Orphaned kitten....advice???

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Hi,

I haven't used this forum in a long time and mostly was on the hair forums. But I need some advice and you ladies have always been good with that....

My friend and I found a very young kitten outside of our work place. Crying, no mother in sight, we talked to a woman who lives in the house by it and she said it had been crying for two days with no mother cat appearing. We got a box and took it with us.

My friend has a cat already and was worried about feline diseases, so we took it to my apartment. I'm not really sure what to do next. I've wanted a cat for really, really long time so I would like to keep him (I think it's a boy), but it's so young. I don't have a picture right now but it looks very similar to this:

It can't walk very well (drags it's legs a bit, and is wobbly, but pretty good at climbing up my shirt), and meows A LOT. It's eyes are still blue and look like they very recently opened....it doesn't appear to be able to see very well, but it can hear and smell. I bought some kitten milk replacement and a bottle, and I burp it after feeding it and then try to get it to go to the bathroom. I do plan to get it checked out by a vet this afternoon.

My biggest concerns are:

At such a young age, can I keep this kitten? Will it survive without a mother, and will it learn normal cat behaviors?

I have to work and live alone.....can it be alone in the house while I'm at work? It's currently inside a tall box lined with towels and blankets with a little clock inside a sock (I heard the ticking reminds kittens for their mother's heart beat).

I'm worried about the constant mewling and crying. I live in an apt building and have neighbors. Will it grow out of this behavior?

Should I just take it to a shelter, or does it have a better chance with me? Like I said, I have been wanting a cat for a while now. I've already named it Yossarian.

Basically I've never had a kitten this young before....so any advice from cat people is much appreciated!! Thanks in advance!


4a?? Maybe 3c...some 4b??? No clue

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"I remember your childhood hair....flowin' wild at the county fair" - kelley stoltz

"and all the hours that you've been sitting at your vanity....may they carry you far from your misery" - conor oberst
Depends on how young it is and if it is sick or not if it will survive. I found two kittens years ago that were abandoned. Neither of them made it. I was young at the time and didn't take them to the vet. If I were you, I would take it to a vet and have it checked out. Vet will be able to give you a better assessment. Being a cat lover myself, I know I would probably want to keep it too. Good luck!! Keep us up to date on the kitty.

Oh, and if he is OK and you do keep it, kittens are just like puppies. . . love to get into things But they are a lot of fun!!
3b/c
Take it to a vet asap. The staff there will be able to advise you on how best to proceed in terms of care and nursing baby kitty back to health.

Good on you for taking action when the lady you spoke with did not.

Please keep us updated!

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My daughters found a newborn kitten and brought it home to me. The eyes were still closed and the cord was attached. I immediately took him to the vet and he gave me a formula and small bottles for him. I fed him every 2 hours and burped him. Not sure how you can do this if you are at work. Your cat may be old enough to where it doesn't have to be fed as often and may even be able to eat cat food.

Last edited by Lotsawaves; 05-07-2013 at 09:53 AM.
As others have said, the first thing to do is take it to the vet and have it tested for any illnesses. Once it's a little older, it will probably need to be de-wormed and treated for common parasites like coccidia (it's rare for kittens born outside not to have these small problems).

It sounds like you already have the kitten formula, which is great, but you need to feed it very frequently (every few hours) at this young of an age (just like a human baby). You'll should only have to do this frequent of feeding for a few more weeks (2-3 weeks max) before you can introduce it to regular kitten food and let it self-feed when you are not home. Until then, do you know anyone who could feed it when you are not around? Or could you ask the vet if there is a way to set up a self-feeder with formula in it?

Please do keep us updated! If you have been wanting a cat, then I say the arrival of this kitten is telling you just one thing: the time has come!
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If it's walking, it's old enough to survive.

The crying is normal, because it's not normal for them to be alone. Cats are social animals, they're just more independent than dogs. At that age, they're not away from their mom for long, even then there's usually siblings.

Things you should know before taking thing on. They are born as needy as a human newborn. A lot of the advise is the the same, like you can't spoil a newborn. They have their emotional needs too. Having a good bond with the mom (even seragate) feeling loved and secure is the key to them having healthy bonds as an adult.

They can not maintain their body temperature. A newborn can die of hypothermia on a warm spring day, if it's not warm enough. They need to be kept in a warm room, provided with lots of cuddles, and blankets. Sasha felt better when she had a plush doll to cuddle with when I couldn't.

They need to be fed every 4-6 hours, if memory serves. I would start weening immediately because once those teeth grow in they'll chew off those bottle nipples almost immediately. I was unable to find a place that sold the nipples separately, and buying bottles every feeding or 2 adds up.

