I have an orphaned kitten and need some advice!

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  socialcasualty 7 years, 2 months ago.

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    Just recently my friend found an orphaned kitten who was going to be killed. He couldn’t keep it so I decided to care for him. I am unsure of how old he is. Here are some things I have noticed about his behavior that may help in deciding his age. He can stand and walk, he even climbs 😉 His beautiful eyes are open and his ears are erect. He has teeth and he uses them! He rips the nipple on the bottle I was feeding him from so now he laps up the kitten formula from a small dish.

    Any ideas at how old this beauty can be? I am assuming 3 weeks?

    I have been stimulating him to go potty with a warm washcloth but his poop is very runny, practically liquid and sometimes a rust color. He is on a liquid diet (just the formula every two hours or so) but I don’t know if this is normal for him. What can I do to better care for him?

    Also I am a college student with little money and I know I need to bring this little guy to a vet but does anyone know if I can get an orphaned kitty in for a free or very cheap visit? :/

    Thank you all!!



    Yep, sounds like three to four weeks. You and your friend are heroes for rescuing this little one.

    I am a bit worried about the rust colour. Do you mean an orangey brown or do you mean red. Do you think there could possibly be blood in it? Also, diarrhoea is not good as kittens can crash so easily from dehydration. As long as he keeps drinking normally, he should be all right but I would occasionally try the tent test to make sure he is still well hydrated.

    He may have parasites which may be causing the rusty liquid poop.

    You might well be able to get a first visit free or low-charge. All I can tell you is to check round all the vets and vet centres in your area, phone and ask.



    To test whether he is dehydrated, do the tent test:

    Pick up a good pinch of her skin at the neck and let go.If it snaps back immediately, he’s hydrated. If it takes a little time to go back down, or, worse, it stays up in a ‘tent’ shape, he needs fluids. The best way to get them is for a vet to inject them subcutaneously but you can also give him pedialyte (buy, or we can give you a recipe for home-made).

    Here are some great sites for handraising kittens and also, if you click on the pink tag ‘orphans’, you will see many previous threads with some great advice. Keep checking back, there are many experienced kitty foster mums on this site.

    Websites: http://www.messybeast.com/handrear.htm






    Thank you so much for your quick response!

    I am so glad we found the precious thing too. I just couldn’t imagine anything happening to him!

    I don’t think there is blood in it. This afternoon it was just very rust colored I would say an orangey brown. It was a consistent pure color so it didn’t look like there were any traces of blood in it. The first time I saw him go it was pretty dark. Almost black in color but still liquid. He drinks his formula regularly I have tried to get him to drink water but he wants nothing to do with it. Should I try weening him from formula to an appropriate kitten wet food?

    I tried the tent test as you said and first of all he has so little skin to grab at all (the poor thing is skin and bones) but he is also so fluffy I can’t really tell if his skin is staying up. I think his fur stays up but his skin goes back down.

    Can I give him a little home made pedialyte just to be safe or is he in danger of over hydrating? :/

    I would love a link to a home made recipe of the pedialyte.

    Thank you so much for your help!!



    No worries. Mustardy-brown is a normal colour for poop, but it should be the consistency of toothpaste. If he’s drinking his formula regularly, he should be okay, just keep an eye on him. To be sure, you could mix his formula (if it’s powdered) with pedialyte instead of water.


    * Pedialyte formula (from World Health Organization)…no preservatives so short life-span

    * 1 cup water (boiled then cooled)

    * 2 tsp sugar

    * 1/8 tsp salt

    * 1/8 tsp baking soda

    * (this Pedialyte formula gives needed electrolytes & some sugar for energy)

    Combine all ingredients and warm slightly.

    Make new after 24 hours.



    not to step on your toes JCAT i know you have more expirience that me but i cant remember freeway climbing until atleast 6 weeks. im sure it all depends on the cat though.

    socialcasualty awesome job saving the little baby you seem to be doing what you got to do.

    my vet gave me the first visit free all becasue i didnt turn freeway into the shelter since he for sure would have been put to sleep well thats what the SPCA said anyway. you might have to pay for any meds they want to give you but the little one seems pretty healthy so i wouldn’t worry about all that im sure all he needs is a check up



    No worries, Freeway 🙂 The more heads the better. He could well be older 🙂 — in which case, SC, you can try mixing some wet kitten food with the KMR and putting on a shallow plate for him.



