Newborn strays HELP!!

Home The Daily Kitten Cat Chat Forum General Chat Newborn strays HELP!!

This topic contains 37 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  chickentherapy 6 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 38 total)
  • Author
  • #44818



    I found 6 kittens at my work and it looks like their mother has abandoned them. She was with them yesterday but this morning when I checked she was gone and they were very cold (I thought one was dead, luckily he wasn’t!!) So I bundled them up in a box with some warm bedding and took them to the RSPCA where they said they would put them down because they are too small. So then I rang another animal shelter and they said “Dont take them to the RSPCA! They will put them down!” and told me that they would take them in but if I was able to foster them than that would be best. I have been a animal foster parent in the past so this is fine but cats really aren’t my forte, especially bubs! Any help you guys could give me would be amazing!

    I think they are around 1.5/2 weeks old. Their ears are up but very small and their eyes are open. They are moving around but not standing up yet and a few of them have little fangs coming through.

    I bought some formula from a pet shop but it doesn’t say that its specifically for kittens, it says small dogs and elderly animals but that it is suitable for all types of animals. Is this OK? How much and when should I be feeding them? At the moment I have been feeding them as much as they can take which is about 1ml each every hour. I am worried that this is not enough.

    Also they are all just sleeping. I know this is something they do a lot when they are bubs (and cats in general) but I am worried that it might be too much.

    And pooping! I have been caring for them for about 7 hours and none of them have pooped. I did the wiping thing and they all piddled but no poops. Ideas?

    Oh and a couple of them sneeze a little bit. Cat flu? Should I separate them all? But they are keeping each other warm? :s

    Please any help or suggestions would be amazing. I don’t believe in letting any animals die unless they are in physical pain and can’t be saved. I need to keep this little fella’s alive!!!



    You are amazing for taking these little guys in!! I don’t have the links but if you click on the pink tags up top they will take you to similar threads where people have posted links to helpful pages. As far as the poop goes, it’s not uncommon for kittens (especially this young) to goes a few days without pooping. I don’t know much about the formula you picked up but I would suggest KMR or goats milk (other’s have posted that it’s available in the baking isle of walmart).

    Also I would keep them together, they are keeping each other warm, if the sneezing persists and gets worse then I would suggest taking them to the vet.

    More will come with advise!

    Best of luck!



    Thank you for your quick reply Kaitlyn! By my description would you have an idea of how old they are? I have found ideas on when and how much I should feed them but it changes so much week to week!


    AZDEBRA 5/27 & crew

    Evening ChickenTherapy, this link might help you with info too…

    Sorry but I have not dealt with kittens for a long time, others who have may come on-line in a few hours.



    Thanks Azdebra, I was trying to look at MessyBeast from another thread but its a weird site to navigate! Thank you for putting me exactly where I need to go!

    One other thing, one of the kittehs has a little cut on its paw, its not too deep but its scabbed and looks quite painful. Should I get some antibiotics?



    Hi. CT, I agree, you’re amazing for what you’re doing for these little ones. The Messybeast site is the best on the web, I reckon, and you’ve received great advice from Kaitlyn too. But I’ll also give you some other good sites, the feralcat one has a feeding chart which is useful. Also, if you click on the pink tag ‘orphans’ above, top right, you’ll find loads of previous advice and experiences from other posters on this subject.




    I have to go get dinner but I’ll be back in a half hour to try to answer some of your other questions. Kitten eyes open at around 10 days so your lot sound like they’re probably around the two week mark. To raise them you need specific Kitten Replacement Milk (KMR) — kittens need far more nutrients and trace elements than dogs, so I wouldn’t entirely trust what you’ve bought to do the job — or canned goats’ milk (available from the baking aisle in Walmart if you’re in the US). You can also use kitten glop, here are some links:



    Some links for recipes for glop:

    Or, from the

    ‘If commercial kitten formula is not available, a suitable feed mixture for healthy kittens is 1.6 ml evaporated milk, 1.6 ml cooled boiled water, 1 level teaspoon glucose, 1 small egg yolk (no white at all). One recommended by a veterinarian is 3 oz condensed milk, 3 oz water, 3 oz plain full fat yoghurt, 3 large or 4 small egg yolks (no whites).

    Another recipe for glop from messybeast:


    Kitten Glop is a suitable feed mixture for healthy kittens and is also good for lactating queens. Most recipes refer to American brand names which are not understood outside of the USA/Canada. I have converted these to generic terms and noted alternatives.


