New Kitten, abandoned feral, 2-3 weeks, Help??

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This topic contains 71 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Kincaid 7 months, 1 week ago.

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    little bean

    Picked this little guy up after he was abandoned on my back porch. We have about three queens who hang out every other day or so, and a couple toms who come by every once in awhile. {Mama, Princess, Tiffany, and then Francis and the Big White Tom. The first four we leave water out for and sometimes food, anyone else who comes around is SOOL}

    We were prepared to leave him outside; since there are three queens and at least two of them have given birth recently due to the size of their tummies and nipples showing. But after listening to baby cry for 4 hours with no response, and finding him in the exact same place the next morning {duller eyes, weaker cries, not responding quite as readily} I decided to bring him indoors since there was no sign of the queens and food I’d left out overnight to attract them back to the baby had gone uneaten.

    Baby was fed an emergency formula I found of cow milk, egg yolk, and a tiny amount of veggie oil twice before my Partner came home and we could go buy some KMR. {I don’t keep condensed or goat milk in the house unfortunately for baby!} We fed him four times; 6:30p, 9:30p, 11:30p, and 2:30a; averaging between .5-1 Tablespoon of KMR per feeding. He peed just fine every time he was stimulated to go; before and after feeding; and FINALLY poo’d around 5:45p after using the triangle method for about 5 minutes. I didn’t notice any worm segments or other issues other than a smaller hard plug and then toothpaste consistency poo. No blood, no extrusions, just a tiny kitty butt. He had a “butt bath” this afternoon with plain blue Dawn, and was promptly towelled off and dried with a hairdryer set to low; with my hand between him and the dryer to check for hot spots.

    Since then, he’s been eating regularly every 3-5 hours, still averaging .5-1 tablespoon per feeding. If my count is correct and my records are right, he’s had just under 6 Tablespoons of the KMR since his first feed at 6:30a. He appears, to me, to be between 2-3 weeks old. No teeth, VERY alert and a strong climber, very vocal, and learning how to take the bottle ok.

    We’re hoping that, should he make it to the 5-6 week mark that we can get him into the vet for a dewormer; haven’t noticed signs of parasites yet!; and vaccines.

    Have I missed anything, or done something wrong? It’s been about three years since I owned a pet at all, and about four or five since I had to care for a kitten this young.




    Welcome to TDKland. We’re the furriest forum around. Your wee guy is a cutie and thank you for rescuing him.

    I love to read of someone who is doing the right stuff!

    KMR concentrate gives them constipation and the liquid does the opposite. Of course, the only recommendation is Goats’ milk. Cats are lactose intolerant and can’t digest cows milk. Goats’ milk is full of nutrients, probiotics and gentler on their tummies. This can also regulate the poop. You can find it in the dairy section or the concentrate in the baking aisle. Mix the concentrate 1:1 with water or pedylite. If you can’t find it then no biggie.

    Keep in touch



    Thanks so much!

    If the KMR consistently keeps him constipated, or we run into other issues I’ll definitely keep the goat’s milk in mind! For now, mixing 1Tb KMR to 2.5TB plain water seems to be good enough to keep him comfortable.

    The cow milk formula was, in all honesty, a stop-gap until I could get to the pet store. {Checked Wal-Mart first and found nothing, much to my chagrin!} Keep the tummy full, keep him warm, until we could get proper nutrition into him.

    If nothing else, I’ll be sure to take a look into unflavored Pedia-lite for mixing with the KMR instead of the water.



    He is adorable. Hope he’s doing well!



    It’s Day Three and kitten has already fed five times and been weighed.
    Baby bean is still averaging between .5-1 Tb of KMR. I have been keeping it slightly more watered down, adding about another half Tablespoon of plain water to the KMR powder than it calls for.

    Baby is currently 9.7~ ounces; so he might be a LITTLE older than originally thought? It’s honestly hard for me to tell with strays and ferals since their growth could be stunted for any number of reasons. :/

    He’s still eliminating ok with help, and snuggles up to the rice socks as soon as I put them into his nesting box. small bean

    The roll on the lefthand side is a bottle filled with hot water, wrapped in a rabbit fur which we’re monitoring for messes but seems to be helping. He’s got one of two rice socks on the right, which was heated again just before his last feeding. He’s also got an older hoodie and three t-shirts in there for bedding until I can get the fleece blankets laundered. It’s been a very busy few days!



