Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by Georgie Smith
Everyone that wants a cat tends to want them when they are baby kittens. Finding baby kittens for sale at times can seem like a struggle. When you do find them, they are by a private owner and not always healthy.
Is it best to buy a kitten from a pet store or private seller? That depends on the person selling the babies and how good of care they have had. If there is an ad giving kittens away, be sure to ask about worming, shots and if they are safe from ticks and fleas.
In this article, you will learn all about baby kittens, where to find one, and what care they need. However, first, let’s learn about their birth and what you can expect.
|Best Cat Stroller: 2023 Reviews (Top Picks) and Guide
|Best Cat Carriers for Nervous Cats & Long Distance Travel: 2023 Reviews and Guide
|Pet Stores That Sell Puppies Near Me: How To Find The Best Places?
Labor and Delivery of Baby Kittens
Your pregnant cat is more than capable of taking care of itself. However, you still need to keep a close eye on them to make sure they do not overexert themselves. The problem with cats is that they love their privacy. Therefore, when it is finally time to give birth, they will try to go to a dark and private place.
If you have any concerns, make sure that you consult your vet. The advice they offer you will put your mind at rest.
If it is your feline’s first time, they may feel a bit nervous. However, like most animals, cats have strong instincts that will handle most of the details. Here are the stages of giving birth and a few tips on how you can help your cat give birth safely.
Preparing for the Birth
In the last few weeks, you need to be quiet and calm around her. You also need to handle her with care. Therefore, keep your children away from the cat to offer her a calm environment. During this time, keep it as inactive as possible and encourage her to stay at here maternity bed.
While you may feel the need to buy or make your cat a maternity bed, it may prefer a dark corner in a cupboard. Do not force it to stay in a bed you have made for her. She will be much more comfortable there.
How Do I Help?
Your cat’s labor will go smoothly. However, if there are some complications, she will need your help. When you notice some signs of labor, you may want a vet on the phone because they may need some emergency help.
You also need to make sure that you are ready to transport her to the vet’s office at a moment’s notice.
There are a few things you need to have ready:
- A bowl of clean, warm water
- Clean clothes and towels
- Disposable gloves
- Dental floss
- A cat carrier
- Your vet’s phone number
- A microwaveable beanie bag for keeping the kittens warm when they are away from mom
Keep Some Distance
Your feline is also your best friend and a treasured family member. However, if you have gone through labor yourself, you know how painful the contractions can get. The last thing anyone (human or animal) needs during this time is someone lurking in the background.
So, stay fare enough not to invade her personal space but close enough to intervene when needed. How do you know that she is in labor?
- Panting and pacing
- Looking for a hiding place
- Stops eating
- Crying loudly and purring
- Temperature drops
- Signs of complications
- Bloody discharge before birth
Once the mother enters here preferred birthing place, the best you can do for her is keep calm.
In stage two of labor, you will notice:
- The relaxation of the cervix and the start of uterine contractions
- Contractions could be within two minutes of each other
- She will start panting and crying out
- The amniotic fluid, which looks like a water bubble will come out first then the first kitten
- Each next kitten will be 30 minutes to an hour away from each other
If you notice that the cat has been pushing for more than an hour without any signs of kittens appearing, this could be a sign that there is a problem. Check the vulva lips to see if there is anything.
If you can see something, wash your hands thoroughly and pull the part of the kitten that you can see, gently. If you cannot see anything, call the doctor. Sometimes, the kitten is halfway out but is not sliding out regardless of how much the queen pushes. Call your doctor for further instructions.
Allow her to remove the amniotic fluid and to clean each kitten. She will do this by vigorously licking each kitten. It will begin moving and breathing in a few seconds because of her care.
If she doesn’t do it after a couple of minutes, break the membrane. Wipe the kitten with your hands so they can start breathing. You can also choose to clean her with a towel.
Take all the kittens under her nose and let her lick them. It is how she bonds with them. If she does not lick her, it will start shivering. So take the dry towel and wipe it. When it starts crying, it will attract the mother’s attention. Give the kitten to its mother.
Check the Placenta but do not Try to Pull it.
Notice each placenta because if one is still inside, it could get infected and kill the mother. Pulling it at it could rip the uterus and cause the mother to die.