    1 envelope unflavoured gelatine

    water per gelatine package directions (approx 12 oz)

    1 12 oz can whole evaporated milk (not skimmed) See notes

    3 tablespoons plain yoghurt (not low fat)

    3 teaspoons clear corn syrup See notes

    3 tablespoons mayonnaise

    1 or 2 raw egg yolks (optional) See notes


    If you have canned goat’s milk available, use this instead as it reduces the likelihood of lactose intolerance problems. Sheep’s milk is even higher in fat but not generally available in cans.

    Some recipes use 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt and omit the corn syrup entirely.

    Clear corn syrup (e.g. “Karo” brand in the US) is a concentrated glucose solution. It contains 15% – 20% dextrose (glucose), a mixture of other types of sugar and may be flavoured with vanilla. Dark corn syrup is made with molasses and is more strongly flavoured. Glucose solution may be used instead.

    Raw eggs can be a source of salmonella. Do not use any egg white in the mixture, it can prevent other nutrients from being digested.

    Kitty vitamins and/or acidophilus are sometimes added. Only add vitamins if the diet is deficient in them – vitamins can be dangerous in too high quantities (hypervitaminosis) and vitamin imbalances affect development.


    Boil the water and mix in gelatine powder. Add the other ingredients in the following order, mixing well after each addition: half of the canned milk, corn syrup (if used), mayonnaise + yoghurt, egg yolk (if used), remainder of the canned milk. Use either an egg beater or a blender set to low speed.

    Serve the glop at room temperature or slightly warmed since the kittens will be used to warm milk. Warming the mixture makes it more pungent and therefore more appetising. Do not pour back unused portions into the stored mix as it may introduce contaminants.

    Glop sets into a jelly when refrigerated. It can either be stored in the fridge in a covered container for up to 2 weeks or frozen into individual portions in ice cube trays and defrosted as needed. Freezing it is very convenient.

    Note: gelatin, since it’s made from cows hooves etc, is chock-full of protein; it gives kittens the amino acids they need.



    Sorry, CT, back now. I see you’re in Oz. Welcome, Aussie. I’m in New Zealand.

    Okay so goats’ milk maybe not so easy to find over there 🙂

    You do need specific kitten replacement formula, we have it in NZ so you must have it in Aus too — if you don’t know where to get it from, ask the animal shelter who said they would take the babies if you couldn’t. They may even be able to supply you some but anyway, they should know where it’s available, hopefully at your local vet and good pet supply stores. It comes powdered and you mix it with water. In the meantime, I would suggest kitten glop rather than what you’ve bought, small dogs and elderly animals have very different nutritional requirements from newborn kittens.

    At two weeks, they should weigh around 7 ounces and will need 56 ml of formula divided into 4 feeds a day. A kitten needs approximately 8 cc’s (same as mls) of formula per ounce of body weight per day. Feed them on their tummies, legs on the ground, not like a human baby. When a kitten has had enough formula, bubbles will form around its mouth, and its tummy will be rounded. After each meal, burp the kitten by holding it upright against your shoulder and patting it lightly on the back. It’s a good idea to weigh the babies each week to make sure they’re putting on weight — if they’re not, or they’re losing it, something’s wrong and they need to go to a vet.

    They probably do have cat flu/snuffles if they’re strays, they probably got it from their mother. If the sneezing gets bad or their noses and eyes get congested with greeny snot (sorry, TMI I know), they need to go to the vet for antibiotics. It’s not a bad idea to take them to the vet for a check-up anyway, and yes, you need to treat the little cut. One of the sites will probably suggest something. Again, if it gets bad, the vet is a good idea. At this age these babies are very fragile and can crash very easily.

    Keep them warm — a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel or a heating pad are good, but with room to crawl off if they get too hot, as they can’t regulate their own body temps very well. Check for fleas — fleas can cause anaemia in young kittens and be life-threatening. Get rid of them with a flea comb or, if it’s really bad, you may need to bathe them in Lux soap flakes or a pure soap dishwashing liquid (Dawn, Fairy liquid, I’m not sure what else they have in Oz). But chilling is not good, so if you do end up doing that, you’ll need to towel them dry as quickly and well as possible and put them back somewhere warm, preferably by a heater.

