Thursday, October 1, 2009

Raising Feral Kittens

I was totally incorrect in my thinking during my last post. The kittens were not crawling all over Jerry as he commuted home. He didn't answer his cell because he hadn't even left work yet.

So my *excited* girls got to wait yet another hour for their beloved kittens to arrive.

Let's pretend I was just extra ambitious and had them in their PJs early. *cough* We hadn't left the house all day. *cough*

Anyway, the kittens couldn't have been jumping out of the box as Jerry was driving because they were a wee bit more little than I had imagined or he had thought. He had guessed 8-10 weeks. But now we are realizing they are right at 4 weeks old.

That little realization changed everything. They were not ready for solid foods. They needed "formula" according to Google.

Here are just a few things I've learned over the past 24 hours:

They do indeed make kitten "milk replacement formula".

Said formula costs the same as Enfamil or Similac. $14 for the small cans and $22 for the large ones. (Not for consumption by tells you that on the label. I am so glad, because I almost headed to Petsmart the last time I needed infant formula.)

Kittens like to be fed every 3-4 hours.

Dropper feeding is for the birds.

So now I have these little 1 ounce bottles in my fridge. The feedings are going much better now.

Speaking of which, the next one is at 2AM.

Oh, one more noteworthy all my google reading about feral kittens I came across a tidbit about the mother cat licking the kittens' bottoms to stimulate them to go potty. It recommended taking a rough wet wash cloth to take care of that need.

Um, yeah. I pretty much just skimmed over that hoping to never think of it again.

Until I was speaking with my farm girl mama today and she said verbatim...have you taken a wet wash cloth around their little bottom to get them to go poop?

Me-Seriously? No. I read that online and totally chose to ignore it. Do I really need to do that?

My Mom-Well, yes. Unless you want constipated kittens!

Well, we can't be having constipated kittens around here. I decided it would be less rude if I just took care of that little issue during a full bath. So all four of them got bathed this afternoon and had their tooshies rubbed.

And sure enough, ALL four of them pooped tonight. 3 of them even made it into the litter box.

Now I've just got to figure out which one missed. Our plan is to keep two of them...and eenie meenie minie moe...that one is NOT it.


Rachelle said...

I bet the girls are having a blast!

Butt licking/wiping... OH My! I hope the girls get you a BIG Mother's Day gift next year! Happy Friday!

Jennifer Rutherford said...

Okay, I can't believe you've tackled sick kids and newborn kittens in the same week.

You are a saint! Or maybe crazy?!?! Ha, ha!

Seriously, I am impressed with your effort this week. More power to ya!

Michelle said...

Oh, what a fun lesson you are teaching the girls. Well, lessons, I should say. They are learning all about kittens, but they are also learning about love and unselfishness. You guys are awesome to take those sweet kittens in.

Laura said...

I thought those were the cutest kittens in the world until you mentioned the whole rough washcloth thing. Hmm...not sure if I could handle that!

P.S. I still like the blonde kitty, though.

Anonymous said...

Farm girl mama here. Glad they pooped. You are an awesome kitty mama. MOM

Lora said...

Aww..aren't they cute! Years ago, I adopted an abandoned kitten probably close to the same age as yours. I had to feed her with a dropper for the first couple of days, but she was lapping milk from a bowl soon. I didn't know anything about the butt wiping~too funny!:) We didn't have any problems there though. I hope everything goes well with your kitties!

The Zeller Family said...

So sweet to take them in! You had me cracking up towards the end of this, though! Have fun!!

Dana said...

Oh how fun. We've been looking at houses & the kids were all for one property because it came with four feral kittens!

AmyB said...

I am just now getting around to catching up on my blog readings and this is just way too funny. How do you get yourself into these things Kerry?

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