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One week old kittens, mother dead

August 2nd, 2007, 01:28 AM
My friend is trying to raise kittens whose mother was hit by a car and killed yesterday. When my friend found out that the owner of the mother cat was going to drown the kittens she managed to convince the owner to give the kittens to her. The kittens are about a week old.

My friend has already visited her vet and bought kitten formula for them so a vet is on hand and she does have the appropriate food. We've found some websites that have information about hand raising kittens. My friend has never done this before, though, and her hands are kind of full with caring for the little guys so I decided to ask here if anyone has experience with rescuing very young kittens could you give any advice that you feel is important to know?

Thanks very much,
tuaqs :cat:

kashtin's kin
August 2nd, 2007, 02:11 AM
I'm sorry that I personally don't have any practical tips/experience, but I know that quite a few BB people do, and I'm sure you'll get some good advice and encouragement. In the meantime, good for you for helping out, and smart of you to post's hard to believe some people still think 'drowning kittens' is some sort of acceptable thing to do; don't mean to be too rude, but your friend's mother needs a little tune-up, re: animal cruelty issues, to say the least. Best of luck to you all, and keep checking the BB...Ontario etc. will be waking up in a while.

August 2nd, 2007, 06:22 AM
The other place to get information and assistance is at the local Humane Society. They may even have a lactating momma that will adopt the kittens and nurse as her own. I am currently fostering a momma who is caring for 2 orphan kittens. These kittens are much better off with a momma cat than being hand fed and much less work for your friend.

Good luck and post some pictures if you can. Let your friend know she is an :angel: for rescuing these kittens

August 2nd, 2007, 06:32 AM
I don't know if your friend is aware of this, but kittens that young can't eliminate without stimulation, and will die. After each feeding, she needs to get a warm (not hot) cloth and gently rub their privates until the do both.

Trying to find another Momma is a great idea, and probably the best thing for these young kittens.

August 2nd, 2007, 07:08 AM
Good for you guys for rescuing these poor little kitties. Here is a really great PDF that has everything you need to know about hand-raising orphan kittens:

And some more links:

All the best to you and the little fuzzies. Let us know how it's going.

August 2nd, 2007, 04:50 PM
Thank you all for the responses.

happycats Thanks for mentioning the stimulation required for elimination. Yes, she's aware about that.

sugarcatmom Thank you for the links.

kashtin's kin, I think you meant to criticize the owner of the dead cat?

kashtin's kin
August 2nd, 2007, 06:47 PM
Correction: oops, I AM sorry about 'dissing' your friend's mom (blush)...I was responding in the middle of the night, and thus didn't read your post as accurately as my daytime self would :o . I do hope the kittens are okay, and once more, good for you for getting involved :angel: . Keep us posted...

August 3rd, 2007, 08:52 AM
Hello, Kudo's to you and your friend for taking on such a huge task. We had to care for kittens a long time ago who's mother was also hit by a car. We were lucky at the time our Dog had milk from nursing her puppies that were already gone (I think they can produce it somehow afterward if it's needed). Anyway she amazingly took over the kittens but wasn't able to provide enough milk so we got baby milk (from somewhere, it was so long ago I don't remember) and got tiny bottles for them.

One very handy thing your friend can do is fill them up, make sure the milk is luke-warm, not hot or cold and then just make a little holster for them (or if they are completely full, lay them in the bed with them) so that you can leave the bottles there for a couple hours. The milk will still be fine after a few hours as long as it was fresh when you took it out of the fridge. This way if she has to leave at all, they still can get to their milk and someone can just refill them or take them out if they are at the point where they shouldn't be consumed anymore. I would say about 2-3 hours the milk will be ok, it's still ok after that for a bit but take it away before it even gets close to that point!

Hope that helps :)

August 3rd, 2007, 07:15 PM
Stimulation is very important and if at any time you notice that they are not eliminating, take them to the vet immediately, I lost an entire litter to severe digestion problems and the first indication something was wrong was that they were not going to the bathroom properly. They were born to a stray kitten mother who was no more than a year old herself so there really wasn't much we could do, they were all very weak and sick when we got them.

I wish you all the best of luck and hopefully they all grow to be healthy cats and find great forever homes.

August 3rd, 2007, 07:24 PM
Please send your friend o this site, it has more than I can tell you and I have raised many orphan kittens - lost a few but managed to eep most of em alive! And some were before the days of KMR when we had to make our own milk!!

