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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10448
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Just found my outside cat on the pool deck, it is raining

Customer Question

just found my outside cat on the pool deck, it is raining outside, thought the kitten (3 days
old) was dead, it is alive....put it in a towel to warm up....and gently touching it....the mother has two other kittens ( 5 months old) still nursing on her....it is starting to meow and move a little, have it on a low temp heating pad...has I think a cut on the ear and the back of the neck, otherwise no on flowing bleeding......I believe I will have to keep it inside
the house, what do I need to do if it survives....thank you so much
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for this kitten. I am a little confused, though, and require clarification:

1. Did your female cat deliver this kitten?

2. Is she feral and won't come into your house to take care of this kitten?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your response since I'll have to type up a reply for you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the feral female cat delivered this kitten on 9/7/15 and is not that interested in it as she was with her
three kittens she had in April,2015.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** *****
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

That's what I pretty much thought but didn't want to make any assumptions.

I have several suggestions for you if this little one makes it:

1. First, be a little careful about a heating pad since they can cause thermal burns even on low settings. I'd fill a bottle with hot water, wrap it in a towel and put it in a box so the kitten can snuggle up next to it for warmth if necessary. You can also put a bag of rice in a microwave and warm it up and do the same thing but just closely monitor that the rice isn't scorching hot.

2. Gently clean off the wounds with very dilute over the counter Betadine or Iodine (to the color of weak tea).

3. You could apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to the wounds since it's not likely that this little one will be able to lick it off (which might cause gastrointestinal upset).

4. A perfect product for skin lesions of this sort will be Vetericyn Spray which is available at many pet/grain stores or online.

5. As to care of the kitten in terms of feeding and stimulating feces/urine and husbandry, there are a number of excellent articles on the internet about care of orphaned kittens (which essentially this is). The following is one such article which contains a wealth of information.. much more than I can possibly provide here...although I don't necessarily agree with their advice about use of a heating pad! LINK

While taking care of abandoned or orphaned kittens can be exceptionally rewarding, I should warn you that there may be a reason why the mom has rejected her. In some cases, they can sense that their offspring aren't going to survive (for any number of reasons) and they don't waste what they consider their valuable resources (milk and nurturing) on them.

I very much hope that this isn't the case but I did want to prepare you for the fact that the kitten may not make it despite your very best efforts.

I hope this helps and that this little one makes it. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

This is another article about hand-raising orphan kittens which also may be helpful: LINK

It's not nearly as complicated as it may seem once you get into a routine and have everything set up. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Hello again.

I'm just following up on the kitten you're taking care of. How is she/he doing? Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Deb