The First Night With The Kittens

It was a long night!  I am exhausted but the kittens are doing well.  With each feeding, they gain strength and confidence.  I set the kittens up in a bathroom.  They sleep in a large carrier lined with towels.  Under one end, I placed a heating pad.  This allows the kittens to choose how warm they want to be.  I keep them locked in the carrier between feedings to promote a sense of safety.  

The buff kitten is an outgoing boy.  He boldly goes where the other kittens won’t.  The tabby kitten watches him to see if he should follow.  I think of him as a cautious explorer.  I am concerned about the black kittens.  After a meal, they crawl back into the carrier and hide.  They are smaller in size than their brothers and emotionally less mature.  They seem to be taking the loss of their mom hard.  I will spend extra time with them to help build their confidence.


At the 5am feeding, I decided to introduce real food.  I made a gruel out of canned canned kitten food and kitten milk replacer .  The buff kitten dove right in.  He buried his face in the bowl with gusto.  Since he seemed happy, the tabby kitten decided to give the new food a try.  He took a small taste and loved it.  Everything went well until he put one of his front paws into the bowl.  When the gruel oozed through his toes he shrieked and headed back into the carrier.  

When the bigger boys were finished, I introduced the black kittens.  The short haired one wanted no part of the gruel.  The long haired one thought it was great.  He formed a perfect ‘O’ with his mouth and slurped up the gruel.  The consistency did not bother him.  He stood in the middle of the bowl and vacuumed the bottom.  When he finished, gruel coated his hair.  He did not appreciate the post-meal bath.                                                                      

Overall, I am thrilled with their progress.  My only concern is that no one has had a bowel movement yet.  I will keep you posted. 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.