Where’s Maanasa? SPCA of Fredericksburg (Virginia)

Where’s Maanasa?  Fredericksburg SPCA, Fredericksburg Virginia, for Kitten Caboodles


Hi PawSquad friends, today we’re going to have lots of fun with kittens, because it’s Kitten Caboodle  week! Everyone loves baby animals, and kittens are especially cute, so why don’t you come along with me to learn about them?


Have you ever wondered how old you would be as a cat? Well, if you’re a 10 year old human, that’s equal to being a 6 month old cat. You can tell your parents that in cat years, they would probably be around 5 years old 🙂   The graphic above is from the awesome website, www.excitedcats.com.   



(The picture above is baby “Scout”,  he is 8 days old.  He was one of 18 kittens that came in with 4 moms to their foster mom’s home.) 


What about the really young ones? Before the age of 1 month, kittens are truly just babies.    You can identify exactly how old a baby kitten is with some of the following features:

  • Newborn: Eyes closed
  • 1 week: Eyes start to open
  • 2 weeks: Eyes fully open, always blue at first! 
  • 3 weeks: Ears unfolded and sticking up, able to wobble around
  • 4 weeks: Confidently walking
  • 5 weeks: Most teeth starting to become visible


Here are some photos of these features.   This “teeny tinies” chart is from www.kittenlady.org who is one of the leading experts in kittens.


You have to be super careful around such small kittens, just like you would with a newborn baby. Gentle touches and slow movements are the way to go!  They are so tiny they will fit in your parent/guardian’s hand. Most newborn kittens under 3 weeks who are with their mom should not be handled frequently except for daily weights and a quick check to make sure they are healthy.  Let mom do her job.  


Here are a couple of fun facts about kittens and cats:


  • Cats are pregnant for about two months!
  • Kittens as young as 5 months can get pregnant & have babies (if they are not spayed!)
  • Each kitten in a litter can have a different dad!
  • Most litters are between 4 and 8 kittens
  • The largest ever litter had 19 kittens! 
  • Kittens are born with their eyes closed and ears folded, this means they can’t see or hear for a full week! What they do use as guides are smells and warmth.



This is momma Skye with her little boy Tito, he is 4 hours old.  Skye’s 4 babies were born in her foster mom’s home!


Most kittens spend the first 8 weeks of their life with their mom, but sometimes this can’t happen. The mother cat may be unable to care for her kittens, or someone may have moved the litter they found outside away from her.  What should you do if you’re playing outside and you see what appears to be a litter of kittens all alone?


  1. Step one is to look for the mother cat !  In most situations she is very close by, and will probably be scared if she’s not used to humans.  If you have your parent/guardian’s permission, you can set up a camera in the yard to look for her, or even bring an adult with you to look for a few hours.
  2. If they are brand new babies with eyes still closed, find a small, low box and put in a soft, flat blanket.  Place it on the ground where you found the babies.  With a parent/guardian help, gently place the babies in the box, top open.  This will keep them off the ground and safe until the mother returns.  It will also let you know if she did or did not return.
  3. The next thing to do if you can’t find the mother is to take the kittens to the vet or call a local animal rescue.  Very young , tiny kittens need to be fed every 1-2 hours.  If they do not have a mother, they will need HELP right away!   Sometimes they might be sick, and need medicine or medical care.
  4. If your family is not able to care for kittens right now, ask your parent/guardian to help you find someone who knows how to take care of baby kittens.  Animal rescues/shelters have “human kitten moms” or fosters that are like doctors/nurses who can take the babies in & care for them!


Baby kittens need lots of attention, just like you did as a baby! Sometimes they aren’t able to properly keep themselves warm, so a caretaker has to provide a heating pad covered in a safe blanket material. 


