Tiny Stray Kitten

rogerscountry

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Hi!  I'm new.

A few days ago, i found a very tiny kitten running around in, of all places, my chicken pen.

I immediately brought the kitten inside.  I think it's a little boy, and i'm guessing he's 3-5 weeks old.  He's very small, and though his long fluffy fur camouflages him well, he's very skinny.  

I'm not exactly a kitten rescue expert, and i would love to glean any advice you all could offer me to take care of my new little friend.

He has been very defensive, always always hissing and spitting at anyone who comes near him, but immediately purring once held and petted.  He's also a bad hider.  We did finally see a limited amount of relaxation in our presence, early this morning.  He actually played in our presence, though he kept a close eye on us.

He needs to eat more, and he happily consumes dry food and canned food (he doesn't seem to care for the kmr), but i think he's so nervous that he's not eating like he should.

I provided him a little litter box that i think he has used once, but only when confined.  I had him in a rubbermaid tub to try to keep him from hiding (under the dishwasher, inside the dresser drawers, behind the freezer), but he found his way out.  Now he is pooping in secret corners, and he seems to be peeing on himself, since we find him with a wet behind from time to time.

I'm thinking of confining him to a large crate (like you would use to transport a large dog), with food, litter box, and sleeping area, but i don't want to traumatize him further.

Also, he has fleas in his long fur.  I'm sure he's too young to use a flea powder on, and i'm sure he'll hate me indefinitely if i put him in water.  

I truly welcome any advice or ideas for how best to help my new little friend to acclimate, socialize, and get healthy.

I am on vacation right now, but i go back to work on Monday, and i am usually gone from the house for 11-12 or more hours at a time, Monday through Friday.

We live out in the country in southeast Texas, and we have also considered making him a warm, dark shelter on the porch so that he could  eat in peace but still run around when he felt safe and get plenty of exercise while we're away.

Thanks for any advice, words of wisdom, you can offer.

Beth
 

catapault

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Beth, thank you for rescuing this little furball of a kitten. Early Christmas present for you?

I am sure that some of our more knowledgeable young-kitten-care members will be along to offer good advice - @StefanZ   @catwoman707

Meanwhile -  dog crate is a great idea. Keeps him from disappearing (which even adult cats are very accomplished as doing.) Litter box, food, water, and also give him a little cardboard box for a house, with a nice soft towel where he can feel secure and nap.

Until you can take him to a vet for a checkup and his first kitten shots, plus more expert suggestion for age and sex - and they can flea treat him. Meanwhile DO NOT use any over the counter flea treatments for the supermarket or even the pet store. They often have very bad effects, especially on a young kitten.

I would not leave him outside. A hawk could carry him off and eat him, a dog likewise. Indoors is best.

And lastly - does he have a name? And could we see a picture?

Welcome to TCS, to you and your new little friend.
 
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rogerscountry

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bigdaveyl

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We rescued a 5-6 week old kitten about 18 months ago. 

I think the crate is a good idea especially since he is so young and small.

The best flea meds usually come from the vet.
 

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He's so beautiful! I love orange kitties, even though I never have had one. (We seem to specialize in gray, or black, even have a black & white cat.)

Waldo seems reasonably content in your arms. Good sign. He's tame.

Box is good for napping - he's not exposed to the great big world while sleeping. And he can get on top of it and look around from a different place than on the ground.

If you can, put the dog crate in a busy place where he can watch people and you can coo at him whenever you go by.

It's a good thing you got him out of the chicken pen. Hens will catch and eat mice who come after spilled grain. And roosters - well, roosters aren't especially friendly even to the people who feed them.

You have such a pretty boy.
 

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Just wanted at chime in and say that since kitten's eyes are green, he is likely 8+ weeks old. Always hard to give an age based on size (especially since he is underweight;) but, a kitten's eyes typically change colors around 7-9 wks of age.

If this is so, the vet can certainly give you some flea meds and kitten can be dewormed and given first round of vaccines.

I also second crating him. It helps with socialization and will help him get acclimated to you and his new home. Elevate the crate up on a table so that he is able to survey the activity going on in the house.
 
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rogerscountry

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O.k. here's his new castle.  What do you think?

Looks pretty comfy i guess.  Now i just have to find him.  He has abandoned his last hiding place.  Where's Waldo???

@Catpack,  i'm not 100% sure if those green eyes are genuine or flash generated.  When i find him, i'll let you know.  What color should they be before 8 weeks?  Blue?
 

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Hi there!

Yes, kitten is older than first thought, his behavior alone tells me so, as well as his green eyes and his ability to eat dry food fine.

The crate is perfect, the best thing you can do for him right now.

