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Orphaned Kittens.

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 14th, 2019 10:58:31am
267 Posts

This morning on my way home from class I stumbled upon four newborn kittens (umbilical cord still attached, but dried out) on a sidewalk, without touching them I thought they had passed and I was going to bury them. I reached down and touched one, it was ice-cold. All of them must've been dumped or sitting there all night after birth. I went to scoop them up and I heard a soft cry from one of them, my heart started pounding, I was surprised it was still alive. I went through and rubbed them all on their chest, they all moved or cried a little. They all were still alive! 


I quickly wrapped them in my spring jacket and held them close to try and warm them as I sped walked home. On my way, I saw a female cat hit in the middle of the road (she had the same coloration as the babies), she looked as if she recently gave birth from the extra skin in her stomach region and she looked full of milk. I knew then, these kittens are now my responsibility. When I got home, they were still barely moving and cold. I ran warm water over each of them (keeping their heads out of course) and watched them slowly come back to life. Once I had them warm and dry, I put them in a box with a towel and went to do research on how to care for them.


After, I ran to Wal-mart with the babies on board (lol) to pick up supplies. I ran inside got a heating pad, cat milk replacement, and the tiniest baby bottle ever. I sped home because they were starting to deteriorate and become cold again. Once home, I put the heating pad in the bottom of a box and a towel over the top and placed the babies inside. They slowly started to come back to me when the pad started to warm. When they were warm, I warmed their milk and fed them such a tiny amount it didn't look like they ate at all. However, after I fed them they started worming around more and more, and their crying became louder. I waited about 20 minutes and tried to get them to suckle from the bottle again. This time they knew what was going on and really went in! Thank God. 


I'm currently writing this maybe 30 minutes after I fed them and they're all sleeping on the heating pad in their box. I have yet to check genders, as I was more worried about making sure they were alive and eating. You'll get an update on if they're boys and girls later today, maybe we can come up with some name options together! For now, my full grown cat is very interested in what's going on but doesn't really know what they are. She never had a batch of kittens of her own but I'm hoping she will attach to them, help bathe and warm them. 


I plan to make a vet appointment later today just to make sure I'm doing everything right and to see if there's someone that has more time to care for these four. In the time before the vet appointment, have any of you raised newborn kittens, if so do you have any tips?! All the help I can get is more than welcome, I know the basics of caring for them but it's going to be a long road and hopefully a beautiful ending!


-reu





 


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Reuel ◈ update!
May 14th, 2019 10:59:20am
267 Posts

-bumps- because I need some advice if you have some!





 

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mero;: } bye felicia 👋
May 14th, 2019 11:07:29am
4,680 Posts

I've never personally hand-raised kittens that young, but from my friends' similar experiences, I know it's very difficult and can be incredibly heartbreaking. They will need attention almost hourly around the clock for the first stretch, and even those that seem like they're doing well can simply suddenly pass for no apparent reason.

You'll need to feed them about 10 times per 24 hours, and they'll need to stay quite warm and in a room that isn't too dry - they chill and dehydrate very easily, especially since they cannot shiver to warm themselves up.

Kittens less than two weeks old cannot urinate/defecate independently; you will have to stimulate their voiding reflex manually as a mother cat would. (Warmed wet wipes can be good for this.) There are resources online to teach you how to accomplish this - usually they'll cry when they need to go and will stop following successful elimination.

If you plan on syringe feeding, please be VERY cautious and go slower than you think you need to; kittens can literally drown on formula or may otherwise aspirate it, which can lead to pneumonia and other respiratory issues.

Depending on your personal situation it might be better for you to contact a rescue or rehab dedicated to cats for help - it's a pretty intensive task!

Best of luck!!




 

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 14th, 2019 11:16:12am
267 Posts

There are two girls and two boys: https://i.imgur.com/rno1JJn.jpg 

 

Mero, thank you for the advice!

I knew about the feeding and them needing help to use the restroom. I've helped kittens in the past but they were much older than this so I don't know if I can do it on my own. I have scheduled a vet appointment but the earliest they could get me in was tomorrow afternoon. Praying I can keep them alive until then. The vet clinic can take them in, they're partnered with a no-kill shelter nearby. For the kittens to get to the no-kill shelter, I have to get them screened at the vet clinic so it's just a process. I asked a bunch of questions over the phone to the vet, from what I understand I'm currently doing everything right. The vet said if I keep up what I'm doing they will make it just fine, I'm just nervous! They're so young and tiny, I feel so bad. I hope someone didn't just dump them and the mom just got in the wrong place at the wrong time. 





