Having a cat at home that has just had babies is a great responsibility. Knowing how to care for newly hatched kittens is important to their survival. Although their mother will take care of and feed them, you must help her not to make mistakes and ensure the well-being of the newborns. In this article, we give you some tips for the care of new born cats.
Tips for Caring for New born Kittens
The mother cat, by her maternal instinct, will take care of and take care of her puppies. Although sometimes, they can have some strange or wrong behavior that can endanger the lives of kittens that have just arrived in the world.
The following tips will help you grow strong, beautiful and healthy:
Kittens can’t get cold at night
Your cat may decide not to sleep with her young. In that case, you will need to provide heat with a hot water bottle or a heater. Take care that the temperature is not excessive; Too much heat could burn kittens’ tender fur or dehydrate them.
Turn the heater to low and cover it with a sheet folded several times. Remember not to leave the heater on for too long; heat build-up could be dangerous. It is safest to use a bag filled with warm water, although the water will need to be changed frequently.
During the night it is convenient to use the bag instead of the heater. Most of the cats will spend most of their time in the nest with the kittens, and the information we have given is only in case you have a cat that only comes to the nest to feed the young.
Female cats often lick the anal region of kittens to stimulate their excretory functions. Afterward, the droppings may be eaten. If your cat does not act this way, you can rub the kittens’ tummy and anal region with wet cotton to stimulate excretion.
Then you will have to clean up the solid and liquid waste. Diarrhea in kittens is usually a symptom of a problem. If you notice this, call your vet. He will probably suggest that you bring its a stool sample. Immediate treatment is important to avoid dehydration of the animals.
Correct healing of the navel
After a while you may notice that in some kitten there is a small lump above the navel, which indicates that it has not healed well and that a hernia has developed. This can be dangerous, and you should see your vet right away.
Newborns are only dedicated to sleeping, eating and eliminating waste during the first days. Their entire diet consists of breast milk, which is a complete food for them.
For this reason, the mother’s diet must continue to be enriched as before delivery. If you notice that some of the kittens are weaker than others, put the weaker ones on the rear nipples.
By the fourth week, you will notice that the young are no longer infants. They will have opened their eyes and will come out of the box.
They will soon start eating other foods in addition to breast milk. You can get them used to adult cat food by putting some food on one of their fingers for the kittens to lick on.
Kittens tend to like food for human babies, just like adult cats. However, this can be a somewhat expensive solution. Kittens begin to get used to adult cat food when they come into contact with their mother’s food.
After stepping on it and wiping their paws with their tongues, they often return to the feeder to eat more. Many people recommend not giving tuna to cats at this age because it can be difficult for kittens to digest. The young are usually weaned at six weeks.
If for some reason the baby cat cannot breastfeed or feed itself, you should do it as if it were an orphan kitten.
Attention with the litter box
As of the month, the kittens spend little time in the nest, except to sleep. It is possible that by then the cat has moved her young to a place more to her liking. Since she has already given in by agreeing to have her young in a place of your choosing, at this point it will be difficult for you to win the battle by trying to put the kittens back in the nest box.
As soon as possible, the cat will move them back to the place chosen by her. So you accept their will, and agree to their wishes. There is only one place in which you should not allow the mother to install the kittens, and that is the “litter box”.
Some time after opening their eyes, the kittens will learn to use the litter box by observing the mother. It is unhygienic and dangerous to allow them to sleep where they deposit their droppings.
In this case, it is usually not too difficult to overcome the will of the cat. However, if the cat has moved her family to the litter box before the kittens have opened their eyes, the kittens are likely to drown or ingest grains of the sand, because they do not realize the purpose of the sand. .
Be careful not to accidentally hit them
At first, when kittens start to spend part of their time running, exploring, and sleeping around the nest, they are not used to the size of your feet and body, so be more careful than normal when moving or moving. you feel.
Kittens will soon learn to get off your feet, but while they are young you will need to be careful when walking and sitting.