    At this age, you may only see poop only every second day or you may mistake it for pee (as they’re only on formula). Good luck!



    Awesome! Thank you so much Jcat! The six bubs made it through the night. They still haven’t pooped and only a few of them are burping but their belly’s aren’t hard. How long should I leave them without pooping before stressing?

    You said they need 56ml over 4 feeds but lots of sites say that they must be fed every 2-3hours. Should I separate the 56ml into 12ish feeds per 24hours? They don’t seem to be happy to take more than the 4-5ml per sitting…

    The powder that I have for them is called Biolac, do you know this one? Is it any good? I will try to find a better one today. I am mixing it with un-sweetened rice milk (I read that this is really good for them. Do you know if its true?) and an egg yolk from my chooks (lots of goop recipes called for egg yolk so I thought this might be good. They seemed happier drinking it with the yolk).

    They seem to be sneezing more so I am going to call the shelter and ask if they have a vet that could see them, if not I will take them to my pups vet. I kept them warm all night by heating our room (we are in an old queeslander house so it gets very drafty and cold in this rainy autumn weather) and keeping a heated rice sock in with them. They were able to crawl away from it but it wasn’t too hot just a little warmer then skin temp, I thought it would be like their mum.

    Thanks for your help! I meant to reply last night but I was just too beat and if I started replying to things online I would never have gotten naps in between feeds!

    Oh! And one of the boys, Feral Mewler, started walking this morning!!! Now he wont stop crawling around the box they are in!



    Hi, CT, I’d start to get worried after three days without poop. I’m afraid I don’t know Biolac but I’d think if it doesn’t specifically say for kittens on it, then it probably doesn’t have enough nutrients. I’d feed them whatever way is working for you. They may be behind in growth if they haven’t had enough food so maybe their tiny tummies only take 4-5ml. Every two to three hours is usually for under one week but if that’s what they want, I’d go with that. The rice milk I haven’t heard about, but I know kittens in Asian countries are often fed a rice gruel, and egg yolk is definitely good. Crawling is great! Love his name! You’re very welcome, welcome to TDK!



    I googled Biolac and it looks like they make a special milk for kittens, in a pink container:

    I see they say, “The nutritional requirements of kittens/cats are quite unique and it is not possible to produce the perfect milk for kittens/cats, however BIOLAC has made considerable progress in producing a highly suitable substitute milk.”

    So if yours is the puppy kind (not pink!), it’s not really what they need.

    They also seem to have something called Divetelact, which says it’s suitable for kittens…



    Hi JCat, yeh I found the pink Biolac and bought some of that, they seemed very excited. I will mix that with some egg yolk tonight. I really want to weigh them but I dont have a set of scales. A couple of them let out some farts today so I am hoping to get some poops tonight.

    I don’t have to feed them every 2 hours?? WOOO! I can sleep (a little) tonight! So I will just keep them on the 56ml/day in whatever time span seems comfortable for each of them (they are all such different sizes, the little runt-ie ones don’t seem to handle as much) but at least every 4-5 hours. And hopefully tonight I will get some poops. I have only had them for 1 and a half days now and I don’t know when they pooped before that but I will add some oil to their feed tonight and try to get things moving along.

    They are still sneezing but I spoke to my contact at the shelter and she said that there are no medications for kittens this small. All I can do is wait until they get runny eyes and noses, at which stage I should take them to the vet, or until they get better. Does that sound right? I have fed antibiotics to mice and chickens before so I dont know why they wouldn’t have one for kitties…



    Oh! And could you give me your best burping technique or a video to look at? They never burp when I try to hold them against my chest and pat their backs but they do sometimes when I hold up their tail to make them wee..



    I dont think there are any videos out there for burping kittens. I think its more a case of if they do burp, yay, if they dont, maybe next time?

    I have never heard of biolac before (i’m from south africa), so i have no idea how much of it they are supposed to be eating. My general rule of thumb is always 1-2ml every 2 hours for the first 2 weeks, and then after that it increases to 3-4ml every 3 hours for week three, 4-5ml for week 4 etc. If they eat more than that its not a problem. If they eat less than that, you have to weig them every day to make sure they are growing. Unfortunately for the first week to week and a half its very important that they get fed every 2 hours, since they dont eat a lot to begin with, their blood sugar levels can take a dip very fast, and then they wont want to eat and eventually they just fade away.

