I don’t know if I smell of catnip or if word has gotten around to the local cats, but I am one of those people who always seems to find the strays and lost kittens in the neighborhood.
I’ve repeatedly exclaimed, “the kitten can stay – but just for tonight,” only to find myself with a growing number of lifelong family pets.
While new born kittens can be slightly more intense than the needs of adult cats, taking in and taking care for a newly rescued stray kitten isn’t so complicated if you keep a few things in mind.
1. A stray kitten will almost certainly have fleas, and may also have worms. Fleas carry parasites, so if your kitten has ingested any fleas while grooming herself, she’s probably taken in a few parasite hitchhikers.
You can purchase a flea control agent and medication, especially for de-worming kittens, at most pet stores. Be sure you buy the type intended for your kitten’s size and weight. Adult dosages can be toxic to small kittens. Dawn dish washing detergent is a gentle and effective kitten flea shampoo. Any stray kitten should be washed immediately if brought into the home to prevent an indoor flea farm.
2. Spaying and neutering is an important part of responsible cat ownership, as is purchasing a pet insurance policy for your beloved feline. A kitten may be sterilized as young as 8 weeks old, so contact your local rescues and research and see if you can find a spay neuter assistance program. Sibling kittens will mate earlier than expected if not fixed.
3. Pet health insurance is an excellent investment for your new kitten. Not only will you pay very low pet insurance premiums due to your kitten’s young age and presumable lack of pre-existing conditions, but many cat insurance policies also offer wellness and routine care packages.