May 29th, 2005, 10:45 AM
I am going to be temporarily fostering a litter of newborn kittens and their mom, i will be getting them tomorrow...sort of a desperate last-minute situation... anyone have any advice on what sort of things i need to have on hand, or anything i should be particularly aware of? I have been researching it on the internet a little and will probably pick up a book of some sort today, but does anyone have any suggestions based on personal experience? I have never had kittens before...i have also never had nine cats in my apartment, but i do have an open spare bedroom and i hate to think of the alternative for these little guys (i am trying to push the idea that the momma cat and her babies count as one, not six, however, with my fiance :) ). The kittens were just born a couple of days ago so i'm a little nervous. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
May 29th, 2005, 11:09 AM
I have fostered litters (one with a feral mom!)
Just make sure the mom and kittens have a quiet and private place to stay. IF there are too many intrusions, noise or other animals around, the mom may abandon her babies.
Get everything set up before you get the cat. A nice soft bed in a closet may be a good idea, or you can put the family in a dog crate (door open) with a blanket partially covering it.
You might want to get a pet feeding bottle and some KMR just in case!
Mom is going to be eating a lot, so have enough food on hand! Put the litterbox fairly close to wherever the kittens and mom are. She's in a strange place with her babies and is bound to upset and nervous and won't want to go far from her litter.
Other than feeding and cleaning litter, leave her alone with her babies for a few days. Then you can start sitting with them and handling the babies. Make sure they are all nursing.
Fostering moms and litters is a lot of work, but it's very satisfying!:)
May 29th, 2005, 12:07 PM
The less you have to handle the kittens, the better. We've fostered litters before and my mom always handled the kittens (only if she had to) in a wash cloth. Make sure they have an area to themselves (dog/cat crate was a good idea) and that they are not disturbed too much, cuz you'll run into problems if mom feels threatened (sounds like that won't be a problem in your situation). You need to make sure they are all feeding. We've had to nurse kittens by hand in the past, in emergencies, and you can buy kitten milk (replacement milk) from pet stores...if you did have to do this, an eyedropper or medicine syringe works! The little guys will dehydrate so fast, but as long as they're feeding they should be ok!
May 30th, 2005, 08:48 PM
Thanks for the tips,guys....i brought momma and her five babies home a few hours ago and have left them alone since. They are in a seperate bedroom that only has a desk in it (no places to hide) and i set up an open dog cage with blankets and a bed in it and then draped a sheet over the top and the sides of the cage. When i opened the door and peeked in, momma cat was not in the cage with her babies. I have been warned many times to make sure the kittens are all being nursed sufficiently and are all being stimulated to go to the bathroom. I'm nervous i won't be able to tell. Is it a (likely) possiblity that she will nurse several of the kittens but not one or two? How often should i be checking in on them for the next couple of days while i am trying to let them settle into their new environment? I don't want to disturb them but i want to make sure they are being taken care of. Momma is a feral but she appears to be more scared than wild or aggressive so hopefully that won't be too big of an issue. Also, how much should i be feeding momma? I have wet and dry kitten food...is free feed with the dry alright? How often and how much of the canned food should i be giving? Do i keep momma on the kitten food until the kittens are weaned then? Sorry for all the questions...the youngest cat i have ever taken care of was 4 months old....4 days old is very new to me! Thanks again!
May 31st, 2005, 07:27 AM
I just checked on momma and babies and she is feeding them but she has not touched any food herself since i brought her home yesterday....should i be concerned?
May 31st, 2005, 09:23 AM
IF mom is feral, she is very frightened and stressed. I find that feral cats will take good care of babies when no one is there, but will run and hide when someone enters the room.
Leave the food out and give her a little while to settle down and eat, which she must do soon in order for her milk to not dry up.
Try and stay out of the room til tonight. Leave the food out for mom. If the babies aren't being fed, you will hear them screaming.
May 31st, 2005, 09:08 PM
Thanks LuckyRescue! Also, will i be able to tell fairly easily if i need to help stimulate the babies so they go to the bathroom? If she is nursing the babies is it more than likely she is taking care of them in that aspect as well?
June 1st, 2005, 04:42 PM
www.kittenrescue.org and kitten-rescue.com(or is it vice versa?) are also very helpful! More advice than I can give you in the few mins I have to type. Good luck!
June 1st, 2005, 06:37 PM
thanks a lot for the link, cyberkitten.... very helpful info! The kitties are doing well....two of them have their eyes open today! Watching them grow is so exciting :)