    As for the sneezing, there is a supplement available called l-lysine, its very good for cat flu and anything related to the herpes family (wich cat flu is a member of). I’m not too sure about what your contact had to say about the kittens being too young for medication. In my view its extremely important, especially in very young kittens, to get on top of cat flu before it becomes a problem. I’ve had my vet giving newborn kittens an antibiotic called amoxycillin orally, or synoloux sub-q when they still had umbilical cords attached to them.



    Hi, again, CT, glad the kittens have come through so far! Skyron is our most experienced foster kitty mum so I’d go with everything she says. Sky, the kittens have eyes open, ears up and one is walking so I’m figuring they’re at least two weeks old and maybe a bit more. I googled the Biolac and it’s a kitten milk replacement, so I’m thinking same quantities as KMR and in any case it should say on the tin. I’ve read about burping by making circular movements on their back but Millie always burps when I hold her up against me and stroke her back (like a human baby). Mind you, she’s older. I’ll go with Sky on the burping kittens — yay if they do, don’t worry too much if they don’t…



    Ok yay, I wont stress too much on the burping. Still no luck on the pooping. I looked up a video on the triangle method but even that didn’t work. My partner is going to take them to the vet tomorrow morning to get a look over and see about the pooping and the sneezing. I am very worried about two of them, they are starting to wheeze like a mouse that I had once that had a respiratory infection. So I did what I used to do with Anna (the mouse) and put an open bottle of tee tree oil next to their box to (potentially) help with their breathing. Anna was on antibiotics her whole two little years. I hope these bubs don’t have the same thing, but if they do I dont mind the medication..

    Still very worried about eating though. Two of them are sculling it down, two of them are pretty average and two are having basically nothing…



    About the two who arent drinking – i’m wondering if their noses might be stuffy? Cause if they are, they wont be able to breathe when they are suckling on a nipple – they wont be able to get enough suction to drink milk if they have to stop to take a breath every time they breathe. Can you maybe try them with an eye dropper, or a syringe? But i’d say feed them drop by drop so they can breathe and get something to eat. If they haven’t been eating they are probably very lethargic by now – try giving them some pedialyte or something similar to get their blood levels going again, and make sure they are nice & warm, and then try the drop-by-drop eating?



    I’ve added a tag for home made pedialyte. If you click on it, you’ll find a thread about a 6 month old cat with diahrrea – in that thread buttercup posted jcats’ recipe for home made pedialyte – i’m not sure if you guys have the real thing where you live. In sa, the equivalent of pedialyte is called darrow’s. I buy it at the pharmacy, its meant for dehydrated babies.

    About the gasping for air that the kittens are doing – they really need to get to a vet. You can try putting them in the bathroom and letting a hot shower run – the steam will help them to breathe easier. I’m not sure about the tee tree oil – i’ve used it on myself but i have no idea if its safe for kittens. But they need antibiotics for the flu and cortisone/steroids to help them breathe. And if they are around 2 weeks old (sounds like they are) they are definitely old enough for those medications.



    Tea tree oil is toxic to cats, I really don’t think it’s advisable to use it. I don’t know what pedialyte is called in Aus (it’s Dioralyte in the UK) but I imagine if you went to a pharmacist and said Pedialyte or infant rehydration salts, they would know where to point you. But the home-made recipe should be fine. I definitely think the shower is the best idea to decongest the babies and you need to get something down them, the pedialyte is a good start. You could also try a smear of honey in their mouth (no lumps, nothing to choke on), just to get their blood sugar up.



    So you don’t need to trawl through the threads:

    The tent test is to test for dehydration:

    Tent test: pick up a good pinch of kitten’s skin at the neck and let go.If it snaps back immediately, she’s hydrated okay. If it takes a little time to go back down, or, worse, it stays up in a ‘tent’ shape, she needs fluids, such as pedialyte (from the supermarket, children’s aisle) or home-made pedialyte below.

    Note, in the United Kingdom, pedialyte is called Dioralyte. Also known as rehydration salts.

