Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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Hand Raising Orphan Kittens

Hand raising orphan kittens can be challenging and takes dedication. However, the reward you gain from watching these little babies grow up and blossom into their individual personalities is absolutely incredible.

It is a good idea to determine how old the kittens are before you start feeding them. Kitten’s eyes typically don’t open till about the 14-day mark.


You will need to provide a warm, safe “den” for the kittens. Young kittens are unable to regulate their own body temperature during the first few weeks of their life, so using a heating pad or warming blankets is a good idea.  Avoid placing their home near heating or cooling ducts. Their bedding will need to be changed frequently as it may get soiled quickly.


The kittens will need to eat every couple hours for the first couple weeks. I would recommend picking up some Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) from your local veterinarian. You may either use a nursing bottle or a syringe to feed the kittens. Do not feed them on their backs, like human babies. It is best to feed them while they are on their stomachs. When using a syringe for feedings, ensure not to feed them too fast as this may cause asphyxiation. The kittens will generally stop feeding when their stomach is full.

Around the age of 3 -4 weeks, you may start mixing some wet kitten food in with the milk replacer, and they will eventually start lapping it off of a plate. At this point, the feedings will not need to be so regular.  Feedings can start to be about 4 times a day, tapering off as they get older. Once they are eating wet food well on their own, you can introduce them to dry food.


In the first weeks of life, kittens normally rely on their mother to keep up their hygiene. Since you are now taking over the roll as their mother, you will be responsible for stimulating the kittens. You can use a warm, wet paper towel/gauze to gently massage or wipe the anal and urinary openings. Your kitten should immediately urinate and or defecate. Dry the kitten after each time, and be gentle so you do not irritate the anal area.

As the kittens get older and more mobile and exploratory, you can provide a low-sided cardboard box with a small amount of litter for the kittens to get used to. It is generally instinct for them to scratch in something for their elimination habits. They should start to urinate and defecate on their own around the age of 3 weeks.

It is a good idea to get the kittens checked out as soon as possible with your local veterinarian and follow regular deworming and vaccination protocols.

Written by Morinville Veterinary Clinic 



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Last updated: July 23, 2020

Dear Clients,

Thank you for choosing Morinville Veterinary Clinic for your pets' veterinary needs. As we continue to adjust to the "new normal," we have implemented new protocols to keep you and our team safe.

It is still preferred that you stay in your vehicle while we bring your pet in for their appointment. However, as of Monday, July 21, 2020, we will be allowing one client to accompany their pet during their visit.

Along with wearing a face mask and using hand sanitizer, any client wishing to be present during an exam will need to record your name, phone number and email address for contact tracing purposes, in compliance with Alberta Health requirements.

Should you choose to come in with your pet, we kindly ask that you comply with the following protocols:

  • Our doors will remain locked. Please call us at 780.939.3133 upon your arrival.
  • Physical distance with staff and other clients while inside the building.
  • Face coverings must be worn to enter the clinic.
  • Use hand washing station upon entry.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
  • If you wish to wait in your vehicle during the appointment, when you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.

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


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.


    We are OPEN with the following hours:

    - Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
    - Saturday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
    - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Morinville Veterinary Clinic