They are also not born with the ability to use the bathroom on their own. You have to take a damp washcloth and wipe their bottoms to trigger a reflex.

Cats are clean because their mamas gave them high standards by bathing them constantly. You'd have to reproduce this, before and after meals, naps, bathroom, being touched. You'll be bathing them like 100x a day.

And finally, there's an ongoing debate on whether cats are actually domesticated. Basically cats long ago learned to behave in a way that gets them a free ride. That knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation. If you have another adult cat, they will teach it, if not it's up to you. Do to the language barrier, it takes significantly more work to teach them everything from litter training to playing nice. Teaching them not to bite is one of the hardest.

If you don't feel up to the task, there are fosters who specialize in this.
Depends on how young it is and if it is sick or not if it will survive. I found two kittens years ago that were abandoned. Neither of them made it. I was young at the time and didn't take them to the vet. If I were you, I would take it to a vet and have it checked out. Vet will be able to give you a better assessment. Being a cat lover myself, I know I would probably want to keep it too. Good luck!! Keep us up to date on the kitty.

Oh, and if he is OK and you do keep it, kittens are just like puppies. . . love to get into things But they are a lot of fun!!
Originally Posted by munchkin
Take it to a vet asap. The staff there will be able to advise you on how best to proceed in terms of care and nursing baby kitty back to health.

Good on you for taking action when the lady you spoke with did not.

Please keep us updated!
Originally Posted by claudine191
I will definitely get to the vet as soon as possible!

My daughters found a newborn kitten and brought it home to me. The eyes were still closed and the cord was attached. I immediately took him to the vet and he gave me a formula and small bottles for him. I fed him every 2 hours and burped him. Not sure how you can do this if you are at work. Your cat may be old enough to where it doesn't have to be fed as often and may even be able to eat cat food.
Originally Posted by Lotsawaves
That's encouraging that the one you found was even younger. I will as the vet about how often the feedings need to be....

As others have said, the first thing to do is take it to the vet and have it tested for any illnesses. Once it's a little older, it will probably need to be de-wormed and treated for common parasites like coccidia (it's rare for kittens born outside not to have these small problems).

It sounds like you already have the kitten formula, which is great, but you need to feed it very frequently (every few hours) at this young of an age (just like a human baby). You'll should only have to do this frequent of feeding for a few more weeks (2-3 weeks max) before you can introduce it to regular kitten food and let it self-feed when you are not home. Until then, do you know anyone who could feed it when you are not around? Or could you ask the vet if there is a way to set up a self-feeder with formula in it?

Please do keep us updated! If you have been wanting a cat, then I say the arrival of this kitten is telling you just one thing: the time has come!
Originally Posted by Hootenanny
Thanks!! I'm considering asking the vet if he can board it...during the day? Or maybe until it is old enough to be alone for 8 hours? No one I know would be able to help, everyone works except for one girl who also happens to be terrified of cats.

If it's walking, it's old enough to survive.

The crying is normal, because it's not normal for them to be alone. Cats are social animals, they're just more independent than dogs. At that age, they're not away from their mom for long, even then there's usually siblings.

Things you should know before taking thing on. They are born as needy as a human newborn. A lot of the advise is the the same, like you can't spoil a newborn. They have their emotional needs too. Having a good bond with the mom (even seragate) feeling loved and secure is the key to them having healthy bonds as an adult.

They can not maintain their body temperature. A newborn can die of hypothermia on a warm spring day, if it's not warm enough. They need to be kept in a warm room, provided with lots of cuddles, and blankets. Sasha felt better when she had a plush doll to cuddle with when I couldn't.

They need to be fed every 4-6 hours, if memory serves. I would start weening immediately because once those teeth grow in they'll chew off those bottle nipples almost immediately. I was unable to find a place that sold the nipples separately, and buying bottles every feeding or 2 adds up.

They are also not born with the ability to use the bathroom on their own. You have to take a damp washcloth and wipe their bottoms to trigger a reflex.

Cats are clean because their mamas gave them high standards by bathing them constantly. You'd have to reproduce this, before and after meals, naps, bathroom, being touched. You'll be bathing them like 100x a day.

And finally, there's an ongoing debate on whether cats are actually domesticated. Basically cats long ago learned to behave in a way that gets them a free ride. That knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation. If you have another adult cat, they will teach it, if not it's up to you. Do to the language barrier, it takes significantly more work to teach them everything from litter training to playing nice. Teaching them not to bite is one of the hardest.

