On Memorial Day (so, I guess, not technically June…), John was driving to work and saw a little lump on the highway. A truck was coming. He pulled over, ran out and grabbed her, and that’s how we ended up with a kitten in our bathroom.
She’s smaller than my shoe.
So, I started thinking about this little kitten – I named her Petunia, John calls her Petey – and how finding an orphaned kitten fits in with Adopt-a-Cat month.
First, though, stop for a sec and read this super helpful guide: What to Do (and NOT Do) If You Find a Newborn Kitten.
OK, so you’ve spotted a kitten (it is kitten season, after all) and you followed the steps outlined in the article. You’ve determined that there’s no mama cat coming. Well, then, pick up your new kitten! 🙂
Petey was about four weeks old. We were in over our heads but committed to taking care of her. That decision is not for everyone, and no one should ever feel bad about not jumping on board to care for an orphaned cat. If you choose to care for the kitten, skip ahead a bit.
If you can’t, which – again – is totally a guilt-free decision, you should take a few steps.
- First, find out if there is a cat rescue in your area. Many of these organizations have extensive fostering networks, which is what is required for a newborn kitten.
- Call your vet’s office and get recommendations for rescues and shelters. Heck, your vet may have a cat foster family in his or her network already.
- If there are no other options nearby, call your local shelter. Explain the situation. Be prepared to keep the kitten for a day or two until they can line someone up.
If you do decide to keep the kitten, whether as a foster family who then finds her a home or as a forever pet, the first thing you need to do: Drive straight to your vet. This is crucial, but it’s especially important if you have other animals in the home.
Petey had fleas and worms. She also had a rotten tooth that had to be pulled, and we had to get her on antibiotics because she had some gross rotting tissue in her tiny mouth. She’s quarentined in our bathroom until she can be tested for FIV and feline leukemia. In the meantime, she’s getting dewormed and we’re giving her a nightly flea bath. I researched intensely that first day.
If you find yourself in this position, I recommend this Guide to Raising Orphaned Kittens. Our vet gave me suggestions for feeding her and said that if we’re careful we can introduce her to the dogs. We’ve been doing that (more on that in another post!) in an attempt to socialize her to dogs. Whether we keep her or not, it can only help!
Picking up an orphaned kitten is certainly a nontraditional way to honor Adopt-a-Cat month, but orphans need families, too! I hope these tips and resources help if you find yourself in this situation.
Tell me: Have you ever encountered orphaned kittens? How did you proceed?
(BTW: Everyone keeps asking if we’re going to keep Petey. All I can say at this point is… it depends. It depends on if we can find Molly a forever home. It depends on if she has any of those transmittable cat diseases. It depends on if Newt is comfortable with another cat in the home. It depends on if a super awesome adopter crosses our paths before we figure out all those other decisions. It just depends. But be sure I’ll keep you posted.)
This post is sponsored by BlogPaws. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Adopt-a-Cat month, but OhMyDog! only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. BlogPaws is not responsible for the content of this article.