    Just removed the fur as it seems the little bean is starting to potty on his own and isn’t consistent. {WAY too little!} He does have more soft tshirting material and the fuzzy hoodie though, and his rice bags and water bottle for heat.

    We’re keeping a close eye on him as he seems to be crying more stridently and for longer periods after eating. He’s burped well after feeds, and he’s potty’d ok. But I think he might be constipated :/

    If he has trouble again in the next 24-36 hours I’ll look into pedialyte and goats’ milk as has been suggested above.



    Small bean, wandering around on his fourth morning with us. Still hasn’t managed to poop a second time, but I just got finished mixing up a batch of the homemade Pedialyte. {1C boiled water, 2tsp sugar, 1/8tps salt, 1/8tps baking soda} and he’ll have that in his KMR instead of water for the rest of today’s feedings.

    He’s managed about 3Tbs of KMR at a 1:2.5 ratio KMR:water, and he’s been super vocal and alert so far today. We’re still doing our best to keep him consistently warm, and fed on a more or less regular schedule. {He had two feedings in two hours due to hunger cries.}

    So far, so good. Still planning on a blue Dawn bath this afternoon and a total change of bedding to help with any fleas he still has. I’ll also be looking into an electric heating pad to help with the “consistently warm” part.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by  Kincaid.


    Thanks for the video. As the saying goes “some things are so cute, they make you stupid!”

    I’m stating the obvious. Little Bean is crying because he’s still hungry. Unless you’re forcing formula into him, kits will eat as much as they need. The watered down KMR is OK but it’s not filling. As Little Bean grows, he wants more. Instead of watering it down, make per directions. We wonder how a wee kit could eat so much but they do.

    You can put a bit of olive oil in his formula. Many times this will help him poop.

    Here’s a chart from Alley Cat Allies that shows kitten growth.



    Yes, I was trying to keep him more or less on the growth charts I’ve seen around for 8cc/1oz of body weight, but it would appear he wants more. Not a problem at all, and I’m very very willing to give him more since he DOES need the weight gain!

    Now that he’s got the pedialyte instead of water, he finally pooped a second time around 5/6pm today. {two and a half hours ago my time!} We’ll be making his formula per directions now that he appears to be somewhat regular, and while we were out today we purchased a can of goat’s milk powder as suggested in the forums.

    I have a sneaking suspicion baby will be putting on weight and growing as normal for kittens now. In another week or two we’ll be taking him to the vet to get him dewormed and potentially his vaccines depending on his weight.

    Today he’s been averaging between 1Tb and 1.5Tbs per feeding, and so far today he’s had about 7.5Tbs with two more to go until midnight. {He’s been fed consistently every 2-5 hours depending on if he’s awake and looking for food, or asleep, with 3-4hrs between feeds being the norm.}

    Day Four:
    1:30a 1Tb
    4:30/5a 1Tb
    6:30a 1Tb
    9:00a 1Tb
    11:30a .5Tb
    4:00p 1.5Tb
    6:00p 1.2Tb



    Since little Bean is up and walking on his long legs, his ears are erect, and seems he is peeing on his own….it’s time to introduce the litter box. I couldn’t find one small enough, so I use a disposable foil lasagna pan that’s easy for them to climb in and out of. Use plain clay unscented non clumping litter for now until baby learns that litter is not food. Some kittens eat it, some don’t.
    You can probably feel his little teeth protruding from the gums, and may be able to see his long eye teeth top and bottom. If so, you can start him on wet food. They usually don’t know how to eat it, so I make a gruel of formula/milk with the wet food mashed into it. Put it in his mouth with your finger (just a tiny bit) to let him get used to the taste and swallow with no problems. The pate kind with no chunks or bits. It also saves time to just add the wet food into the formula with the milk in the bottle–I cut the end of the nipple off to let the food flow through. Make sure he doesn’t eat too fast and aspirate the food into his lungs. I’ve done this so often that I forget to tell people ‘just the very tip of the nipple’ and you can control the flow of food by tipping the bottle down to slow it or up to let it flow faster. He will be more satisfied and will poop regularly once he is getting wet food.



