A neonate kitten is a kitten that is under five weeks of age. These kittens may or may not come into the shelter with their mom. If they do, that makes it all much easier (usually). If they do not, they become what we affectionately call “Bottle Babies.”
While our volunteers find it extremely rewarding to foster neonates and Bottle Babies, it does takes a solid commitment, a lot of time, and patience. FieldHaven provides the training, equipment, and support foster families need to care for our neonates and Bottle Babies. We are always looking to add to our list of neonate and Bottle Baby fosters upon whom we can call the moment these precious tiny beings arrive at the shelter.
Bottle Babies require feeding from sources other than mom, which can include bottles, syringes and tubes, depending on the babies’ specific needs. Bottle Babies are fed anywhere from every two to three hours during the day and one to three times in the middle of the night. They also need help going to the bathroom and, when old enough, being trained on how to use the litter box.
The time commitment for Bottle Babies varies depending on the age at which fosters receive babies, but generally lasts from one to three months. Neonates also require about a one- to three-month commitment as they will stay with their fosters until ready to be adopted. Mom Cat will leave the babies at around six to eight weeks of age as the babies begin to wean from nursing. She still has valuable work to teach the babies prior to her being spayed and put up for adoption.
If you are interested in fostering a neonate or Bottle Baby, please fill out the foster application form.