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Found a starving kitten... please help!


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Jul 18, 2008, 10:55pm   #1
nauticalstar's Avatar
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So, I have never had a kitten or cat. We've had bunnies, a dog, birds... but my parents don't really like cats, so never one of those.

Today, my sister was in my parents pool and saw a tiny little gray thing moving through the grass. She got out and went over and saw it was a teeny kitten- covered in dirt and just skin and bones. She keeps opening her mouth but not making any noises. They got her cleaned up and offered little bits of different kinds of food. Luckily she doesn't seem to be at all afraid of people. However we have NO IDEA how to take care of a kitten. What should I be feeding it?? It was obviously starving so I figured regular cat food is probably too much at first. How do I tell how old it is? I mean, age matters as far as what poor kitty can eat, right? I am going over there tomorrow so I was hoping to find out what I should do.

TIA!
Jul 18, 2008, 11:31pm   #2
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Jess <3
I would call a vet and take it to him/her right away. You can also call animal rescues and ask them the same questions. They should be able to help you. I am not too sure how to tell how old the cat is. You can always go to petsmart and get kitten milk and feed it to the cat with an eye dropper. Age definitely matters when it comes to nutrition. newborn kitties have different nutritional needs compared to older cats.
Jul 18, 2008, 11:39pm   #3
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Originally Posted by babieejae1101
I would call a vet and take it to him/her right away. You can also call animal rescues and ask them the same questions. They should be able to help you. I am not too sure how to tell how old the cat is. You can always go to petsmart and get kitten milk and feed it to the cat with an eye dropper. Age definitely matters when it comes to nutrition. newborn kitties have different nutritional needs compared to older cats.
Thanks for the reply- they were calling vets when I last heard from them but my sister can't drive and no one else was home so they were looking for a weekend place. I guess I was looking for things they could be doing until then? There is a grocery store open all night and I told them to try there for kitten milk.
Jul 18, 2008, 11:56pm   #4
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Jess <3
How about a 24/7 animal hospital? I would google it and see if there is one in your area. Maybe you can take a bus to get there or a cab? I know that some bus companies allow animals on board if they're in a carrier.
Jul 19, 2008, 12:14am   #5
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I just checked- nothing within several hours of where they live. I am about an hour away and offered to drive back and bring the kitten somewhere but so far there is nowhere to go until tomorrow morning. My mom has a friend in another state who works in a vet office, so she called and found out what she could give the kitten in the short term. They did say she has eaten and was walking around and everything before she fell asleep, so I feel slightly better.

I feel so badly for the little guy! There are lots of barn cats out where I am originally from, so I am wondering if he wandered off from his family.
Jul 19, 2008, 2:06am   #6
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Rooaaarrr~~~
Until the kitten gets to see a vet, just offer her cat canned food, water, litterbox, and a bed of somesort (box with towels, etc). And possibly confine her from other cats in the household just to be safe, maybe just like in a bathroom. If the kitten needs bathing, you could using a gentle baby shampoo or cat shampoo. But make sure you not only towel dry but blow dry the kitten. Stray kittens will most likely carry fleas, so if you can get the flea medicine Advantage (and ONLY this brand!!! DO NOT buy/use any other flea product!), apply 2-3 drops as directed and not the whole tube. Having fleas to a small and weak kitten can be detrimental since they can cause anemia. The brand Advantage is pretty safe even for kittens under the age they list on the packet. I used it all the time to my foster kittens under the age of 4 weeks. But again, only Advantage and only the ones FOR CATS. Kitty milk is probably not necessary at this point if you are feeding her decent canned food and she is eating it. And don't worry about dry food yet, although it is okay to have it available. If the kitten can eat on her own, that is good news. If not, you will need to intervene immediately, hence getting professional help will be best.
You can post a pic of the kitten here and some of us may be able to guess the age. Sounds like she is at least 4 weeks of age since she is eating food on her own.
Good luck! Let us know and give us an update on how things are!
Jul 19, 2008, 9:26am   #7
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Originally Posted by tiramisu
Until the kitten gets to see a vet, just offer her cat canned food, water, litterbox, and a bed of somesort (box with towels, etc). And possibly confine her from other cats in the household just to be safe, maybe just like in a bathroom. If the kitten needs bathing, you could using a gentle baby shampoo or cat shampoo. But make sure you not only towel dry but blow dry the kitten. Stray kittens will most likely carry fleas, so if you can get the flea medicine Advantage (and ONLY this brand!!! DO NOT buy/use any other flea product!), apply 2-3 drops as directed and not the whole tube. Having fleas to a small and weak kitten can be detrimental since they can cause anemia. The brand Advantage is pretty safe even for kittens under the age they list on the packet. I used it all the time to my foster kittens under the age of 4 weeks. But again, only Advantage and only the ones FOR CATS. Kitty milk is probably not necessary at this point if you are feeding her decent canned food and she is eating it. And don't worry about dry food yet, although it is okay to have it available. If the kitten can eat on her own, that is good news. If not, you will need to intervene immediately, hence getting professional help will be best.
You can post a pic of the kitten here and some of us may be able to guess the age. Sounds like she is at least 4 weeks of age since she is eating food on her own.
Good luck! Let us know and give us an update on how things are!
Thanks so much for your advice! I called and told them everything, and they are going to take the kitty to the vet today. Luckily, the only other pet in our household is a bunny, so keeping the kitty safe is relatively easy. My sister said she has been gobbling down the food they give her- so they feel bad that they can only give her a little at a time! But they know if they just let her eat she would make herself sick. They're going to put up notices around the neighborhood, but since there are a LOT of barn cats in my area, my guess is that no one will claim him.
Jul 19, 2008, 9:59am   #8
oscarcat729's Avatar
WAHOO!!!
Aw, poor kitty! Don't forget to pet the kitty a lot (especially if you're sure it doesn't have any diseases communicable to humans), because it's important to make a kitty comfortable with humans, whether you're going to keep it or give it away. And make sure your house is relatively "kitty-proof"-- no small objects on the floor, bathroom door should be closed, if you have a room for your washer and dryer, that should be closed off, etc. The kitty may not seem a problem now, but once she gets more active, she'll get into everywhere and everything!
Jul 19, 2008, 5:28pm   #9
tiramisu's Avatar
Rooaaarrr~~~
Oh goody She maybe older than what I think from your post, but if she went to the vet, they should be able to tell your sister what she needs to know. Oh the barn cat society... I guess the kitten decided to leave that and join the human society more Hope your sister feels like keeping her around!
Jul 19, 2008, 5:39pm   #10
Couturegrl's Avatar
Addicted to Tiffany's
Everyone has given you great advice!

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

And you and your sister rock for helping this little kiddo! :)
Jul 21, 2008, 9:24pm   #11
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Thanks for all the advice everyone! The kitty has been to the vet and is surprisingly healthy. I forgot to ask my sister how old they said she was, but now she is clean, flea-less, and eating small meals throughout the day. My sister said she's really friendly, too, so we're hoping if someone lost her we can find them.
Jul 21, 2008, 9:40pm   #12
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Great story...good ending!
Jul 22, 2008, 6:58am   #13
m1nime's Avatar
My beautiful babies!
Sounds like a happy ending here, you have to post some pics of this little munchkin!
Jul 22, 2008, 2:47pm   #14
kelpie's Avatar
Hot Jeans
oh good i'm so glad!! I can't handle sad baby kitten stories- my mom is a vet, so i hear way way too many of them :C But all the advice you got was excellent- obviously, because it sounds like things are working out!!
Jul 22, 2008, 11:28pm   #15
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Geekie Fashionista ♥
I'm glad to read that everything went well for the kitty
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