Introducing ... 🥁🥁🥁... The Barnyard Bunch!!!
At ~1 week old, this litter’s story speaks to the harsh but easily avoidable consequences of failing to sterilize your pets. These little ones were mothered by an unspayed barn cat who was tragically killed by another animal yesterday. Shortly after, the barn owners found these babies plus their three siblings inside the barn. They were brought to a local shelter that’s recently been bombarded with neonatal kittens, so @cofaspets stepped up to take on this litter of six. The other three (Alfalfa, Clover, and Orchard) are in the care of another incredible COFAS foster, @future_dr_fosters. We’ve decided to name these nuggets after different types of hay because of their barnyard origins 🐖🐄🐣
Just when I thought I was operating at maximum kitten capacity, these sweet babies thought otherwise. This is the youngest litter I’ve fostered, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. At 1 week old, kittens are blind and deaf. They can’t regulate their own body temperature, so they should be snuggled up close with their mother and litter mates for warmth. Instead, I provide a microwaveable heat source and soft blankets. They can’t use the bathroom on their own, so their mother should be stimulating them with her tongue. Instead, I stimulate them with a soft tissue. They should be receiving ample milk from their mother whenever they need it, but instead every 2 hours I provide them with 5-10 cc of kitten milk replacer from a syringe fitted with a rubber nipple. It’s devastating to watch them try to nurse on a stuffed animal or a blanket, screaming for the comfort of their mother💔
Orphaned 1 week old kittens are an entirely avoidable tragedy. With the help of the pioneering educational resources provided by @kittenxlady and others, the foster community is able to handle cases like this. But, if people would just spay/neuter their pets, we wouldn’t have to.
Happy to report that, so far, the #barnyardbunch is doing really well, and I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that it stays that way. Keep checking back for updates on these itty bitty hay bales!