he's eaten or if he shows signs of hunger within an hour and a half of his last meal. Add a few cc of formula each time you adjust his intake and be ready to make more and more formula every week until he's ready for solid foods