Any advise for hand raising a single kitten…

Little Clint is three weeks old today. He is mobile and talks pretty much nonstop and he weighted 7.4 oz this morning,

I ordered the heated pet bed from the Amazon link above and ordered the kitten formula recommended (KMR)from chewy. Our local tractor supply had a shelf slot for it but was out of stock.

Thank You All again for taking the time to reply and share your stories and advise and Pictures!! I’m well on my way to being that middle aged lady with a million cat pictures.


I would never get anything done with that cutie around! Your dog is so sweet too for putting up with a baby.:heart:


oh my, I can just tell this baby will be extraordinary…when I see them carried around on a human body. LOL. How do I know? My “Motorboat” the McDonald’s shoe box dumpee lived on my shoulder under my hair for the first few weeks of her ‘found’ status. And she talked, rather mew-peeped, all the time whenever she wanted something. And to this day, years later, she is the demanding little talkative, most confident, personality plus little fur mat.
Wonder if Mr. Clint will stay extra small like Motorboat has. 5 whole pounds at her heaviest. And it wasn’t for lack of care or good formula.

Your lil Clint is so precious. Thanks for the good work and the darling pics!!!


I’ve raised sooooo many baby and almost newborn critters over the years from kitties, raccoons,
squirrels, etc. and something I’ve usually done is get a piece of fur- real animal fur- to use as a bed blanket. I usually use a med. sized basket for them initially. Any type animal fur will do. It’s to keep them warm PLUS they like the feeling of the fur- maybe similar to their momma’s-
a 12X12 piece will work. I’ve used rabbit fur I bought at some outdoor place, and an old raccoon collar off a coat from the 60’s- my HS coat, and even MINK which I got from my mink coat that I didn’t want any more. The rest got given to an animal rescue place who loved it.
So save any fur for future baby animals!


What a cutie! Personality plus already!


Thanks for the idea! My mom has a mink coat and a rabbit coat. I think I will inherit them someday and I wondered what I will do with them because I definitely won’t wear them. Now I know what to do with them! :smiley:

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Good for you. I remember reading this many years back and actually saw requests from animal rehab and rescue places. Until I tried it numerous times, I didn’t realize how effective the fur was in quieting baby critters. It really did comfort them.

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Thanks for the tip about using animal fur/pelt. I am now on the hunt!

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So what do you all use for safe toys for a tiny kitten. I got some plastic balls with a bell in them but they are huge compared to his current size.

Is it safe at this age/size to give him something with feathers? He’s acting playful and batting at my fingers but he’s still so tiny. Maybe I’ll just get some yarn and make some super tiny Pom poms.


OMG so adorable!!!

I go the Itty Bitty these toy balls at PetSmart -

They’re soft and fluffy, and have paper inside them to make them crinkle instead of jingle. He’s so little, he will probably learn to just grab it and kick it with his back paws. No way he can get hut with these!

I also have some of these tiny mice: - they’re little, so even the tiny kittens can play with them w/o being overwhelmed. They DO get lost easily, though!

When Motorboat was teeny her all time favorite toy was a cheap little cotton mouse that had rattles inside and when she booted it the noisy was the bait. I’ve never been able to find the exact toy since. And we have dozens of micey attempts now hidden all over the house but they don’t rattle
like the favorite one.

That face is just too much.

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Somewhere I found a toy mouse that says My 1st Mouse on it’s side. That’s still Bonnie’s fave toy. It’s been mauled and pummeled so much it’s nearly shapeless and almost colorless. I can’t find anything like that on line but I bet it would be in any pet store. Also, something called Rocky Tuff Mouse. It’s just a lump of felt with ear and tail stuck on but again another favorite. There also used to be some toys that were made for teething kittens. I have some - let me look around and see where they went (my cats did not like them) and I can send over for little Clint.

He is adorable. I love them when they are that little - teeny toes, Charlie Brown Christmas tree tails and all.


How is baby Clint doing?

He is doing really well. He is four weeks old today and weighed in at just over 8oz.  He has started nibbling on some canned kitten food and is zooming all over following the dogs.

I only let him loose when I’m right there to supervise and he is slowly expanding his comfort zone.

A very generous COLT member reached out and sent him a piece of pelt and he snuggles right up with that and his hand warmers in a sock.

 I did make contact online with a “cat expert” and was basically told that because he is a single hand raised kitten he will be never be a “normal cat” and I’m setting him and us up for failure.  They advised we run out and get another cat or surrender Clint to an experienced rescue.  

Hearing that has kinda taken the wind out of my sails. I’m not experienced with cats. Dogs and horses are my wheel house.

I did some reading last night and now I’m going to be paranoid. I had never heard of single cat syndrome. I really don’t want to give him up, but now I’m not sure what’s best for him. I’m just not sure of if two middle aged adults and two dogs will be enough for him.


Ugh, I have run into some really unpleasant “rescue” people who are convinced that no one else is competent to take care of an animal.

Kitty looks adorable and healthy. If you want to keep him, carry on and work with your vet and enjoy him. Will he turn out a bit odd? Probably! All of my cats have weird traits. Not sure I’ve ever met a “normal” cat!


It looks like to me you are doing a fine job. The one I hand raised adjusted well and lived a long happy life. Little Clint is adorable! Thanks for the pictures!


I wouldn’t worry about the ‘only kitten syndrome’ . My dumped kitten was an only and has the most well developed personality and is totally normal. No hangups that I’ve detected. Unless you consider her bond with me to be abnormal. She doesn’t warm up to anyone else. Doesn’t even like them in the house. But that’s OK. To me she’s very special.
Your baby is soooo precious.
Glad to see she like the fur. Thanks to whomever sent it to her.


I’ve heard that ‘single kitten syndrome’ stuff, too. IME, it’s kind of total crap.

The odd ones will be odd no matter what you do. The normal ones will be normal, no matter what you do. The only thing is that you will have to take over the disciplinary duties that his mother and other cats would naturally take care of. You’re doing a great job so far. He’s happy, he’s healthy. He’ll adjust to being an only kitty. I promise.

Of course, if you want to adopt another kitten, we will ALL enable you! :wink:


What exactly is a ‘normal cat’ anyway? How would a cat bonded with its people (you and your family) and its home, the only home it knows, be a failure? I mean, unless you intend to dump it in old age? Which I am quite sure you don’t!!
That is absurd. If the cat is happy, healthy, litter box trained, and not a toothed terror, it is not a failure.
Will you have to be careful that kitty biting is discouraged? Sure. But that would be true with multiple kittens.
Keep the cat. Tell the expert to go away!


The single kitten that I bottle raised from 2 1/2 weeks old had my husband and I and our young Labrador as his social companions until he was a year old and we ended up with a 2nd cat. The bottle raised cat adjusted well to the newcomer and served as the “safe friend” for the other 2 cats we adopted in subsequent years. (One of those later 2 cats was one that had been an only cat until she came to us. She fit in fine with the support of our bottle raised cat who befriended her.) That bottle-raised cat was also a wonderful “uncle” to a pair of foster kittens that we cared for.! One of them ended up having health challenges so she stayed with us. Here is my bottle raised orange cat with the special health needs foster kitten that stayed bringing our cat count to 5. The bottle raised guy was a sweetie and very calm as an adult cat though he was a terror as a kitten. When I adopted him from the veterinary ICU where I worked, the other techs all joked about what a tiny terror he was since he chomped everything! Between our gentle, but firm handling and the sweet Lab’s mothering of him; he grew out of his fierce kitten stage and was a well adjusted cat.
Oliver and Alien