    Thanks Zee! We did also purchase Tidy Cat’s clay non-clumping litter as it was the only one my wal-mart had in stock.

    We’ll be keeping an eye on him this week watching for teeth; nothing so far but probably soon; and find a quality kitten food. {Named meat first ingredient, canned, etc.} At that point, I’ll pick up extra nipples from my pet store as well, just in case he’s not quite ready for much solid wet food, even as a mix.

    In YOUR opinion is it likely he was only about 15 days old when we found him, or do you think he’s older? It’s kinda hard to tell for me, and I’m having problems sexing bean too.



    It’s hard for me to say how old he is, since I don’t know what he looked like when you found him, but you have had him for 2-3 days?

    I have one now that is around 4-1/2 weeks old and he is litter trained now, but I started about a week ago. They will pee first and I introduced wet food at about the same time, and he loved it. He was constipated from the KMR and powdered goat’s milk too (I think powdered mixes tend to do this) but also being switched from mother’s milk to manufactured formula also. He poops on his own now in the litter box.

    Bean looks to be around the 3 week old mark, could be older since you don’t know if he’s the runt of the litter. They progress at their own pace, but as long as you introduce things to them — when they are ready they will grasp the concept and go with it.



    I’m passing the “stupid” point and well on my way to the “passing out from Mr. Bean’s sheer cuteness” point! 🙂



    This is his fourth day with us, yes. I thought, based on the Ally Cat Allies’ kitten growth charts that he was around 15-ish days old when we found him. Ears not quite erect, not walking so much as stumbling around all wobbly-like, even more so than now.

    He pooped around the 36hr mark, twice. {Days two and four, at just about exactly the same time too!} I’m not too too worried about it if it keeps up like that, but if it gets any longer between times :/

    I’ve set up a very shallow disposable pan for him, I think it’s a miniature brownie pan? and dug his tiny paws around in the little and he dribbled a tiny bit with gentle help.

    He’s just finished his last feed before midnight {it’s 11pm here} and he’s curled up beside me in the blankets watching me respond. SO CUTE!

    He’s eaten around 9Tbs of KMR with pedialyte today, and seems pretty happy and alert. I’m fairly certain he’ll pull through and be a happy adult… Cautiously optimistic, considering how many ferals and rescues I’ve had die on me over the years :/



    You and he sound like you are doing great! Keep doing what you think he needs. I wouldn’t be concerned either about the pooping. My little one went 4 days no poop, I went to the vet to pick up an enema and he pooped that night before I picked it up! Got it anyway, just in case. But now that he’s eating wet food, he goes on his own…yeah! One less thing that I have to do for him.

    I have a dog crate set up for him with his bed and his litterbox. Now I am able to leave the door open so he can come and go, but I do close him in when I leave or at night. Eventually I’ll put food and water bowls in there. Then, once I know he has his bearings on where he is in relation to where the litter box and food are located, I can get the crate out of the house. This has worked well for me in the past–keeps them safe and the other cats can inspect and sniff him at will and get used to his presence.



    I think by this weekend we’ll be trying the canned food/milk concept! I got a little worried this morning since he was much more interested in gnawing and slapping the bottle than he was in eating anything… A few aborted tries later, I left him to sleep another hour or two.

    When I just tried, he INHALED 1.5Tbs of Goat’s Milk! He burped just fine, and waddled his bulgy tummy under the blankets to sleep it off beside me. Started up a baby purr as soon as I rubbed his head!

    So his baby teeth are probably coming in, and he’s hungry and grumpy but doesn’t know how to handle it I’m guessing?



    Absolutely! When they start grabbing and clawing at the bottle, it’s time to introduce food to them. You can start by putting some on your finger, but until they get the concept of how to eat, it’s just a pain and a big mess!! It’s easier and less frustrating if you can make a milky gruel and put it in the bottle and let them suck it out. You will notice immediately how much more content they are. Later on (a few days or a week) introduce food on a saucer and see how it goes. They are so messy that you end up having to bathe them because they step all over it.



    Thank you SO MUCH for the help, Zee! I’ll ask if my partner can pick up some kitten food on the way home, and if not I can bike out for it tomorrow most likely.



    I meant to tell you how sweet your kitten is in the video! Is there nothing cuter than a kitten on it’s back with paws in the air? I love little tuxedo cats…I now have two of them–Willow and Peso.

