I'm raising an orphaned kitten: what's the best way to clean her?

Hey all.

Sorry, I’m breaking the rules. I don’t yet have any good pix, but I’ll post 'em as soon as I get 'em. Now to the story.

My husband and I are in the process of building a patio. We got the majority of it completed last summer, and piled up the as-yet unused pavers and such onto several pallets, stacking them neatly by the garage and covering them with a plastic tarp.

Friday night, as we walked into the house from dinner, I heard the paver pile meow. As this is not usual behavior for concrete blocks, I stopped to check it out. The source of said mewing was an itty bitty kitty: a black and white tabby, about 4 weeks old.

She’s about 13 ounces, now, and still has her blue eyes. We’ve gotten some KMR and have been feeding her every 5ish hours or so (except today - I fed her this morning and will feed her as soon as I get back from work, then we’ll feed her again before bed). Yesterday she ate about 5.5 Tbsp, which is mostly in line with the recommendations I’ve seen. After we eat, we play for a bit, have another check to see if any more food’ll fit in there, then we get all washed up with a damp towel.

I’m familiar with what moms do for kittens, and I’ve been gently rubbing her nether regions to stimulate her elimination. That said, yesterday night it got out of hand, and we needed a couple more cleanings so that she’d a) smell better and b) have a clean backside. My current practice is to wipe her all over with the washcloth, then wipe her backside, catching whatever comes out in the washcloth. But yesterday that didn’t work as well as intended - there was smearage.

We haven’t had her long, obviously, and earlier yesterday I did get one solid piece of poop from the tot. However, last night’s was decidedly more liquidy, hence the smearing problem we had.

Some sources tell me to hold her over a bowl or such and then use a cotton ball moistened in mineral oil, but this seems unwieldy. This morning I did try holding her over the sink, which was OK but still seems weird.

So, what’s the best way? How do I get her to do what needs doing without getting her all messy? I’ve been rubbing her pretty much as long as there’s something forthcoming - do I only need to stimulate her until there’s a response and then let nature take its course (so to speak)? Maybe that’s why we got so messy yesterday - if I’d just stopped and let her go until she was done, maybe we wouldn’t have had this issue. Ideas?

And I know! I’ll get pix, honest!

Messy is pretty much gonna happen.
If you want “accurate”, as in, as close to Momma as possible, use damped cotton balls. Change them frequently. And once she starts, you can stop! Be sure to put a little pan of cat litter where she can get to it…you may be surprise at how soon she’ll use it, saving you the…effort!

Licking seems to work pretty good.

For the cats maybe. (However, my husband suggested this too.) :slight_smile:

when i hand raised malenka the miraculous she had many bidets! when she got older she would run if i turned on the sink faucet.

warm tap water in the bathroom sink, gentle stream, and i would use paper towels (bounty) to do the wiping/cleaning. she tended to be “the midnight pooper”! just wipe until they start to go, then put the wee one down and let them go until they are done. then clean up. wiping while going will be very messy.

if things get really messy baby non tearing shampoo works really well.

her first litter box was a container from stouffers macaroni and cheese. use non clumping litter for the wee one, clumping can get into their digestive track if they lick it.

malenka used her wee litter tray as soon as she was going on her own.

they are so very, very, cute at this age. has she grown kitten mittens yet?

Put on some gloves – gardening gloves have a good grip – and put her in the sink with a gentle stream of warm water from the faucet. We were able to do this with one kitten who was very young when we got her. She loved it. I don’t remember what we used for soap – maybe the water was enough. When the kitten grew up, one of her favorite places to sleep in hot weather was the kitchen sink.

Get another cat. An older one will clean the baby and teach her how to do it herself.

Oh, how I wish. The Toshinator is having nothing to do with the small one. (My other cat, Tosha, is 16ish, and has been the only cat in her households her entire life. She’s really tentative around the kitten, giving us looks like, “What the hell is this? When is it leaving?” There haven’t been any altercations yet because she just leaves if the small one gets too close. The one time that we were holding them and brought them together, though, Tosha did hiss at the kitten. So we’re just giving them both their space, for now.

I’m hoping they’ll be best buds in the future, but it’ll take a good amount of time, I think.