Keep them warm a(a heating pad on low wrapped in towels is what I have used tho she is fortunate it is the summer) nd make sure they eat on schedule- there is a schedule in that handbook. Also, they need to eliminate so if she uses something a little harsh - like bad toilet paper or even cotton balls (not harsh I know but they work) to help them eliminate, that will help. It is essential - usually, a feline mama will lick their backsides for them but you have to do it manually so paper or cotton is the next best thing.

The kittens need to be isolated from all other pets so they do not catch something. Their immune systems are not fully developed yet! The handbook explains all this!

Good luck!!

Watch them closely and have a vet on speeddial!!

August 4th, 2007, 12:38 AM
Thank you all for taking the time to respond and to offer advice.

August 7th, 2007, 10:38 PM
I volunteer as a kitten feeder. You've been given some good info here. One thing that comes to mind is that kittens are unable to digest their food if they are cold. Also, at this age they need to be fed every two hours. My mind is drawing a blank right now as to any other info (sorry) but as I've been doing this for some time, it comes automatically to me. If your friend has specific questions, please p.m. me and I will do my best to help.
Your friend is an angel for taking on these motherless babies.

August 11th, 2007, 06:36 AM
Just an update:
It's been over a week now and the four kittens are all doing okay.

Thank you all again.

August 11th, 2007, 10:17 AM
:thumbs up :highfive:

August 11th, 2007, 02:51 PM
Glad to hear the little kittens are doing okay. Good luck and keep us posted :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes: and we'd love to see some pics. :D

August 11th, 2007, 04:21 PM
WOW,that's great news,one week old kittens are not easy to take care of I am sure:grouphug: to you and your friend:cat:

August 13th, 2007, 02:24 AM
I haven't done anything except look for sites and ask questions here.

My friend deserves all the credit. She's an awesome woman who is a dedicated slave to her pets and a person who cares a great deal about any animal which is in danger or has been mistreated and does whatever she can to help it.

August 13th, 2007, 06:35 AM
Give your friend a hug for me. She sounds like a sweetheart and you a good friend for helping and supporting. Bless you both.

September 5th, 2007, 05:36 AM
This is a photo of all four kittens, Monday when they were 6 weeks old.

They all survived. The one on the left is the only male.

September 5th, 2007, 05:53 AM
Ohh they are so cute!!

How did you ever get them to stay in one place to take their picture. I have 7 six week old kittens at home that I am fostering and I can't get them to stay in one place long enough to turn on a camera!

September 5th, 2007, 09:03 AM
:lovestruck: :D

September 5th, 2007, 01:28 PM
How great is that!?! :thumbs up :highfive: :D Your friend did a fabulous job! Just look at those little darlin's! :cloud9:

September 5th, 2007, 09:46 PM
Wow ~ what a heartwarming story. You and your friend earn double digit points in the book of life for this one! And they are adorable. Keep us posted on their progress!

kashtin's kin
September 6th, 2007, 12:12 AM
Smitten with kittens :D ..they are sooo cute!! Congrats to you, tuaqs, and to your friend for cooperating on this effort (research, care etc.). You two must feel great to have kept all 4 kittens alive and healthy :angel: . I guess adopting them out will be the next step, but for now take a deep breath and enjoy:cat: ! Thanks so much for keeping us critteraddicts updated...and let us know how things continue to go...

September 6th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Aww. ^^ Their so cute! And wow! You and your friend did awesome with them. <3 I dunno what I'd do if I were in either of your positions. Our kittens are barely over a week and I can't imagine having to raise them without their mom. Way to go. :thumbs up

August 20th, 2011, 07:26 PM
This is a photo of all four kittens, Monday when they were 6 weeks old.

They all survived. The one on the left is the only male.

Came by today and saw that this thread is still here. Thought you might like an update now that four years have passed. My friend kept the kittens on either side in the photo. They are both healthy cats, happily coexisting with a couple of older cats and two dogs who helped care for them when they were babies. The male runt is now the biggest cat ever and king of the house.

August 20th, 2011, 10:45 PM
That's so cool, I wondered how I missed this one!!

August 21st, 2011, 12:07 AM
I don't think you were a member when the thread was started, pattymac! :D

And what a wonderful update! Thanks for letting us know, tuaqs! :highfive: Any chance of getting pics? :o

August 21st, 2011, 12:11 AM
Thanks for the update tuaqs, great to hear how it all turned out :thumbs up

August 21st, 2011, 09:18 AM
Great update,your friend deserves a HUGE :grouphug:

August 26th, 2011, 02:16 PM
wow, what a wonderful story and update! I love when people come back and update! :lovestruck: Really difficult to raise motherless kittens at that young of an age. It's amazing that they all survived and are all healthy grown cats :goodvibes: