Caring for Orphan Kittens

Sometimes kittens lose their mother for whatever reason and you will have to take over their care or they will die. Orphan kittens can be fun to raise after you get past the first few days.


For whatever reason you may have an orphaned litter of kittens to raise.  If you do not take the place of their mother they will die.   Kittens that weigh 3 ounces at birth have a higher mortality rate.  They will need to have extra attention.  You must take over their care for whatever reason.

You must make a proper nesting box for the kittens.  The box must have high sides so the kittens can not get out.  You will need a box that is easy to clean and disinfect.   You can use a cardboard box that can be thrown away when it gets dirty.

Place towels in the bottom of the box and put disposable diapers on top of the towels.  The disposable diapers will absorb the kitten’s body fluids.  Throw the diapers away when they become soiled and this will keep your kittens clean.

The temperature is very important for the first few weeks and should not get below 94 degrees in the first few weeks.  Their digestion will slow down and their heart rate will drop if they are not kept warm and this could be fatal.  Place a heating pad under one half of their box and this will allow the kittens to get closer or further away from the heat.

Proper nutrition is very important for orphan kittens.  A fresh batch of formula should be mixed every morning.  Mix enough to last for one day and one day only.  When feeding your kittens wait for air bubbles to settle before allowing the kittens to eat.  A proper nursing bottle will have a hole in the nipple only large enough to allow the formula to drip from the bottle when held upside down.

In an emergency you can make home made formula in a blender.  Use a ½ cup whole milk, 1 raw egg yolk, 1 drop multi-vitamins and 2 Tums antacid tables, crushed to provide calcium for the kittens.

Warm the formula in hot water and test it on your inner wrist before feeding.  This is the only safe way to warm the kitten formula.  Never warm the formula in your microwave.  The kittens will need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours to start.  The first few days after birth the kittens may have to be fed at night.

Kittens should not be fed when they are on their backs.  When you feed your kittens you must hold them in an upright position or they might choke.  After feeding genteelly roll their bodies to burp them.  The kittens will wake up when they are hungry. They will need to be potty trained after a few days.

Be sure to keep a close eye on the kitten’s growth.  You will have to increase the amount you feed them as they get bigger.  If you can get past the first few days you will enjoy raising your kittens as it can even be fun.

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User Comments
  1. jennifer eiffel01

    On August 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Very, very good information. We once found a baby cat under our porch but my parents put it in a box and took it to the humane society. My parents hate cats.

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