We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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Raising Orphaned Kittens: Part 4 – Weaning & Litter Training

Kittens, when around 4 weeks of age, start to be introduced to many, many new things – from new food to new things in their surroundings.  This is a very fun, crucial and potentially dangerous time for them.

Weaning

When your kitten is around 4 weeks old, you can start offering him something other than the bottle to prepare to wean him to kitten food.  Be prepared though – he will get VERY messy for the first little while until he figures out how to drink/eat properly.

Most foster parents will offer the kitten a saucer with the milk as well as a flat plate with some “kitten gruel” (as I call it) – basically it’s milk with kitten canned food mixed together to make a soup of sorts.  Others just go straight to the kitten canned with some warm water mixed in.  There is no right or wrong formula to offer – just be sure you are using kitten milk and/or kitten food – cow’s milk may give the kittens diarrhea and cause dehydration while an adult food is not sufficient in vital nutrients the kitten will need for growth and development.

If you have multiple kittens in the litter, be sure to monitor each kitten at feeding time to be sure everyone is getting their fair share.  There’s always at least one “food bully” in the mix that will try to prevent the others from eating.  You should pay extra attention to your smallest (or “runt”) to be sure he is eating enough food.

With my most recent litter, I would feed the “big kittens” and take the smallest out of the crate and feed her separately as the others always pushed her away from the bowls.  Once I was sure she had enough, I put her & any of her remaining food in with the rest of the litter.  After the first day of doing this, she stopped trying to squeeze in to get to the other bowls and just waited for me to take her out for her own bowl.

Some kittens take right to eating on their own with little to no need for a bottle.  Others will need supplemental bottle feedings to be sure they are getting enough to eat.

Hopefully all of the kittens will wean within about 1 week although some take longer, but they should all be eating well on their own by the time they are 6 weeks old.

Litter Box Training

You will want to use a very shallow box (like those cases the kitten food comes in) for their litter as their tiny, unsteady legs don’t let them climb very high.  Also, you want to make sure to use a NON-CLUMPING LITTER as kittens tend to eat litter when they first explore the box.  Clumping litter, when ingested, can become a serious medical issue for the kittens.

You may need to show the kittens how to route around & dig in the box the first couple times – place them in the litter box and gently move their front foot in a digging motion.  Also, for the first little bit, when they miss the box with a bowel movement, place the offending mess into the litter box – this helps them to learn where it should go and should hope to decrease or eliminate the amount of misses they have.

Kittens are pretty amazing little things, though, as they seem to train themselves to a litterbox fairly easily.  There will still be some “misses,” but the majority should be in the box within the first couple days of being introduced to it.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 519-759-3031. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm. Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Sunday: Closed.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Park Road Veterinary Clinic