If you are caring for kittens, just like babies, there are a few supplies you will need to keep them healthy and happy. The following is a list of some preferred supplies with links. The list does not represent an official endorsement of the products named, merely recommendations to assist to help make fostering a bit easier.
Places to shop are local pet supply stores, baby aisles and on-line suppliers (Amazon.com and Chewy.com are excellent sources).
- KMR - Kitten Milk Replacer - designed specifically for a kitten’s nutrition and digestive needs ( newborn to six weeks of age) – do not use cow’s milk as it can cause harmful effects.
- PetAg bottle kit- Contains feeding bottle conveniently marked in tablespoon measurements for accurate feeding, soft nipples, and a cleaning brush
- Mini Nipple – for neonates - The Mini Nipple will fit a 1 ml slip tip syringe, a 3 ml slip tip or luer lock tip syringe.
- Bottle warmer: the simplest alternative is warming a mug of clean water in the microwave in 30 second intervals until warm (not hot), and then warming the bottle of milk in the water.
- Shallow Food Dishes – so the kittens can easily reach to eat - At least one bowl for dry food and one for water. If you will be giving wet food, then an additional bowl will be needed. Stainless steel or ceramic that will not tip over easily work best.
- Karo Light Corn Syrup - Lethargic or unresponsive kittens may have low blood sugar (be)hypoglycemic, and Karo Syrup wiped on the kitten’s gums will help raise glucose levels.
- Vetoquinol Viralys L-Lysine Supplement for Cats & Kittens of All Ages - Immune Health - Sneezing, Runny Nose, Squinting, Watery Eyes
- Nutri-Cal Kitten - supports a healthy appetite and provides easy to digest calories to pets who are growing rapidly, sick, or very active.
- Scale- although not critical for success, a food or postal scale is helpful in monitoring small kittens’ growth. Also not critical, but useful, is a tape measure for size
FOR COMFORT AND SAFETY:
Provide a small, secure area for the kittens to feel safe and warm
- Blankets - (Mainstays fleece throw (50”x60”) available at Walmart is a good inexpensive choice)- wonderful for bedding, dries quickly, and is soft.
- Stuffed Animal – good for orphan kittens. Needs to be washable. Check labels for child safety, as a stuffed toy that is labeled as safe for children under three years old, doesn’t contain dangerous fillings. Problem fillings include things like nutshells and polystyrene beads. Remove ribbons, feathers, strings, eyes, or other small parts that could be chewed and/or ingested.
- Cat Carrier - Use a carrier at all times to transport cat to and from any appointments. In addition, the carrier with the door removed after transport can be utilized as a hiding spot in a large dog crate or room.
- Large Plastic Crate/Tub without Lid – Lined with blankets, these make the perfect space for newborn kittens. They are easy to sanitize . Make sure the crate/tub is not near a drafty area. If you choose to use a box without a top, make sure the sides are tall enough so that the kittens cannot jump or fall out. Change the bedding in the box daily until the kittens start litter training.
- Enclosed Cat Cage – if there is not a dedicated space, like a bathroom to keep kittens/cats confined safely.
- Cat Scratcher - provides an outlet for the natural behavior of scratching.
FOR KEEPING EVERYTHING CLEAN:
A well-groomed kitten/cat has a better chance of getting adopted.
- Flea comb
- Soft bristle tooth brush - to simulate mama’s licking when comforting and cleaning the kitten
- Nail Clipper OR Nail Trimmer
- Styptic powder - used externally to control bleeding caused by nail trimming
- Original Dawn blue dishwashing liquid - for baths, gentle on animals’ delicate skin. In addition, Dawn dish soap does kill fleas. It works by reducing the surface tension of water. Fleas sink and drown instead of remaining on the water’s surface.12 The dish detergent also prevents insects’ waxy cuticles from repelling water. As a result, water can enter their respiratory system to suffocate them
- Extra Terry-cloth Towels and Wash cloths
They Need A Place To Go:
- 2 litter boxes (a large litter box if you have a mom and a medium litter box for the kittens when they’re old enough (disposable 9x13 cake pans work well while the kittens are just starting to learn to use one)
- Non- clumping Pellet-type Cat Litter
- Puppy pads - Put them under litter boxes, food bowls and inside the enclosure for easy cleanup. You’ll soon learn that kittens are messy. Some of their behaviors include standing in their food, walking through their poop, etc.. Save yourself the headache of doing three loads of laundry a day and invest in a pack of puppy pads instead. Trust us on this one!
- Unscented Baby wipes: to stimulate elimination and help keep kitty clean
- Paper Towels
- Rescue Wipes - One-Step Disinfectant Cleaner & Deodorizer,
- Rescue Disinfectant - one-step cleaner disinfectant
- Rescue Concentrate – most economical of the Rescue line
- Bleach - If you do not use “Rescue Disinfectant”, then use Bleach for disinfecting and sanitizing – A 1:10 (1 part bleach for every 9 parts water) solution of bleach to cool water (50-60 degrees) – Do Not Use laundry bleach, you need sanitizing bleach.
Try a variety of toys (balls, squeaky toys, etc.) to see which ones your foster cat prefers. Choose easy to disinfect toys or those that can be disposed of after being used by the foster
- Cat toys do not have to be fancy or expensive.
- Don’t leave your foster cat alone with any toys that could be easily ingested or cause harm to the cat. Examples are string toys, yarn and Da Bird (feathers dangling from a string and wand).
- Toys such as ping-pong balls and toilet paper tubes are safe.