Caring Tips for Newborn Kittens and a Mother Cat

Postnatal attention for a mom cat and her young babies is important once she has delivered offspring, and monitoring abilities are necessary during this sensitive period. In the initial weeks, keep an eye out for medical problems and kitten physiological changes like their level of energy.

Postoperative could happen in the mom cat, so keep mom and her babies in a safe, cozy place away from the noisier areas of the apartment. You may identify problems early so you may receive medical assistance by carefully looking for any aberrant behavioral or morphological characteristics.

Continue reading to find out our caring tips for newborn kittens and a mother cat.


For mothers and newborns, a hygienic, comfortable, and dry environment should be given. A breeding container is necessary for good health and preservation.

The breeding container has to be:

  • Situated in a calm, enclosed, comfortable, and draft-free environment; just high enough to keep the babies from straying far yet low sufficiently so that the mother may get inside and forth with ease; (without having to apply force to jump out from the container.)

The breeding container has to be:

  • Compact sufficiently for the infants to readily approach the mother but big enough for mum to lay quietly apart from the nest if she desires.
  • An approximately 24″ × 20″ and 10″ in height, the bottom section of a rubber canine or cat cage serves as a good breeding container and is simple to wash and sanitize.
Caring Tips for Newborn Kittens and a Mother Cat
Image credit: JackieLou DL from Pixabay

A climate-controlled, noise-free environment is critical since a kitten’s core temperature may easily decrease to harmful levels. Here are another few pointers for making a superior breeding container:

  • The fresh newspaper should be placed inside the container as a liner to help with water and smell absorption.
  • Fresh clothes, sheets, or sleeping cushions should be placed over the newspaper. Sheets and bedding must be devoid of rips and ragged ends since little hands or claws can quickly become trapped. Avoid using thick, sloppy bedding made of materials that might block respiration or be breathed and cause respiratory illnesses, like sawdust, grass, or pellets.
  • Put a warm compress below the covers or sheets that are at medium temperature. Kittens cannot manage their internal body heat before they are three weeks old, thus the warmth in the breeding container must be around 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure that the newborns are not overheated, constantly monitor the heat protectant. Battery-powered blankets shouldn’t be utilized since they may quickly burn everything when they get too hot. Avoid setting up cardboard breeding containers on the pavement, which might cause the kittens to generate a lot of heat.

Kitten care tips

If your kitty appears to be chilly, keep hot bottled water covered in cloths handy. To promote respiration, reposition the infant frequently. Urge the infant to eat a meal when they start to get cozy, like warmed porridge, baby feed, or breastmilk substitute. By examining the body’s natural suppleness, the coloration of the pee, and the humidity in the molars, you may keep an eye on your level of water level. When properly nourished, young kitties have soft gums, supple skin, and white pee.

The so-called “disappearing kitten syndrome” could also affect newborn kittens. A “disappearing” kitty is one that seems fine at delivery but doesn’t make it past the period of 2 to 12 weeks. Most deaths are caused by any of the mentioned points:

  • Hereditary flaws
  • Minimal birth bodyweight
  • Food-related illness (induced by imbalanced nutrition for mother)
  • Infective conditions
  • Perinatal isoerythrolysis refers to the destruction of the newborns’ lymphocytes by the mother’s antigens after breastfeeding
  • Reduced immune capacity
  • Or other factors, including acute gastrointestinal parasitoids.

It is frequent and usually inevitable to lose a “disappearing” kitten. Please keep in mind that 15–40% of cats born healthy would not grow to reach 12 weeks old. Before two weeks of gestation, the majority of these deaths would happen.

Health and illness

Keep a watchful eye on the mothers’ and breastfeeding babies’ health. Make absolutely sure the mother is breastfeeding and looking for many of the babies. A kitty that has been abandoned or mistreated by its mom might exhibit health problems. Kittens are at a particularly fragile age at this point and infections can quickly worsen. Following are a few of the top prevalent symptoms of sickness in newborn kittens:

  • Often weeping
  • Unrest
  • Strength
  • Frostbite (minimal body temperature)
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Delayed breathing (labored or shallow)
  • Cyanosis (greyish or bluish hue of the mouth)
  • Hematuria (blood found out in the urination)

If you detect some of these symptoms, get in touch with your vet right away.

Caring Tips for Newborn Kittens and a Mother Cat
Image credit: Ermal Tahiri from Pixabay

Sensory and behavior development

Neonatal phase

Their only activities are napping and feeding. After delivery, a fetus’s eyes start to focus around 7 to 10 days later (approximately up to 16 days). It requires around 2 to 3 hours for each eyelid to completely open. Despite having eyes wide open, the child’s perceptual mechanism at this stage is primarily stimulated by warmth, touch, and sound.

If the pupils can’t close and the eyelids appear greasy, use a wet clean bud to carefully wipe away any film. To make the cover easier to remove, rub a tiny quantity of moisturizer onto it. It is not advisable to separate the eyelids. Please get in touch with your doctor if they haven’t healed after 14 days. The pupil is typically gray-blue whenever the eyelids first open, changing progressively to mature adult color after around 5 weeks.

Transitional phase

It represents the start of the movement and perceptual maturation, allowing newborns to engage with their surroundings. Teeth would begin to emerge shortly around 2 weeks of maturity and would persist when the kitty is roughly 5 weeks old. The sensation of scent is existing from delivery and would be completely established within the period of three weeks. Sight does not serve a significant influence in influencing activity until around 3 or 4 weeks post birth.

