Ways & How

How to Take Care of a Stray Kitten

How to Take Care of a Stray Kitten

Cat lover or not, seeing a stray and homeless kitten on the streets will certainly tug at your heartstrings. During these moments, it is helpful to know how to take care of a stray kitten so that you can save its life. Since they are still small and new to the ways of the world, they don’t have the skills to survive all by themselves. Here are some tips on what you should do in case you come across a stray kitten:

  1. Wait for the mother to come back. Even though your first instinct might be to help the kitten, you should refrain from doing so because the mother might be around somewhere, hunting for food. Wait to see if the mother is nearby. Make sure that you are standing far away from the kitten, at least 35 feet, so that the mother will approach the kitten. If the mother returns, you can leave the kitten alone. If not, you should pick it up and place it in a cat carrier. If you need to leave right away, assess the condition of the kitten. The only time that you should remove the kitten from where the mother left it is if it is in immediate or grave danger.


  2. Decide whether you can take care of the kitten. Kittens that are younger than four weeks need to be taken care of round the clock for several weeks. If you can commit to that, then you can take the kitten home. If not, then you should take the kitten to the nearest animal shelter so that it will be well taken care of.

  3. Look for any injuries. You have to take the kitten to the vet immediately if you see any sign of injury or illness, such as limping, continuous licking of a certain area, coughing, sneezing, lack of appetite, or discharge from the nose or eyes. You should also take the kitten to the vet in case of heavy parasite infestations.

  4. Keep the kitten warm. If you decide to keep it, you should design a shelter that will keep it warm and cozy. You can make one by using a small box lined with towels and blankets. If it is cold, you can place a warm water bottle in the box and cover it with towel, but make sure that the box has enough room for the kitten to move in case it becomes too warm. The kitten should be kept away from other pets.

  5. Provide the kitten with kitten formula. You should take the kitten to a veterinarian in order to determine its age. If it is a newborn kitten, then the only thing that you can feed it is kitten formula, which can be bought from pet stores. If it is a desperate situation, you can also make an alternative to kitten formula by combining 2/3 cup of evaporated milk, 3 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of corn oil, and 1 dropper of pediatric liquid vitamins. Warm it first before feeding it to the kitten using a nursing bottle or medical dropper. However, this should be given only in emergencies; you still need to buy kitten formula in the succeeding days. Older kittens can eat cat food and drink water. Burp the kitten after feeding.

  6. Stimulate bowel movement. Mother cats usually lick their kittens to stimulate elimination and urination, but since she is out of the picture, you have to massage the anal and urinary areas with a moist washcloth. This should be done after every feeding so that they can move their bowels. When the kitten reaches three to four weeks of age, you can start litter training by providing the kitten with a litter pan.

It is not easy to learn how to take care of a stray kitten, but it is worthwhile since kittens are good companions. Once you have decided to take care of it, you should not only provide for the kitten’s physical needs but also its socialization needs since you will become its new family.


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