The itty bitty kitty “paw”ject!
Part of our shelter kitten diversion program
Have you found a kitten and don’t know what to do? Every spring and summer, our shelter is flooded with itty bitty kittens who need extra special care. IVHS & SPCA wants to ensure that YOU know what to do if you find kittens, so here’s all of the information you need:
Click on the image to enlarge. Click here to download this chart.
Don’t be a Kit-Napper
There is no better caretaker for a kitten than mom. It is very important to make sure that a kitten is actually an orphan before taking it in. So we’ve got all of the do’s and don’ts you’ll need to verify that a kitten needs your help:
Click on the image to enlarge. Click here to download these kitten info charts.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do monitor the kittens from a distance every 2-4 hours and assess their condition using the chart above before acting. Mother cat might be nearby and is looking for food or is too scared to return if she sees you! If kittens appear healthy based on the “Kittens that need help” chart above, monitor them from afar for 10-12 hours to watch for mother cat’s return.
- Don’t touch or move the kittens until you verify mom is not around. It is always best to leave unweaned kittens (less than 4-5 weeks old) where they are so that mother cat can provide them with the care they need. Too often, nursing kittens are removed from mom because a finder did not realize she would be back soon.
- Do evaluate if the kittens fit any of the descriptions in the chart above to see if they actually need your help. For example, if kittens have round bellies and appear clean, mom is most likely close by. If kittens appear thin and dirty, they may need your help!
- Do consider being a foster to orphaned kittens whose mom does not return in 10-12 hours. If you can care for these kittens until they are 8 weeks old, IVHS & SPCA can provide you with all of the supplies you need to be a GREAT kitten foster parent!
Determining a Kitten’s Age
Click on the image to enlarge. Click here to download the kitten age chart.
If you’ve monitored the kitten’s condition from a distance for the recommended amount of time and are confident they do not have a mother caring for them, consider fostering!
How do I foster?
You can see our Foster Kitten Manual for all of the information and tips you need! Remember, IVHS & SPCA is happy to provide you with the supplies necessary to be a successful foster.
Contact our Foster Program Coordinator at email@example.com or (909) 623-9777 Ext: 608 with any questions about fostering or kitten care! We are here to help you.
- Bottle Feeding may be required for kittens younger than 4-5 weeks old. Check out our Foster Kitten Manual for instructions on how to bottle feed and watch the bottle feeding video below.
- For kittens that are a little trickier to bottle feed (ex. they’re having a hard time latching) read our Foster Kitten Manual and check out the video below for some tips and tricks
- For bottle babies (0-4 weeks old) keep them in a carrier or crate with a heating pad on LOW (under towels & blankets). Kittens without mom need extra help staying warm!
- Kittens older than 4 weeks can be given more space as they grow. Check out our manual for details on how to properly house your foster babies.
Manual Elimination (Stimulation):
- Kittens aged 0-4 weeks will need help eliminating. They will need to be stimulated before and after feeding to get them to do their business. Our Foster Kitten Manual and the Kitten Lady video below explain exactly how to do this!
Kittens Over 4 Weeks:
- If your fosters are 4 weeks or older it’s time for the next steps! Kittens older then 4 weeks can be transitioned to using a litter box and eating wet kitten food (continuing bottle feeding as needed). If your kittens have reached this age and are ready to wean, read our Foster Kitten Manual to learn how to properly care for them!