Well, spring is here! What does that mean? A few more weeks of peace and quiet before the craziness of kitten season starts with a bang!! While everyone is trying to enjoy the first few warm days of the season, the crazy cat ladies of CAWL are preparing for what’s to come by gathering a lot of the supplies that we’re going to need this season for our bottle-fed kittens.
We’re going to be hosting a Kitten Baby Shower in a few weeks (date TBA) in hopes to gather some of our most-needed supplies and have some fun with our supporters at the same time. Keep an eye on the blog for more information- and if you have ideas for a venue that would allow some cute baby kittens to tag along, email me!
For those of you who haven’t bottle-fed kittens before but are interested in learning more, here’s a list of some of our “must have” items- the things that we can’t live without when working with the little guys.
#1.) Formula. Obviously, the kittens have to eat! I prefer KMR formula- in my experience, it gives my kittens the least amount of trouble with constipation and other bathroom issues. This may seem like a silly thing, but trust me, when you’re up at 3 a.m. and your kitten has to poop before you can go back to bed, you’ll thank me for this advice. The powder formula works fine and once you understand the consistency you’re looking for, it’s easy to mix. I try to keep some canned formula on hand too, but it can be pretty expensive!
#2.) Heating pads or rice sacks. Kittens have to have something to help keep them warm. Heating pads stay warm much longer which is why I like them! Until kittens are several weeks old, they’re unable to maintain their body temperature on their own – these are super important for orphan kittens, as temperature drops can cause them to crash and it’s very hard to come back from that.
#3.) Digital food scales. Little guys need to gain between ¼ and ½ an ounce per day, so it’s super important to weight them a couple times daily (at the same time each day) to make sure they’re growing properly!! You’ll also want some sort of decently-sized mixing bowl to place the kitten in- make sure you weigh the bowl alone first so you can subtract it’s weight accordingly. Any brand will work- they don’t have to be crazy expensive!
#4.) Cozy towels and sheets. I go through a lot of these when we have babies- they can be messy! Nothing fancy necessary- but the softer the better!! Washcloths are great for helping stimulate the kittens to go to the bathroom so I highly recommend those as well! You may as well add laundry detergent to the list- bottle babies definitely add to the amount of laundry you’ll be doing.
#5.) Bottles. (I know I’d be teased if I left this off the list, even though it’s pretty clear you’d need these to bottle-feed! Haha.) There are lots of different brands of bottles out there, and most of them are pretty good. I will say that the smaller the kittens, the smaller the intervals should be on your bottles. For example, some brands mark the amount in quarters (the typical sized bottle seems to be 55 mLs), and for little guys who are drinking a VERY small amount per feeding, the bottles that are marked in tenths are much more efficient. Even though you’ll be able to see how your kitten is growing by weighing it each day, you have to be diligent about how much it’s consuming per feeding. The type of bottle you use will help you do that much quicker!
#6.) Karo syrup. It’s not uncommon for kittens to have issues with their blood sugar. I get little guys pretty often that haven’t eaten very recently, and it’s really important to have Karo syrup on hand to help boost their blood sugar and perk them back up. I use it with lots and lots of babies!
These are a few of the necessities for the first few weeks of bottle-feeding, but the list definitely gets longer. If you’re interested in donating some of these items, take a look at our Amazon wishlist! There are descriptions there of what we need and why. You’re welcome to purchase them and have them shipped to us (please put a note somewhere in your order so I can send you a thank you!!) or buy them locally and bring them to the party when we have it!!