Essentials for Raising an Orphan Kitten

Orphan Kittens Eating
Dr. Ann Hohenhaus
Orphan kittens raised by Dr. Ann Hohenhaus eat from tiny ceramic ramekins.

Kitten Linens

No layette would be complete without linens. I have a washable, round fleece bed about 12 inches in diameter with a low rolled edge. Every single kitten residing in our kitten palace intuitively knows the fleece bed is for sleeping, and if it is fresh out of the dryer, they like it even better. I also keep a pile of well-washed hand towels nearby. These are multipurpose and can be used as a whole-kitten “bib” during feeding or to dry off a wet kitten after a bath.

Kitten Dinnerware

I have tried a variety of dishes for kittens: little ceramic ramekins, empty takeout containers and paper plates. The problem is, kittens don’t understand that food and water bowls tip over when you walk through them, so spills can be frequent, messy and time-consuming to clean up. You can’t keep kittens from walking through their bowls, but you can keep them from tipping them over by using a very helpful product called a Neater Feeder or some other similarly stable product. This bowl system that I use is so stable that despite the fact that my recent litter of three kittens used it as a jungle gym, it never tipped over.

Kitten Toys

Young kittens can entertain themselves with simple toys like toilet paper tubes or a paper bag. Two essentials in my kitten toy box are fur mice to entertain the little predators in them and a scratching post, mat or board to make them good citizens in their new home.

Kitten Love

While all the items I have listed above make raising kittens easier, there is one item that cannot be bought that orphans need above all else, and that is oodles of love and attention to make them wonderful pets in their eventual forever home.

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