Question from a four week old kitten parent
I just adopted a roughly four week old kitten from a friend. The momma cat had too many kittens so they had to go early. He eats dry cat food and is very active and plump. He is purring and running around and he seems fine except for some anxiety. However, he refused to go to bed in the kitty bed I made him and yowled for about an hour. I finally took pity on him and let him sleep with me. He fell asleep almost instantly. It has been almost two days and still no sign of pooping, I guess I’m wondering if I have to stimulate him to go to the bathroom? Oh, and is it normal for him to have that kind of anxiety? He protests every time I leave the room. Oh and his name is Nebuchadnezzar.
Answer from a kitten foster-er
Four weeks old is way to young for a kitten to be taken away from his mom – most will have anxiety issues for quite a while because of the feeling of abandonment. That’s why he wants to be around you all the time and not alone – because he is too young to be alone. I foster kittens, and once I had a mother cat who could not nurse all eight of her kittens, so I divided them into two groups of four and alternated putting them on her to nurse.
Your friend did not have to give them away like this. The best thing would be for him to sleep with you, but if that’s not an option I suggest that you let him have a heating pad, on low, covered with a thick blanket where he sleeps. Some people with orphans wrap ticking clocks in a blanket and put them next to the kitten. The ticking mimics the mother’s heart beat. As for the constipation, it is most likely due to the change of food from milk to hard food. At four weeks, they no longer need to be stimulated (are you sure of his age?). If you want to try, or you think he might be younger, take a cotton ball, run it under warm water and then massage his butt hole in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. Get him some canned food to give him some more moisture in his diet. If he doesn’t poop for three days, take him to a vet. It could be something serious or fatal like an impaction. The vet will most likely give him either a prescription or an enema.