The Correct Way to Raise an Abandoned Cat! Introducing Methods for Both Cats and Humans to Live Safely Together

The Correct Way to Raise an Abandoned Cat! Introducing Methods for Both Cats and Humans to Live Safely Together

When you want to take in a cat you see on the street, what is the right thing to do?

While pet shops are a common choice, adopting from organizations that conduct cat rescue activities is also an option.

Unfortunately, there are stray and abandoned cats, so rescuing and raising such cats is another possibility.

This time, we will introduce proper preparation and ways to raise a kitten you have picked up.


1. First, Determine the Age of the Cat
∟1-1. 2-3 Days After Birth
∟1-2. 1-2 Weeks After Birth
∟1-3. 3-8 Weeks After Birth
2. Preparations to Make Before Starting to Keep a Cat
∟2-1. A Cardboard Box or Other Living Space
∟2-2. Cat Milk and Nursing Bottles
3. How to Raise
∟3-1. Be Mindful of Body Temperature
∟3-2. Visit a Veterinary Clinic
∟3-3. Assist with Elimination Using Tissues
∟3-4. Feed Milk Using a Nursing Bottle or Syringe Without a Needle
∟3-5. Do Not Allow Interaction with People Until the Cat Is Used to the Environment
4. Things to Be Careful Of
∟4-1. Do Not Take Flash Photography
∟4-2. Be Mindful of Parasites, Ticks, and Fleas


1. First, Determine the Age of the Cat

If you pick up an abandoned kitten, it is necessary to grasp roughly how old it is from its physique and movements.

Newborn kittens require more care compared to adult cats.


1-1. 2-3 Days After Birth

They appear significantly small, and you can quickly tell they were just born.

Their weight is around 150g, and their eyes are not yet open.

Baby cats need to be fed milk every 3 hours.

There's a chance they haven't been fed for a while, so if you rescue one, give milk immediately.


1-2. 1-2 Weeks After Birth

Compared to 2-3 days after birth, they start to look more like cats.

Their eyes begin to open slightly, but they can hardly see.

Whether they can see or not can be judged by moving an object in front of the cat's eyes to see if they follow it.

Similarly, some can hear sounds while others cannot yet.

It is also during this period that it becomes possible to distinguish whether they are male or female.


1-3. 3-8 Weeks After Birth

They start to walk steadily.

From 3 weeks, milk teeth begin to appear, and by 8 weeks, all 26 teeth will have emerged.

By opening their mouth, you can estimate the cat's age by how many teeth they have.

Also, cats can start to eliminate on their own from 3 to 8 weeks of age.


2. Preparations to Make Before Starting to Keep a Cat

It's not good to impulsively bring home a cat you want to keep, as it might be dangerous for the kitten.

Make sure to create a suitable living environment for the cat before you start raising it.


2-1. A Cardboard Box or Other Living Space

While it's natural to prepare a comfortable space for a rescued cat, it's important to restrict their movements until you can determine what diseases they may carry.

Therefore, it's recommended to prepare a cardboard box, box, or carrier at the beginning.

It's important not only to separate the living environment between humans and the new cat but also to separate them from any existing cats.

To prevent their body temperature from dropping, it's good to lay a blanket, towel, or cloth inside the cardboard box.

If possible, providing a huggable plush toy or cushion can make the cat more comfortable.

When using a cushion for humans, make sure it doesn't contain any beans.


2-2. Cat Milk and Nursing Bottles

Milk is quite important if you pick up a kitten.

It's better to prepare it in advance before you bring a cat home.

This is especially important for newly born kittens.

The form of milk can be either powder or liquid type. If using powder, be sure to dissolve it in mineral water.

Also, purchase a nursing bottle for feeding milk in advance.

There are small nursing bottles designed for kittens, so use the smaller type for young cats.

3. How to Raise

Once you've decided to bring the cat home and made the necessary preparations, it's time to start raising the cat you've picked up.