    He may well be ready to eat kitten food from how you described him. You can start by mixing his milk in dish with kitten food, very soupy, and gradually add more food and less milk. The youngest litter I ever had were about 6 weeks and they ate kitten food. He likely has worms or parasites which may be affecting his poop- most strays do. Maybe you can make the appointment and go, then when you get home hold a kitty fundraiser party and see if friends can chip in a few dollars each and you can get some money back 🙂



    Thank you both so much! I am going to call around to the vets tomorrow 🙂

    As for the formula mixed with pedialyte I am going to try that! What a wonderful suggestion.

    Thank you again



    You’re very welcome. Is that him in your avatar? What a cutiepie!



    He is adorable! Does he have a name yet? Thanks so much for rescuing him!!



    Yes that is him in my avatar! I named him Malfoy. From the harry Potter series. 😉



    Malfoy is a gorgeous name. And, after all, being part black, he is part Basement Kitteh…



    So I took little Malfoy in to the Humane Society because I read on one of the sites mentioned here they might be able to help with low cost vaccinations and helpful tips.

    Malfoy only weighs 7 ounces but they tested him for feline aids and feline leukemia and he is free and clear! 🙂 Right now the Humane society has me set up as a foster mama and once he is up to weight I am bringing him back in to get all the works. For 100$ I will adopt him back with all his vaccinations, neutered and even a microchip. 😀

    Now all I have to do is fatten this little guy up!

    I am having a couple of issues with him still though and you all are so helpful so here goes.

    1. I am trying to ween him from the kmr by mixing wet kitten food with it into a kind of paste. He doesn’t love it. :/ Any tips on weening him? (His poop is not so runny now though. It is brown and paste like!)

    2. Also I provide water in a small dish for him but he just will NOT drink it! even if I put some on my finger and try and lower him to the bowl. 🙁

    3. The lady said according to his body size he should be 1-1.5 months old but according to weight he is only 3 weeks old. 🙁 Should I still be waking him to feed him through the night or should I wait until he wakes me? I usually set an alarm to feed him every 3ish hours. (The lack of sleep is definitely getting to me 😉

    4. I also need any advise on potty training him. The lady recommended Cat Attract to put in his litter box. Has anyone used this?

    Thank you all very much for your advise! Malfoy and I appreciate it!!



    That is such good news, SC, brilliant!

    I added a weaning tag for your question about weaning him. Some kittens just want to hang on to the bottle. Are you putting it in a very shallow dish or plate for him? There’s no right or wrong time but of course you’d like him to take to it asap so you can get some sleep 🙂 The weaning threads have some very good advice.

    He probably doesn’t need much water if you’re still feeding him formula and wet food. Just keep putting it out for him and maybe one day he will actually drink some (more probably play with it, lol). Some cats prefer boiled cooled water (gets rid of the chlorine taste from the tap), some prefer rain water (no chlorine) and some prefer moving water. You can get a moving water fountain for him eventually if you like — meantime see what he does when the faucet’s turned on 🙂

    I’d go by his body weight, not by his chronological age. His tummy will be as small as the rest of him at the moment. But if he’s sleeping through the night fine, I’d grab the sleep while you can! If you get woken by cat crying, you will know he needs a feed.

    Many TDKers swear by Cat Attract and Kitten Attract (sadly, we don’t have it here in NZ). As long as you get a non-clumping litter (cause most kittens eat their litter and you don’t want it to clump in his stomach), and most kittens prefer one without strong scents, then you can sprinkle some Cat or Kitten Attract over the top of it (because it is a bit pricey) and it seems to work fine.

    Please smooch little Malfoy for me 🙂



    So happy you got good news! May I recommend asking a vet or the place you are fostering from for Hills perscription Diet A/D food. It is high calorie and very stinky to attract cats to it. It is used when cats need to put on weight or are not eating well. It is not available at pet stores, just vets, and it is not cheap, but it is not a long term diet and once he is up to weight you can go back to regular cat food. He may like the taste better so will eat it mixed with the kmr. If you decide to try this and it works, I have 4 cans I do not need and can mail to you. If the place you are fostering with does not carry it, perhaps they can call a vet to sell it to you so you do not have to go and pay for an exam since he just had one. Good luck!



    Malfoy has been a dream the last couple of days!. Just last night he used the litter box all by himself and I am really mashing up his wet food with a little bit of kmr and he is eating it just fine. 🙂 He is quite the piggy actually I am so proud of him. Even better news for me is I got quite a bit of rest last night. He only woke me up twice and I got to sleep in until 10 😀

    Thank you all so much for your wonderful advise!

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