The next best thing is to handle him, constantly! He will hiss and spit but not attack, he's too young for that, so reach in and grab him by the scruff if needed and hold, hold hold. Pet him all over, force him to spend time with you and anyone else.

You must do this now, otherwise he will always be a hidey cat. Mentally, by 8 weeks old their mind is set on being fearful due to lack of socializing from an early age. He was also likely born to a feral mom who taught him to fear.

But you can change this if you go over the top with attention and holding, pass him around if you have others in the home so he learns that all people are harmless, not only you.

You can do this! You will have a sweet, well adapted kitty boy companion :)

One tip to remember, find what is irresistable to him, tuna, treats, chicken baby food and use it to your advantage. You want him to approach you for these.
 

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Such an adorable baby!
He just need more and more interaction with you or other members of your family to be more comfortable about humans. Since he was a stray is normal that he is skittish and defensive but he will progressively changing slowly if you keep petting him, talking softly to him and expending more time to him. Try to make purring noises while petting him, my kitten like it when he was a baby, since he lost his mama, I have to somehow behave like a mamma cat and purrs.

The crate looks great ^^
 

blueyedgirl5946

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rogerscountry rogerscountry I just felt my heart melt when I saw the pictures of this little fur baby. What beautiful cat. I am so glad you found this little one and hope you have many fun times together. Good luck.:nod:
 

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He looks about 6 or 7 weeks. At 3 weeks, they are the size of large hamsters and have tiny ears. For fleas, if he will let you, buy some J&J Bedtime Bath Lavender. It is baby shampoo. The lavender will kill some fleas and cause them to leave his fur. I use this on my cats instead of flea treatment. They all go outside and never get fleas. They get 3 baths a year. 

Also, he looks so much like my first cat I had growing up! He was about that size too! <3 <3 <3 :D
 
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rogerscountry

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The transition to a crate was difficult.  He still definitely doesn't like it, but after about 48 hours, he's now using his litter box consistently, and he didn't hiss at me the last time i opened the crate.  Here's a video of him playing, very at ease, playful and happy.

 
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rogerscountry

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No not yet. :) I'm toying with names like Jiminy or Cricket, but we're not settled yet. When he's not mad at me, he really is a very fun very sweet kitten.
 
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rogerscountry

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If i read the rules correctly, i should continue conversation about my kitten in this same thread, forever?  If that's not right, someone please let me know.

We finally named him.  It took us two weeks to land on Marmalade.  It fits him perfectly.  :)

I need some more advice.  I hope someone knows a trick.  Marmalade's fur is pretty fluffy, and he sometimes gets poop stuck in it.  I'm sure i don't have to tell you how much the both of us enjoy the process of unsticking the poop from his hiney fur.  Does anyone have a trick for preventing this?

In the way of updates.

Marmalade's first vet appointment was today.  The vet says he's not more than 5-6 weeks old, which means he wasn't more than a month when he was dumped.  Poor thing.

Anyway, the crate living lasted about 2 1/2-3 days.  I'm not sure.  He eluded me before work one morning, and i didn't have time to find out where he had hidden, so i had to leave him out.  Somehow, after that, we just kind of magicked into a pretty comfortable routine.  Marmalade is now very faithful to the litter box (thank you crate); he enjoys spending time with us; he is eating well and gaining weight, and while he still really enjoys dark quiet places, he comes out to spend time with us most of the evening, and he is getting more and more friendly.  I'm really enjoying him and his personality.

Today, he got his first shot, a flea treatment, and worm medicine, so i'm happy about his being in his best health.  Plus, i was very impressed with his behavior at the vet's office.  He is obviously very mellowed out from his harrowing hour in public, but he did a very good job at not being a wild kitty. 
 

Norachan

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If I read the rules correctly, i should continue conversation about my kitten in this same thread, forever?  If that's not right, someone please let me know.

If you want to update on his progress you can do so on this thread but if you have a question about anything else you can start a new thread in another forum.

I need some more advice.  I hope someone knows a trick.  Marmalade's fur is pretty fluffy, and he sometimes gets poop stuck in it.  I'm sure i don't have to tell you how much the both of us enjoy the process of unsticking the poop from his hiney fur.  Does anyone have a trick for preventing this?

Little kittens often get poop stuck to their butts. I think it's because they are so small and their butts are so much closer to the ground when they use the litter tray. It's usually less of a problem as they get older. I use wet tissues to clean them up with. If his long fur continues to be a problem as he gets older you can get what is called a Sanitary Shave, where the fur around his butt is shaved to prevent anything sticking to it.

Is it just regular poop? No diarrhea?
 
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rogerscountry

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Yep. His poop seems solid and normal every time. Thanks so much for the feedback.
 
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