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The Care and Feeding

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Newborn Kittens

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Newborn Kitten: Total Care and feeding Guide
By: Alfred

When your female cat gives birth to kittens you should be
there to make certain that all goes well, if you possibly
can. You will need hot water, scissors and thread on hand,
just in case. Be sure to wash your hands really well with
soap and hot water and even use disposable gloves if you
have them.

When a kitten is born, usually the mother cat will help the
kitten by breaking the sac and chewing through the umbilical
cord. But that doesn't always happen, especially if it is a
large litter and the kittens are coming quickly one after
the other. In that case you can help the kittens by tearing
the sac with your fingers. Snip the umbilical and tying it
off with the thread if the blood doesn't clot immediately.

Once the kittens are all born the mother cat will turn her
attention to cleaning herself and the kittens. Once she is
content with the state of the kittens and the kittens have
nursed you should change the pad and towels so that there is
no offal, blood or refuse left in with the mother cat and
her kittens.

It may be easier to have a new box lined with clean old
towels ready and simply transfer the mother cat and kittens
to the new box once you are certain that all the kittens
have been born and are nursing. Keep them in a dim, warm
small room where there are no drafts. Young kittens are very
susceptible to getting respiratory infections as their
immune systems are immature.

After the mother cat recovers she is going to be very hungry
and thirsty. Have food and water waiting for when that
happens. Be sure to feed the mother cat good quality food as
she needs the extra minerals and vitamins to produce good
milk for the new kittens.

Check on the mother cat and kittens often and make sure that
the mother cat seems to know what to do and that the kittens
appear healthy. You will also want to check on them every
day for signs of failure to thrive. Failure to thrive is due
to the kittens getting too little milk from the mother cat.
They will show signs of dehydration and will not be gaining

If this happens you can get formula and bottles from your
veterinarian to feed the kittens. This should only be done
as a last resort, though, as the kittens really need the
mother's milk and the valuable antibodies it contains that
keep the kittens healthy while their immune system matures.
If the cat doesn't seem to have enough milk or there are
very many kittens there are things that you can give the
female cat to make her produce more milk. Talk to your
veterinarian about it.

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