Raising a 1 week old kitten. Need advice

@knicnax (2234)
Philippines
March 20, 2011 9:31pm CST
Last Thursday night, while I was walking home, I heard a very loud cry from a kitten. I tried looking for the source of the sound and lo and behold, I found myself carrying home a very tiny kitten. Probably a week old. He was really hungry as he kept on sucking at my palms and fingers. I named him Kaimi because the street I found him in is named Kaimito Avenue I didn't have any cat milk at home, so i tried feeding him water, but it seems that he doesn't like it. I tried feeding him cow's milk, which I know isn't the best alternative for him, but at least it's milk. I went to the vet the next day to look for kitty milk, I found none. Instead I was advised to dilute soft cat food in water and feed it to my kitten. I was also given a syringe to help get the food in his mouth ( I used plastic with a tiny hole before I had the syringe). I find that Kaimi doesn't like the food that much, and I have the feeling that he'll want milk better, so when I got off work on saturday, I went to this pet store which I find to have a very extensive collection of stuff (most pet stores and vets here in the Philippines stocks items mostly for dogs, and they just stock on the usual stuff, like food, shampoo, brushes etc). I found a baby bottle and a carton of 1L lactose free pet milk. It turns out, Kaimi does like the milk but doesn't know how to use the feeding bottle, so i still use the syringe for that. I feed him by wrapping a face towel around his body, so that his legs wont move around much and make feeding difficult. He just bobs his head a lot and cries, trying to get out of the towel and my grip. I drop a few milk in his mouth whenever he cries. I know I'm risking drowning him but I see no other way. He urinates a lot, which is a relief since he won't be putting something out if he doesn't have anything in him right? though he's not pooping. Is it normal? He's just taking in milk. Also, is there a way where I can train him to use the bottle or feed him in a less "torture-style" way? It pains me to see him cry everytime I bind him with the towel. Any tips on how to make him survive is really appreciated. Thanks!
2 people like this
8 responses
@ratyz5 (7829)
• Philippines
21 Mar 11
That's very admirable of you in trying to take care that kitten, Kaimi. Shame on that mother cat. Just giving birth to it and leaving it out there.. I wish you can find a mother cat that can 'adopt' your kitten so that it can be nursed by it. That's how our pet dog before did with some stray cats my brother brought home before. That's just a suggestion though.. Good luck!
@knicnax (2234)
• Philippines
21 Mar 11
Your pet dog nursed the kittens? How sweet. I remember, we had a dog who wanted to have kids so bad that she wanted the new born kittens of our cat to suck milk out of her. It was funny how the our mother cat fought our dog over the ownership of the kittens. I'll try looking for mothers that can nurse Kaimi. It's still best to have a mother take care of the kitten
1 person likes this
@ratyz5 (7829)
• Philippines
21 Mar 11
Yeah, it is indeed. Along a grassy highway near our place, we would hear a lot of kittens there. Obviously being left by their careless cat mommy. Then again, there are those who take care of them until they reach a particular age when the mommy cat can actually leave them be. It's quite unfortunate for your Kaimi to be left just after a few weeks of entering this world. I also recall a time when I was on my way home and it was raining. At first, I really didn't know what the black lump was on the road, but as I closely inspected, it was actually a kitten who barely knew how to walk. I tried to take care of it back at my place, tried your method in having it drink milk. My sister also tried to help. Our pet dog was long gone when that happened so there wasn't anyone there that could nurse it with 'natural' milk...?
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@knicnax (2234)
• Philippines
22 Mar 11
That's my problem now, natural milk and the natural way of feeding Kaimi. He's so stressed when I feed him, and no matter how hard I try to use the suggestions of others, he wouldn't eat. I don't have the time to patiently wait for him to learn to feed for himself, I'm so tired from work when I get home. I'll probably train him on the weekend when I have the luxury of time. How did the black lump fare? did you manage to keep him alive?