The infant can identify and contact its mom using sensory clues before the middle of the 3rd week. Sensory orienting and tracking would take 2 to 4 weeks to mature. Reaction to spatial awareness, directed paw placement, and navigation system all emerge later between the ages of 3 and 5 weeks.


Beginning around four weeks of age and ending at seven or eight weeks, a kitty’s delicate phase for becoming used to human contact commences. It’s crucial that kitties are handled and played with by a variety of persons beginning at 4 weeks of age. According to research, this stage requires only 5 to 15 minutes of contact every day to help with sociability.

By the time a baby is four weeks old, socializing interaction with the mother and other feral kittens is common. Interacting with things comes later, about 7-8 weeks following conception, when the cat develops eye-paw stability.

The conclusion of the breastfeeding stage is when play drastically alters. Predatory activity behaviors including pawing, jumping up, chasing, and nipping get more common during social play. At this point, it is crucial to maintain pleasant connections with others.

Providing motivation and socialization for felines

The surroundings must be psychologically interesting for kitties in order to aid in their development. Expose the kitties to various visuals, noises, and sensations. Shopping bags, piles of folded paper, and ping-pong pellets are all favorites among cats. Gadgets having strings and tiny parts should be avoided since they could be bitten away and ingested. Ensure that almost all of the items are secure, suitable, and big enough for the feline to play with without choking.

Kittens’ scared and apprehensive behaviors are reduced when they are exposed to different strange noises. Make sounds during the day like tear gassing, drumming your hands, banging drums, or switching on the sweeper machine to assist engage them. Allow the kitties to inspect the whistles, smell them, and go exploring.

Cats should not be punished by being forced to contact; instead, reward them for showing favorable responses. Never reassure a scared kitty since it will teach animals that there is anything to be frightened of. Allow the kitties to be touched separately by adults and monitored kids of various ages when they are approximately 4 weeks old.

Caring Tips for Newborn Kittens and a Mother Cat
Image credit: Uta E. from Pixabay

Feeding and weaning felines

The number of kittens in the batch, the mom’s health, and the amount of mom’s milk available all influence when the babies are weaned. Typically, nursing kitties should begin at around 4 months old. The procedure of breastfeeding must be finished by 6-7 weeks old and is progressive.

Milk substitute

While using breastmilk substitute, be sure to read all directions thoroughly. Although when kept chilled, the granular form, once reconstituted with liquid, has a 24-hour shelf life. Do not mix additional solutions than you anticipate using per day. Although it may be simpler for using, bottled milk replacement should be preserved.

The item’s shelf life after opening is specified on the box’s label. The survival of kitties depends on the usage of only pure, fresh dairy substitutes. Every other kind of milk powder, including cow’s milk and goat’s milk, must be substituted. It could result in major problems, including incontinence, dysentery, bloating, and nausea, because a kitten’s gastrointestinal tract is not built to process other kinds of dairy foods.

The weaning procedure

Start by feeding kitties a semi-solid porridge 3 to 5 times per day that is produced through one component of kitty food and 3 parts breastmilk substitute. Using a mixer or food grinder, squeeze the ingredients well. Additionally, bottled food may be substituted for powdered kibble when combined using the milk substitute.

The cereal needs to be given between 98 and 100 degrees, which is core temperature. Give the kitties the puree in a small bowl, such as a cake pan, with a thick layer of tissue underneath. They are quite opportunistic feeders during this stage. If a cat still won’t eat after several attempts, put your fingertips into the porridge and delicately dab a tiny quantity on the infant’s mouth. Avoid getting anything in the feline’s nostrils at all costs. They should be encouraged to suck the meal off your hand.

Remove the infants from their mom for an extended time beforehand to mealtime to pique their cravings after they have mastered several of the providing sufficient. By now, Mom would probably welcome the break. After giving them around 20 minutes to finish the porridge, give them back to their mother. Acclimating to the induction phase takes longer for some kitties than for the rest.

Make sure everybody has sufficient nutrition by keeping an eye on the offspring during meal times. After eating, examine to see whether stomachs are filled. Periodically weigh every infant to guarantee they are now all putting on weight.

Moreover, this is the ideal moment to train kitties how to use a container to hold their water. Make sure you keep small dishes of clean, pure water on hand. The initial attempts would certainly cause a great deal of coughing and fill up their nostrils. Because things might get dirty, lay down tissue beneath the dishes.

Lessen the amount of breastmilk substitute you add to the dry kibble mush as the kitties become bigger. Raw food consumption is only possible for fit young animals once they reach 7 or 8 weeks of age. Throughout the induction phase, kitties must always have access to dry kibble (unmixed with milk) to explore.

Final Thought

Everybody should have their feline neutered or sterilized, and experts definitely recommend this. The best method to decrease the excessive number of cats in our neighborhood is to do this one simple step. If you discover yourself having a group of babies or have decided to look after a lost feline, please consult the above guidelines to assist you to manage your cats till they become 8 weeks of age – the least period they could be separated from their mother and siblings.

The majority of the early treatment would be provided by the mother, but you’ll have to look upon these babies periodically to make sure their mom is looking out for them and they seem fit.

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