7 Tips for Newborn Kitten Care ׀ Hill's Pet

How to Care for Newborn Kittens

Cause of mass deaths of kittens

Taking care of newborn kittens and new kittens, if not paid attention by the owner, can lead to sudden death. Even die in groups. There are many causes leading to this situation.

  • Due to erratic weather changes.
  • Because the kitten has a different blood type than the mother cat.
  • Because the mother cat does not care well for her kittens and presses on her kittens, there is a problem with her mother’s milk
  • Due to the poor surrounding environment, bacteria and viruses have not been completely destroyed

In addition, there are many other reasons. Therefore, if your cat gives birth, you need to have a more special care regime for newborn kittens. It’s best to isolate the entire group of cats to one area. Avoid contact with strange objects such as people or other pets. This can also cause the mother cat to kill her kittens.

7 Tips for Newborn Kitten Care ׀ Hill's Pet

Caring for newborn kittens that died due to blood type mismatch

Cat blood types

Just like humans or dogs, cats also have different blood types. Determining what blood type your cat has is extremely important. Especially in taking care of breeding and breeding cats. Cats have 3 main blood types

  • Group A: most common in cats.
  • Group B: less common in some cat breeds.
  • Group AB: is a rare blood group.

The only way to determine blood type is to perform a blood test. There is incompatibility between blood types. Cats with blood type B always have a large amount of anti-blood type A antibodies, also known as anti-A, in the cat’s blood.

This means that if a cat with B blood is transfused with A blood, it can cause a shock reaction. Even cause death. Cats with A blood also have natural anti-B antibodies. The intensity is low but can still cause problems. Therefore, when taking care of newborn kittens, you need to pay attention to the cat’s blood type.

When caring for newborn kittens, blood transfusions are sometimes necessary to save the lives of severely anemic cats. If done correctly, blood transfusions are very safe. When an error occurs in mixing incompatible blood types, anaphylactic shock will occur and cause serious, life-threatening problems for the cat.

Newborn kittens die from breastfeeding

When nursing newborn kittens, any antibodies present in the mother’s blood will be passed to the kittens. During the first 24 hours from birth, the kitten’s intestines are very sensitive. If appropriate, antibodies can protect the mother cat’s colostrum from being passed on to her kittens. These antibodies help kittens fight disease during the first 5 weeks of life.

This is a very beneficial process for the kitten. Sometimes it can cause problems when the mother cat and kittens have incompatible blood types. This depends on whether the father cat has the same or compatible blood type as the mother cat.

If the mother cat has B blood, it is thought to carry anti-A antibodies. If a kitten is born with A blood and breastfeeds within the first 24 hours of birth, it will absorb this A antibody. Anti-A antibodies will attack the kitten’s red blood cells. Transfusion of incompatible blood types causes “fading” syndrome, which is fatal to newborn cats.

How to care for newborn kittens when blood types are incompatible

Signs of blood type incompatibility

To handle this problem, during the care of newborn kittens, it is necessary to recognize the signs of anti-A antibody absorption in kittens. These signs begin to appear immediately after the first hours of the cat’s colostrum feeding:

  • Sudden death, without warning signs, if a lot of these antibodies are absorbed.
  • Health deteriorates rapidly after a few days. Kittens have the phenomenon of “faded color” syndrome.
  • Kittens stop nursing, become weak, become pale and may become jaundiced.
  • Taking care of newborn kittens and seeing them urinate pink. Due to the presence of Hemoglobin formed when kitten red blood cells are broken down by antibodies.
  • The tail and ears are dry and shriveled a bit. It is caused by antibodies against red blood cells. Causes blockage of circulation and nourishment of the newborn cat’s limbs.

Processing method

Newborn kittens are born normally and in good health. Food is the main source of breast milk. Immediately after drinking colostrum from the mother cat, if the blood type is incompatible, strange signs will appear. The severity depends on the amount of anti-A antibodies the newborn kitten absorbs. Even sudden death.

When taking care of newborn kittens, if in doubt, it is best to separate the newborn kitten from the mother cat within 24 hours. Within the first 24 hours, the intestines of newly born kittens will be more adapted to receiving antibodies. From there, the survival rate increases. Or you can call your veterinarian for specific advice.

Caring for newborn kittens under 1 month old

Care for newborn kittens exclusively with mother’s milk
The best way to care for newborn kittens is to breastfeed them. Absolutely do not give newborn kittens cow’s milk. The kitten’s body lacks the enzyme that breaks down the lactose sugar found in milk. If kittens drink this milk, it can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and death. It is best to choose to use kitten milk sold at Pet Mart pet stores.

