Those 3 – 4 week old kittens of yours might be the cutest, cuddly and the sweetest pets that you’ve ever laid your eyes on. The best feature is their innocent eyes which are bound to make you melt.
However, like most animals, new-born kittens also prefer to stay alongside their mothers. So, when the mother cat is not around, the kittens need some tender loving from their human caretakers.
Therefore, you must keep certain things in mind when looking after kittens. In brief, the issues you need to attend include surrounding temperature, suitable nutrition and the services of a vet.
During the first seven days, you can hold the kitten in a single hand. With its eyes closed, the kitten fits in the palm of your hand perfectly.
Then by the time the second week arrives, it begins to peep at you. Its tiny liquid eyes become visible.
When the third week comes along, the kitten will show evidence of certain changes in its eye color. Also, the first signs of tiny sharp teeth will surprise you.
Finally, when the month is almost over, the baby kitten will start walking or rather shuffling about.
To keep your 3 4 weeks old kitten well fed, you must take some extra precautions. While many may think that cow’s milk is the best option for a little kitten, however, this is not the case. Cow’s milk could cause the kitten’s stomach to become upset. What you do need is a milk substitute such as goat’s milk that’s suitable for kittens. You can find these in the market. Moreover, some baby kittens need a sort of mixture. This can be prepared by combining the market formula with bits and pieces of kitten food.
The best way of feeding the kitten is to put some of this mixture on the tip of your finger. Then you can poke it into the kitten’s mouth. Sometimes, the kittens won’t eat and that is because they are being fed the milk substitute formula. Hence, they need the mixture more than the formula itself.
Particularly, the semi-solid food is what they need. So, feed them that especially when they are 4 weeks old. Also, you should feed the kittens every six to eight hours. The amount is roughly eight calories per ounce of body weight.
Using automatic feeder is really helpful to feed your kitten on the right schedule.
The kittens may end up without the care of their mommy cat. Thus, you alone will be the guardian of these little fur balls. So, you need to do the best you can. Especially when it comes to taking care of their elimination habits, you will need all the help you can get.
For one thing, a small automatic litter box is ideal for a small kitty. Its side walls ought not to be so high that the kitten feels stuck inside it. Also, keep it in a room where there is the least amount of noise pollution. This will ensure that the kitten doesn’t get too disturbed and develop diarrhea. The material in the litter box should be not poisonous if ingested.
Otherwise, the kitten’s risk of getting a bad case of food poisoning is very real. Therefore, you must be selective when going to the local store to buy the best kitty litter in town. What you need is something benign.
Remember, this little kitten hasn’t mastered performing the act of nature; give it some time. It needs practice and as the saying goes “practice makes perfect”. So, you will have to show some patience and perseverance along the way. When it poops, you may need to wipe its rear tail end with a cloth. This is similar to the way a mother cat licks the back side of its baby kittens.
Correct Weight Range of the Kittens
At the end of two weeks, the weight of the kittens ought to be close to seven ounces. At this stage, you should feed them 56 cc of formula milk substitute. Coming to three weeks of age, their weight should be 10-ounces. This is the time when you should feed them 80 cc of formula milk substitute. Finally, at 4 weeks of age, they should weigh around 13 ounces. The right amount of formula milk substitutes these kittens consume at this stage is 104 cc.
Behavioral Antics of the Kittens
The four weeks’ time limit is when the kittens start transforming. They go from being passive pets to tiny fur balls of fun and naughtiness. They roll about and do cute acts in animated movement. For the first time, they begin to show their real personalities.
Furthermore, these tiny furballs start looking around for something to do such as interacting with other kittens. The elements of play will come to the fore. At this stage, they particularly need to scratch something (anything) in their environment.
The only solution to this conundrum is to provide them with a scratching post. Otherwise, your furniture will be the choice of attack for these little balls of fur.
Cleanliness and Hygiene
You need to keep the pet kittens neat and clean. A dirty and messy kitten is vulnerable to several contagious diseases; you don’t want that happening.
Additionally, bathing the kittens ought to be a process. You may start early to give them a head start in hygienic practice. Yet this is not so in the first one or two weeks since the kittens are not mature enough.
Hence, use a soft moistened piece of cloth to wipe the kitten’s fur. Especially perform this action around the regions that are dirty or covered in poop.
The only time when bathing is compulsory is at eight weeks of age. This does not come within the scope of this article. So, we will forgo any more discussion on this topic.
Kittens displaying Crying Behavior
When your 3 4 week old kittens show crying symptoms that won’t stop, it’s time to take some action. This may be because of an absent mother.
Yet sometimes, the mother cat is available but refuses to feed any milk to her kittens. So, the only choice left is for you to feed the baby kitten by means of a bottle. Goat’s milk is the ideal substitute for this purpose, but it’s not always available. With a little in-depth survey of the supermarkets in your region, you may find a canned version.
Since canned goat’s milk tends to be quite thick in consistency, so you’ll have to dilute it with water. If the baby kitten doesn’t suckle on the bottle’s nipple that means it needs a larger hole. Widen the hole with the pointed end of a pair of scissors.
Besides improper feeding, if the kitten has been rejected by its mommy, this could be another reason. So, it needs all the tender loving care that you can give to it. Stroke it gently and look to its grooming needs. There is nothing impossible about this. You just need to stay calm down and take things one step at a time.
In Sickness as in Health
To care for your 3-4 week old kittens, you also need to see to it that they don’t develop any diseases in the process. It could include diarrhea and constipation. The former is a very serious danger in kittens due to the electrolyte imbalance that could result from its ravages.
Also, it can lead to dehydration. On the other hand, the stools may even become filled with blood. This is an alarming situation you will need to attend to. Usually, it’s due to parasite infection, so you’ll have to take your kitten to a local vet. He or she will prescribe medication by the name of Albon. The course will last about a week and will clear the watery stools.
In case of severe constipation, the baby kitten won’t pass stools for two or three day’s duration. This is problematic indeed. Feed them some Karo Syrup by adding it to the Kitten Meal Replacement to cure the impaction. The stools will vacate the kitten’s body in no time.
There are other issues that may plague your kittens such as asthma attacks, sticky-eye fluid, runny nasal symptoms, and tiredness. You can clear these up via various remedial measures.
Furthermore, vaccinating the kittens ensures that no bacteria or viruses invade their immune systems. Also, a solution applied to the fur will kill off any fleas that are present.
A Final Afterthought
So, above were some of the methods of taking care of your 3 – 4 week old kittens to ensure that the kittens grow up into full-fledged cats. When grown-up they will be healthy predators that pounce on mice and birds in the Great Outdoors. Your job is to provide excellent nutrition, hygienic conditions and vet care so that these kittens will grow in a smooth manner.
When it comes to taking care of these furry creatures, nothing should be left to chance. It will give you great joy when you’ll see your fur baby all grown-up. After all, it is you who nurtured this feline from infancy to adulthood. To make it all possible, employ the advice offered in this article.
Catherine Bono is a blogger, who is passionate about dogs and cats. She created Crittersitca.com to shares her experience as she studies to become a qualified vet.