Welcome back to the pet foster series! My previous blog post was on orphaned kittens, 2-4 weeks old. This week’s blog is on orphaned kittens 4-6 weeks old, also considered the weaning age. In these two weeks, a kitten will have all, or most, of its deciduous teeth, they’re introduced to wet food, and they can get their first booster shots. Kittens at this age will be very active when they’re awake but still sleeping a majority of the day.
Four to six-week-old kittens have a lot of energy to get out, followed by a long nap! They are learning how to climb, chew, knead, run, play, and more. You should expect a lot of excitement and then a very long nap afterward. Kittens at this age are usually sleeping more than 20 hours of the day, which means they are growing. All of their teeth will be coming in, so this will also be a time where teaching them lifelong good habits is a necessity. They will want to bite everything, but as their foster, it is your responsibility rid these bad habits before adoption.
From 4-6 weeks old, kittens are in the weaning stage, meaning they will be transitioning from bottles to soft kitten food. Sometimes when kittens are learning how to eat wet food, it can quickly turn into bath time. You should always make sure you have ample time to feed them and clean up after them. They need feedings every 5-6 hours, which gives a longer night’s sleep than younger kittens. Kittens will also be litter training which requires regular clean-up.
When fostering a kitten at this age group, you will need a litter box, non-clumping litter, a heat source, water, wet food, formula, syringes, and bottle supplies on hand. You will also need cleaning supplies to clean up litter box messes, kittens after a feeding, and their general areas. Kittens will also be moving around a lot, so they should be in a locked room or a safe portion of the house with a gate. I keep kittens in a room, and when I am home, I let them wander around my kitten-proofed house.
In conclusion, kittens at this age are so much fun and a joy to have in the home! They do require feedings 4-5 times a day, and you should still be regularly monitoring their overall health. They will be busy in short spurts of time and then need a cozy place to sleep. This age group of kittens would be great for someone who works and can come home on their lunch or works from home, those that are home for a majority of their day, or students that have a break between classes. These kittens would also be a great learning experience for families with children who want to learn about kitten care and be actively involved. Stay tuned for my next blog on weaned kittens!