Gosh friends I’m pooped. I have totally forgotten how it feels to be up all night bottle feeding babies. And I have found a total new respect for people who rescue kittens. It is so much work. I don’t even know where to start.
Also check out my other cat care posts about choosing pet health insurance, how to get cats to stop scratching furniture, how to help a scared cat adjust, my elderly cat care tips and how I trap, neuter and return feral cats in our neighborhood.
What I’ve learned from caring for kittens
Kittens are like having human newborns
Our little ones were around 3 weeks old last week and that week I was up every 3-4 hours to feed them. This week I’m feeding every 4-6 weeks but when you have newborns to take care of then it’s every 2 hours. Just imagine having a larger litter to take care of. The three are a lot already. It takes me about 1.5-2 hours to feed all three of them. Especially the two little ones are such slow drinkers.
They need to learn to eat wet food
That’s not all of it though, I’m trying to start them on wet food which is such a messy process. Generally you start weaning kittens around 4 weeks old. They don’t eat much yet, instead they roll around in it which then means I have to wash them all which they hate. I try to have them eat wet food in the morning and in the evening and every time I have to clean them up.
Kittens can’t go to the bathroom without help
I also didn’t know that kittens can’t pee and poop on their own. The mother usually licks their private parts which stimulates them to go. So I have to do that every time they feed as well with a wet paper towel.
Now they are learning how to start doing it on their own, well not all of them yet all the time. Lets say sometimes. So I put a tiny litterbox in their bathtub home and that is a mess. Most of the time they still go all over the place which means a ton of laundry for me to do because they need blankets and towels. I have been pooped, peed and puked on. Not much different than having human babies.
BUT those little beautiful and adorable faces are so so worth it. Seeing them thrive and look at me in their curious way is amazing. It will be so so difficult to let them go when they go to the rescue. We’ve talked about keeping the little girl if she is still available by the time we get back from Germany. They shouldn’t be split apart yet and I can’t have another baby here for my husband to take care of while we are gone.
And part of me is saying to let them go so we can help another older cat one day who is having trouble getting adopted. After all the older ones are a lot of times the forgotten ones at adoption events.
very young Kittens have the highest euthanasia rate
What I also didn’t know is that most of the shelters put tiny kittens down right away because of the fact that they are so much work. It is heartbreaking to think that they never get a chance. People might think that when they drop off tiny motherless kittens at a shelter that they did the right thing but a lot of times it’s not. Rescue groups with a network of fosters are a much better approach should you ever find kittens and can’t bottle feed them yourself.
“Wild kittens that will number in the tens of millions each year are starting to be born, and overtaxed shelters will be forced to euthanize most of the millions they receive. It is a grim reality … plaguing the animal welfare movement.” Read more HERE.
Which again gets me to the point to strongly support spaying and neutering programs and adopting from shelters instead of supporting breeders.
So today I thought about writing what I have learned so far (above) and what I use to take care of them.
Taking care of kittens
I use THESE bottles:
This formula HERE:
I use THIS kitten wet food:
This Instagramer/YouTuber has helped me and is awesome:
They love furry cuddly things like faux fur (click HERE )
And this HERE is a really good article to read which explains everything in detail.
I’m also seriously amazed by the strong network and connections of women I have met since caring for these little ones. I really haven’t met a man yet who is as crazy about them as we women are. The crazy cat women. But once you have found a rescue or a cluster of rescues who help and support each other, it is truly heartwarming to see how many people are willing to give a lot to help these helpless little cuties.
Have a wonderful weekend my friends and talk to you on Monday.
I’m off to snuggle some kittens now.