Monday, 1 June 2015

How to make an emergency baby bottle for a kitten

This is not about making an fb, but someone I know needs a little help with feeding a kitten. Usually pet shops have special baby bottles for kittens, but if you can't find one in your local petshop (or perhaps it is an unholy hour in the night) here is how you can make one. You will need a latex glove like the one you use to wash the dishes, but not dirty, a pair of scissors, a rubber band and a small plastic bottle. From my experience, it works much better than using a syringe.

First of all, cut a rectangular strip from the base of the glove. In my example I am using a piece of paper, but you can see what I mean.

Take the strip and shape it into a cone:

Make sure the tip of the cone is as small as possible, because otherwise a lot of milk will spill out and the kitten will have trouble swallowing. Then take the plastic bottle. In my example picture the bottle has the cap on. (My mom has some alcohol in this bottle and she will not be happy if I spill it everywhere, so I kept the cap on.) In your case, the bottle will have milk in, and it will be uncapped.

Place the cone on the neck of the bottle. Now, take the rubber band and wrap it tightly around the neck, so that it stays in place. It is ready!

 A few more pieces of advice to help you:

  • Always (ALWAYS!) check the milk temperature on your wrist before feeding the kitten.
  • Cow milk causes severe diarrhea and kill kittens; if you can't go to the petshop to buy speciall kitten formula and the baby is too hungry and dehydrated, you can give it canned milk, but only as an emergency measure. If you really want your kitten to live, you need to buy special formula as soon as possible.
  • If the kitten struggles too much while you try to feed it, I suggest wrapping it in a towel and leaving only its head out. It will keep it still and reduce the mess, too.
  • After feeding it, soak a bit of the towel into warm water and gently rub its tummy from the middle toward the anus. Repeat a few times, always from the middle towards the back. This stimulates their intestines and helps really small kittens to urinate and efficate; it is what their mother does with her tongue. Again, make sure to check the temperature of the towel on your wrist before using it on the kitten.
  • Very small kittens can't maintan body temperature. If you have a hot bottle or a small heating pad you can use, please do. Make sure it is not in direct touch with the kitten's skin. Wrap the pad or bottle in a towel or a cloth before placing it in the box.
  • If the kitten is really small and it has not drank any of its mom's milk, chances are it won't make it. Their mother's milk contains antibodies than kitten formula cannot provide them with. Don't feel bad if that happens, it really isn't your fault. There is a 10% possibility it will pull through. It's worth fighting for. 

Good luck!