Dear Miss Behavin’:
I found a newborn kitten in the backyard, what should I do now?
If you’re not sure about how to take care of a newborn kitten and don’t have the means or time, check with your local animal shelter or rescues on whether they take in newborns. Feel free to check our website for information on the next steps for taking care of your kitten at www.phs-spca.org.
If you do feel comfortable taking care of the kitten then we can also help by providing you with a kitten starter kit, while supplies last. If a kitten starter kit is unavailable, check with your local pet store as many of them may sell the starter kits as well. Typically included in a starter kit are a can of KMR (kitten milk replacer), a syringe with nipple, a kitten care instructional guide, and a spay/neuter voucher. You may have to stock up on more KMR if your kitten is only a few weeks old, and KMR can also be helpful during the weaning process. Consider buying a heating pad that safely maintains its heat to help provide your kitten with the consistent warmth it would normally obtain from its mother.
Keep in mind that important factors contributing to the kitten’s wellbeing include scheduling feedings and consistently assisting with elimination, maintaining adequate warmth for the kitten and a clean environment, and reducing stress as much as possible. Should the kitten show any signs of decreased appetite, dehydration, difficulties with elimination, fatigue, or infection, be sure to contact your local veterinarian immediately. These can be life-threatening for a kitten early on. Although a kitten’s immune system can be easily compromised and taking care of them is a lot of hard work, the experience can be incredibly rewarding and life-changing for both you and the kitten.