If you’re not normally looking after animals but you want to help the puppies and kittens which have been left on your doorstep you will need to improvise and may need to purchase some inexpensive items from the local supermarket or pharmacy. Here are some tips for helping overnight until the BHS ambulance can get  to you. BHS telephone numbers: 325-6742 or 323-5138 (After Hours: 357-9451 or 357-9452).

Where to safely keep the puppies & kittens and what to use for litter trays: 

Keep them in a cardboard box (no lid) lined with a towel(s) and keep box in bath tub or shower stall.  If you don’t have a box just use the towel(s). Keep them safe in the shower stall by blocking the opening with a piece of plywood or a lid from a large plastic box.  Also to keep them safely contained, keep the bathroom door closed.

Puppies temporary litter tray: lay newspaper (front page or classifieds or colored chart paper is eye catching to them) in the bath tub or shower stall and they will go there to urinate and stool.

Kittens temporary litter tray: use a disposable aluminum foil (macaroni-style) pan filled with shredded newspaper or sand.

Urine & Stool:

After feeding and burping and in the absence of their mummy you will have to be their mummy. To stimulate urine and stool use a warm dampened cloth, toilet paper or kitchen towel and wipe their privates & butts.

Warmth:

Puppies and kittens need to be kept warm in a snuggly way and in the absence of their mummy you will have to use something for mummy warmth so in addition to the towel(s) either use a warmed rice sock or warmed 12oz plastic bottle sock.  Fill the foot of a sports sock with dry rice and microwave the rice sock (turning it) for 50 seconds and test for warmth (must not be hot) against face, wrap in a tea towel and this warmth should last through the night. Or fill the sports sock with a 12oz bottle of heated water and test for warmth (must not be hot) against face, wrap in a tea towel and this warmth will last only a few hours and not through the night.

Food & feeding:

Sterilize baby bottles & teats and kids medicine dropper (only the glass tube and not the dropper bulb which will melt): first wash the baby bottle & teat and glass tube and thoroughly rinse and then put in a pan of cold water on the back burner of the stove, bring to boil and rapidly boil for 5 minutes.  Remove with tongs and place on a clean dry towel.

Food: 

Canned or refrigerated Goats milk: dilute with water: 1/3 milk & 2/3 water at body temperature – test for warmth (must not  be hot) on the inside of your wrist.

Canned Evaporated milk: dilute with water: 1/3 milk & 2/3 water at body temperature – test for warmth (must not be hot) on the inside of your wrist.

Never hold a puppy or kitten on it’s back when nursing. Until 5 days old feed the puppies or kittens every 2 hours even through the night.

Feeding puppies: use a human 4 oz. baby bottle and for a faster flow use scissors (clean and sterilized in hot water) to cut a cross in teat. Warm the milk and test for warmth (must not be hot) on the inside of your wrist. Feed the puppies with them resting on your chest or your lap standing across your knees but not upside down or in a manner which will make the milk go back up their nose and go into their lungs.  Gently tap them after feed to remove air bubbles to prevent colic.

Feeding kittens: use either a clean new makeup sponge or kids medicine dropper. Warm the milk and test for warmth (must not be hot) on the inside of your wrist. Cut the makeup sponge in half, soak in the warmed milk and the kittens (puppies can also use this) can suck on it. Feed the kittens with them resting on your chest or your lap standing across your knees (kittens like this method) but not upside down or in a manner which will make the milk go back up their nose and go into their lungs. Gently tap them after feed to remove air bubbles to prevent colic. (Kitten nursing bottles can be found at some pet stores e.g. Modernistic).

List of What You Will Need:

Puppies

  • cardboard box
  • towels
  • sheet of newspaper or colored chart paper
  • toilet paper or kitchen towel or damp cloth
  • sports sock & rice or 12oz. water bottle
  • goats milk or evaporated milk
  • 4 oz baby bottle & teat or makeup sponge

Kittens

  • cardboard box
  • towels
  • disposable aluminum foil (macaroni-style) pan & shredded newspaper or sand or quick porridge oats (clay litter is risky for little kittens should they accidentally ingest any when washing their paws as it can block their small intestines)
  • toilet paper or kitchen towel or damp cloth
  • sports sock & rice or 12oz. water bottle
  • goats milk or evaporated milk
  • medicine dropper or makeup sponge