 

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Lady Rancher 1, Wicked Wolves
May 14th, 2019 11:41:00am
501 Posts

I can't thank you enough for what you have done for them, lots of people would not have taken on such a task, Ive done it in the past about 15 yrs ago, 

it wasnt easy but hang in there and try not to get to attached to them I always did and it wasnt easy to let them go when the time came

 

God Bless you for the kind of person you are 




 

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Master Administrator Samantha
May 14th, 2019 11:41:15am
3,981 Posts

Aww ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

They're so lucky that a kind soul like you has found them.

My only advice is to watch some of the Kitten Lady's videos on fostering neonatal kittens. She also has an instagram account.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5VvB6tmC4lu_WCx7hE0PZA




 

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vida ✨ mustangs
May 14th, 2019 11:47:41am
1,592 Posts

 

Hi Reu,

You can also try The kitten Lady for more info, tips and videos here http://www.kittenlady.org/savekittens

She has a really good youtube channel as well, which you can probably find through her site

 

It has been a really long time since I had a bottle baby (I had A LOT of help at the time, including someone with a ton of experience and the baby was a little further along), but Mero's advice is all solid.  It is so very intensive, especially with your neonatal babies... I was going to reccomend finding a rescue group because it is so intense to keep those little babes going, but it looks like you already have all the right things going for you!

Just remember that no matter what happened in that situation for the kittens to end up orphaned, the would have had NO chance if you didn't step in... you were able to give them their first little bits of warmth and love!  Sending you and the precious little beebs all of my love and positive baby kitty vibes!  They will all have the best chance possible all because you stepped in to save them < 3

 




 

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 14th, 2019 12:01:50pm
267 Posts

Thank you all for your help and kind words!

They just got done with their second feeding for the day, I'm feeding every two hours and then helping them use the restroom every four. I'm about to sit down and binge watch some of the Kitten Lady videos. Thank you, Vida and Sam, for linking them to me! I decided on naming them Eeny, Meeny, Miny, and Moe just something to help me remember what ones I've already fed and who's already went potty. :) Eeny and Miny are the girls, Meeny and Moe are the boys! 

I'm hoping that the shelter can take them in, the vet said they were quite full at the moment due to it being the birthing season. If they can't take them in right away, I'll have them for a few days/weeks until they can. I don't have the time for them but I won't give up on them! Expect a very sleepy Reuel in the next few days/weeks if I do end up having to keep them. :)





 

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Administrator ~Broken Vow~
May 14th, 2019 1:59:59pm
3,585 Posts

Oh my gosh! Such bebbeesss! < 3
Thank you for taking them in and giving them a fighting chance!

The youngest I've handled and raised was about 4 weeks old, my Emmie kitty!
Even then she required a lot of time and attention!
It looks like you're on the right path though with quite a few resources to help you out! You got this!




 

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 14th, 2019 2:20:26pm
267 Posts

They are so cute and just ate for the third time. Two of them have really adapted to the bottle, but the two smaller ones are needing a bit of help to get the milk to their tummies! They are all going to the restroom wonderfully with help, I have them go before I feed. I need to make another run to Wal-mart to pick up an electric scale. I have nothing to weigh them to make sure they're growing and to make sure they're getting the proper amounts of food. I will pick one up tomorrow after I find out if I can give them away or keep them. 

Don't mind my terrible looking picture collage or their wet looking fur, feeding time is a messy time. xD I wipe them down with a damp cloth afterward to clean them up! Anyways, here's their tiny little faces, so cute! 

https://i.imgur.com/3mc6Rav.jpg





 

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Shadow - Finnhorse - Well Its been a wild ride
May 14th, 2019 3:59:04pm
39 Posts

 I don't have any advice being the youngest I've had is 3 weeks. But definitely hoping all goes well. Definitely is a rewarding experience. 




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noxhidis | foxes
May 14th, 2019 6:03:13pm
63 Posts

Hi there!

I managed the cats at a no-kill shelter for a year and raised my three kittens from two days old. As others have said, The Kitten Lady is a fantastic resource. I also recommend checking out the National Kitten Coalition here: https://kittencoalition.org/resources/informational-sheets/ Some of their information is aimed more at veterinarians and shelters, but several of the sheets there were incredibly helpful to me when I was raising the triplets.

It sounds like you've got a good grasp of the basics for how to care for them. :) If you do decide to care for them yourself, I might suggest trying syringe feeding for the two who are struggling with the bottle (and definitely tell the vet they're having trouble!) I prefer a syringe with a Miracle Nipple attached over the bottle because kittens seem to have an easier time with it, plus it made monitoring their food intake easier. If that's something you're interested in, The Kitten Lady has a page on it here (http://www.kittenlady.org/syringefeeding), and the shelter or vet might be willing to provide you with supplies.

Thank you so much for stopping to help the kittens! You've given them a fighting chance. Newborn kittens are fragile and it's scary lol, but you're doing a wonderful thing by taking them in and getting them the care they need. I wish you all the best, and if there's anything I can help with please let me know!!




 

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 14th, 2019 6:20:24pm
267 Posts

Thank you all for the helpful links & tips!

