Vet Hansel answers questions about pet care in this weekly advice column, created in partnership with the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA). It will also highlight each week some of the animals in the BSPCA sanctuary, in the hope of finding each of them a loving home.
Question: I found an abandoned kitten in my garden a couple of days back. I would like to hand-raise and keep him. Can you please advise me on how I can take proper care of this little one?
Answer: The first thing is to ascertain that the kitten is actually abandoned as mother cats usually wander off in search of food and are usually hard to find.
If you determine that the kitten does need hand-rearing, there are a couple of things that are vital for you to know. The first thing is to avoid feeding cow’s milk to a kitten as doing so will often cause diarrhoea. Kitten milk replacer is the best solution for very young kittens and these are available at markets and pet stores.
The second thing you need to know is that infant kittens need to be fed every two to three hours and hence you must prepare yourself and others to help you feed him regularly.
Very young kittens cannot control their body temperature, so make sure that you have a nice, snug bed for them, away from other pets and small children.
By the time the kitten is between four and five weeks old, he will be ready to begin weaning and eat solid (wet) food and at six weeks will be ready for his first vaccine.
The booster vaccination is given 21 days later, while the rabies vaccine is usually given to kittens over 12 weeks of age.
For more information visit www.kittenrescue.org or ask your local vet.
Good luck and thank you for caring for your local animals!
- Dr Hansel is a veterinary consultant and surgeon for the BSPCA and Charis Vets. Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
BSPCA’S DOG OF THE WEEK IS LAILA
Breed: Mixed breed
Age: Three years
Laila is a very sweet and gentle girl that adores people. She always has a soft look in her eyes and has an amazingly calm temperament. Her lovable and warm personality makes her the perfect companion or family pet to have. Laila is neutered, tick-treated and is fully vaccinated.
BSPCA’S CAT OF THE WEEK IS AUDREY
Age: One year
Audrey is a gorgeous and elegant cat that loves a clean and friendly environment. Her uniquely soft grey and peachy fur is very therapeutic to touch and beautiful to look at, making anyone’s day better. Audrey is neutered and fully vaccinated.
l If you are interested in adopting Laila, Audrey or any of the shelter’s cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, please visit the Animal Welfare Centre in Askar. From the Alba roundabout take the road sign posted Askar and Durrat Al Bahrain and at the third signal take a right on to the truck road and after approximately 800m you will see the shelter on the right side, just before the flyover. Or, log onto the website www.bspca.org for directions. The shelter is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm from Sundays to Thursdays and 9am to 1pm on Fridays, Saturday, and public holidays. The shelter accepts animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.