How to be a
Foster Mother for
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Proper Care and Cleaning of Orphaned Kittens
You have to understand that when you take on orphan kittens
and you can't find a foster mother you are now in the place
of their mother. You will have to provide all necessary
attention, food and stimulation. You will be responsible to
care for the orphaned kitten and keep it clean as well
as feed the orphaned kitten and care for it.
A mother cat licks her kitten clean after it fills its
belly, this not only provides environmental stimulation but
it also cleans the kitten from nose to tail. It also
provides stimulation of the bowels and bladder and cleans up
the mess that results from the stimulation. Without this
stimulation, the kitten may not void its bowels and it may
become constipated and sick as a consequence.
You can simulate the mother's washing by using a damp cotton
ball and gently rubbing the kitten's abdomen and bottom with
the cotton ball. You can use a tissue moistened with warm
water or a soft pad instead, if that works better for you.
The washing should result in a discharge of bodily waste
from the kitten, which you can then clean up with the damp
cloth to keep the kitten clean. Rub only enough to get them
to expel bodily waste. Be sure to clean the area and watch
to make sure that you are not rubbing too hard or not
cleaning enough chafing may result.
After you feed the kittens and finish their toilet, you
should wash their fur with a barely damp washcloth or paper
towel using short strokes like a mommy cat's tongue. This
will clean the kittens' fur and teach them how to clean
themselves in the future. It also give them necessary
attention and a sense of well-being and of being cared for.
But if a kitten has diarrhea and becomes caked with stool it
is easier on the kitten's skin to just wash them with warm
water than to try to rub it off with a paper towel.
The lack of a mother cat's teat to suckle may frustrate
kittens and result in the kittens sucking on each other's
ears, tails or genitals, and this can cause irritation to
develop. You can try to satisfy this oral need by using the
tip of your finger or a soft cloth and gently caressing the
kitten's mouth, encouraging the suckling on you or the cloth
and not the kitten's littermates.
If you find abandoned kittens, they will have fleas. Fleas
are a pest/parasite that will cause the kittens to become
anemic, or as it is more commonly called, have flea anemia.
Fleas also carry tapeworm eggs and skin irritation, and
fleas will jump from the kittens to you and anything warm
blooded in your household.
Because of this, you should take found kittens to the
veterinarian and if they have a case of fleas the
veterinarian can give you some suitable flea spray or powder
to use on kittens. Always read any instructions for a flea
spray or powder before administering it to kittens and use
only the recommended dosage or use. Then place the treated
kitten in a towel that can be thrown out with the dead and
dying fleas on it twenty to thirty minutes later.
Once the medicine kills the fleas, gently bath the kitten
with gentle soap or surgical soap if there are excessive
fleabites or sores. Be careful to use warm water and keep
the kitten as warm as possible to prevent the kitten getting
chilled and possibly sick.
Once you are done with the bath, dry the kitten immediately!
You can use a hair dryer if you take care and do not blow it
in its face. The older a kitten is, the more likely blowing
noises will frighten it. In this case you should towel dry
it as well as you can and then put it in a warm dry place to
You might try putting the kitten into a
cat carrier with a
towel and then aiming the hair dryer into the cat carrier.
This will confine the kitten and gently circulate warm air
to dry the kitten. But if the kitten becomes very frightened
you should not do this, just follow the plan in the
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