Rescue – Emergency Kitten Care

Emergency Kitten Care – You found a kitten(s)? What should you do?

The first few hours of rescue of tiny orphan kittens can make the difference between life and death.  Here’s some basic steps to take:

1) Provide Warmth – kittens cannot regulate body heat until about 3 weeks old. Get a clean cardboard box from any shop. Line with newspapers and soft cloth. Be sure to punch airholes if you will close the box for transport. Fill a plastic bottle with hot water, wrap it in a towel and put it by the kittens – instant Mama.

2) Wait, look for Mama. She may be away seeking food. She will usually jump in the box with her babies when she comes back and be happy to have a nest. If no mama after 3 hours, take them home. They literally will take up no morein your house than a box.   

3) Hydrate – Dehydration and drops in blood sugar are the main threats to tiny ones. You will want to get KMR Kitten Milk Replacer but if you need time to get it, you can still help the kittens survive. Dissolve some sugar or glucose in boiling water, cool water to be warm not hot. Other emergency alternatives – dilute evaporated milk, goat milk, chicken soup for 1 or 2 feedings while you get them the good kitten milk from a vet or pet store.

4) Feed with a syringe, spoon, or even fill a glove and poke a small hole in a finger so kittens can suck. Just give a tiny bit – 1 drop at a time. Keep kittens 4 feet down on their tummy to feed, never on their back. Flooding mouths can cause them to aspirate liquid into lungs.
5) Get Kitten Milk, a bottle with small nipple, and feed every 2 to 3 hours!

6) Stimulate. Get a tissue, dip in water and gently rub the bottom. Kittens cannot pee or poop on their own when small. Do this before and after every feeding.

And watch them grow!

If you can find a nursing cat mom to be surrogate, that is best. But if not, you can save tiny lives. You can do this!


Lots of good info on neonatal kitten care on www.kittenlady.org and www.alleycat.org and others.

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