Newborn Kitten Care
How Much Should a Newborn Kitten Weigh?
An average birth weight for kittens is about 3 ½ ounces,
depending on breed and litter size. During the first weeks of life, a kitten’s
body weight may double or even triple. Gaining ¼ to half an ounce daily until
they are weaned is considered healthy. Kittens who don’t gain adequate weight
during this early period may not survive.
Can I Hold the Kitten?
Kittens who are with their mother should not be over-handled,
especially not during their first week of life-this may upset the mother. If
the kitten in your care is younger than one week old, please consult your
veterinarian. In order to properly socialize a young feline to humans, start to
handle him from the second week on through the seventh week-this is considered
an important time for socialization.
Please note, kittens are prone to injury if handled roughly-anyone who
handles the little ones in your care will need to be very gentle. Young
children in particular should be supervised.
How Do I Teach a Kitten to Go to the Bathroom?
After feeding, a mother cat will groom her babies, paying
special attention to the anal area. This stimulates excretion, which kittens
can’t do on their own until their second or third week. If your kitten is no
longer with her mother, dip a soft washcloth or a piece of gauze in warm water
and gently massage the anal and urinary regions. The warmth, texture and
movement mimic a mother cat’s tongue.
When the kittens are four weeks old, you can teach them to use
a litter box by placing them in the box after their meals. Cutting one side
down will make it easier for the kittens to go in and out.