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@noorhizat (209)
• Malaysia
21 Mar 11
We bring back "manis" when she jumps onto my elders son's lap at the restaurant some 11 years ago. We feed her and bath her. She was with us for 6 years during which time she gave birth to 4 little kitten. A kitten feed on her belly. It will take some time for it to poop solids. Like babies kitten will poop liquid for some time before they poop solids. When it poop make sure to wipe the backside. It is what the mom will do to it after it poop (normally the mom lick the rear end). This will make the bond between you and Kaimi closer. Try to put the liquid food in a small saucer and put it near the saucer an encourage it to lick it. Dip a finger in the liquid and put it at it's mouth and nose. Do it several times until it knows how to lick it by it self.
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@knicnax (2234)
• Philippines
21 Mar 11
I'll try this. I'll train her to lick as soon as I find a small enough bowl to train him with. Thanks for this suggestion
• Malaysia
21 Mar 11
my pleasure. have you find out what kind of cat is it?
1 person likes this
@knicnax (2234)
• Philippines
22 Mar 11
It's what we call "pusakal" here in my country. It's an abbreviation of pusang kalye. "pusa" means cat and "kalye" means street. "pusakal" means that there's no breed :)
@whatrow (793)
• United States
21 Mar 11
Wow! You have a serious problem. A kitten must remain with its mother for at least 8 weeks before it can be adopted or live on its own. This cat has had no opportunity to bond with its mother. And, this is critical to its survival. Regarding the food, kittens cannot drink regular milk. Although, I guess something is better thannothing. Your vet should have given you a special formula along with the syringe. Also, he needs to be fed every few hours. I will be checking the discussions frequently for updates on your situation. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@globaldoc (860)
• Philippines
21 Mar 11
oh no, cats. lol...i just let my cat suffer from hunger, and it learned to feed on its own.
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@knicnax (2234)
• Philippines
22 Mar 11
Oh I don't have the heart to do that. If I did, I wouldn't have picked him up and brought him home. Though sometimes I think, that'll be the best solution. Necessity is the mother of invention after all
@minx267 (12428)
• Hartford, Connecticut
21 Mar 11
Yea, I was going to respond but -what Elic Said.... I have raised and nursed quite a few infant kittens. and when they are that young they need to be stimulated to go potty. I usually use a slightly moist paper towel to make them go. Mom would lick them and gross though it is. lap up the urine and poo. So using a paper towel (moistened to help with clean up) worked best for me. This should be done quite often and especially after every meal.(you could wait a few to let food digest.) Make sure when using the syringe to only give him a few drops at a time. If the food is accidentally inhaled because he was trying to take a breath and it goes in his lungs instead he will aspirate and can very easily die at that young age. good luck
@knicnax (2234)
• Philippines
21 Mar 11
okay, I'll do this when I get home. I left Kaimi to the care of my 15 year old brother, and I don't expect him to do that for Kaimi. He'll be so grossed out. I only drop a few and make sure that his mouth is open so as to avoid his nose,but I'll be extra careful, now that you mentioned it. I'll try convinving him to open his mouth than to force it when he's wailing. Thanks for the advise :)
@natnickeep (2340)
• United States
21 Mar 11
One of my cats had a premature litter of kittens. I did my best to keep them alive. We got some goats milk from the store. It is supposed to be best and found in the pet isle. For puppies and kittens. They also didn't do well with the bottle it was just to big. Try putting a little in the palm of your hand and cup it and put the kitten there. It's hard to explain but this worked for me they suckled on my hand and eventually got it licked up. Only a few of them made it. It was very sad. You can ask around to see if anyones cat you know has had kittens recently and do a little adoption. The new mother will feed that kitten too. Just some ideas. I wish you the best of luck with it.
1 person likes this
@knicnax (2234)
• Philippines
21 Mar 11
I do hope he makes it. I'll try to find a mother car who can take him in. I have a friend who's curious about Kaimi, maybe he has the mother? I really hope he does. I'll try having him lick of my palm. It might work :) Plus it might bring us closer :) Thanks
• Chile
21 Mar 11
very nice and useful
1 person likes this
21 Mar 11
may be the kitten was very hungry
@knicnax (2234)
• Philippines
21 Mar 11
Yes. He was very hungry when I picked him up.