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Caring for a very young kitten

vsovevsove ....also yes.Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, here's the gist of it. My friend, while driving home from work, found a box containing a kitten on the side of the highway. Being a cat lover himself, he took it home so that it wouldn't die. Unfortunately, he lives in a house with three dogs and a cat who isn't very friendly with other cats, so he can't keep it long term. Since I've been looking for a cat, I agreed to adopt it from him so that it wouldn't end up in the SPCA.

Now, the problem is that this is very obviously an extremely young kitten, probably still too young to really be separated from its mother. This is going to require special treatment for the first little while, I know. Is there anything in particular I should be aware of? I've had kittens and cats before (grew up with a total of about six of them at various times) so I know how to deal with older kittens and full-grown cats, but never anything this young.

Just want to make sure I'm fully prepared for keeping the kitten healthy and growing properly.

vsove on
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Posts

  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Call a local vet and ask for instructions. They should be happy to give you some instructions. Or the Humane Society.

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  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Take the kitten to a vet ASAP, have them checked out, possibly vaccinated, de-wormed, flea/tick treatment, etc. The vet can probably give you some direction on care also.

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  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    You should probably just take him in to the vet to get checked out. The vet will be able to recommend a kitten formula and let you know anything else you might need to know.

    edit: beat'd so hard

  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Oh, I'm definitely taking her to the vet. And yeah, talking to the vet is probably the best solution and I'm not sure why I didn't think of it. Thanks all!

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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I got my current cat at a very, very young age. I fed him with an eye dropper and some warm milk. He loved it to death. Did that for about 2-3 months and he finally started drinking milk out of a bowl, then finally moved to hard food.

    Games completed recently: Resident Evil 4: HD Edition, Typing of the Dead: Overkill, Sleeping Dogs, Dishonored, On the Rain Precipice of Darkness 1-4.
  • KillgrimageKillgrimage Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Yeah, the vet's your best bet, they might even throw in some of the shots for free since you rescued the lil tyke.

    P.S. Kitten pics or it didn't happen.

  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Good luck :) And don't forget pictures!

    As far as food, I can recommend (depending on your budget of course) the Wellness brand foods, my two spoiled-rotten purebred kittahs loved the kitten formula and now the regular stuff.

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  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So a bit of an update - they found more kittens in a box at the same place, and it's looking like they're part of the same litter. I've heard a lot of people suggest that getting two kittens is always better than getting one, since they keep each other busy and will generally be less destructive. The second part is that I would pretty much be wracked with guilt if I didn't try to keep at least one other kitten from ending up at the SPCA.

    So any recommendations? Would adopting a second of the pair be a good idea? I've got a reasonably-sized apartment - about 800 square feet.

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  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Go for it. They will make your life much happier once they have you trained .... >.> Seriously, I'd always have two cats if I could help it, they're happier that way.

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  • Namel3ssNamel3ss Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Kittah threads with no pictures! *gasp*


    What is the world coming too?!?!

    In all seriousness though, it sounds like you are doing the right things and another kitten will help them stay entertained and less destructive. The only downside would be twice the cost, but that may not be a concern for you. Grats on saving your new furry friends!

    May the wombat of happiness snuffle through your underbrush.
  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So the situation has become somewhat less complicated.

    My friend's family, where the single kitten is currently staying, is becoming quite attached to it. So if I take the pair, the other kitten will definitely still have a home, and I can keep the pair of kittens together. And rather than taking one and leaving the other one behind, adopting the pair seems like the best plan.

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  • exoplasmexoplasm Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Bottle feeding a kitten is not fun. The resulting behavior if you don't play "mommy" the right way is even less fun (protip: when the cat wants to play rough, be the boss - or you will regret it later).

    However, cats are pretty dang good at learning how to bury their crap. Liquid aim may take some practice, though.

    This is from my personal experience of raising a lone abandoned kitten from a few weeks of age.

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  • rfaliasrfalias Registered User
    edited May 2009
    This is a crime against humanity.

    A KITTEN thread with no pictures?!
    I won't stand for it, no sir I won't.

    So until we can get the OP to get some on here, observe; kittens.

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  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Definitely adopt two, there will be adorable chasings and cuddlings. :D

    Any idea just how young they are? Maybe post some pictures and we can estimate. ;)

    If they are under the recommended age for adoption but old enough to toddle around on their own and eat solid foods, that'll be much easier than bottle-feeding a one week old kitten or something like that.

  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    We got our kittens at 5 weeks and fed them normal kitten wet food and some kitten milk in a bowl, which they seemed fine with. They had been getting the same mix for about the two weeks previous to us getting them. Unless they're less than two weeks, you can probably manage just to feed them normally. Whiskas do a good kitten food range (not sure if they sell that in the States, or if they do under another name.)

  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'll get you pictures later today ;) My friend still hasn't shown me what they look like, I'm adopting sight-unseen, though he assures me they are very cute.

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  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2009
    vsove wrote: »
    So any recommendations? Would adopting a second of the pair be a good idea? I've got a reasonably-sized apartment - about 800 square feet.

    Two kittens growing up together is definitely a good idea. They have each other for company when you're not home or otherwise not paying attention, and they can play with each other rather than tearing your wallpaper to shreds.

  • lifeincognitolifeincognito Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Echo wrote: »
    vsove wrote: »
    So any recommendations? Would adopting a second of the pair be a good idea? I've got a reasonably-sized apartment - about 800 square feet.

    Two kittens growing up together is definitely a good idea. They have each other for company when you're not home or otherwise not paying attention, and they can play with each other rather than tearing your wallpaper to shreds.

