A kitten of 3 months or under has no chance on the streets without its mother. More so if it is under the age of 2 months. Remember, a small kitten (even if older than 3 months) cannot climb into a dustbin so easily to get the scraps of food left there.
Find Space to Care for the Kitten
Please find space in a spare bedroom or large cupboard (with ventilation) to take care of the kitten, at least until it is old enough to be found a new permanent home.
How to Feed Kittens
NEVER GIVE ADULT FOOD OR MILK TO A KITTEN – YOU MUST PROVIDE KITTEN/JUNIOR FOOD ONLY. After feeding, the belly should feel round and firm (not hard).
Feed a kitten several small meals over the course of a day, not two large meals as you would feed an adult cat.
A kitten without teeth means it’s not eating solids yet. A kitten opens its eyes between 10-14 days and gets its teeth around 3 weeks. Simply buy a tin of evaporated milk (DO NOT GIVE ANY OTHER MILK) and mix half milk with half water. The kitten will feed better if the milk and water are warm (not hot). Syringe feed or use a feeding bottle – get syringes from the pharmacy or a bottle from the vet (do not use a baby’s bottle). Feed as much as the kitten will take. If it doesn’t take, you will have to gently give a few drops every few minutes – sometimes a kitten will not take the milk for the first 24 hours – and you have to be careful not to false feed it as the fluid will go into the lungs. Just a tiny bit at a time until it starts to suckle itself and let it drink until it has had enough.
At 3-4 weeks of age introduce a little liquidized/mashed soft kitten food and also give it paste for worms (this needs to be done every week for at least 3 weeks).
At 4-6 weeks the kitten will start to learn to eat alone.
Feeding a Kitten that has Diarrhoea
Give boiled chicken if the kitten has diarrhoea. Once the diarrhoea has stopped, continue with the chicken, but add kitten/junior food with it until, eventually, you can cut out the chicken. A feed should be done every 4 hours.
Toileting a Kitten
Wipe the toilet area of the kitten with a damp tissue, as it will need your help to pass its toilet (the mother would normally stimulate by licking). You must do this before and after every feed – the kitten will die if it does not pass urine or stools – seek veterinary assistance immediately if it does not go to the toilet after 24 hours.
If the stools are like water, you need to give more water and reduce the amount of milk.
If the stools are too hard, the kitten can get constipated and die so give more milk and less water. Do this until stools are normal and then go back to 50/50 milk and water.
Keeping a Kitten Warm
Buy a hot water bottle from the pharmacy, as the kitten must be kept warm at all times, even in the summer.
Make sure you wrap it in a towel and put your hand on top to feel how much warmth the kitten will get when it is on top of it – it should warm your hand, not burn it.
Reheat the water in the bottle as soon as it gets too cool. If the kitten keeps moving away from the warmth then let it, as it means it is warm enough.
Worming and Vaccinations
The kitten will need worming almost immediately.
Ask your vet for some worming paste (costs only a few Euros) and he will also give you advice on taking care of the kitten. Worming needs to be done every week for at least 3 weeks.
At 9 weeks it will need its first vaccine.
The Next Step
Once a kitten is 9 weeks and has had its vaccinations, you can look to find a new home if you do not want to keep it yourself. You should also get the animal spayed (female) or neutered (male) once it is old enough.