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Ask the Veterinarian/Orphaned kitten


Yesterday I took in a kitten whose mother had abandoned two days before. Initially, I intended on the RSPCA collecting him, but they haven't yet been. I've never cared for a kitten so young before so I have done some research. I took him into the vet first thing this morning, they say he's healthy. He weighs 115g and they suggest he's less than 2 weeks old.
I try to feed him every 3 hours, I help him to toilet and I'm keeping him warm.I'm worried because he's not taking food every 3 hours. In the past 24 hours he's only had 6ml of kittens milk. Also, after feeding him, I manage to get him to urinate but so far there's been no poos. Every now and then he does a whine and i give him a little milk, otherwise he has spent most of his time asleep. He seems quite content.
I'm concerned he's not getting enough milk and worried he's not pooing. Is it something I could be doing wrong?
Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance

Well he is only two weeks old. So he isn't going to eat a lot of food in a 24 hour period. But you are correct, 6 mls is a bit scarce. If he is eating well when you do feed him, and his little tummy is round and yet still a little soft, he may not need food every 3 hours. If he is constipated from the kitten milk he may not want to eat much as well.

I am concerned about his not having any stool however. Normally what the vet will do to unplug and stimulate a kitten to start going is to take a Qtip and put some vaseline on the tip, then gently insert it about 1/4 of an inch into the rectum of the kitten. Use plenty of vaseline on the tip. When you pull it out check it for stool, which should be a light yellow in color to a darker, mustardy color.

Now if the vet took his temp and wasn't concerned about the tip of the thermometer then there was probably some stool on it.

The reason I mention this is that some cats and puppies can be born with a "blind" colon- which means there is no opening into the rectum. The colon "ends" inside and no stool can get out. It's pretty rare but it happens.

So if you see stool that is good. The vaseline can help as well with him pushing it out a bit.
Otherwise you need to keep stroking his tummy with a little more force maybe- not much but firmly so as to get the intestines moving.

A drop or two of olive or mineral oil in his milk might help as well, but be very careful, as the opposite can start, diarrhea, then you will really have a problem!

I don't think you are doing anything wrong Amy. It is a shock to his system to go from Mom's milk to kitten formula so they tend to get constipated or diarrhea from the change.

Give him another day and if he isn't pooping by noon tomorrow then call the vet back. He should check him for a blind colon.

Please let me know how he is doing Amy.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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