If you don't feel up to the task, there are fosters who specialize in this.
Originally Posted by cympreni
Wow, this is a lot of good advice. I will try to the keep the spoiling thing in mind...we spoiled our family dog and I always regret that as he has a lot of anxiety and control issues as an adult. Also I did not realize that about frequent bathings....I was thinking I should clean it as little as possible! I will invest in some kitty wipes.


THANKS SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED. I'm feeling tons better now.....plus I had a friend pop over to feed him, and she said he was sleeping when she got there and sleeping when she left, so at least he's not just crying for hours on end.

I will update (and try to get a real picture up from my phone) after the vet visit.


4a?? Maybe 3c...some 4b??? No clue

tiny s-waves, coils, and spirals


- Cleanser: CJ Daily Fix or KC Come Clean
- Co-wash: Suave Naturals or V05
- RO: GVP Conditioning Balm or Tresemme Naturals
-Stylers: Garnier Pure Clean Gel, CJ Aloe Fix, KCCC


"I remember your childhood hair....flowin' wild at the county fair" - kelley stoltz

"and all the hours that you've been sitting at your vanity....may they carry you far from your misery" - conor oberst
Depends on how young it is and if it is sick or not if it will survive. I found two kittens years ago that were abandoned. Neither of them made it. I was young at the time and didn't take them to the vet. If I were you, I would take it to a vet and have it checked out. Vet will be able to give you a better assessment. Being a cat lover myself, I know I would probably want to keep it too. Good luck!! Keep us up to date on the kitty.

Oh, and if he is OK and you do keep it, kittens are just like puppies. . . love to get into things But they are a lot of fun!!
Originally Posted by munchkin
Take it to a vet asap. The staff there will be able to advise you on how best to proceed in terms of care and nursing baby kitty back to health.

Good on you for taking action when the lady you spoke with did not.

Please keep us updated!
Originally Posted by claudine191
I will definitely get to the vet as soon as possible!



That's encouraging that the one you found was even younger. I will as the vet about how often the feedings need to be....

As others have said, the first thing to do is take it to the vet and have it tested for any illnesses. Once it's a little older, it will probably need to be de-wormed and treated for common parasites like coccidia (it's rare for kittens born outside not to have these small problems).

It sounds like you already have the kitten formula, which is great, but you need to feed it very frequently (every few hours) at this young of an age (just like a human baby). You'll should only have to do this frequent of feeding for a few more weeks (2-3 weeks max) before you can introduce it to regular kitten food and let it self-feed when you are not home. Until then, do you know anyone who could feed it when you are not around? Or could you ask the vet if there is a way to set up a self-feeder with formula in it?

Please do keep us updated! If you have been wanting a cat, then I say the arrival of this kitten is telling you just one thing: the time has come!
Originally Posted by Hootenanny
Thanks!! I'm considering asking the vet if he can board it...during the day? Or maybe until it is old enough to be alone for 8 hours? No one I know would be able to help, everyone works except for one girl who also happens to be terrified of cats.

If it's walking, it's old enough to survive.

The crying is normal, because it's not normal for them to be alone. Cats are social animals, they're just more independent than dogs. At that age, they're not away from their mom for long, even then there's usually siblings.

Things you should know before taking thing on. They are born as needy as a human newborn. A lot of the advise is the the same, like you can't spoil a newborn. They have their emotional needs too. Having a good bond with the mom (even seragate) feeling loved and secure is the key to them having healthy bonds as an adult.

They can not maintain their body temperature. A newborn can die of hypothermia on a warm spring day, if it's not warm enough. They need to be kept in a warm room, provided with lots of cuddles, and blankets. Sasha felt better when she had a plush doll to cuddle with when I couldn't.

They need to be fed every 4-6 hours, if memory serves. I would start weening immediately because once those teeth grow in they'll chew off those bottle nipples almost immediately. I was unable to find a place that sold the nipples separately, and buying bottles every feeding or 2 adds up.

They are also not born with the ability to use the bathroom on their own. You have to take a damp washcloth and wipe their bottoms to trigger a reflex.

Cats are clean because their mamas gave them high standards by bathing them constantly. You'd have to reproduce this, before and after meals, naps, bathroom, being touched. You'll be bathing them like 100x a day.

And finally, there's an ongoing debate on whether cats are actually domesticated. Basically cats long ago learned to behave in a way that gets them a free ride. That knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation. If you have another adult cat, they will teach it, if not it's up to you. Do to the language barrier, it takes significantly more work to teach them everything from litter training to playing nice. Teaching them not to bite is one of the hardest.

