If you find newborn kittens, the first thing you should do is see what state they are in. If they are clean and hot, you can keep an eye on them for a couple of hours to see if the mom comes back. Many times moms are street kittens who are afraid of people, so they won’t approach their babies if there’s a person around.
If the mommy doesn’t come back, you need to rescue them, give them a heat source, and take them to a veterinary clinic trained in felines. As for feeding, they need breast milk, but if they are orphans they should take the formula for kittens. Under no circumstances should they be given cow’s milk, since it does not nourish them and can generate diarrhea that, in babies of this age, is fatal.
How to know the age of a cat?
Here’s how you can determine their age as accurately as possible:
Newborns (0 weeks)
Newborn kittens have their eyes closed and their ears bent (glued to their head). They have no teeth and still have the umbilical cord in place (this usually falls out between day 4 or 5). They can’t walk either, but they can crawl back and forth to get closer to or away from their heat source. At this age they cannot regulate their temperature, so they will need a constant heat source. They should be alert and react when you touch them (either moving or crying). The normal weight in this week is between 75-150 grams.
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In this week they are a little more active, they can lift their little head better and they are definitely more eaters. They should weigh between 150-250 grams and eat every 2-3 hours. Between days 8-12, they begin to open the eyes and at 7 days the ears begin to open, and begin to react more to sounds.
At this stage, they already have their eyes completely open and blue (due to the lack of pigmentation). They have large pupils and their vision is not good. At this age, they spend more time awake and begin to take their first uncoordinated steps. They should weigh between 250-350 grams and eat every 3-4 hours.
At this age, their vision improves and their pupils can already dilate depending on the amount of light. Their ears are fully developed and listen well. They should weigh between 350-450 grams and eat every 4-5 hours. They already look like kittens! They can walk a little better although they are still a little clumsy. The first teeth begin to come out, the incisors, which are to groom.
At this age, the canines descend. However, this does not mean that they can eat meat, so they still need a formula or breast milk. Most kittens of this age already know how to use the sandbox, but some may need to be stimulated. They should weigh between 450-550 grams and should eat every 5-6 hours.
These babies are already fierce hunters and have premolars in mind, which means that it is the ideal age to start weaning. At this age, they no longer need a constant heat source. They should weigh between 550-650 grams and eat pâté every 6 hours, but they should continue to be supplemented with formula until they eat the pâté correctly. It is extremely important to monitor their weight, and ensure that they gain weight in this vulnerable period.
6 weeks or more
6-week-old kittens already have all their baby teeth and over the course of this week, their eyes begin to change color. They should weigh between 650-750 grams and eat wet and dry puppy food every 6 hours, they no longer need formula! They already know how to play, groom, eat alone and use the sandbox.
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