How to identify identical newborns

rgwanner

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My black foster mom had 4 solid black shorthair kittens 3 days ago. They are way too small for collars. I need to tell them apart so I can track their weight. There is not one white hair or whisker to be seen. Any ideas?
 

GoldyCat

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I used the toddler (really small) size elastic hair ties in different colors. You just have to watch carefully to make sure they don't get too tight as the kittens grow.
 

StefanZ

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Breeders of purebreds - whom per definition usually are practically identical - use "collars". Im not sure how and what, perhaps done as per GoldyCat suggestion.

Otherwise some non poisonous nail polish on their nails...
 

Caspers Human

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When my father was breeding dogs he used to use hospital arm bands as collars for the puppies. When a buyer came and wanted to leave a deposit for a certain dog, they would write the person's name on the collar in permanent marker. You could use Tyvek arm bands like that and, instead of the buyer's name, write the kitten's name on them until they get old enough to tell apart without them.

I like the nail polish idea. You don't have to paint all their claws. Just one claw on each back foot would probably be enough. :)

Chewy sells nail polish specially made for dogs. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work on cats, too. :)

 

Avery

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Some good ideas here! I took a look at the product on Chewy and there is a question about using the nail polish for cats. Here is the reply:
"This polish pen can be used safely on cats. Cats do tend to groom themselves a little more than dogs, so if you notice them licking it off everyday then we recommend not using it further. It is a water based non acetone polish so it is safe, but still has ingredients in there that would upset their stomach if they kept eating it everyday."
 

Caspers Human

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I looked at the ingredients list:

Water, Acrylates, Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol Butyl Ether, Dipropylene Glycol Butyl Ether, Trimthyl Pentanyl Disobutyrate, Sodium PCA, Ammonium Hydroxide, Butoxyethanol, Alkylaryl Polyether, Simethicone, Glutaronite, Quinacridone Violet 19.
It is water based and I don't see any troublesome ingredients. They seem to be similar to the ingredients of a Sharpie marking pen. In fact, they look a little bit better than Sharpies.

If a cat licks or chews its nails they might ingest some of the marker but, in the small amounts used, there should be no problem. If anything does happen, I would expect to see nausea, vomiting or diarrhea but I think it would take quite a lot to make that happen. Certainly, the amount used to color the cats claws would be far less than the amount needed to make them sick.

I agree with the message you recieved: If the cat licks or chews its claws, too much, after applying the polish, just stop using it.
 
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