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Orphaned kitten...What else should I do?

419 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  morning glory
So last night we were at the horse barns. I had to run to a different part of the barns and as I was going down an alley way the barn cats scattered (its a public barn...people dump cats there all the time and think its okay because the renters will feed them...which we do but that doesn't make it okay)...anyway...I could hear a kitten mewing so I sort of looked around thinking maybe it fell out out if its nest and I could just pop it back in.

Well...not so much. There was a mama cat with the kitten hanging out of her by the back leg. I thought it might be stuck but she is one of the wilder cats there and I couldn't get anywhere near her. So I left and as I passed by the next time saw mama and the kitten was out so I thought it would be fine. I could hear the kitten mewing still.

Then when we were over where our horses are (2 barns away) I saw the mama cat again. I don't think she really had any clue what was going on. She was digging in the dirt and acting like she had to go to the bathroom. Then she ran into one of the locked tack rooms. So I waited til we were done chores and went back to where the kitten was originally. I was hoping she would have gone and got him. But he was just sitting there in a pile of leaves from last fall. It wasn't even a nest he was just there on the ground. So I brought him home. My husband is not happy with this situation.

So he is in a box with a heating pad on low and I am feeding him makeshift formula of powdered milk and canola oil. He eats about 2-3 cc (ml) per feeding...every two hours or so. Although he went four or five hours in the night last night. Is this enough? He seems to be taking a bit more each feeding and latches quite tightly on to the syringe. I warm the milk to body temp under hot water before feeding. After each feeding I stroke his back and tummy and use a piece of toilet paper to rub his far he just poop. Should he have pooped by now? I'm very worried that he didn't get any colostrum.

The current plan is to send out e-mails to rescues, vet clinics and humane societies in the area and see if they can take him. Also...tonight we'll have the person who's locked tack room mama went into let us have a look. With any luck mama will have had her other babies in a nice little nest in there and we'll be able to just pop him in with the others. I'm also going to call around to people we know to see if anyone has a litter of kittens that he could maybe foster with. Ideally we'll find a mama cat to look after him one way or another.

I'm right in the middle of Lethbridge and Calgary (Alberta) if anyone has suggestions of someone I could talk to in the area who might be able to help.

Is there anything else I should be doing? Am I doing anything wrong? Any help is appreciated.

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It would be better to give him commercial kitten milk replacer than a homemade milk. And you have the right idea that it would be best to take him back to his mama or find another mama cat to foster him on. Cats are really good about fostering.
Basic kitten care, an Adobe document:

Hand-raising orphaned kittens, another Adobe document:

Terrific web site with lots of information about feral cats, including dealing with newborns:

Check out the "First Time Visitor" link on the left for a good overview of the information. Also, you might want to click on "Caregiver/Advocate Information", then (scroll down) "Caring for Kittens" and a bunch of good links pops up.
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Fabulous news! One of the rescue agencies I called has three nursing mamas and took him to put on to one of them!! Huge YAY for ARF in Calgary!

I considered going back to the barn to see if I could find his real mama but in the end even if she would have taken him he would have just been another feral cat with no real chance...especially being a tom. I'm really hoping that this way works out best. If he makes it through this next little while he should end up in a great home.

Thanks for all the advice Ann-Marita and QueenofthePride...I hope I never have to read it again!

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