Noxhidis, I will have to get a syringe if I'm going to end up keeping them. I've ordered the Miracle Nipple in the normal size and also the large, just in case I have to keep them (if not, I'll just donate them to the shelter). I think their mouths due to them being the runts are just too small for the nipple I have now. I've been putting the very end of the nipple to their mouths and dropping the milk in until they start suckling on the very end, they seem to be getting milk this way but I'd like them to get it easier. The two bigger ones are feeding wonderfully on though, so that's very encouraging. I just have to get by with I have for now for the two runts, I feel so bad for them!





 

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Kuwait: The Alsatian King | Sickies. *kooofkoffkoffgasp |
May 14th, 2019 6:42:41pm
1,111 Posts

Thank you for helping them, you awesome person, you!

And the aforementioned "Kitten Lady" is AMAZING for information. I just love her videos. lol




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noxhidis | foxes
May 14th, 2019 7:00:33pm
63 Posts

It sounds like you're doing things just right! :) As long as they are getting some formula down the right tubes, they should be okay until the vet sees them tomorrow. That they're trying to suckle on the bottle is def a good sign.




 

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 14th, 2019 7:04:00pm
267 Posts

I was really excited to see them all at least try to suckle and the reflex was still there! I doubt any of them got colostrum or even got to suckle from their mom. I haven't had any issues of milk going out the nose, so that means it's going down to their tiny tummies and not into their lungs. I've been so afraid of that happening, really with the ones that are chugging the milk down. 





 

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tana ;; vacation july 6th - august 5th; jaya and zad watching
May 15th, 2019 6:48:37am
13,067 Posts

I've never heard of Kitten Lady before, but good to know she exists if I ever get my own kitten! I have no further advice to give, just a massive props to you for taking care of them! I hope they all get forever homes! Will you keep any of them?

Good luck with them, they're really adorable ♥




 

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 15th, 2019 8:54:14am
267 Posts

Tana,

My apartment only allows one small animal per unit, sadly I won't be able to keep them with me as I already have a full grown cat. I've worked out with my landlord to keep the kittens here until 10 weeks of age (two weeks after adoption age), she was very kind to let me do that. She was also very interested in one of the males if they make it. Maybe I can have my mom adopt one or two when they're old enough to have around the farm. Then again, we already have four barn cats as it is at home! We take in strays all the time and help them get back to good health then adopt them out. If I end up having to raise them that will probably be what happens. 

 

 

UPDATE:

The first night went smoothly however, I'm exhausted. Feeding and helping the kittens use the restroom does not take that long at all. The issue is my wondering/busy mind that keeps me awake after for around hour, that is not much good sleep between feedings. I cannot wait until they get older where they only need one big feeding per night, but that will be a few weeks. The vet appointment is today at 4:00 PM hopefully, they check out healthy and can get to a foster home that has the time for them. I am willing to keep them but it would be a really big problem with work and school.

On some good news, three of the babies (Eeny, Miny, and Moe) have really taken to the bottle (Eeny) is very small but was slowly adapting to it yesterday and then really took it on overnight. The four have also been using the restroom wonderfully each time I feed. On bad news, the other runt (Meeny) is not taking the bottle well, he's not latching right and it's really hard to get milk into him right now. I'm hoping the vet can help him with a different way of feeding or teach me personally if I'm doing something wrong. It also worries me that he (Meeny) is peeing each time I feed but not taking in a lot of fluids, I fear he may get dehydrated so I've been watching him closely. I've been doing the skin pinch method between his shoulder blades to see how "elastic" his skin is, so far he seems to not be dehydrated, thank God. 





 

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vida ✨ mustangs
May 15th, 2019 10:32:12am
1,592 Posts

MY HEART LITERALLY EXPLODED at those pictures!  I just cannot handle how freaking adorable those little munches are!  And I just love your name choices!

Best of luck today at the vet!  I hope Meeny hangs in there just fine, we are all pulling for the sweet beeb (and YOU!)! < 3




 

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 15th, 2019 10:44:13am
267 Posts

 Vida, 

I know right, they're so cute! If they were dumped on the sidewalk with their mother, the person that did that had no heart at all. I'm so happy I was put in the right place at the right time to help these little guys, I've grown quite attached and only want the best for these four. They are in my life for a reason as I'm in theirs for a reason hopefully, everything turns out well. Thank you for your kind wishes! I'll be fine, a little lack of sleep for a few weeks never hurt anybody. Especially for these helpless innocent little guys & gals. :) I'll post more pictures in the coming weeks if we don't find a foster. 





 

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Reuel ◈ update!
May 15th, 2019 11:28:08am
267 Posts

UPDATE:

The vet clinic called and said that the vet that is working today wants to see the kitten crew asap! Our appointment got moved up to noon, rather than 4:00 PM. :)





 

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