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Question
Yesterday I was at Wal-Mart when I passed by a car. I heard a strange noise coming from under the car. It was a baby kitten. It was meowing. I picked the kitten up as I was afraid it might get hit by a car. The kitten seems to be scared of everything and hisses a lot. I believe that the kitten has become attached to me because when I am not holding it, it will begin meowing until I pick it up and hold it again. I have given the kitten plenty of water and food. I have noticed that the kitten seems to nibble/bite at my finger. I am worried that the cat may have been lost, but I don't know how to find it's owner as he doesn't have a collar of anything. I don't know how old the kitten is, but it is small. It's eyes are open and it can walk fairly well. I was wondering what I can do to find it's owner and return him to them. Also, until then, how should I care for the kitten properly?

Answer
Hi Sarah,

Poor little dear! As for taking care of the baby, allow it free access to water and a litter box at all times. I prefer that young kittens receive canned food several times a day, since their delicate teeth and bellies aren't really ready to deal with dry food exclusively. If he has reached a weight of 2 pounds, he is likely around 8 weeks, and he can eat every 6-8 hours. Younger kittens should preferably be offered food at least every six hours. If needed, you can leave some dry food out for the kitten between meals. Aside from food, water, shelter and litter, kittens usually don't need much. He will clean himself, and he should know how to use the litter box (though this is not guaranteed, depending on his age and experience).

To try to locate his owner, you should contact any shelters and veterinarians in the area. Those who have lost pets may notify vets hoping the people who find them will bring them in for check ups when first adopting them. It's not uncommon for kittens to take a ride on the undercarriage of a vehicle, so you may need to notify vets and shelters for a wider area than you suspect. In general, I don't recommend running found ads in the newspaper or online - people claim kittens and abuse them.

If you're unable to keep the kitten, you should bring it to your local animal shelter. Be sure to explain the kitten's temperament is nervous but not aggressive. Some shelters are eager to euthanize any kitten that hisses.

Good luck!
Jessica

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Jessica

Expertise

The areas in which I have gained the most experience are cat health and feral cat management/rescue. I provide supportive care to chronically ill cats, hospice care to terminally ill cats and also am involved in trap-neuter-return efforts. My specialities lie in taming feral cats and in the allopathic treatment of cats with illnesses or special needs. I also have owned Siamese, Himalayans, Abyssinians, Russian Blues, Savannahs, Bengals, Peterbalds, Don Sphynx and Oriental Shorthairs and am well-versed in cat breeds as well as cat behavior and nutrition.

Experience

I have 15 years of extensive experience with cats ranging from breeding to medical care. My daily routine consists of caring for cats with diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney failure, feline leukemia, feline AIDS as well as feral cats. I have experience with liver patients, heart patients, feline infectious peritonitis, cancer, recovery from amputation and trauma, congenital deformities and most every disease in between. I have assisted cats giving birth and hand-nursed kittens who were neglected by their mother from 2 days old through weaning.

Education/Credentials
15 years' hands-on experience. Current nursing student. I've studied the parallels of human and cat anatomy as well as zoonotic disease, so my studies are broadening the depth of my understanding of feline anatomy, physiology and pathology.

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