Hand rearing orphaned kittens


Euthanasia or hand rearing

  When orphaned kittens are so lucky to be found, a choice must be made. A difficult choice. There are already that many cats that euthanasia would be the wisest thing to do. On the other hand, the youth has the future, all what lives is of great value, and the newborns didn't ask to be born. If kittens can get the chance to be raised in a responsible way, why not give them that chance? In my opinion it is very important to castrate these kittens when they reached the right age, because their background is unknown. Also their parents are unknown. Therefore, castration is needed.

Time and money


Before deciding to hand rear orphaned kittens, some things must be taken into consideration. A separate room and lots of time must be available. hand rearing kittens is a full daytime job, and there won't be much time left at nights for sleep, the first couple of weeks. Also it isn't easy to part from the kittens when they're old enough. Hand rearing a den of kittens will cost money. The veterinarians bill can be expensive, when they encounter health problems. Kitten milk replacement is not cheap. Keeping this in mind, it must be possible to decide. It is necessary to act fast. The local animal shelter or veterinarian might know addresses to house newborns. In case there are no addresses to be found, euthanasia of the newborns by the veterinarian is to be preferred above letting them die because of a lack of knowledge. It might occur that a newborn dies, in spite of all the good care it has received. This is very sad, but it can also happen with the mother present. And of course the hand rearing of orphaned kittens also gives so many nice and memorable moments. These moments make all the time and money you spent worthwhile.

Quarantine or isolation

  It is a must to isolate the newborns (with unknown background) at least ten days from the other animals already present at your home.This means the newborns and all the used material can't come in contact with the other animals. Wash your hands thoroughly every time you took care of the kittens. To change your clothes every time you had contact with the newborns might be to much to ask for, but wearing an apron or a T- shirt over your clothes when you're taking care of them is advisable. This must be done as precautions towards the animals already present, they could catch an infectious disease.



Hygiene is very important. The den must be kept very clean at all times. Especially in the begin the den must be cleaned a few times a day, mostly during the feedings. The bottle and nipples must be cleaned with hot water every time it has been used. Rubber nipples must be desinfected twice a week in clear boiling water. Keep plastic bottles clean with some salt and hot water, rinse thoroughly. The food and water bowls must always be rinsed with clear water after washing them. The newborns are best inspected at every feeding. They also must be kept clean, though that won't be possible for the full 100%.

Noting can replace the mamacat.