If you don't feel up to the task, there are fosters who specialize in this.
Originally Posted by cympreni
Wow, this is a lot of good advice. I will try to the keep the spoiling thing in mind...we spoiled our family dog and I always regret that as he has a lot of anxiety and control issues as an adult. Also I did not realize that about frequent bathings....I was thinking I should clean it as little as possible! I will invest in some kitty wipes.


THANKS SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED. I'm feeling tons better now.....plus I had a friend pop over to feed him, and she said he was sleeping when she got there and sleeping when she left, so at least he's not just crying for hours on end.

I will update (and try to get a real picture up from my phone) after the vet visit.
Originally Posted by triple_spiral

I think she might have meant that you ~are~ supposed to do everything you can to baby and spoil it...but it won't turn out spoiled bc babies need that.

(I could be wrong, tho.)
murrrcat likes this.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Oh....that is an important distinction. I re-read and I think you're right! So if I pick it up, pet it, etc every time it starts crying.....that's good? And not teaching it to cry?


4a?? Maybe 3c...some 4b??? No clue

tiny s-waves, coils, and spirals


- Cleanser: CJ Daily Fix or KC Come Clean
- Co-wash: Suave Naturals or V05
- RO: GVP Conditioning Balm or Tresemme Naturals
-Stylers: Garnier Pure Clean Gel, CJ Aloe Fix, KCCC


"I remember your childhood hair....flowin' wild at the county fair" - kelley stoltz

"and all the hours that you've been sitting at your vanity....may they carry you far from your misery" - conor oberst
No need to buy kitty wipes, a damp washcloth will do.

Spoiling is really just for the newborn stage. Once they better at seeing and getting around then they'll start craving more independence which can start as early as 4 weeks old. They're going to be wanting to explore, play and practice their skills. Just play it by ear and that part will be fine.

Losing your mom if naturally traumatizing, so their might be a slight delay. But after they regain the sense of safety and security, they'll start catching up.

It's really only the first weeks where they're really needy. One of the cool things about kittens is they're born completely helpless, but hit those developmental milestones very quickly. If you know what to look for, you can very closely guess it's age. The younger it is, the more accurate it is.

I'll see if I can find the site I used for Sasha. Her mom was hit by a car at aprox. 3 1/2 weeks. (yes they can even pinpoint days, they grow up that fast) It was very detailed and informative.
murrrcat likes this.
Depends on how young it is and if it is sick or not if it will survive. I found two kittens years ago that were abandoned. Neither of them made it. I was young at the time and didn't take them to the vet. If I were you, I would take it to a vet and have it checked out. Vet will be able to give you a better assessment. Being a cat lover myself, I know I would probably want to keep it too. Good luck!! Keep us up to date on the kitty.

Oh, and if he is OK and you do keep it, kittens are just like puppies. . . love to get into things But they are a lot of fun!!
Originally Posted by munchkin


I will definitely get to the vet as soon as possible!



That's encouraging that the one you found was even younger. I will as the vet about how often the feedings need to be....



Thanks!! I'm considering asking the vet if he can board it...during the day? Or maybe until it is old enough to be alone for 8 hours? No one I know would be able to help, everyone works except for one girl who also happens to be terrified of cats.

If it's walking, it's old enough to survive.

The crying is normal, because it's not normal for them to be alone. Cats are social animals, they're just more independent than dogs. At that age, they're not away from their mom for long, even then there's usually siblings.

Things you should know before taking thing on. They are born as needy as a human newborn. A lot of the advise is the the same, like you can't spoil a newborn. They have their emotional needs too. Having a good bond with the mom (even seragate) feeling loved and secure is the key to them having healthy bonds as an adult.

They can not maintain their body temperature. A newborn can die of hypothermia on a warm spring day, if it's not warm enough. They need to be kept in a warm room, provided with lots of cuddles, and blankets. Sasha felt better when she had a plush doll to cuddle with when I couldn't.

They need to be fed every 4-6 hours, if memory serves. I would start weening immediately because once those teeth grow in they'll chew off those bottle nipples almost immediately. I was unable to find a place that sold the nipples separately, and buying bottles every feeding or 2 adds up.

They are also not born with the ability to use the bathroom on their own. You have to take a damp washcloth and wipe their bottoms to trigger a reflex.

Cats are clean because their mamas gave them high standards by bathing them constantly. You'd have to reproduce this, before and after meals, naps, bathroom, being touched. You'll be bathing them like 100x a day.

