It is preferable for kittens to stay and nurse from their mother cat at least 8 weeks, preferably 12 weeks prior to their adoption. However in the case of rescued kittens there are many elements to consider and materials required to care for and bottle feed a kitten. Thorough and careful consideration and preparation will soothe and comfort the kitten, and ideally result in a happy and healthy cat.
Things you may need:
- A Warm, snuggly nest box for the kitten. A small cardboard box that can be easily replaced works well, since kittens may soil their box.
- Mother cats always look for small confined spaces to place their kittens. The box needs to be just big enough for the kitten(s) to turn around but not much bigger.
- Line it with crumpled white unscented tissue or a soft towel. Before placing the kittens in the box, remove any fleas that may be on them, as the fleas can quickly suck kittens dry of blood. Check with a vet immediately if there are many fleas and the kittens' gums are pale (anemic).
2. A heating pad or a hot water bottle:
- Warmth is very important for the first 14 days of a kitten’s life because they have not yet developed the ability to control their body temperature. During the first two weeks, kittens can not shiver when they are cold. They will rely on the heating pad or hot water bottle for warmth.
- Keep the pad or water bottle under one side of the box and set it only on its lowest heat setting. Wrap the pad with sufficient cloth towels so that the inside of the box stays at 32C but not higher. With only one side of the box heated, the kitten(s) will be able to crawl away from the heat source if it gets too warm for them. This is very important because more rescued kittens die from overheating than from chill.
- Place the box in a draft free place. Make sure the box is at least six inches tall so the kitten cannot fall out. Make sure that area is safe from other pets and children. As the kitten matures, the temperature in the box can be gradually lowered. When the kitten reaches the end of its first month of life it can tolerate room temperature at 21-23C.
3. Pet nursing bottles, and kitten milk formula (powder or liquid form):
- Make sure it isn't lumpy or rancid-smelling when you open it.
- A kitten-nursing bottle often holds 2-4 ounces of formula. They generally come without holes punched in the nipple, you can use a flame-heated needle to melt two small holes in the cap. The holes should be only big enough so that a few drops of milk drip out when the bottle is pointed down and vigorously shaken. If too many holes are punched in the cap, the kittens will inhale the formula rather than swallow it.
4. A small food scale:
- Keep track of the kitten(s) growth and a notebook to record it in. You will be able to record if the kitten is gaining weight on a steady pace, and can contact your vet if not.
Bottle Feed a Kitten in steps:
1. Consult a local vet or shelter to find out if there is a feline nursing mother (queen) who may be able to take on the kitten: A mother's milk is the best option for any baby mammal, it is always preferable to seek a natural resource such as a nursing mother's milk before attempting to bottle feed a kitten with formulas.
- If a nursing mother can be found, always remain present with her to make sure the nursing mother cat does not reject the kitten.
- The younger the kitten, the higher the metabolism, therefore the more often the kitten needs feeding because of its tiny stomach, which means someone needs to be with the kitten all day until the kitten is old enough to eat solid food.
- A kitten 6-10 weeks old needs to be fed six to eight meals a day, while a kitten aged 10 weeks to 6 or 7 months needs four meals a day and a kitten up to 9 months needs 3 meals a day. It's not until adulthood that 2 meals a day is alright!
2. Sterilize the feeding bottle, mix and warm the milk slightly, according to the instructions on the package or as per your vet. Put a few drops of milk on your wrist, to ensure it is not too hot. This is just the same as is done for a human baby.
3. Feed the kitten. Do this by sitting in the chair with a towel folded on your lap. Position the kitten similarly to the way he would nurse from his mother, with his head elevated and the kitten should be resting on its stomach.
4. Encourage and stimulate burping by holding the kitten with his back resting against your body and gently rubbing his stomach.
- Allow the kitten to continue nursing until he has finished, but do not overfeed. Overfeeding a kitten can lead to pneumonia when milk is inhaled into the lungs rather than swallowed into the stomach and it can cause bloating and diarrhea.
- It is important to remain patient and calm while bottle feeding a kitten to ensure that the kitten is at ease. Allow the kitten to take his time while bottle feeding to avoid overeating or problems with digestion.
- If the milk bubbles out of the kitten's nose, then the milk is flowing too fast from the bottle, or the kitten is not being held in the correct position, or the kitten is too weak to suckle properly. It could also mean the feeding bottle has a feeding hole that is too big or the kitten is being overfed.
