Each day begins by giving the the kittens fresh plates of canned kitten food, refill a bowl of dry kibble, and replenish water bowls. The kittens will be fed two or three more times during the day depending on their age. Like human babies, kittens eat less but more frequently when they are younger, and grow to eat larger amounts less often.
Preparing food and doing the dishes … some parts of kitten fostering aren’t that different from parenting little humans!
The litter boxes get scooped twice a day or more often if necessary. They DO share my office, after all, so lots of emergency scooping often happens to make for a more pleasant work environment! There are as many as five litter boxes in the room when kittens are litter box training and as few as two once they’ve gotten the hang of it. My kitten room is small, but it’s always a good idea for kittens to always have a litter box within sight no matter where they are so they don’t forget where to go with it’s … time!
Something that most kitten foster parents aren’t always prepared for is the amount of time spent cleaning. Kittens are MESSY! The length of time required for room clean up daily always depends on the age of the kittens.
While kittens are still around 4 weeks old and younger, they will exclusively nurse on Mom and she takes care of all the pottying. Fostering moms with kittens is really easy from a cleaning standpoint.
Once kittens start eating solid foods, all bets are off! This is the messiest phase in a foster kitten’s young life. They don’t make it to the litter box more often than not. Remember that easy-to-clean laminate flooring? Yep, comes in really handy here!
Kittens new to the solid food scene often stand IN their food dish … and then proceed to walk around the entire room with wet meat feet.
Wiping the floor is usually a daily task and during the messy phase and it’s not uncommon to run a load of laundry full of soiled towels and blankets daily. Even during “clean” kitten phases, the floor still becomes a mess with stray litter and kibble so I usually sweep daily.
As for the kittens themselves, Mom will clean them if she’s around but orphans often need some attention with a warm washcloth. Full baths are not recommended since kittens can’t regulate their body temperature.