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April 2024

Nursing a Newborn Kitten

Saturday, December 29, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

When caring for a new born kitten without it’s mother, it’s important that it’s fed properly.  The first thing to do is sterilize the kitten sized bottles in boiling water for about five minutes. Make sure they are cool before using. Place a large towel, a rough wash cloth and a bowl of warm water next to a comfortable chair.  Fill the bottle with  kitten milk replacement such as KMR.  Warm the bottle by placing it in a bowl of very hot water. Test it on your forearm. The temperature should be between 95 and 100 degrees fahrenheit or approximately body temperature.  Test the nipple to make sure that the milk flows properly. The milk should not leak out when the bottle is turned up side down. The milk should flow out when the nipple is gently pressed with your fingers.

Sit in the chair with the towel folded on your lap. Place the kitten face down on your lap and make sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. If he’s cold, he could develop digestive problems after feeding.  Without raising the kitten’s head, place the nipple in his mouth.  He should start nursing right away. Continue nursing until he is finished but do not overfeed.

If the kitten does not start nursing right away, check the nipple again.  Stroke his head and gently pet his back to start nursing reflexes.  Once he gets the idea, he will nurse readily.

Like humans, kittens need to be burped after nursing.  Hold one hand under his abdomen and very gently pat his back.  To stimulate defecation, , use a warm damp wash cloth or paper towel and gently massage his genital area. Don’t despair if he does not defecate right away. Urinating may take a bit longer.

After he is  done  feeding,  put him back in his bed and let him sleep undisturbed.

Remember, your pets count!

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