If you recently discovered an abandoned kitten that appears to be a newborn, you may be uncertain as to how to care for it until you can consult with a veterinarian. If so, use the following tips to become a surrogate parent so you can take care of the kitten's basic needs:
Create a Warm Den
After being born, a kitten does not have the body fat to protect them from the cold nor the ability to regulate their internal temperature. Especially during the first few weeks, they depend on the warmth of their mother's body to keep them warm. However, if they are separated from their mother, they run the risk of dying from the cold, even if the weather is relatively mild.
To keep the kitten warm, create a small den inside of a box using a clean towel or baby blanket. When you put the kitty inside the box, do not place a lid on it. While you want to keep the kitten warm, you also do not want to overheat them.
Place the box far enough away from an air conditioner or heater vent so that the air does not blow directly on the box. Keep the kitten covered with the towel or blanket, but make sure you periodically check on them to make sure they are not too hot.
Use a Medicine Dropper to Feed the Kitten
Since a newborn kitten is unable to eat by themselves and is used to nursing their mother's milk, you will need to feed them on a regular basis by offering them a substitute in the form of kitten formula. Because of their tiny mouth, use a medicine dropper so they can suckle the formula out of the tube.
Do not try to give them cow's milk, as it is not easily digested by newborn felines. If you are unsure as to what type of kitten formula is ideal, speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Rub the Kitten to Stimulate Elimination
Another job of the kitten's mother is to lick their under their tail after the kitten eats to stimulate digestion and elimination. Without this stimulation, the kitten is unable to urinate or defecate on their own and could become very sick.
To simulate the mother's tongue, use a warm, wet paper towel to rub under the kitten's tail. This should stimulate both the ureter and anus of the kitten enough to make them go to the bathroom shortly after you start rubbing.
Performing the above tips can help you take care of the newborn kitten after finding them. However, make sure you make an appointment with a veterinarian so they can make sure the little one is healthy, as well as give you advice for ensuring the kitten's health and well-being.