These babies need to be fed through a bottle every 2 hours! You might hear the name “bottle babies” to refer to kittens this age. Can you imagine having to wake up every two hours in the middle of the night to eat? The only thing that is safe for these kittens to eat is something called “Kitten Milk Replacement” that you can find at the grocery store.  NEVER feed them milk a human would drink.   It is very important to learn HOW to feed a baby kitten – how often, how much, milk temperature, how to clean the baby after it eats, and how to weigh them to make sure they are gaining weight and growing.   This really is something that only adults can do – after they do their homework and learn the proper & safe way.   Feeding baby animals, especially kittens, is not like pretending with your stuffed animals.    



This photo is baby “Maverick” being “bottle” fed.   She is just 10 days old & in a foster home.  She & her brother Merlin were orphan kittens found outside & rescued when they were 3 days old. Orphan kittens have no mother.  Sometimes baby kittens are too little to even have a bottle.   They need smaller needle-less syringe tubes filled with kitten milk, like the one Maverick is using.


That’s a lot to remember to do! But what about what not to do? Here is a list of some things that you should NEVER do, because they can be very dangerous to kittens.


  • Never wash a kitten under 8 weeks with flea treatment or medicated shampoo
  • Never give a kitten string, hair ties, or plastic bags to play with 
  • Never let your kitten be around sharp objects like paper clips and needles
  • Never let your kitten get cold
  • Never bottle feed your baby kitten lying down, your kitten must be upright!


Now that you understand how to take care of a baby kitten, you’re ready to come visit the Fredericksburg SPCA in Fredericksburg Virginia to see some of their 2-3 month old kittens!


Aren’t they adorable? These kittens are at the shelter for now, but used to be with foster families while they needed more attention. These kittens get their vaccines starting at 4 weeks, with 3-4 booster shots until they are 18-20 weeks old.   This will help boost their immune system so they can grown big and strong.   Kittens can be spayed and neutered at 8 weeks or 2 pounds, which keeps them from reproducing.   But most animal rescues and veterinarians prefer to wait until they are 4 months old and stronger to heal after their surgery.


These are some of the toys that were made for these kittens, by kids at the Fredericksburg SPCA’s compassion summer camp! You can make something very similar for your own cats or to donate to your local shelter, it’s just a box with some doodles and pipe-cleaners!


This is Emmy, Sterling & Tito who are siblings (they are in a foster home).  They are 16 days old just sleeping in a “kitten pile”.   That’s a favorite thing kittens love to do! 


We didn’t get to see any bottle babies or kittens under 8 weeks old at the shelter today.   That is because their tiny bodies haven’t developed against germs that can make them very sick !   It is much healthier to raise baby kittens under 8 weeks old in foster homes where it is quieter, they can grow, run & play.  Most important is they will learn to be comfortable around humans from a young age so they’re not scared or shy.   This will help them be adopted easier.  


So even though we can’t see them today, you still learned all about caring for them, and I bet you’ll know exactly what to do if you stumble across baby kittens now!


Before we leave the shelter, we have to make sure to say bye to all the staff who helped us and showed us kittens.   (We also got to meet adorable adoptable, “COOPER”, who showed us good dog behavior manners.)



I had so much fun visiting the Fredericksburg SPCA with you today and learning all about kitten care. One new thing I learned was that it is not safe for cats to play with hair ties. What did you learn today? Tell your adult and have them share it with us in a comment.   Enjoy the rest of your Kitten Caboodle week!


Your PawSquad Summer friend,




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  • Fredriksburg SPCA
  • Debbie H – photos
  • Animal Angel Aid 
  • Maanasa S – photos
  • Maddie R – Community Programs Manager
  • Jacky D – Foster Coordinator
  • Beth T – Behavior Specialist
  • Nakiya M – Matchmaker
  • Karol S – Matchmaker


If you haven’t signed up for PawSquad Summer, here’s the link for more information & to sign up on our online learning platform: linkin.bio/pawtectorsprogram

PawSquad Summer “virtual” weekly camps run July thru August. Once a camp week goes LIVE, you will have access to it ALL summer. Super cool! You’ll never miss a day of animal fun & experiences.