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I have certainly had my share of saved stray kittens and among them one very sad experience which I wanted to share it to prevent other similar cases.
This poor little kitten on the left image is my now grown cat Puffy short after I found her. You can see she has a skin disease in an early stage. It was full of bugs. But not as skinny and it smelled like milk when I found her. Her smell is something I love on her – she always smells so sweet. I think it was the smell and the white color that sold me into getting her.
Funny when I look at this image – next to her is my sleeping toy – yes I am full grown but for some reason, I felt like I needed protection at night from evil things. The toy right beside my Puffy is so similar to her! It’s as if I had gotten a livivg sleep protector just like my toy.
So let’s start:
Some people tend to give milk to stray kittens but be careful: you should not give too much milk and especially not cold milk from the fridge. The reason for this is that the kitten may get diarrhea and this is an extremely dangerous state. A cat can easily die from diarrhea. It is best to mix the milk with bread and watch for the temperature of the milk. Also, keep it in low quantity.
Take a look around, is the kitten in a hidden place where a mom cat could possibly have left until she comes back with food? Try calling the mom cat or check if there are other kittens. Maybe you have found the kitten nest. In that case, just leave the kitten there.
But if the kitten is in a dangerous open space, if its body looks deteriorated then it is a kitten that needs rescuing. If you are in doubt then I suggest definitely try to rescue it, almost every human help is better than leaving it on the streets in this cruel world.
If it is winter warm it up with an old blanket. I always have an old blanket in my car just in case I may need it for stray cats or dogs :). It just sits in my car trunk, doesn’t take space or make my car look weird in the summer with a blanket on high temperatures and it has proven to be so useful.
The next most important step is to find the nearest veterinarian doctor and bring it in for a check. I can’t stress this step enough but even if you do bring it to a vet here are the things to pay attention to:
- The kitten must receive a pill against stomach parasites
- If it is older than 2 months according to the vet then it must receive a vaccine against parvovirus
- After the first vaccine it must receive a re-vaccine just to be on the safe side. Check with the vet after what time it can be re-vaccinated (I don’t remember for mine, probably a month or two after the first shot).
We are due for our yearly re-vaccination August 2017, in 2 weeks actually.
Now you would think that a veterinarian will know what to do right? Well my first stray kitten, in my new small apartment that is, missed the vaccine because of a bad doctor who doesn’t really care about animals but the money he can get from all those sick animals.
This cat was my precious and I’ve grown to love him so much and when he was about 7 months old he somehow he got the parvovirus. Believe me, you don’t want that happening to your cat. It’s a slow and painful death and he was falling apart day by day in front of my eyes. He died on Christmas. It was awful, a real horror for me. No treatment helped although I was taking him for infusion and pain medication every day. It lost too much blood and wasn’t regenerating fast enough so he basically suffocated.
So this is also very important to remember: even if you plan on keeping the kitten only inside, as an indoor cat you still must get the vaccine and the parasites pill. You can transfer bacteria or viruses to your cat by bringing them on your shoes.
So in case you decide to keep the stray kitten for yourself, you know how cats get under your skin – you won’t even notice it, then here are the must-have things to get for an indoor cat:
Must Haves For New Cat Owners
New Cat Litter Box – The Cheapest One But Yet Fully Functional
This litter box is the cheapest I could find that will do the job. Your cat is new so you need to adjust it to use a litter box. I have a very similar to this one and I take off the plastic front so that the cat can go in and out more easily.
This litter box is a great choice for the price. It will serve your cat just fine and will not be a burden on your budget.
I have also found a very cheap option for getting the basic needs of a new kitten covered:
It is a new kitten starter package and inside you will find:
- An open cat litter box
- A scoop
- Liners to make the cleaning job a breeze
- Water dish
- Double dinner dish
And it all comes at a really affordable price. Even if you think of keeping the kitten long enough to prepare it for another adoption this is an excellent choice. If it has won your heart and you’re keeping the kitten then you can start with this package and then later upgrade to better products gradually as your fur baby grows up.
Create A Place To Sleep For Your New Kitten
To save you from expenses you can use an old blanket, old shirt or sweater or a cardboard box – if you have a store near you just ask for one or check behind the store, they may be throwing them around. Cats can ignore their owner’s choices and pick a place they like so see how it goes with your kitten.
A Cat Carrier Is A Must Have
I was resisting this idea for some time and you can imagine a few saved kittens crawling in my car while I was driving them to the vet. I would wrap a blanket around them, or get some box but they would just crawl out and start exploring my car in under a minute. Little Houdinis! This was a very dangerous practice and I would end up driving so slow that it annoyed drivers around me. I got my share of nervous car honks.
So if you have a weakness for cats you simply need to have a cat carrier. Now what I would recommend is a soft-sided foldable cat carrier. It will do the job and it will save you space. I live in a small apartment so this is my preferred choice but everyone can benefit from space-saving products in their home. I had a plastic cat carrier, lightweight one and I gave it to my mother for her cats – she has a garden and a bunch of stray cats. So here is something that I would recommend:
Foldable Soft Sided Cat Carrier, Best For Saving Space
Please share other useful tips for saving stray kittens below in the comments.
Good luck with your new baby cat!