It might be unfamiliar at first, but there are set things to do, so take your time raising the cat.


3-1. Be Mindful of Body Temperature

Cats, especially kittens, struggle with regulating their body temperature because they have little subcutaneous fat, making them prone to hypothermia or hyperthermia.

Keeping the surrounding temperature stable and protecting the cat is crucial.

In cold seasons, wrapping the cat in a towel or using a hot water bottle can be helpful.

However, be careful of burns when using a hot water bottle. Always wrap it in a towel before placing it near the cat's sleeping area.


3-2. Visit a Veterinary Clinic

If you decide to keep a found cat, visit a veterinary clinic first.

If the cat has an infectious disease and you don't go to the clinic immediately, it could be life-threatening.

If you already have a resident cat, unknowingly transmitting an infectious disease is also a concern.

For example, if the cat has non-stop nasal discharge, sneezing, or coughing, it could be ill, so visit a veterinary clinic before these symptoms appear.


3-3. Assist with Elimination Using Tissues

Cats under one month old cannot eliminate on their own.

Therefore, you need to help stimulate elimination for newly born kittens.

Use a soft, wet tissue to gently pat their bottom. This may induce them to defecate.

If this method allows for proper elimination, that's great, but there's no need to panic if it doesn't work. Hurrying and accidentally hitting or rubbing the cat's bottom too hard could injure their skin.

The appropriate timing for this elimination assistance is before or after feeding milk.


3-4. Feed Milk Using a Nursing Bottle or Syringe Without a Needle

Milk can be safely fed to cats using a small nursing bottle with a small tip or a syringe (syringe) without a needle.

For very young kittens, it's not about feeding milk at the tip of the tongue but rather inserting the bottle or syringe deeper into the mouth.

When using a syringe, be careful with the speed and amount of milk pushed out. Too much milk at once can enter the trachea.

The pace for milk feeding is every 3 hours for 2-3 days old, every 4 hours up to 2 weeks, and every 5 hours up to 4 weeks. It's recommended to keep a daily record of the amount of milk consumed and the quantity of feces to monitor healthy growth.


3-5. Do Not Allow Interaction with People Until the Cat Is Used to the Environment

The rescued cat has been suddenly brought into a new environment, unfamiliar from what it was used to.

Initially, they may be tense and not accustomed to their new living situation, similar to how a human would feel being placed suddenly in an unknown location alone.

Therefore, let the cat get used to its new environment quietly without disturbing it. It's recommended to limit contact with the owner, other residents, and any resident cats.

Minimizing excessive contact and interference helps the cat adapt to the environment more quickly. After about two weeks, gradually increase the time of interaction with your new pet.


4. Things to Be Careful Of

What should you particularly be careful of when living with a rescued cat?

Here are some points of caution for living together with your new companion for a long time.


4-1. Do Not Take Flash Photography

While the desire to capture the cute moments of cats in photos is understandable, be sure to turn off the flash when taking pictures.

Newborn cats cannot open their eyes and see nothing. If the rescued cat is young, in addition to being mindful during photography, raise them in a dim environment.


4-2. Be Mindful of Parasites, Ticks, and Fleas

If parasites, ticks, or fleas are found on the cat, or if it is sick, there's a risk of infection to other resident cats, pets, or humans.

To prevent transmission from cats to humans, it's important to wash your hands after touching the cat.

If the cat seems to be suffering from ticks or fleas, you will notice it scratching, so take it to a veterinary clinic immediately.



To raise a rescued cat, it's crucial to prepare a space where the cat can live comfortably.

Additionally, thorough examination at a veterinary clinic, vaccination, and other tasks are numerous.

Especially for baby or young kittens, pay attention to their body temperature and provide a comfortable place for them.

Feed them milk properly, assist with elimination, and raise them as a substitute for their mother cat.

Learning the correct way to raise them will make living with cats enjoyable.

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