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Kitten Care Success Stories

Kitten Care readers write back and describe how helped them and their feline friends fend off trouble in their time of need! Thank you all!

Kittens Rescued

Hi Simba, My husband and I moved into our first home 9 months ago, and were
surprised to find a stray cat hanging around the house. Maybe we inherited her form the previous owners. Neither one of us were cat lovers. We suspected the cat was not being fed, so we gave her food. Her health and appearance seemed to improve.

With time, we became attached and let her into the house, where she used to dart to the downstairs bedroom (her comfort zone). She became very big and we soon realized she was pregnant. She was still living outside at this time, but came to visit us every day for food.

Then all of a sudden, she did not visit for 2 days and when she returned, she was skinny as a rake! She still came for food...but where were the kittens? She returned 2 weeks later holding a tiny kitten in her mouth and once again she ran to her comfort zone. We kept mom & kitten overnight and made a home for them in the shed. They were gone the next day. The mother returned for food sometime later, but never again with her kitten. We thought she might have died.

Two months later, as I was driving to work, I saw that the mother had been struck and killed by a car. We felt great sadness and feared for her kitten, whome we could hear crying outside. We left milk out for the kitten but were unsure of her well being. We decided to put the milk in a corner of the shed that we could see from the house. We monitored the bowl of milk from the kitchen window. When we saw her in the shed, we caught her and brought her into the house. She was very frightened but we felt it was our duty to look after her. Over the last 4 days, we were amazed to find how sociable, warm and loving this small creature could be. We have great craic (Irish for 'great fun') with her. She sneezes and seems to have conjunctivitis. Our friends told us this was normal but we still decided to look on the Internet. We found your page. It has been a wonderful source of information and comfort to us. We are bringing the kitten to the vet tomorrow. We have decided to name the kitten after you. Our most sincere thanks, The converted Trish & Mike.

Thank you for the kind note. I am happy I could help. Simba

Orphaned Kittens

Dear Simba,
Thank you for your wonderful site! I am now mother to two, two days old kittens, their mother die just this morning and all of the sudden besides having to face the fact that my wonderful cat is gone, I have to take care of these two kittens, which scares me to no end. I have no experience with young cats and did not know where to start or what to expect. I turned to the web for answers, found several articles on orphaned kittens, but your site is so complete, it gave me the confidence I needed to know I can take care of my kittens... it answered many, many questions I had, like feeding, keeping warm and grooming my babies.

I took my kittens to the vet, she gave me a formula to feed them, bottles, and told me what to do to stimulate them to go poop, but once I was home with them, I realized I had a thousand questions and concerns. I am still concerned about one of my kittens, as I have not seen her poop.... when should I start panicking? Also, I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful boss. When she found out what happened, she said I could bring the kittens in with so I can take care of them. What precautions should I take to ensure they are safe while I am transporting them and while they are at my office? Your site has been a blessing. I cannot thank you enough.... CJ in Austin, TX

Dear CJ in Austin, TX
Thank you for your kind words. do not expect too much from their bowel movements, remember they are little kittens. Be sure to stimulate them after every other feeding. If you do not see a movement in a day or two give your vet a call.

As to transporting them to work, the Newborn Kitten Care section has a part that discusses transportation safety for little ones (be sure to buckle their box up during the drive or at lease cushion it for any unforeseen braking). At work, keep them in their box, they might even fit in an partially opened desk drawer, try to minimize the amount of noise to which they are exposed, keep them warm and make sure they have fresh air. Continue feeding them on a schedule and loving them as you are doing. You have a great boss. Keep me posted. Simba

Sweet Pea & Super Kitty!

Dear Simba,
This is Sweet Pea's mom (Click for Original Note) and I wanted to thank you for your good advise about our new addition. We will call her either Taz (for Tasmanian) or Jetta. She is solid black as I mentioned before. Happy to report that the Ear Mites are gone, as are the fleas, worms and the flu. We still have her quarantined in an effort to introduce her gradually to our rather sensitive Sweet Pea and the first born Super Kitty (he who mutters and grumbles terrible curses at the others). My husband has invented a great see-thru door, and I wanted to share it with you. Jetta is in the bathroom, which is compartmentalized (the commode is separate). The magic see-through door is made of chicken wire and lumber 2 x 4's. He has attached this door to the hinges on the real door so that we can swing it out and get in. The base is constructed so that she cannot pull the door in toward herself to escape. I thought she would climb up the chicken wire but she has not. Anyway, this invention allows the establishment cats to view the newcomer with great disdain, curiosity (My God, what's that!) and or trepidation. Conversely, fearless Jetta can stare back at them. We think they are mentally communicating with all this staring going on. When Sweet Pea and Super Kitty are elsewhere, we let Jetta out so that she can become accustomed to her new home. Thanks again for your help. Sweet Pea's Mom.
We (the staff for all these cats) have noticed that both of the establishment cats are much more affectionate with us now that Jetta is on the scene.

