Ask The Vet | How to care for a kitten during the first 3 weeks


A kitten needs to be with his mother for the first eight weeks of his life, however if this is not possible, you need to be the surrogate mother.

Kitten Care Essentials
You need some kitten care essentials for the first few weeks:
Sleeping box; newborn kittens spend a lot of time sleeping, so you need to provide a warm, comfortable box. The room where the box is placed should be warm, as kittens don’t have the capacity to keep a normal temperature and may suffer from hypothermia, which can be fatal.
Blankets and towels to keep the kitten warm
Special formula kitten food
Soft toys or paper
Later, your kitten will also need:
Cat litter
Food and water bowls
Kitten Health
The kitten needs to be taken to the vet. The vet will examine your kitten’s health and look for parasites or diseases. A newborn kitten does not get vaccines until the age of eight to nine weeks.

Feeding the Kitten
If you have the mother cat nursing your kitten, you don’t need to feed the kitten.
However, if the mother is not present you need to feed the kitten. Kittens have their eyes closed for the first 10 days of their lives, so you will need to use a syringe to hand feed your pet.
Get Kitten Formula from Royal Canin and feed your kitten following the guidelines on the box, according to your pet’s weight. Kitten food is different from adult cat food; it contains a special formula that is high in protein and fats. The food needs to be highly digestible and nutrient dense. Kittens need wet food, as this is easier to digest. Newborn kittens can’t handle dry food, but this may be given after the kitten is eight weeks old. Feed your kitten 10 to 12 times in 24 hours or once every two hours.
Don’t feed the kitten cow milk; this may cause diarrhea or indigestion.
The kitten will start growing teeth at about two weeks. After three weeks, you may start giving your kitten a food bowl and train him to use it.

Newborn kittens cannot defecate without help. The mother helps kittens to eliminate food by licking their bum. Use a moist cloth and massage your kitten’s stomach and bum to stimulate bowel movement. At this age, the kitten will not be able to use a litter box to urinate, so you need to clean after the kitten.

Playing and Socializing
The first weeks are essential in determining your cat’s behavior. If the kitten is with his mother and brothers, he will learn how to play safely and will socialize. However, if your kitten is alone, you will need to cuddle him and play with him to develop a relationship with your pet. The kitten typically starts standing up at about two to three weeks, and will start playing at three to four weeks.

Hope this info helps
Till next week,
Dr Ruan

Ask the Vet:
Royal Veterinary Centre
Tel: +853 28501099, +853 28523678
Fax: +853 28508001

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