    Hold up on this a moment. I have two cats in my family that were adopted at the same time, when they were quite young. They have never gotten along to the point of 'playing' with each other or sleeping next to each other or anything. Now they don't fight on a constant basis, but they have their moments once every few months.

    Not to mention ours learned our schedule very quickly and would just sleep during the day when no one was around and wake up before work and after work until bed time. So I have never seen the full strength of needing a second to keep the other company because cats seem to sleep for 13 to 16 hours a day.

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  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Hold up on this a moment. I have two cats in my family that were adopted at the same time, when they were quite young. They have never gotten along to the point of 'playing' with each other or sleeping next to each other or anything. Now they don't fight on a constant basis, but they have their moments once every few months.

    Not to mention ours learned our schedule very quickly and would just sleep during the day when no one was around and wake up before work and after work until bed time. So I have never seen the full strength of needing a second to keep the other company because cats seem to sleep for 13 to 16 hours a day.

    You've never had my girl cat, who can often be observed consciously deciding whether to yank apart the blinds so's she can watch the birds, or go find her brother and beat the shit out of him. I pretty much adopted Kaien because Mayu needed a new toy. :|

    Point is, most cats like having another cat around.

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • ErandusErandus Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Cat's don't have to tumble around on the floor together and sleep on top of each other to get something out of the company. I liken it to being abducted by aliens. Even if they're the nicest aliens ever and they give you toys and food and attention, but couldn't speak a word of English or understand you in any way, wouldn't you eventually pine for some human company? Even if it was someone you couldn't stand, it would be preferable to never seeing another human for the rest of your life.

    Cats generally do better with company. Get 2 if you can.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Hold up on this a moment. I have two cats in my family that were adopted at the same time, when they were quite young. They have never gotten along to the point of 'playing' with each other or sleeping next to each other or anything. Now they don't fight on a constant basis, but they have their moments once every few months.

    My cats are about the same - they tolerate eachother, and play sometimes if they're feeling frisky.

    More importantly, they keep each other from getting bored, they get exercise chasing and wrestling, and they snuggle together when they think we aren't looking. Even if they aren't best friends, that's good enough reason for me :)
    Spoiler:

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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited May 2009
    Echo wrote: »
    vsove wrote: »
    So any recommendations? Would adopting a second of the pair be a good idea? I've got a reasonably-sized apartment - about 800 square feet.

    Two kittens growing up together is definitely a good idea. They have each other for company when you're not home or otherwise not paying attention, and they can play with each other rather than tearing your wallpaper to shreds.

    Hold up on this a moment. I have two cats in my family that were adopted at the same time, when they were quite young. They have never gotten along to the point of 'playing' with each other or sleeping next to each other or anything. Now they don't fight on a constant basis, but they have their moments once every few months.

    Not to mention ours learned our schedule very quickly and would just sleep during the day when no one was around and wake up before work and after work until bed time. So I have never seen the full strength of needing a second to keep the other company because cats seem to sleep for 13 to 16 hours a day.

    I can confirm a second is by no means necessary. My monster is a solo cat, and he gets along more or less fine.

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  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Two of my cats were raised together from kittens and are still very friendly and snuggly with each other.
    Spoiler:

    They completely ignore my third cat, even though she would like to be friends with them.

    Single cats can be happy, but if you think you would ever like to have two cats, you might as well get two kittens right off the bat because this is the time when it's easiest to introduce cats without drama. Also . . . KITTENS!! AWWWW!

  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Yeah, back when I was living with my parents, we had to get new cats after our old one sadly passed on. So we picked up two kittens (they were sisters) and they always sleep together in a giant ball of fur. They occasionally have mild scuffles, but mostly they get along and it's always obvious when they're separated because one of the two will start to be really annoying for a while until she finds her sister.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Assuming things go well with my rental company I'll be getting the pair right away. Now I just play the waiting game.

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  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Apologies for the terrible quality - I don't have a non-phone camera at the moment.
    Spoiler:

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  • KillgrimageKillgrimage Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Dawwwwww they are cute! Black and white? You could name em Ebony and Ivory!

    Seriously though, they are fucking adorable and look like they already have a pretty good bead on your home. I can just see the black one being all "Yeah, this place is pretty nice...I guess I'll take it, if you throw in the washer/dryer and a stuffed mouse."

  • KidDorkKidDork Registered User
    edited May 2009
    They have melted this heart of ice through the power of the Internet.

    Add more 'daaawwww'.

  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Trust me, poor picture quality doesn't diminish the Awwwww factor of kittens. Unless you're a monster.

    Also, awwww.. look at the little kitties!

    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

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  • DuffelDuffel Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Now you need to name them. We're here to help.

  • RhinoRhino Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I have two kittens. They are from the same litter. They are BBFs. It's a good thing. They play together, sleep together and does "who knows what" when I'm at work. Point is, they seem super happy. The vet says they are in outstanding health.

    So yea, two or more kittens; do it. How would you feel if you had no human friends?

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  • SandersSanders Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Taking it the pictures above are of the kittens. Best advice has already been covered in this thread, take em to the vet. They can run some tests to make sure they are healthy and give you advice, but by the looks of it those kittens are at least 1 1/2 - 2 months old by now. They really should not take that much extra care, no reason they can not eat regular canned cat food (you can buy shredded or chopped, and you can chop it up more yourself) or even small cat food.

    Helping my girlfriend take care of a predicted 3 day old kitten that was found at the bottom of a cubby bleeding and starving, not that was fun.

  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    awwwwwwwwwwwww, they are so cute <3

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