Cats/Litter of Newborn Kittens - No mom
Hello, I am in urgent need of help and have a few questions that would really put my mind at rest. 3 days ago I took in a litter of 4 pure Himalayan newborn kittens. The owners house had their house broken into while they were away and the parents escaped through an open window. The owner was sick and as such could not care for them so i agreed to take on the role of 'mommy' to these little kittens. We are not sure of how old they are, or if they had ever fed off of their mother. when I recieved them 3 out of the 4 still had their ambilical cords. All had fallen of by the 2nd day. They are able to crawl and have fluffy fur but are still pretty pink on the extremities. After the first day the largest one had one eye open, and the 2nd the next day. Another kitten also opened one of its eyes today and the rest look like they will open very soon.
This is very confusing to me as what i have read implies that if they still had ambilibal cords they were most likely 1-3 days old, yet that they start to open their eyes around 1-1/2 weeks. Theyre ability to move around has also really increased in the last 3 days and then can now pull themselves up to the edge of the box i have their nest in. I am very worried that if they are older or younger than i think that i might not be feeding them the proper amount of formula. I have been feeding them every 2 hours and making them go to the bathroom afterwards (I was going on the feeding instructions for 1 week and under). Their appetites are very healthy and i never force a kitten to eat, but their bellies seem very large for their size. Do kittens know how much is too much to eat?? should i let them suck until they are done or only give them a set amount even if they act hungry after feeding? I have read that it is good to weigh them each day but i dont have a scale of any sort.
A couple of them also sneeze sometimes after i feed them, I was wondering if this is because they possibly took in some air while i was feeding them or if it is a sign that they are sick. They gulp very fast, and im careful that the bottle is not too angled. They dont seem to be sick so i am really hoping that the sneezing does not mean a serious problem :(. I read that himalayans have some difficulty breathing because of a shortened air tube from their flat faces, could this tie into why they might be sneezing? I have a very low income and as such do not have the money to take them to the vets to be checked, i feel helpless! I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, are there any places in my area that could help me out??
Also, how old should a kitten be before their is stool and not just pee? For the first time tonight one of the kittens had diarrhea i think and I am very concerned. One of the websites i read said that it could possibly be fatal?? If they are only drinking formula can they even have hard stool? I am extremely careful with them and when i handle them, i always wash my hands first and make sure there is no soap left. I have a heating pad under their box with a blanket inbetween it and the box and i regularly monitor the temperature of their nest to make sure they are not too hot or too cold. Is there something im not doing or doing wrong? I have alot of experience with cats but have never raised a litter before.
And last but definitely not least, luckily the mother cat was found today and the kittens will be returning to her in a day or two as soon as i can arrange a ride. Will the mother cat reject her kittens because I have handled them and they probably smell like humans?
Any advice you can offer would be a huge help! I am so worried for them :(
In Desperate need of some answers Asap,
concerned cat lover
I'm sorry but I do not live in the USA to be able to say who is nearby that could help you with the cost. Why not telephone your local vets and ask them as they may know of some assistance in your area. i really would say the kittens would benefit from seeing a vet as they are so young.
As for there care etc i have a whole section on my website full of information about looking after very young kittens which I think you would find of interest and help. here is the first page
Sorry i could not be of further help
best wishes KAte