    Home-made pedialyte:


    * 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



    Oh thank you for that recipe! Boy is looking after the kitteys this morning and taking them to the vet so I will get him to mix some of that up for them. They all made it through the night and after each meal they spend the next half an hour trying to climb out of the box. A few of them have figured it out so a bigger box is on the cards today! I am hoping this is a good sign that they are thriving, they couldn’t walk two days ago and now they are pulling themselves out of a box bigger than them! The only one that is not giving that a shot is the little grey runt. She spends most of her time on the heat sock, she ate a fair bit at their 1am feeding but again only 2ml at their 5am feed. Most of them are sucking down 7-11ml per feed every 4 hours. There is one little champ that has been doing 11ml each feed and wants MORE! Should I let him have more of restrict him? He still hasn’t pooped and his belly is starting to get firm but he burps a lot.

    No poops from any of them yet… Ill update when they get back from the vet.

    I keep doing the tent test and it goes down fairly fast – very fast on all of them. None of them stay up. But a couple of them have smelly slightly yellow peep. Maybe UTI?

    I have never been a cat person (chickens and old dogs are my thing) but golly gee these kittehs are growing on me!

    Oh! Here is a video of them after their 5am feed this morning 🙂



    Oh and about the honey thing – I am vegan and dont have any honey… would maple syrup or agave syrup or even a home made sugar syrup work the same?



    And also, thank you both so much! I seriously would not have been able to cope the last couple of days without your advice! I am not great at replying asap but I have been reading everything and it has been so beyong helpful! I was so overwhelmed by different ideas on the net I had no idea where to start with looking after these babies (who would have known about the wee technique??) but I think so far they are doing well… better than they would have living on a grated radiator in the rainy autumn weather anyways!



    I imagine that sugar syrup would work fine; I gave my diabetic cat Karo syrup (corn syrup) when he had a hypoglycemic episode. All of these are simple sugars that can be absorbed through the gum tissue to give a quick boost to the blood sugar. Because if their blood sugar is too low, they will become very lethargic and unable to suck. But it doesn’t keep the blood sugar up long- think of a sugar rush! so it needs to be followed by formula (or repeated)



    Ah true, OK, with the runt I will try the syrup and then formula. See if she will perk up!

    Just got news back from the vet – she was really surprised at how well they were all doing. She said we were doing everything that we need to be doing and that they are around early 3 weeks and weigh around 290g each. She said that they must be pooing or they wouldn’t be eating as much so maybe they are doing it and the other kitties are cleaning it up? Or maybe they are doing it in the middle of the night when we are half asleep and we think its just wee? I dont know.. But she said that their bellies are actually quite soft so thats good! They do all have the flu and I will take them back for a proper appointment later this afternoon to get some antibiotics for them but she said that 99% of strays have the flu or get the flu and they either make it or they fade, its just part of being a stray kitty. I say Bugger that! Ima drug my little kitties and hug them and warm them and feed them until that flu buggers off!

    I had a beautiful little mouse once that caught a respiratory infection when she was about 1 month old. She lived until she was just over two and every morning and afternoon we would give her little drops of antibiotics and when she got wheezy or sneezy she would have a sauna (bathroom with a hot shower running) and tea tree oil (which I wont be using on the kitties now! It hasn’t hurt them over night but Im not going to risk it!). She ended up passing away an old lady and it was from an inoperable tumor next to her lung. I plan on looking after my little gray runty just as much as my little mouse Anastaysia 🙂



    I think you’ll find that yellow, slightly smelly peep is actually poop…



    That is great news that they are doing so well!



    Are you serious? I have been so stressed that they weren’t pooping and that they had uti’s and all the while its just their weird poops? Awesome! But grr! But awesome!

    Kiplings- I know! I’m stoked! I can’t stop smiling!

    My poor beautiful anxious rescue dog needs some attention now that I know the kittys are going to be OK 🙂



    It is, it is wonderful news, and they are such cuties on the video. Yep, they are walking and wanting to explore their surroundings and playing with each other — try to let them out for supervised play at least once a day in a reasonably kitten proof room, you’ll both have great fun and they will probably want to climb on your lap for some cuddles too! I have read that the most confident kittens are those that are brought up ‘under foot’ (within reason, of course), from my experience with my fosters I’d say it’s true.

    You’re very welcome re the advice, it’s so easy to give it but you’re the one who has to do all the hard work! Try to keep feeding the little runt little and often, I’d be trying to coax her to take another ml every couple of hours during the day at least. I don’t think kittens can eat too much or get too chubby but some websites disagree, they say if you feed them too much, they might get tummy troubles. I think this lot have had a terrible start, they’re sick, they’re behind, if they want to eat, go for it. You are doing the most amazing job!

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 38 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.