    Since you are hand rearing this kitten, he will bond with you and you will be his littermate and ‘mother’, the one he will look to for everything. There is a special bond and closeness that you get when you hand rear a kitten. They will actually stare into your face and memorize your features, they know your scent and the sound of your voice. 🙂



    Fifth Day! baby is still going strong, and doing well, even if this morning had me pretty worried-
    2:00a .5Tb, 5:15a 1Tb, 7:45a .5Tb, 11:45a .5TB, 12:15p ABORTED ATTEMPT; 1:40p 1.5Tb Goats’ Milk, 4:30p 1Tb Goat’s Milk, 6:30p ABORTED ATTEMPT; 7:45p .75TB Goats’ Milk, 1/8th tps chicken pate.
    10:15p .5Tb *Baby Mix

    Daily Total: 6.5Tb
    Daily Weight: 12.5oz

    During 2a feeding baby clawed at bottle more than drank, and only drank spasmodically at best. Probably grumpy and maybe gassy.
    Baby continues to be fussy and fractious, but ate the same amounts day 2. Kept an eye on baby, and made the Goat’s Milk for the first time. Baby didn’t respond at an attempted 12:15 feed, probably due to being so close to the previous. At 1:40p, Baby INHALED 1.5Tb Goat’s Milk in two short spurts, burped, and promptly curled up inside the blankets at my hip to sleep it off. Baby immediately started purring when I stroked his face. At his 10p feeding, baby also inhaled .5Tb of *Baby Mix

    Baby Mix: 1.5Tb Goats’ Milk to 1tps Pate, warmed in a bottle.

    The little baby bean is now sitting beside me again, curled up against the side of my chair, slapping at my arm and nuzzling around. I’ll try him again in about twenty minutes to see if he’s hungry still or just being playful.



    Just had a moment of intense relief when reading another thread! Bean is about 12.5oz as I said above, and a kitten should be eating about 8cc per oz of bodyweight-

    8×12=96, which comes out to around 6.5Tbs. Bean’s RIGHT on target! I don’t that I’ve ever been this relieved about an animal before… I was SO concerned for this tiny life this morning when he was hardly eating and ignoring or attacking the bottle. Glad to know he’ll be ok if this keeps up, so long as he’s not traumatized or subjected to FKS.



    If Little Bean was hungry he would be suckling on you or whatever he could reach so he’s playing. Once he knows he’s safe his personality will come out. It’s amazing how much we love our rescues.



    Thanks so much, PG! That’s kinda what I figured, but the last kitten I rescued died after contracting a URI; it was just too much for his tiny body after ridding him of the parasites he’d had.

    Bean looks so much like him, I might be projecting that fear onto this new kitten a little bit… I’m already scared of losing him :/

    {See what I mean? I go and get attached! Name or no name….}



    I am feeling quite stupid after seeing Little Bean’s cute vid.
    Definitely needs a COA warning. That’s a Cuteness Overload Airbag warning.
    Instead of going ThuuuuuuuD we go Thuuuuuuuploof!
    A long standing TDK tradition. 🙂



    Sixth Day:
    1a: .5Tb BabyMix
    3:15a .75Tbs Goat’s Milk
    8:00a 1Tbs Goats’ Milk
    10:40a .5Tbs Goat’s Milk
    11:30 .5Tbs Goats’ Milk; ate a tiny amount of warm kitten food.
    3:15a 1Tbs Goats’ Milk; licked warm kitten food off my fingers and nibbled at the spoon.
    6:15p 1.5-2 Tbs Baby Mix
    8:30p .5Tbs Baby Mix
    11:45p .3Tbs Baby Mix

    Daily Weigh: 13.65oz

    Baby is still slapping at the bottle, and took a long while to burp but is very eager to cuddle and play with fingers. Baby refused to eat at 5-6a feeding, inhaled 1Tb at 8a, after coaxing to take the bottle. INHALED food at 6:15p feeding, very eager.
    Baby Mix: 2Tbs Goats’ Milk with Pedialyte to 2tps chicken kitten pate.

    His tummy is starting to bulge, but is still fairly squishy when he’s standing up. Peeing just fine, hasn’t pooped again just yet which concerns me…but other than his BIZARRE sudden changes to his schedule, seems to be fairly healthy…?