During the first 10-12 days of birth, kittens are “blind” and “deaf”. Therefore, the mother cat has practiced the reflex of “finding the breast” for her baby by licking the abdomen. Then gather the babies into your row of engorged breasts.

When caring for newborn kittens, the drops of colostrum from the mother cat within 24 hours of birth are extremely meaningful. Colostrum helps provide necessary antibodies. Ensure kittens have resistance in the first weeks of life. Owners need to assist the mother cat in taking care of the newborn kittens.

Also with her “multi-purpose” tongue, the mother cat licks and stimulates the kitten’s urinary tract and anus. Stimulate the kitten to defecate and wipe clean. At this stage, the cat is likely to have diarrhea due to eating the kitten’s feces and urine. Therefore, food for mother cats needs to be easy to digest and reduce fat.

Pay attention when taking care of newborn kittens

Cat nutrition

Mother cats should be left to take care of their babies, with as little human influence as possible. Do not let children or strangers touch or play with the kitten during the first 3 weeks. Mother cats are very sensitive to strangers.

Due to the protective instinct, due to fear, it is easy to steal and hide children somewhere that we cannot control. Biting a child’s neck can easily cause injury, and sometimes the child will suffocate to death due to suffocation. If the cat owner wants to check the kitten’s health, they should just look. Kitten health can be diagnosed by observing the eyes, mouth, and nose. Check for cleanliness, nasal discharge and wheezing.

When taking care of newborn kittens, usually every 2 hours after giving the kittens milk, you must let the kittens go to the toilet. If the mother cat lacks milk, you can use BBN Kitten Milk or Royal Canin Babycat Milk kitten formula sold at Pet Mart.

Or use a mixture of 180ml of fat milk + 2 egg yolks + ½ teaspoon of vegetable oil. Add 1 drop of Vitamin for children to create specialized milk for cats. It’s best to use goat’s milk and remember to warm the milk before giving it to your kitten.

Cat’s residence

Taking care of new kittens coming home, the new litter requires attention to hygiene. It’s best to prepare before the cat gives birth. The place and nest for kittens must be dry, ventilated, warm enough and private. You can use a cardboard box covered with a thin cloth to help keep the kittens warm from the cold.

Kittens will normally sleep a lot. When taking care of newborn kittens outside of feeding time, you should normally not wake them. The kitten’s resistance is still very weak. Owners must carefully pay attention to nutrition and litter hygiene for kittens.

When taking care of newborn kittens, you should pay attention to the sleeping area and temperature. Changes in weather can also affect both mother cats and kittens. Controlling the temperature and humidity in the room is best. Avoid giving your cat heat stroke or cold.

Normally, mother cats will clean up after their kittens themselves. However, you also need to pay attention to cleaning the nest area and where the cat lives. Avoid bacterial and parasitic attacks. It is better to regularly disinfect the surrounding environment.

Caring for newborn kittens 1 – 2 months old

When the kittens are nearly 1 month old, the mother cat begins to teach the kittens basic and important movements. Including moving, climbing, running, prowling, catching prey, and getting food. And a series of necessary life and self-defense skills in natural and wild life.

Until 8 weeks old, the mother cat can train her kittens to catch mice. Of course “little cats only catch little mice”. From 6 to 8 weeks of age, the mother cat begins to wean her kittens by gradually spacing out her feedings.

Besides, mother cats often “perform” movements of getting food, chewing, gnawing bones or food in front of their cubs. The mother cat even spits out half-chewed food and vomits food from her stomach for her kittens to practice eating.

Taking care of newborn kittens over 1 month old, you can feed them solid foods. Cat food can be in the form of grains soaked in milk or soft, pate… At the same time, formula can be given. Make sure cat food and supplies are hygienic.

Kittens 2 weeks after birth will begin to grow teeth. After 3 weeks you can eat solid foods, and after 6 weeks you can wean. How to care for newborn kittens 1-2 months old remains the same as in the early days. However, during this period, the kittens are able to separate from their mother and eat separately. If the cat is healthy and eats well, taking care of the new kittens will be less difficult later on.

How to care for newborn kittens with milk fever

Signs that your cat has milk fever

Signs of milk fever in cats often occur in lactating cats. Especially the number of birds is large (over 4 birds/herd). The mother cat wraps her kittens continuously while breastfeeding, causing a sudden drop in blood calcium levels. Pregnant cats close to their due date can also get it, but it’s very rare. Some symptoms that you may observe while caring for newborn kittens include:

  • Sudden high fever
  • When taking care of newborn kittens, I found them trembling.
  • The limbs are spastic.
  • Cats have a wobbly gait.
  • Rapid, heavy breathing can lead to coma.
  • Slow discharge, dilated pupils.
  • Vomiting and involuntary defecation may occur.

