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"Cats in the Garden"


Raising Orphan Kitten(s)

mom and kittens
  • A Foster Mom is the best solution! Try to find a nursing cat with similar age kittens.
  • Otherwise you will need to...
    1. keep the kitten warm. (ambient temperature of 86 to 90°F for kittens less than 1 week of age, gradually lowered over 3 week period to 75°F)
    2. feed the kitten up to 10 times a day (depending on age) with a diet that is nutritionally equivalent to cat milk.
      kitten poop
      stimulation is needed for defecation
    3. stimulate urination and defecation several times a day by licking the anogenital area...(just kidding, a moist cotton ball will work as a tongue substitute)
    4. provide a sense of security with a regular schedule of feeding, sleeping, grooming and exercise.
    5. teach him/her how to be a cat. Another kitten who was raised by his mom may be needed for this.  two kittens are better than one.
  • For an excellent in depth discussion of hand rearing kitten please visit the Feline Advisory Bureau site Hand Rearing Kittens
  • Alley Cat Allies has provided a wonderful page of photos showing kitten growth and development from day 1 - 70 (birth to 10 weeks). This is a great resource if you are trying to estimate the age of an orphan kitten. Alley Cat Allies
Age of Kitten Body
Total Volume
per day
Number of
1 week 4 oz 32 ml 6
2 weeks 8 oz 60 ml 5
3 weeks 12 oz 90 ml 4
4 weeks 16 oz 120 ml 3
Homemade Kitten Formula
for emergency use only
  1. 6 ounces whole milk
  2. 2 egg yolks (no whites)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  4. 1 drop pediatric vitamin
    or 1/4 inch nutrical supplement
beat well to mix, warm to body temperature (100°F)
DO NOT use microwave to heat!
Use hot water bath to warm bottle of Milk replacer

The Marista Veterinary Hospital in Los Angeles California has an article about
Giving Birth to Kittens with photos

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