If you found yourself wondering about the proper way to take care of a 2 week old kitten, chances are you are faced with an unexpected situation. Like many others, you are puzzled as to how to care for an orphaned kitten because all this time, the mother does all the care while you only lend support when it is needed such as providing a place for them as well as food and water for the mother cat.
Judging from the display of motherly love in domestic cats, there is no question about the strong bond shared between the mother and children. But while there seems to be zero chance of domesticated cats ever abandoning their own offsprings, the same scenario cannot be applied to feral homeless cats as they have a very different, and incredibly tough lives.
Not only do they live in a group that is typically already unnaturally dense, they also have to struggle with unspeakable challenges that leave them constantly living on the edge of suffering a disease and starvation-induced mortality. Challenges that domestic cats clearly never have to face as they are living in a safe environment where their owner provides them with everything they possibly need. So what do we have to do if, by chance, we find a poor abandoned kitten not able to fend for itself in the wild?
Caring for 2 week old kitten: what you should know
The first thing you must do is determine how old the kitten is, and the best way to find out is by looking at their eyes. Kitten that is younger than 14 days old typically have their eyes closed and both their ears are visibly folded over. As an obligatory reminder, the fact that they have not opened their eyes yet is natural and just how it is supposed to be, so avoid attempting to open their eyes. Let it happen naturally.
Another thing you should know is the fact that kitten of very young age such as them have no ability to properly control their body temperature. This is another reason why kittens are not allowed to be taken from their mother’s care until they are at least six weeks old. Not only do they need the warmth that their mother provides, they also need the nutrition and antibodies found in their mother’s milk.
Caring for 2 week old kitten: what to provide
With both of the aforementioned facts, it is clear that the first thing you must focus on in their initial developing stage is nutrition and warmth. Place the kitten in a cardboard box that has been lined up with a clean cloth or towel. Not only does this clean cloth provide them with warmth, it also adequately contains their waste as they constantly soil the box.
Unless you are living in the tropical territory, you must also provide them with a heating pad. Wrap the heating pad with clean towels and place the kitten on it. Set it at its lowest setting. If you are living in the tropics, a heating pad may not be needed and in the event that the cat is feeling cold, you may warm a water bottle until it reaches 100-degrees and wrap it in a towel before you place it in the box with them.
Place the box in a safe location. If you already have a cat in the house when you bring back the kitten, be sure to place the box away from the cat’s reach as they may not take the kitten’s presence very well.
Caring for 2 week old kitten: how to feed
In terms of nutrition, the one thing you must always remember is to never give the kitten cow’s milk as it isn’t nutritious enough for them. Not only that, cow’s milk cannot be properly digested by them. Get a kitten formula and nursing kit in a pet store. Said nursing kit consists of two types of nipples and a few extras, if you are confused as to which type of nipple to use, you may go for the short one.
Before you feed them, make sure the kitten isn’t feeling cold as kittens cannot properly digest in such condition. While you can feed them virtually anywhere, you are advised to do it while sitting on the floor with your legs crossed. This is largely because kittens always do the kneading movement with their paws when fed; not only does this position give them more comfort, it also makes things easier for you.
Sterilize both nipple and bottle before each feeding and make sure to thoroughly wash your hands to avoid germs. Mimic the position they would be in when fed by their mother, place the kitten right on its stomach and gently open their mouth with your fingertip as you slowly slip the nipple into its mouth. Be sure to hold the bottle at 45 degree angle.