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The Italian Lifter:
I write the following post hoping that it can be useful to someone who is about or just took home kittens, little cats of 0 to 2 weeks and you donít have their mother.

To Mods: please feel free to correct my English in order to make this better understandable, if so your kind help is highly appreciated.

Edit: I'll add new things on this first post in order not to take too much space and keep the info together.

What follows is the result of suggestion of 2 Vets and my personal experience (together with my wife) in growing 3 little kittens without their mother: against all odds all of them survived.

1)   They donít know yet how to eat/drink and urinate/defecate by themselves.

2)   They need to eat at least 10% of their bodyweight per day of water soluble milk, but itís safer if youíre able to reach 15/20%

3)   In any case the little cat MUST eat every 2 (maximum 3 hours) no matter what. One of ours needed really to be forced a lot, was crying desperately, but you have no choice.

4)   If the kitten has diarrhea the a.m. point is of the utmost importance.

5)   Dysentery itís common given that the artificial milk is a big change for them: you must buy a dough that you need to give them, just put it on your finger and force it into the kitten mouth. In Italy we have this product (see picture) so in USA youíll have at least 10 different brands.

6)   Your biggest enemy will be diarrhea so you may need to help the kitten in not getting dehydrated by injecting Ringerís solution 2 to 3 times a day. We almost lost one kitten for this reason but in First Aid Vet we were successful in saving her life.

7)   Keep in mind that some kittens just donít seem to be interested at all in eating from the little baby-bottle: force them, no matter what.
Skipping a meal can really be fatal.

8   If you see that one of them seem to have trouble waking up correctly itís a sign that he/she needs to eat more or the last meal was too far away: itís a wake-up call.

9)   Since they are also growing teeth very frequently they just chew the rubber point of the baby-bottle but donít give up, itís normal.

10)   If you have more kittens and one of them is absolutely not eating, when feeding him/her keep one of the other near: competition for food will trigger, we were successful because of this.

11)   Donít worry about water, if they eat enough milk itís not necessary.

12)   For urine and poo they MUST be stimulated manually: the former with a soft absorbent paper, passing it over the genitals like itís their motherís tongue.
For poo you should buy vaseline oil and use your lubricated finger to stimulate the anus.
Every 48 hours or so they will defecate a soft light-brown material.

13) What Andy said about water is correct, but not for the first 4 to 5 weeks.
This because they really are not able to ingest so much fluids and itís absolutely necessary to put in as much as nutrients as possible.
Remember that weíre talking about a kitten of 250 grs and just by skipping a meal we found one of them unconscious and with body temperature extremely low.
In essence we need to pack as much as nutrients as possible in that little stomach.
All three of them started drinking water by themselves by week 5 or so.

14) Another important point: as with humans youíll always have a kitten which is smarter and starts doing vital things (like drinking water for example) before the others.
Be sure that the others are around him: they will learn from him (at least when theyíll start to see more clearly).

The Italian Lifter:
Tomorrow I'll add other suggestions and things we learned along the way.

If this thread will help saving just one kitten I'll be happy.

The Italian Lifter:

The Italian Lifter:

My cat sooty died unexpectantly (we think she ate some poison put out by a neighbour) and she left behind four 17 day old kittens.  I had to feed them by the bottle every couple of hours.  My hands were a mess from them clawing me for food....haha  I just bought some kitten formula and made it up by the bottle when needed.  I cleaned their bums with a warm wet towel.


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