5. Help the kitten to eliminate.
- In the queen and kitten relationship, the mother will groom the kitten to help him pass wind and stools. Don't be surprised by either result – it's a good sign!
- After every feeding, gently place the kitten in a clean litter box, and gently wipe its anus and urinary orifice with a clean cotton ball or clean tissue moistened with clean warm water. This imitates the cleaning by a mother cat. Be very gentle when doing this, and don't worry if no urine or stool is produced after every feeding. Some kittens may even be alright without any help to eliminate.
- Normal Kitten stools are yellowish brown with a jam-like consistency.
- Watery yellowish or greenish stools are sometimes caused by feeding too much or too fast.
- Overly hard stools that are clumped and cheese-like are sometimes due to feeding a too concentrated formula. When a kitten strains to defecate and passes overly hard stools, check with your vet.
6. Return the kitten to his warm bed or box to rest.
- Continue with the regular feeding schedule every day for the coming weeks until weaning onto solids is appropriate. At this time, speak to your vet about an appropriate weaning diet.
When the kitten is about 4 weeks old, a little bit of kitten wet food can be introduced to the kitten by smearing a little bit of the kitten wet food on the kitten's pallet. The kitten will very soon understand the idea. Please avoid giving human food or baby food as it may contain onion powder, or be low on calcium and vitamins This may result in the kittens having bowed legs and soft teeth.
Some kittens may take a bit longer to express interest in solid food. If this is the case, you can still place the kitten milk in a bowl to teach the kitten to drink from it. If the kitten expresses interest in the wet food, you can place the wet food in a bowl to let the kitten explore and try to eat on its own. Slowly substitute moistened kitten kibbles for canned kitten wet food, and make sure clean fresh water is always available to the kitten.
- Kittens are very playful and do not like to eat human food. The baby kittens' teeth grow to full size by about eight weeks and at five to six months they are replaced by permanent teeth.
- Weigh kittens prior to feeding formula to ensure that the appropriate amount is given. Keep track of weight gain or loss over the course of feeding and consult with a vet if the kitten is losing or gaining weight too rapidly.
- Stimulate elimination by placing the kitten in a clean litter box and gently wiping its genital and anal areas with a clean cotton ball, or a clean tissue with clean warm water. This imitates the cleaning a mother cat would do to encourage elimination.
- Boil feeding bottles between every use. Also wash hands before mixing the milk and feeding the kitten is important. As Kittens who did not nurse on their mother for their first 48 hours did not receive the first milk or colostrum. After that time window, they cannot absorb it through their intestines even if you give it to them. As a result, these kittens are more susceptible to infections and diarrhea, so make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and make sure the milk is fresh. It is also why it is safer to have the kittens stay with their mother until they are 12 weeks old before finding them new home. Moreover, there are complications from orphaning a kitten; kittens may become unsociable, develop health issues, and their development can be hindered.
- Make sure the kitten is not cold when you feed it because this can cause digestive problems.
- Kittens play more roughly and bite much harder than kittens reared to weaning age by a mother cat. This seems to be because they haven't had the appropriate feedback during play development. They also develop fixations like sucking buttons and earlobes and without an adult cat to show them how to groom or use the litter box, life will be a lot harder for such a kitten.
- Use different bottles for separate litters as some diseases can be passed from mothers to kittens and from one litter to another in a multiple cat situation.
- When learning how and practicing to bottle feed a kitten, keep in mind that overfeeding or feeding improperly can cause problems with respiration. Observe the kitten during feedings to ensure that no milk is coming through the nose or the stomach does not feel distended.
- Consult a veterinarian if the kitten won't eat at all, this could be a sign that the kitten is not well.
- Be absolutely certain that the milk you give a newborn kitten is not hot. Giving a kitten hot milk will burn its mouth and other sensitive areas.
- Never feed a kitten cow's milk as many cats are in fact intolerant to lactose and suffer from gastric complaints when fed dairy milk.
- Once a kitten has been removed from its mother and formula has been administered, it will not be possible to return the kitten to its mother for occasional feedings.
- When in doubt, always ask a licensed vet
The procedure to obtain the Import Permit for pet dog and cat to enter the UAE is very straight forward and can be done online through the website of UAE Ministry of Environment & Water (MOEW).
