The Supplies You Will Need
A cardboard box, carrier, a large plastic storage container with holes for ventilation may be used to ensure containment of the kittens so that you always know where they are. This will provide a familiar smelling, dark, quiet home for your foster kittens.
Keep several layers in the bottom of the box if using a cardboard box so accidents do not leak through bottom of box. One or several towels can also be used.
LITTERBOX (for mom cat)
SMALL LITTERBOX (for kittens)
The disposable foil pans with ½ - 1- inch sides can be used. Also a small cardboard box with low sides may be used.
The best litter to use for young kittens is the litter pellets made of newspaper or natural products that have no additives. The clay litter may cause lung problems because it contains silica and can be very dusty. Clumping litter should not be used as small kittens tend to eat litter at first and their internal organs are very small and easily clogged by a clumping litter. Also scented litter should not be used.
The bowl should be heavy and impossible to tip over. Should be stainless steel or porcelain/ceramic, NOT plastic, as plastic is difficult to disinfect because it is so porous.
Two food bowls are preferred. One is for the eat-at-will dry kitten food, the other for canned food or mush made with canned food. You can use TV dinner trays, paper plates, or whatever you have; any relative flat plate or saucer will do. The larger the litter, the larger the plate should be so that no one gets crowded out. A muffin tin can be used for larger litters so that each kitten has its own section.
Dry kitten food should be available at all times. A ¼ cup can be put out fresh every day discarding leftovers from the previous day. The kittens may not eat it at first but continue leaving it out, as they will eat eventually. A bowl of kitten food should be out for the mom cat, as she and the kittens will eat out of this bowl also.
Canned kitten food should be given 2-3 times a day depending on the age of the kittens. Any kitten food can be used, however, some canned kitten food can cause diarrhea. Any unused, open canned food should not sit out of the refrigerator for more than a half hour. Be sure to warm food to room temperature before feeding and use a clean dish for each feeding. Do not use any opened food that is more than 3 days old. NEVER FEED COLD FOOD!
HEATING PAD OR HOT WATER BOTTLE
This will depend on how warm your nursery is. These extras will ensure that everyone is comfy and cozy. If you use any of these items, BE SURE THAT THE KITTENS HAVE ROOM TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE HEAT (leave room for mom if she is with them). For instance, if you are using a heating pad, place it under a towel so that it covers only half of the floor area of their box. The heating pad should be on ‘low’. Also be sure to protect the electric cord from being chewed on by kittens as they get older. A hot water bottle can be used but it is very hard to control the temperature since it changes over time.
CLEAN TOWELS AND BLANKETS
Old shirts, sweatshirts, or pieces of material can be used but they must be clean without holes that kittens can get caught in. Also frayed edges should be avoided to prevent kittens from chewing on threads. Bleach should be used when washing the kitten laundry.
The best cleaning solution to use is 1 part bleach and 32 parts water. Wipe down the kitten area making sure it dries before the kittens are allowed back in. Keeping the environment clean is the most IMPORTANT thing in preventing the spread of illness. This solution can also be used on litter pans, plastic toys, carriers, and any other item that the kittens come in contact with. Towels and cat toys made out of material should be washed in hot water using bleach.