Caring for cats with milk fever

When taking care of newborn kittens that show signs of milk fever, if the kittens are able to eat on their own (about over 4 weeks old), they should be separated immediately and fed outside. Avoid letting the mother cat get too tired and it won’t affect the kittens.

Signs that a cat has a fever can cause the cat to become dehydrated. Therefore, you should provide your cat with adequate water. Mother cats should be fed soft, easily digestible food. Solid, hard foods may not be absorbed. When a cat’s body has a fever, it is often very weak, so when taking care of a newborn kitten with this symptom, the owner needs to be very careful.

Treatment of milk fever in cats

The best way to protect the mother cat and care for healthy newborn kittens is to call for help from a veterinarian. Avoid unfortunate risks that may occur. As soon as the owner detects signs that the cat has a fever, they should provide complete information about the symptoms.

The most common method of treatment and care for newly introduced kittens is a slow infusion of Calcium Chloride through the veins. The dosage will be adjusted by the doctor according to the health condition and weight of the mother cat.

Cats’ bodies release heat through sweat glands in their paws and breathing. To take good care of newborn kittens, you can cool their bodies to lower their body temperature. Arrange the cat’s nest in a cool place or apply ice or cold water for emergency cooling. Can be combined with vitamin support and 5% Glucose infusion.

Vaccinate and deworm kittens

One of the best ways to take care of 2-month-old kittens is to deworm and vaccinate the cat. Preventing diseases helps kittens have better resistance. Able to “self-protect” against environmental factors.

When taking care of new kittens, they often stop eating because they are not used to it. When starting to raise cats, some cats are very alert. You just need to help the kitten create a warm nest, take care of it, and pay more attention to it. You can rest assured, after a few days the kitten will calm down. Be patient and take care of them, kittens will adapt very quickly if their owners love them.

Take care of new kittens coming home

During this period, cat owners need to take care of their new kittens with a nutritious diet. Kittens need to be allowed to play and exercise regularly. Take care of sunbathing for all children from 7 – 9 am every day.

Owners taking care of new kittens need to avoid harsh sunlight during the day. Synthesizing vitamin D from sunlight will help kittens become much stronger and healthier. At the same time, increase resistance to the external environment. Supplement the necessary amount of Calcium for your cat.

Take care of newborn kittens from the time they come home until they are adjusted. Monitor daily to perfect your kitten’s activities. When separated and raised independently, moved to a new home, new owner, kittens often scream, get nervous, call for their mother, and stop eating in the first days away from their mother. So, when taking care of new kittens, don’t scold them for those things.

The new owner of the kitten needs to find ways to reduce stress. Create a good living environment, prepare a warm nest and cushion for the cat, helping the kittens quickly adapt. Take care of your new kitten by using affectionate gestures. Create a sense of security for the kitten.

When taking care of a new kitten, you need to let the cat run and jump in a natural space. Feed appropriately, get enough nutrients, and take care of your health according to professional guidance. Love ensures your cat has a happy life.

Note when taking care of new kittens coming home

When playing with cats

Taking care of newborn kittens is difficult, but separating the mother so they can go to a new home is even more difficult. Especially when you want to be close to them. When taking care of a new cat and playing with kittens, you need to be gentle to avoid injuring them. Do not use your hands to grab the kitten’s neck by lifting it up. This will cause pain and fright for the cat. Do not scream or use rough movements to punish the kitten.

Caring for a new kitten takes time to adjust to. You should buy toys for cats to help them relieve stress. Or limit their scratching and destroying household items. The most useful toys are carpets, scratching posts for cats, tree houses – cattrees for cats, fishing rods, bell balls…

Avoid dangerous agents for cats

To best take care of your new kitten, you should not let your cat come into contact with other cats without vaccination. Many cat owners think that a rabies vaccination is enough. In fact, there are many infectious diseases that are dangerous to cats’ lives. Therefore, to take care of newborn kittens when they return home, it is necessary to fully vaccinate the cat with all shots. Because usually, when kittens stay with their previous owners, they will not be fully vaccinated.

When taking care of a new kitten, be careful not to let the kitten play or come into contact with objects that are easy to chew, swallow, choke on, or household cleaners. Or poisonous plants such as lilies, castor leaves… Adult cats will have more experience. Meanwhile, when kittens first learn to eat or go out into the environment, eating haphazardly is dangerous to their life and health.

Do not bathe your kitten when it first comes home. Getting wet and suddenly cold can cause your cat to get pneumonia, bloating and illness. In case the fur gets wet or dirty, you should immediately dry it and keep it warm. Do not care for new kittens in their new homes with cow’s milk. Especially sweetened milk and condensed milk for humans. Caring for newborn kittens with human milk will cause indigestion and diarrhea.

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