The Ministry of Environment & Water (MOEW) in the UAE requires the person who is importing the pet has a full UAE residency and Emirates ID in order to have the pet's import permit to be issued, the validity of the import permit is 1 month, once the permit is issued no refund or extension will be given.
Fee per pet: 200 AED
Maximum number of pet can be imported per person: 2
Required documents for online import permit application:
- Scanned copy of pet owner's passport, UAE residence visa and Emirates ID
- Scanned copy of the pet's passport or vaccination certificate from an accredited vet at the departure country, stating the following information
- ISO Standard Microchip number, species and color
- Age or date of birth and sex of the pet; the pet must be at least 4 months old to be allowed to enter the UAE
- The pet has to be at least 3 months old to have the first rabies vaccination, and the rabies booster to be done 30 days after the initial rabies vaccination
- Breed of the pet. Some dog breeds are prohibited from entering the UAE: All Kinds Pit Bull, Japanese Tosa (Tosa Inu, Tosa Fighting Dog), Argentinian Fighting Dog (Dogo Argentino, Argentinian Mastiff), Brazilian Fighting Dog (Fila Brasileino, Brazilian Mastiff), American Staffdshire Terrier, Cross Breeds with any breeds listed here, and Wolf Dog Hybrid (any dog mixed with a wolf)
- The dates of latest valid vaccinations, all vaccinations have to be done at least 21 days prior to travel, the pet needs to arrive in the UAE before the vaccination validity expires. MOEW does not accept any vaccination with a validity of more than 1 year.
- Vaccination required for pet dog:
- Rabies (killed virus)
- Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
- Canine Parvo Virus
- Infectious Canine Hepatitis
- Vaccination required for pet cat:
- Rabies (killed virus)
- Feline Pan Leukcopenia (FPV)
- Feline Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1)
- Feline Calicivirus
- Scanned copy of Rabies test/ Fluorescent Antibody Viral Neutralization (FAVN) Blood Test result:
- The test is required if the pet is not being imported from the following countries: Australia, Austria, Andorra, Ascension Island, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda, Belgium, Canada, Cayman Islands,Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Jamaica, KSA, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta, Montserrat, Mauritius, Mayotte, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Saint Vincent & the grenadines, Saint Kitts & Nevis,San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, U.S.A,Vatican City, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna.
- This blood test must be administered to cats and dogs by an approved government facility. The blood test results must be 0.5 IU/ml or above.
Online MOEW Pet Dog and Cat Import Permit Application Procedure:
- Go to the following link to register on MOEW e-services: https://eservices.moew.gov.ae/OnlineRegisteration.aspx
- Once successfully registered, the system will send a sms with the activation code to the registered mobile number
- Log in with the registered username, password and activation code
- To start the request:
Under the tab Initial Information:
- Category - Animal Wealth
- Service Type - Quarantine
- Service - Pet Animals Import Permit
- Then click "GO"
Under the tab Service Information:
- Application Information - enter the information of the pet owner who is going to import the pet (Name, UAE ID number, ...)
- Remember to check the preferred language (Arabic/English)
- Then click "Submit"
Under the tab Attachments
- Under Service_Import
- Exporting Country - select the departure country of the pet
- Expected arrival date - select the pet's expected arrival date
- Shipping Method - select the method the pet will be transported
- Under The Consignment Data
- Click "Add a Statement"
- Category ID - select Dogs or Cats
- Category Type - select the pet's breed
- Description - add information on pet's coat type, color, size, ... etc
- Country of Origin - the country where the pet was born
- Scientific Name - Canine or Feline
- Breed ID - the pet's microchip number
- Breed Sex - select Male or Female
- Date of Birth - birth date of the pet
- Rabies Immunization Date - the date of the pet's latest rabies vaccination
- Breed Chip Number - enter the pet's microchip number
- Import Type - select Imported if the pet is not from the UAE, select Resident if the pet is from the UAE
- Notes - enter the pet's microchip number
- Then click 'Add'
- Repeat the step if importing more than one pet of the same species (ie. 2 dogs or 2 cats can be listed on one single import permit)
- If importing 2 pets of different species (ie. 1 dog and 1 cat) 2 import permit requests will need to be made
- Entry Port - select the place where the pet will enter the UAE
- A copy of animal's passport and immunization certificate - upload a scanned copy of pet's vaccination certificate and passport
- A copy of passport with residence - upload a scanned copy of pet owner's passport and UAE ID
- Image of a blood test (of the States required to and in accordance with the regulator's decision to do so) - upload a scanned copy of the test result of the rabies test/FAVN test
- Click "Submit" - the request number will show, it is important to note it down as the government vet at the arrival will ask for it in order to process the clearance of the pet
Request Follow Up: usually the import permit is ready within 30 minutes after the application is completed, it can be viewed and printed when log into the MOEW account
- Choose preferred payment
- e-dirham G2 cards - this card can be purchased at NBAD (National Bank of Abu Dhabi), Emirates Post Office and topped up at NBAD (Branch and ATM) and Emirates Post Office.