Let her eat the first two or three then take the rest away. Too much of these nutrients will cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Never Cut the Umbilical Cord
Never cut the umbilical cord. The mother will chew off the cord. If this does not happen, call your vet. Cutting the cord with the placenta still inside the queen could cause it not to get expelled thus creating infections.
Disinfect the kitten’s navel. However, if the mother strongly objects, leave it alone.
Make sure that the kittens start nursing at once after the birthing process is over. If there is no milk, you will notice the kittens suckling and meowing. Get the cat a special diet from your vet and feel the cats with milk powder instead.
Newborn Care and Concerns
During the first days of your kitten’s life, the most critical concerns are warmth, feeding and social skills. They also need to learn how to excrete on their own. If the kitten is with its mother, it will learn most of those things from her.
However, if they now live with you, they are not around their mothers. It is therefore up to you to care for him.
Like humans, the mother’s milk provides the kitten with everything it needs. If your newborn kitten separates from its litter, consult your veterinarian about the best shelter and food. If you have a mother who recently gave birth, you may introduce the newborn to that litter. The mother will care for the orphaned baby.
So, besides milk, what else do these kittens eat?
In the first four weeks of its life, offer it milk in a shallow bowl. After this time, start introducing moist and easy to chew foods. You can mix milk and high quality canned kitten food. Serve it several times a day. By seven weeks, they should have the ability to chew their food so you will no longer have to moisten it.
Because of the high energy requirements, make sure that the food contains at least 30 percent protein. Also, it is essential to make sure that the food is especially for kittens.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Feed the kitten four times a day until it is three months old
- Reduce it to three times a day until they are six months old
How Do You Keep the Kitten Warm?
Use a heating pad or a hot water bottle to keep the kitten warm. You can wrap the water bottle with a towel to evenly distribute the heat. Position the heat source so that the kitten can move away from it at will.
The weight of the kitten will depend on its breed and the size of the litter. In the first few weeks, it will double and sometimes triple in weight. If it does not gain weight adequately during this time, it may not survive.
How Long Should You Hold the Kitten?
If the kitten is with its mother, it should not get over-touched. Holding it too often may upset its mother and may lead to the kitten getting rejected. If the kitten is with you from the first day of its life and does not have its mother, start holding it during the second week.
Do not handle it too roughly because they are prone to injuries. Therefore, interactions with young children will need supervision.
How to Teach the Kitten to Go to the Bathroom
After grooming the kitten, the mother pays close attention to the anal area. The licking acts as a massage to stimulate excretion. They are not naturally born with the ability to defecate and need a little help.
If you have a young kitten, dip a soft cloth in warm water and massage the anal and urinary areas. These actions should mimic those of its mother. At four weeks, you can train your kitten to use the litter box.
First Six Weeks of a Kittens Life
Their eyes will open in three days. It is during this first week that the umbilical cord will fall off. They weigh a couple of ounces and fit into the palm of your hand. They do not have fully developed nervous systems and will twitch as they sleep.
If they are with their mother, she will instinctively know their needs. She will feed them, keep them warm and bath them. She will even massage them to stimulate digestion.
When people keep checking on them, she will move them to protect them. Within the first 48 hours, they will get immunity from their mother’s colostrum. Their immune system will be strong enough until they are old enough to get shots.
As a rule of thumb, feed your kitten eight ccs of formula per ounce of body weight each day. You will increase the amount of milk and reduce the feeding time as they grow bigger.
Your kitten is gaining about 10 grams each day and needs high-quality kitten food. It is now that their eyes will begin opening. All their eyes are blue and will remain so for a couple of weeks. They will have blur vision because their pupils do not dilate and contract easily. You should, therefore, keep them from bright lights.
Their sense of smell is developing fast, and he will seek food by smelling it.
The ear canals are not beginning to open completely. Their ears are fully erect and loud noise will startle them.
At this stage, the color of their eyes will start changing. Their digestive systems get fully developed, and they will eliminate on their own. While the mother will continue cleaning them, they will also clean themselves.
They may even begin to purr. Their teeth will also start coming in.
They often begin to stand in the fourth week. Their movements will be wobbly, as their tiny feet learn how to support their bodies. Their tails are still short and their heads disproportionately large.
They will start thinking of expanding their horizon and will escape their nesting area. They will play more with their littermates.
It is the perfect time to start human socialization. Introduce canned foods that contain meat as a first ingredient. Their first experiences with food will be messy.
At this point, they are old enough to learn essential litter box discipline. Use a shallow box that they can quickly get into and leave.
