It was requested that I discuss Kitten Season this week. And so I shall, in preparation of the coming births, mouths to feed, and opportunities to foster. Let’s get to it. Eh hem….
Kittens will be born,
thousands of them waiting for
a permanent home.
Did you spay/neuter?
It’s the only solution.
Cats can’t fix themselves.
Spring: season of love
Foster if you can.
Crepes, a product of Kitten season 2011.
PS. What do you want to hear about next week?
You guys! Has it finally warmed up where you are? Or perhaps gotten even hotter? I can’t commiserate with you because I’m in the comfort of my air conditioned little condo, but I look outside and I can just see the flowers wilting. Well, not only do flowers wilt, but kittens can wilt, too!
That time I tried to cool off in Italy using the cat bath.
Back with us today, we have Tammy from Feral Fixers in Lombard, IL. Last time, she gave us some great advice on keeping kittens warm and healthy. This time, she’s here to give us some advice on what to do if you find kittens who might be suffering from the intense heat! Although Tammy is not a vet, she’s a seasoned cat rescuer and has seen this many times and her advice can save some tiny lives in a pinch until you can get your little rescues to a veterinarian. Please note that this advice is not for treating your own cats at home! This is for saving outdoor kittens who wouldn’t make it otherwise. If you have health questions about your own cats, consult your veterinarian.
Kittens can’t tell you if they’re too hot. Look for symptoms like lethargy and mouth breathing.
Hit it, Tammy! Tell me, how do you know if kittens are suffering from the heat?
Kittens under heat stress usually stretch out and mouth breathe. In that case, the first thing to do is bring them in where its cool or at least take something frozen, wrap it well in a towel and set it next to them to start cooling their bodies. Do not put it over them! Leave them enough room to move away but give them the option. Syringe water into their mouths – 3mls can make a life or death difference – 10 mls would be great! If you have the ability to do subQ fluids, warm the fluids up to normal body temperature – cold subQ is painful to everyone, and do 5 – 10 mls per pound, up to 30 mls total for a 3 – 4 lb kitten – (This is just what has worked for me. I am sure there is a formula that someone could provide but I tend to go on gut instinct.) 10 mls of subQ can also be life-saving. If they have not been under heat distress for a long time, this can help them bounce back quickly.
Part of heat stress is upper respiratory symptoms. If their noses are gummy and they cannot breathe, clean their faces with simple water and a Kleenex or something soft, at the very least loosen the buildup of mucus. If you can, use a syringe or even a tissue to put a few drops of plain water into their nostrils – same as Little Noses for human children, it loosens everything up and gets the gunk moving out.
The kittens eyes may be inflamed. Part of any stress in kittens is that their eyes get inflamed and gunky. Clean and don’t immediately medicate; give them 24 hours to improve. If no improvement is seen in that time or the are worsening, until you can get to a vet, using Neosporin WITHOUT PAIN RELIEF can keep their eyes lubricated, reducing any damage. The pain relief can cause damage to the eyes so be very, very careful if you do this. This is the same stuff the vet dispenses, calling it 3 in 1 or neopolybactin.
Deworm them for roundworms as soon as possible. The dehydration can cause the worms to jam up their digestive systems even faster than usual, so along with hydration, those worms need to be kicked out before they can do any more damage. There is an off-the-shelf roundworm dewormer available at Walgreen’s and Walmart. Different medication than you would get from the vet, but in most cases does just as good a job.
Thank you, Tammy! Let’s hope that by getting this information out there, some tiny lives can be saved this summer in the heat! If you live anywhere near the Lombard, Il area, Feral Fixers is looking for FOSTERS. Do you want to fosters? Then get in touch with them stat! They have a influx of tiny kitten lives they’ve just saved and need places to stash them. And if you’ve never fostered
, don’t worry! We have plenty of articles here to help you figure out how.
Prepare for this.
Since my last post was about kittens and kitten season, I spent much of my weekend napping. The other parts I spent eating, and in between I pondered kittens. I specifically pondered how you can prepare yourselves for the season. Picture this scenario:
Friend: Hey, you. I’m calling because I found three kittens. They’re only three weeks old. Should I take them to my local open-admission shelter?
You: No! Call a no-kill shelter first.
Friend: I did, but they’re full and said that I need to foster them. I can’t do it.
This, dear reader, is where you have a chance to be a hero to three little tiny lives. This is where you can say:
You: I am prepared for this! Thanks to Crepes, I have everything I need! Bring me the kittens and I will foster them until they’re ready to adopt!
Great answer! You are now a super hero.
Be a kitten super hero!
Here’s a list of a few things you’ll need to prepare yourself to give this life-saving answer:
- A heating pad without auto off. Baby kittens need to stay warm, so a heating pad is essential. Place it under HALF the box so they can get away if it gets too warm.
- Kitten Bottles. If they’re under six weeks old, you’ll need to feed them with bottles every few hours.
- KMR powder. Powdered versions are easy to keep in your kitten kit.
- Canned kitten food for older kittens (around four weeks as you begin to wean).
- Pee Pads. They line the box and help keep the kitten area clean.
- Towels. Kittens are messy. Wash them daily (the towels, not the kittens.)
- Hand Sanitizer. Until you know the kittens are healthy, sanitize and wash after EVERY handling, especially before petting your own cats.
- A smock. This goes with the hand sanitizer. Cuddle kittens while keeping your own clothes clean.
- Sandles. These are to be worn only in the kitten room to keep your feet clean and to stop you from tracking any viruses through the rest of your house.
- A tiny litter box. Grease trap aluminum pans for your grill work great and are the perfect tiny size. Use a clean one and throw it out when it’s dirty
- A little food scale and bowl to weigh tiny ones or a baby scale to weigh larger kitties
- Plain clay litter
Note the pee pad and towels.
That’s what we keep in our kit here so that we’re always prepared, just in case!
UPDATE: We updated our list per some great suggestions from Random Felines, a blog that’s all about foster kittens and a lady behind it who does great work as a foster mom!
Now get out there and be a kitten super hero!
PS. Did I miss anything in the kit? What do you keep in yours? Tell me in the comments!
I shall just begin.
Running in the house
I trip them as they go by.
Sweet vengeance is mine.
The kitten I most recently tripped.
They love the soft mice
And don’t yet know the joys of
Ignoring nice toys.
Modem quit working
Sharp teeth on electric cords
Bitter apple sprays.
PS. I just read about Sam Simon, the creator of The Simpsons. Apparently, he was diagnosed with colon cancer a few years ago. He decided that, in his last months, he is giving away his fortune, much of it to animals in need. He has organized the Sam Simon Foundation, where he rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to assist disabled veterans and people with hearing impairment.
I want to salute you, Mr. Simon. You have done something lovely during your own hardship, and that takes courage. Every episode of the Simpons I have watched over the years has, in the long run, helped animals in need. Thank you, Sam Simon, for your gift to animals.
You can read more about it here.