Dear Simba:
Thanks for your quick advice about our new black kitten (as you might remember, I am Sweet Pea's Mom, our 2nd cat. Our first is an indignant male named Super Kitty) We have not named our newest addition, we are waiting for her personality to emerge. Anyway, we took her to the Vet on Monday. Turns out she has:
  • Kitty flu (shots given, then RX twice/day)
  • .
  • Worms (shots given for that)
  • Ear Mites (vet gave us ear drops for that)
  • Loaded with fleas.(shots given for that)
Other than that - she is just fine. We are glad that all of these are treatable. She has already had her leukemia and her "hysterectomy." We are glad that we have kept her isolated from Super Kitty and Sweet Pea.
Question - can we give her a Flea shampoo in a few days or should we wait until she is recovered from the flu? The fleas are appallingly thick and active. They are being combed out and drowned a couple of times a day. I realize that the flea shots will work soon, but in the meantime would like to get rid of those nasty bugs.

Our new one is isolated in the downstairs bathroom, and will be so until she is completely well. We must have done a poor job the first time because Super Kitty even after a year cannot stand the sight of Sweet Pea who is adorable beyond words. I think Super Kitty may have been so distraught when we got Sweet Pea that he tried to end it all by dashing in front of a car. Fortunately we found him quickly and took him to the vet who informed us of Super Kitty's CATastrophic incident with the car. A broken leg was one result. Here he was, thumping around the house with his front leg in a cast, glaring at adorable Sweet Pea. He developed a new growling sort of language that sounds even today as though he is swearing and curing at her.

Sweet Pea is the original timid soul. We have tried everything to give her courage, much like the cowardly lion. Even the homeopathic drops cleverly called "scardy cat" had no effect. She is great with my husband and me, but if the doorbell rings, or heaven forbid if we have guests, she will hide under the bed upstairs. We have accepted the fact that this is her own personality and we love her dearly. She is very affectionate and communicative with us. We also have accepted the fact that Super Kitty will probably never like her. She worships him and since he is an indoor and outdoor cat, she races from window to window (inside) to watch him as he patrols the garden. She is not a bit afraid of him, and plays "attack" with him. He is not amused. Anyway, into this mix we bring the new one.

Question: how do we gradually introduce our new baby after she is well so that we will not have another riot on our hands. Our hope is that the new one will provide some companionship and interaction with Sweet Pea, who seems to need someone to play with, to chase after. (my husband does his best, but she needs someone closer to her own size). Any advice? Sweet Pea's Mom
Dear Sweet Pea's Mom,
Glad to hear that new gal is doing well. You may want to consider using a flea mousse so that kitty does not get wet while you rid her of her fleas. You might also want to try a good Flea Shampoo. As for having a smoother introduction, check out more of the letters in Helping New Cats. Many readers have had similar concerns, I think you will find good advice there. Keep me posted. Simba

Sylvester & Patches!

Dear Simba...I want to thank you for your help (Click for Original Note). I wrote you a few weeks ago about having my 2 (2-year-old) outside cats (brother and sister) being brought into my home with my 3-year-old Misty . Well...I followed your advice and kept them Isolated, I was able to get them in the house by just leaving the door open...they walked right in. Of course they were a little scared but I kept talking to them and they let me carry them to the porch...which would be their temporary home. They were fixed prior to coming indoors and had their shots. After 2 weeks in the porch and minimum touching of each other through the door left ajar....I opened the door and they are all getting along. My Misty has been going into Sylvester and Patches sleeping area and joining them. There have been no scratching, hissing or little fights. I think the outside cats are teaching my Misty how to play and they do not even mind when she chases and pats them. I am amazed and feel blessed that they are getting along so well. Yes...There is some confusion on the New arrangements...but the New cats used their litter box immediately, they know their safe place is the Porch and when no one is paying any particular attention, they actually wander around the house in comfort....I am so very grateful to you....since I had heard it could not be done at their age but you told me it could be...and I see that things are going well....thus far, I feel I must give Thanks to you from my Misty, Sylvester and Patches.....and Me of course :-) What a wonderful New Year this will be knowing that my family of cats will be safe in the Icy weather, heavy traffic and from Wild Animals! Thanks again Simba. Misty/Sylvester & Patches Mom

Dear Simba...I wrote you twice about bringing in 2 stray cats a sister and brother that were live with my Misty...also fixed. You were the only one that had faith in their getting along with each other with a little time. Well, it has been almost 4 months and they get along like they have been together all of their lives. I followed your introduction plans to a tee. Now my Misty uses their litter box and eats out of their dishes and they do the same with her litter box and food. The male is very, very friendly and attached to my Misty. They are like two peas in a pod. The sister is taking longer to become as outgoing as the other two but around me she appeared to feel safe and even sleeps in my room....(the closet or hall way rug) while the other 2 prefer to sleep on my bed when they are not using my entire house as their Jungle Gym. I am so very grateful to you...and I love them more each day. For anyone that has a similar problem of introducing out door cats to an indoor "Princess"....Please read and follow Simba's advice...It worked for us...and we could not be happier....Thank you so much Simba...Please continue your wonderful work..... My little spoiled Misty is getting in good shape running around and playing and wrestling with her new brother and sister and never looked better. And she is surely no longer lonely when I have to leave the house...Thanks again.....from Arline....Misty's, Sylvester and Patches Mom :}

Dear Misty's, Sylvester and Patches Mom
How wonderful things have worked out. Be sure to keep me posted on your new friends. Simba

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