- Non e-dirham G2 cards
- Check payment terms and conditions
Smart Pet Tip:
- Although we departed from a country where the UAE does not require FAVN/Rabies test, we still had the test done as we want to be as prepared as possible to avoid our pets to be detained at the customs for any reason. The test result may take many weeks even months to be ready, so the key is to plan well in advance
- Keep all the original documents, print the import permit, and make many copies, so they can be attached on the pet's crate during travel, to the airline staff at departure, and the UAE government vet at arrival
- Remember to note down the request number of each import permit to be given to the UAE government vet at the arrival for verification, without the number the vet will not be able to process the clearance
- When we applied for the import permits for our pets, we have spoken many times with MOEW, and they have been extremely helpful in answering questions and even walked us through step by step in details. Here is the contact details of MOEW http://www.moew.gov.ae/Portal/en/contact-us.aspx
- Regulations of importing pets can change from time to time so it is always better to check MOEW website or contact them directly to make sure all their requirements are fulfilled.
- If the pet was exported from the UAE and returning to the UAE within 1 year, then a "Resident Pet Return Card" can be applied instead, if the pet's vaccinations are still valid (the very same vaccinations at the time of departing the UAE)
Dogs and cats can be transported as checked-in baggage or cargo, the crate should fit airline and IATA (Internatinoal Air Transport Association) regulation, and it is very important to have the right sized crate for them.
Very often one can easily find crates produced by major manufacturers in accordance with the IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulation, however it is always better to double check with the airline in case some airlines have particular regulation on travel crates.
Although IATA provides regulations and guidelines to ensure all live animals are transported safely and humanely by air, IATA does not certify, approve, endorse or sell any pet crate for air travel nor offer any relocation services.
The crate must provide enough space for the pet to stand, sit straight without its head touching the top of the crate, if the pet has erect ears, the top of its ears should not be touching the top of the crate. The pet should also be able to move and turn around normally, and lie down in a natural and comfortable position.
It is very important to know the external dimension of the crate is not the same as the internal dimension of the crate. Therefore it is very important to make sure the internal measurement is large enough for the pet.
IATA recommends the length of the crate should be the length of pet from nose to base of its tail + 1/2 length of the pet's front leg. The height of the crate should be the height of the pet including its ears if it has erect ears. The width of the crate would be the width of the pet times 2.
To sum up:
Crate Length = A + 1/2B
Crate Height = D
Crate Width = Width of pet x 2
Smart Pet Tip:
- When we transported our dogs and cat, we followed the measurement guideline from the IATA, then took the crate that is one size bigger than what they need. The reason for that is because we prefer to have them in a crate that is as comfortable for them as possible, since they can not even get out and move about during the flight.
- Always double check with airline and IATA regulation as rules can change from time to time. Here is the link for the IATA regulation on transporting live animals by air http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/live-animals/Pages/index.aspx
Celebrating the weekend with 20% off on selected pet food and pet treats!
It gives me great pleasure to announce the grand opening of Dubai Pet Smart - an online pet supply store. In opening this new store, I am hoping to fill the needs of pets and pet owners who takes pride to give their pets the best and most unique pet products just like your dear furbabies!
The store offers a range of unique pet products including dog and cat toy, chews, treats, clothing and supplements. You will find everything from grain free treats to premium pet toys to satisfy you and your pets' needs.
We offer the best name-brand products, so you can be sure the products you buy from Dubai Pet Smart will be high quality, as all the products have been approved by our canine and feline pets. We stock merchandise that is made with quality material and ingredients, we do not stock products that we do not give to our pets. We believe you will find our selection and prices are attractive and unique.
Please do not hesitate to contact us, our aim is to satisfy you and your pets! And we look forward to having you as our customers!