They are lively, active, and energetic. They pouch, run and leap and have the ability to entertain themselves. Since growing up is such hard work, they will fall asleep at the drop of a hat.
Give them plastic toys that will aid with teething.
Baby Kitten Near Me
If you are in the USA, here are a couple of places that you can buy kittens.
- Purrfect Pals cat sanctuary and adoption centers: Found at 230 McRae Rd NE, Arlington, WA 98223, the USA this shelter gives you the best kitten breeds. They are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Cat House on the Kings: This center is at 9720, 7120 S kings River road Parlier CA 93648, USA. It opens at 13.00 on holidays
- ASPCA Adoption Center: It begins from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is at 424 E 92nd St New York, NY10128 USA
- Best Friends Pet Adoption Center: You will find at 307 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013 USA.
Risk of Buying a Kitten from a Stranger
So, you are walking down the streets with your kids, and they see a free kitten sign on a box at the store. They plead with you to get them one, and you are almost giving in to their pleas. Stop right there. Consider the consequences of your actions. Did you know that that free kitten will cost you?
Most of those free kittens are unvaccinated, are not dewormed and are unneutered. Most people want to escape the adoption fee that is in shelters, but it is a small fee to pay for a healthy kitten.
You are also more likely to take home a kitten that has a disease if you take cats from strangers. Adoption from kitten shelters allows you to get the kittens that have up-to-date vaccinations. The small fee also helps keep the rest of the litter safe.
Here are some other dos and don’ts of kitten adoption:
Do Not Adopt Too Early
When the kittens leave the litter too soon, they will claw and develop later than those raised by the mom. They also show signs of fearfulness and do not have tolerance for other cats. Unless it is necessary, let them stay with their mother for at least eight weeks.
Take them to the Vet ASAP
The earlier the diagnosis, the better. Without medical attention, they may develop illnesses that could get avoided. A vet may recommend that you quarantine the kitten for 30 days to be sure that they do not have any health issues.
Do Not Bathe the Kitten Until it is Four Weeks Old
A kitten bath too early in its life may cause the kitten to get chilled. Also, always use mild kitten-safe products for cleaning the kitten.
Take Your Time When Socializing:
Do not rush introductions. Let it take time to know people and locations. Declaw the kitten when you notice that it keeps scratching objects. Use your nail clippers and clip one nail at a time. It will know this is a normal process and will not be opposed to it.
Let the Kitten Pick You
It is easy to pick a kitten that you feel is prettiest or cutest. However, that one may not always be the right one. Sit in a chair and let the right kittens come to you. See how each interacts with you. Most cat owners swear that you will know when it picks you.
Fun Facts about Kittens
Q: How long does the adoption process take?
A: The process can take minutes, but sometimes it can take hours. The time it will take will depend on the adoption policies and the organization.
Q: How much will it cost to adopt?
A: Generally, adoption will cost anywhere between $25 and $250. In rare instances, companies will give away cats for free, and occasionally the cats will be expensive.
Q: Is there a difference between a shelter and a rescue group?
A: The most significant difference between these two is the availability of pets in the facility. Shelters have all their pets in a single facility while rescue groups have theirs in homes for volunteers. Accommodations also have paid staff while rescue facilities rely on the efforts of volunteers.
Q: What type of paperwork will I have to fill out?
A: Private shelters will require you to fill out an adoption application. However, you will have to select a pet before you fill out the form. You will also include references, your experience with pets and your landlord’s information. The requirements in a municipal shelter get streamlined.
Kittens are full of love, spunk, and fluff. Choosing to adopt one is not a decision that needs much deliberation. They compete with dogs in being the most popular pets. According to statistics, at least a third of all the homes in the United States have a feline.
To be truly honest, companionship is not the only thing your feline friend has to offer. Even with its attitude, cats are ridiculously adorable. They are also great adventure companions and will make your weekends interesting. If you are having trouble evaluating your priorities, get a cat.
They are smart and make you feel the need to be more independent. Kittens are also therapeutic because they help get rid of depression, stress, and loneliness.
Do you want to adopt a kitten? Don’t do it alone. Mobilize a couple of your friends and family by sharing this article with them. Cats will make you happier and relaxed.
We continue to thank you for reading and sharing our articles. We wouldn’t be here without your continued support. Leave us a message. We would love to chat with you.