Some of the time they are out of the nest will be spent following the mother, but generally, there is always at least one kitten that ventures out on its own as soon as it gets the chance.
And, even if you only open a closet or a drawer for a moment, the curious will manage to sneak in without anyone noticing. You may need to count the kittens, and should be done at feeding time, before bedtime, or before you leave the house.
When to start petting baby kittens
After four weeks, it is convenient to begin to accustom the kittens to being petted and handled. You have probably had the chance to touch the little ones before, but maybe the mother has indicated that this was not to her liking.
In any case, now that the kittens can see you. The sound of your voice, which was the first thing they knew about you, the contact of your hand and your visual image will soon come to represent something very pleasant for them.
At first they may be shy, but as they watch their mother insistently they will see her with you and hear her purrs with pleasure, and soon they will imitate her behavior with you.
During this period the kittens’ temperaments are developing, and pleasant encounters will leave unforgettable impressions on the little animals. Sudden movements and aggressive behavior are to be avoided. Kittens enjoy games, but not threats or awkward handling.
Toddlers and newborn cats
If there are young children at home, they should be taught to properly hold and hold the kittens. At first, have them sit on the ground so that if they drop a kitten, it won’t hurt itself.
It instills in children the idea that kittens should not be hit or wrestled, and that they are deeply annoyed when their tails are pulled. If a kitten scratches a child, it will surely be because the child has mistreated him.
Invariably a cat will warn with growls and attitudes that it does not like a certain way of being handled and will almost always attack as a reaction and not as aggression.
What vaccines do baby cats need?
Kittens are usually vaccinated before they are twelve weeks old; later they must be given booster injections, after weaning. Your veterinarian will indicate the appropriate times and the types of vaccines recommended for your cat.
Remember that from weaning the kittens stop receiving the antibodies contained in mother’s milk; therefore, vaccines become essential for your well-being.
Baby kittens can’t go outside
Under no circumstances should you allow kittens to go outside or to another home until they are well protected against disease. Kittens will be ready to go to their new homes around ten to twelve weeks of age.
Kittens’ relationship with their father
If both parents of the kittens are yours, you will probably see that the father does not interact very much with the kittens during the first few weeks. Occasionally it will approach the nest to observe.
Once the little ones have opened their eyes and begin to venture out of the nest, their father will enjoy playing with them. Sometimes it will seem like he is too rough with his children, but you will notice that kittens love it.
If the father gets tired of the games before the kittens, he will most likely go to sleep in a high place where the pups cannot reach him. Cats also resort to this tactic when they want to be alone. Sometimes the father can hurt the little ones, but this is very rare.
You will notice that something abnormal is happening because the mother will come to the defense of the kittens, and after a brief altercation the mother and father will retreat to groom and sleep for a while. However, if this happens, it will be advisable to separate the father from the rest of the family.
How many kittens to keep?
By looking at the litter as it develops, you will be able to observe the kittens’ individual personalities.
You will establish which are the kittens that always recognize your voice, which ones learn to use the litter box before the others, which ones get used to solid food more quickly, which are lazy, which are active, which are curious and which are independent.
At eight weeks, you will have already been able to decide how many kittens you want to keep and how many will go to new homes. The kittens you pick one day may not be the same kitties you pick the next, but after a while you can make a decision that you won’t regret later.
If later you decide to become a serious breeder, your choice will be easier since with experience you can easily choose which animals are good as breeders, as show animals or as companion animals.
Have a responsible attitude
If you have decided to raise your cat and plan to continue doing so, assume a responsible attitude. Many cats of both sexes have to be unnecessarily euthanized each day because a home cannot be found for them.
The feeling of having to euthanize unwanted cats is terrible. Find good homes for your kittens, preferably before you mate your cat.
When you realize the time and effort it takes to breed cats responsibly, you may change your mind about it.
Cats that are not to be used for breeding must be neutered so that they do not experience the suffering caused by unsatisfied reproductive instincts.
It is possible that they will become even more affectionate, or, for sure, they will not be less so, and they will be happier, calmer and healthier.