If you find a kitten and the mother doesn’t return after a few hours, then you can take it in.
First thing you want to do is make sure it is warm. Set up a bin or carrier with a heating pad on LOW under a blanket. Tiny kitten nails can get caught in towels- so if you use one, keep an eye on them and be sure the kitten doesn’t get hung up in it.
Next is making sure their bellies are happy! DO NOT use cow milk- this can hurt a baby kitten’s tummy as it is hard for them to properly digest. Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR) is what the kitten needs. It can be found at pet stores, feed supply stores, and some grocery stores. If you are unable to get KMR, a temporary alternative is goat milk.
Using a syringe or small animal bottle, provide the kitten with warm milk! Let them have as much as they want. They may not eat a lot at first- as it is different feel and taste than their mommy’s milk.
It is important to not aspirate the kitten- this is when milk gets into their lungs. If this happens often they can get sick. To help prevent them from aspirating, hold the kitten on its belly or at an angle as you feed them- never on their back.
Kittens have to be stimulated to relieve themselves. Taking a baby wipe, damp cotton ball/rag/paper towel, gently rub the kittens bottom until they urinate or defecate. They may not go the first time you try. Give it a bit and try again. The kitten should go to the bathroom each time you feed them.
How to tell the age of a kitten!
NEWBORN- eyes closed, ears flat against head, no teeth, has umbilical cord.
3 DAYS- umbilical cord falls off
5 to 8 DAYS – ears begin to perk up
1 to 2 WEEKS- eyes open
2 to 3 WEEKS- teeth start pushing through the gums
3 WEEKS- Begin to walk around and venture away from mommy cat(I always picture the Little Mermaid when she first gets her legs and walks around all wobbly!)
4 WEEKS- less wobbly when they walk, really beginning to explore
Some kittens can begin to wean off milk as early as 4 weeks- offer the kitten canned food mixed with the milk.