How to take care of a newborn kitten without a mother is often a dilemma that new pet owners find themselves confronted with early on. The “Kitty Litter Box” and other common phrases are enough to scare even the most seasoned veteran kitty owner! But rest assured that it’s perfectly possible to undertake all of the tasks associated with caring for a kitten with no mother, while still being able to interact with and play with her offspring.
Before anything else, let’s revisit the issue of how to take care of a newborn kitten without a mother. Remember that the term’mother’ refers to her role in rearing kittens in her first three weeks of life. The term ‘pregnant’ refers to her losing her appetite and developing droppings. And finally, ‘giving birth’ refers to the time when feline gestational period comes to an end and the kittens begin their independent existence. As far as diet is concerned, don’t feed her anything other than a hypoallergenic food that doesn’t contain any grain or corn. If you do so, you risk subjecting her to a life of dehydration and possibly death.
How to take care of a newborn kitten without a mother is no different than how to take care of a newborn without a father. The trick is to establish your own place in the pecking order. By this I mean that you’ll need to demonstrate to your kittens that you’re the leader of the pack, and that they must obey you or risk being replaced. A good way to establish yourself as the head of the pecking order is to always provide your kittens with more attention than they are currently receiving from their litter mates. Try to keep the activities of your litter mates to a minimum while the young are still young and dependable.
You also need to make it clear to the mother cat that she’s the sole caregiver of the kittens and that she has full access to them, but don’t expect her to be all’silly’ like that! She will still, on occasion, give birth to more than one kitten at the same time. When she does this, don’t be alarmed – just keep tabs on them and try to attend to any sick kittens as quickly as possible.
The most important tip for how to take care of a newborn kitten without a mother is this – never beat around the bush with your new friend. Cats hate having their business being stepped on. Be as gentle as you can with your new pal, but be firm as well. If the cat starts howling when you’re around, step back a little and let her know that you’ll be back soon, or find another kitten for her to play with.
The best thing you can do while your kitten is young is to introduce her to her own personal “world” of her own, a den, or nest box. This is where she can get away from the stresses of being in a new family and where she can getaway to dream away (if only for a few hours). Once your kitten-friendly environment is established, it’s a simple matter of sticking to it. Of course, it’s not always easy to do this, so it’s something you’ll have to work with over time, but it’s a very rewarding task when you finally achieve it.
One final note: kittens do not eat solid food until they are older, at which time they are ready to start eating semi-solid foods. If you decide to let them eat solid food before they’re old enough to begin eating kitty chow, be sure to feed them sparingly for the first few days, taking care to watch their dietary habits carefully. You don’t want to force them into something they may not like, and you don’t want to be taken by surprise by a sudden change of mood on the part of your kitten.
Now that you have all this down to a science, hopefully you’ll realize that it’s really not as hard as you might have thought it was going to be. Kittens can be finicky creatures, but with the right care they can be quite friendly toward us humans. Be patient, be caring, and learn how to take care of newborn kittens.