(Please read the entire page before beginning to feed kittens)
If you find baby kittens in your garage or yard, it is best to leave the kittens alone and watch out for the mother. She is probably nearby searching for food. Start leaving food and fresh water out for her so she will not have to look for food and will have enough nourishment to feed her kittens. Generally, when the kittens are hungry, they will cry and the mother will return to feed them. Put a towel inside a box and place the box in a safe area near the kittens so the mother can move them into the box if she wishes. If the mother cat is around and feeding the kittens, please contact us before disturbing the kittens to discuss whether the kittens should be moved inside.
If there is no mother around or the kittens have been orphaned by the death of the mother cat, then the following formula should be used to feed the kittens:ORPHAN KITTEN FORMULA
4 oz. evaporated milk
4 oz. water
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon corn syrup (or substitute pancake syrup)
1 capsule cod liver oil
*REFRIGERATE any unused formula and make fresh formula if all not used within 48 hours.
Warm formula but make sure it’s not too hot ! Use a plastic feeding tube – a 3 cc size is best but you can use a 1 cc size and you can obtain a tube from a vet or pharmacy. Orphan kittens need to be fed every 2 – 3 hours until they are 4 weeks old. At 4 weeks old, you can introduce some canned cat food mixed with the baby kitten formula but supplement with the feeding tube until all kittens are fully able to eat enough on their own. They should be weighed on a kitchen scale each day and their weight recorded in order to make sure they are gaining. Consult a veterinarian if the kittens fail to gain weight, have diarrhea, continually vomit or sneeze.
Orphan kittens need help to eliminate their bowels until they are 3 – 4 weeks old, after which time they will begin to eliminate on their own. Until that time, after EACH feeding, use a warm, soft cloth and gently tap or rub their anal area until they pee/poop. This action simulates the mother’s rough tongue washing which, in a natural situation, helps her kittens eliminate. Be careful not to rub too hard as the skin is very tender on their rear ends when they are tiny kittens.
All baby kittens should be kept warm and out of a draft in a cardboard box in a safe area away from small children, dogs or other animals. All interaction with small children should be supervised as tiny kittens are very vulnerable to stress and handling.
Kittens eyes will usually open around between 10 and 13 days after birth.