An orphaned kitten, where the mother cat has abandoned, may be very small in size due to lack of food or non nutritious milk as the mother cat could have been ill or unable to feed her kitten.

I have trapped what I thought was a 6 to 8 week old stray kitten, it was very small in size and had an enormous appetite, Meowing for food several times a day. I brought the cat to the veterinarian and the girls at the desk noted on the paperwork that the cat was approximately 12 weeks old.

The veterinarian examined the cat and asked questions pertaining to the kitten eating habits, feeding schedule, sleeping habits and activity, and then determined an approximate age. I learned that the kitten was approximately 4 months old. The cat was small for its age because it was underdeveloped. As a stray it did not get the proper nutrition.

If you are unsure of the age of your orphaned kitten then here are some tips.
1. Determine an approximate age for the kitten by their eating-sleeping habits.
2. A kitten that is not able to go to the bathroom on their own or needs to be fed a milk replacement by way of bottle is a newborn age three weeks and under.
3. If the kitten is drinking replacement milk from a glass bowl, eating soft kitten food or wellness core kitten formula grain free and no GMO kibble moistened with replacement milk and eats five to six times a day the age is 4 to 8 weeks.
4. Kittens that are age 12 to 24 weeks old are weaned from replacement milk and eating solid foods that is moistened with water or canned kitten food. These kittens generally eat three times a day.

Another way to determine the age of a kitten is by their weight: each pound represents month (example 2 pounds = two months.

I photographed the kittens in the image at night when the lights were off in the shelter. These kittens came into to our shelter when their feral mother was badly wounded. The mother cat was trapped and taken to urgent care and we cared for her precious babies.

S. Golis, ©2013 All Rights Reserved
Photo Attribution
Cat Adoption Guide – Trapping Orphan Kittens a blog by sgolis