    Anyone have some insight here? He won’t eat the plain pate more than few licks, and keeps turning his nose up at the bottle- I just want Baby to stay alive!



    Have you tried him in a litter box yet? He should be getting out of his bed and going to the litter box on his own to pee and poop. It needs to be close to his bed so he can get out and use it at will. Now when he is running around the house, you need to make sure you put him in it every so often so he will pee in it instead of on the floor. My kitten Peso, is still a little challenged in that regard. 🙄

    He is also probably old enough to go all night without feeding. Feed him before you go to bed, then when you first get up. He should also be able to regulate his own body temperature without a heat source. And he is probably retracting his claws also.

    He has to eat, so if you have to manually put it in his mouth, then that’s what you do. They are fractious at this age, quite frustrating, but just keep putting food in his mouth, and formula too. I think it’s necessary at this stage to keep them well hydrated.



    Yes we’ve tried scrabbling his paws in the litter tray, but he’s not quite got the hang of it yet :/ I’m concerned about leaving the litter; nonclumbping clay though it is; in the box with him in case he eats it!

    Eventually though, there IS space to have it in his nest box and still have a nice amount of sleeping space.

    He’s been fairly warm when I go find him in the mornings, curled in a corner of the box, but I may keep the rice socks going for a bit, just to be sure…? He IS starting to retract his claws! 🙂

    This morning, he’s done pretty well food wise: 2:30a 1Tbs goats’ milk with pedialyte, a few sucks of Baby Mix, 5:45a 1Tbs Goat’s milk with pedialyte. 7:45a 1Tbs Goat’s Milk with Pedialyte, 12:10p .75Tbs Goats’ Milk with Pedialyte. {It’s 12:30p now}

    He still hasn’t pooped since Day Four, around 5pm. So I’ll be working with him again this afternoon to do my BEST to make sure that happens… He’s been peeing just fine, though I would have HOPED the wet food in his formula the past few days would have made him poop…



    Did you put a bit of Olive/Vegetable oil in his formula? You can do it more than once just don’t put to much at any one time.

    I agree with KZ. He’s old enough to go overnight without a feeding. He’ll be hungry for sure.



    Try peeing him over the litter, and when you get a poop, put it in the box. Then when he gets in the litter box he will smell his own pee and poop and go in it. You watch him when he is in it and if he hasn’t eaten any of it, he probably won’t. I am now sprinkling clumping litter in with the non clumping clay litter my kitten uses, getting him used to transitioning to the big litter box that he will eventually be using. I even put him in the big cats’ boxes and he doesn’t seem remotely interested in eating it. He loves sniffing around in there smelling all of the other cats smells and he digs like he’s going to China!

    At you little beans age, I think you would also be safe to give him the baby food/milk mix every time he eats. I know how much my kittens have eaten at each feeding, and they are ravenous. Now Peso is eating about a tablespoon of pate food about 3 or 4 times a day, and then drinking 30 ml. 3 or 4 times a day also. Last feeding is before I go to bed.



    PG I think that’s my next move, to be perfectly honest. I haven’t seen any sign of poops around his butt, so it’s probably the constipation again. :/ Poor lil tyke.

    Zee, that’s pretty much what we’ve been doing. But Bean’s pretty dang wobbly still, so we’ll keep going in that direction. I’m sure he’ll get it eventually! He just ate again, another Tablespoon straight Goats’ milk, with the pedialyte in it instead of water. {My can says to make about 3/4ths a Cup at once, so it’s lasted around 24hrs or slightly less each time.}

    His next feed I’m going to try the baby mix again; 2Tbs milk to 2tps pate this time. It’ll be a bit thicker, and hopefully more filling to his tummy so he can sleep all night without fussing too badly. This morning he just would NOT eat it, and thankfully inhaled his milk instead, after some general fussiness about the nipple.

    We’re already looking at vets for next week or slightly after, so we can get him looked at, properly sexed, dewormed, and hopefully start him on his vaccines!

    Last night we set up a “play pen” so he can scamper around while I’m making dinner and trying to get the house clean again. {I’m still scared to use chemicals, but a rub down with soap and hot water never hurt anything!}


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