And finally, there's an ongoing debate on whether cats are actually domesticated. Basically cats long ago learned to behave in a way that gets them a free ride. That knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation. If you have another adult cat, they will teach it, if not it's up to you. Do to the language barrier, it takes significantly more work to teach them everything from litter training to playing nice. Teaching them not to bite is one of the hardest.

If you don't feel up to the task, there are fosters who specialize in this.
Originally Posted by cympreni
Wow, this is a lot of good advice. I will try to the keep the spoiling thing in mind...we spoiled our family dog and I always regret that as he has a lot of anxiety and control issues as an adult. Also I did not realize that about frequent bathings....I was thinking I should clean it as little as possible! I will invest in some kitty wipes.


THANKS SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED. I'm feeling tons better now.....plus I had a friend pop over to feed him, and she said he was sleeping when she got there and sleeping when she left, so at least he's not just crying for hours on end.

I will update (and try to get a real picture up from my phone) after the vet visit.
Originally Posted by triple_spiral

I think she might have meant that you ~are~ supposed to do everything you can to baby and spoil it...but it won't turn out spoiled bc babies need that.

(I could be wrong, tho.)
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Yes. that's what I meant. Love and affection is as vital to newborns as food. That sense of love, security, that they're needs will be met, and they will be protected, allows their bodies to devote their resources to growing up healthy. They are not physically ready to handle the stress of survival. The burden is too big and takes a toll on them.

But like I said, they're a lot like human babies. They're born needy and helpless, then they hit the toddler stage and they'll be too busy for you.
The only difference is with kittens it happens in a matter of a few months instead of years.
Sweet little kitty. Good for you!!!!!
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Oh....that is an important distinction. I re-read and I think you're right! So if I pick it up, pet it, etc every time it starts crying.....that's good? And not teaching it to cry?
Originally Posted by triple_spiral
No you're not teaching it to cry, only responding to it's needs. They cry when they're hungry, cold, lonely, scared, etc. It's not normal or natural of a newborn kitten to be alone. Moms don't leave newborns except to eat or use the bathroom, and then they have their siblings. And keep in mind the kitten has just been through a huge trauma of losing it's mom and whole family, it's going to need extra comfort.

They form very strong bonds with their family. With my cat, the litter was separated in a thunderstorm and ended up with different people in the neighborhood. When they were old enough, they started visiting each other, and getting lovey dovey with the other owners. Some of them hadn't seen each other in a year, but they still remembered. That's how strong the bonds they form are.
Run to the vet Iv found 4 orphaned kittens b4 they most likely to hv eye problems cuz no momy to lick clean the eyes so they need an eye drops n kittens most likely to hv stomach issues.
Should a hot water bottle be left w/ them for warmth? I think I've heard that but IDK.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

If he is crying a lot and it is determined he is not sick, he could just be scared. Some cats adapt to new environments immediately; others take a while.* I would just pet him. Once he knows he is safe, he will probably calm down.

*Example: About 25 years ago we moved. The cat we had at the time cried (continually) in the new house for THREE days (almost drove me batty). Once she knew it was now her new home, and that we weren't leaving her, she calmed down.
3b/c

Last edited by munchkin; 05-07-2013 at 01:06 PM.
I kept mine in a basket with a heating pad, so he would stay warm enough. I had a large miniature poodle at the time and he was so good with the kitten. He would let it sleep next to him.
Should a hot water bottle be left w/ them for warmth? I think I've heard that but IDK.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
might be useful for a younger cat, but for that age, a warm room and a box with blankets should be enough. As long as they're not shivering they're warm enough.
If he is crying a lot and it is determined he is not sick, he could just be scared. Some cats adapt to new environments immediately; others take a while.* I would just pet him. Once he knows he is safe, he will probably calm down.

*Example: About 25 years ago we moved. The cat we had at the time cried (continually) in the new house for THREE days (almost drove me batty). Once she knew it was now her new home, and that we weren't leaving her, she calmed down.
Originally Posted by munchkin
I have a vet's appt in a hour an a half, but I think it may just be scared. It stops crying when I pick it up and/or pet it. I realized this morning that it may actually be a little blind, and looking for reassurance that I'm still in the room.


4a?? Maybe 3c...some 4b??? No clue

tiny s-waves, coils, and spirals


- Cleanser: CJ Daily Fix or KC Come Clean
- Co-wash: Suave Naturals or V05
- RO: GVP Conditioning Balm or Tresemme Naturals
-Stylers: Garnier Pure Clean Gel, CJ Aloe Fix, KCCC


"I remember your childhood hair....flowin' wild at the county fair" - kelley stoltz

"and all the hours that you've been sitting at your vanity....may they carry you far from your misery" - conor oberst

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