Kitten Incubator

Sadly, Joe Freed, the owner of Petiatric, passed away. The entire rehabber community along with many breeders, are incredibly indebted to Joe for his kind heart and amazing work that will live on for years to come. I am now exclusively using Brinsea incubators (actually called “intensive care units”).

Brinsea incubators are great quality, easy to clean, and have solid sides to give the babies more security and reduce the stress on them. These units also have a digital temperature control, air filtration, an immersible bottom for easy cleaning, and a clear door so rehabbers can keep an eye on the babies.

You can find cheaper incubators on the market, and certainly homemade versions can be assembled for less, but they are not as reliable. Please sonsider Brinsea.


Feline Upper Respitory PRC Test

What is a PCR Test?

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a process that enables the production of virtually unlimited copies of genetic material in the laboratory. PCR testing identifies a pathogen based on the presence of the pathogen’s DNA or RNA in the patient specimen, before antibody can be detected, making it a useful diagnostic tool for early disease detection in sick animals. 

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV)
  • Feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1; also known as feline rhinotracheitis virus)
  • Influenza
  • Mycoplasma felis


The IDEXX Canine Respiratory Disease (CRD) RealPCR Panel provides rapid, sensitive and specific identification for eight infectious agents—all at once. The IDEXX Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (URD) RealPCR Panel dramatically increases your chance of accurately identifying the origins of feline URD.

  • Canine code: 2524
  • Feline code: 2512
  • Equine code: 2740

Tube & Bottle Feeding Savannah Kittens

Tube & Bottle Feeding Kittens

Feeding Mixture

  1. Powder Mix (0-2 Weeks)
    1. Milk Matric Ratio is 1 scoop powder per 3 scoop water.
  2. Dry Mix (3-12 Weeks)
    1. Typical Ratio is 1 scoop dry, 1 extra scoop water per every 2 scoops powder.
    2. Increase ratio of dry scoops based off feeding schedule listed below, if kittens are crying in between feedings they need more dry scoops to mix to remain full longer. Always add 1 extra scoop water per 1 dry scoop added.

Feeding Schedule

  • 0-2 weeks every two hours of powder mix.
  • 3-4 weeks every four hours.
  • 4-6 weeks every five hours but sleep through the night.
  • 6-12 weeks three feedings at morning, noon and night. Leave out dry.

Tube Feeding

Tube feeding is used when a kitten refuses to suckle, unable to suckle or special circumstances. Kittens 0-4 weeks of age normally refuse the bottle at first. If kittens are healthy and you know when they last ate then give them 4-8 hours to become hungry before offering bottle, tube feed if unable/refusal (Can take up to 4 tube feedings before they cave!). Tube feeding ages 0-4 weeks at night can be beneficial when feeding large litters as it saves so much time if feeding ever couple of hours. The prognosis for a kitten who will not suckle long term is not good, typically no sucking after extended period of time can indicate serious problems such as being underdeveloped.

Tube Feeding Supplies

  1. Luer Lock Syringe 10 or 20 cc  (will attach to feeding tube)
  2. 3cc - Premature kittens
  3. 3.5fr Feeding Tube - Premature kittens
  4. 5fr Feeding Tube – 1 to 6 Wks
  5. 8fr Feeding Tube – 6 to 10 Wks (Older kittens can chew tubes in half, use if emergency)

Bottle Feeding Supplies

  • Bottles
  • PetAg - 4 oz. 
  • Tighen tid to control milk flow.
  • Nipples
  • PetAg Ready-to-Feed Nipple
  • Use razor blade, shave small increments until desired hole size
  • Milk
  • Zoologic Milk Matrix 33/40
  • Only use KMR in emergency, replace asap.
  • Formula Mixer Bottle


Cat G-Strep

"GStrep" is the short version of "Group G Streptococcal". "GStrep" is part of the normal microbial flora of the gastrointestinal tract, vagina, and skin of cats. "Streptococci" are normally non-pathogenic, but a few species can cause significant morbidity and mortality ranging from death in young kittens, from pyometra, pneumonia and upper respiratory infection.

Beta-haemolytic streptococci belong to the Lancefield groups A, B, C or G classification.

  • Genus: Streptococcus
    • Group A Streptococcal
      • S. Pneumoniae
      • S. Zooepidemicus
    • Group B Streptococcal
      • S. Agalactiae
    • Group C Streptococcal
      • S. Equi
    • Group G Streptococcal
      • S. Canis


Requires specialized equipment to grow streptococci and veterinary lavatories are reluctant to incubate something for 10 days (High Cost).  Many veterinarians are not aware of G-Strep and can mistake it as Upper Respiratory Infection, Chlamydia,Calicivirus or Panleukopenia. General you should know if you are dealing with a Upper Respiratory Infection because it affects multiple cats within a household with symptoms of running nose, gunky eyes, sneezing fits and so on.

It is suggested to preform a feline upper respiratory PCR test and bacterial culture to rule out other possible ailments that present with the SAME symptoms such as Feline Mycoplasma. 

Treatment for G-strep is for a gram-positive bacterium. It will not treat problems such as Mycoplasma.


Click on each picture for details and credit information.


"Streptococci Infections" in adult cats have a high probability of show no symptoms! Unfortunately kittens have a weak immune system making them more subseptable to death may show symptoms prior to death. Many kittens will show no clinical symptoms of illness until hours before death. Usually not all of the kittens in the litter are affected. Kittens are typically infected with the bacteria from the queen's vagina during birth. This can result in an abscess of the umbilicus which spreads into the liver and abdominal cavity, leading to peritonitis and septicaemia. Some kittens may have an obvious umbilical abscess or swelling.

  • Unexplained spontaneous abortions or absorption.
  • Unexplained death of newborn kittens.
  • Birth abnormalities (Intestines on outside, cleft palette).
  • Affected kittens die between 1 and 10 days, rare cases of up to 6 weeks old.
  • No clinical symptoms of illness until hours before death.
  • Affected kittens show slower than average weight gain.
  • All the signs of Chlamydia but negative on testing.
  • Difficulty swallowing due to swelling.
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Pneumonia


Consult with your veterinarian before any treatment.


  • Non-Pregnant: Clindamycin (Antirobe), also referred to as Clin-Tabs, 25mg per 6-10 lbs, twice a day for 20 days. Must run all breeding adults and potential breeders. All cats in the household, including spays/neuters, males and older kittens should be treated. Tip for getting cat's to take the capsules, open capsule and mix powder with chicken baby food.
  • Pregnant: Same as above plus the following. Clavomox (amoxicillin/clavulanate) and/or azithromycin for 5-10 days before giving birth. Give the mother long lasting penicillin 1cc subQ immediately following the birth.
  • Newborn: As soon as the kittens are born, dip the cords in iodine then administer "long lasting penicillin Injection" (benzathine/procaine pen G), acts on susceptible bacteria within 15 minutes and keeps working for 48 hours. Draw up 1.5 cc sterile water or saline into a 3cc syringe. Then draw up .25cc/ml long lasting penicillin. Shake the syringe. Take off the needle. Insert the needle of a 1cc (tuberculin) syringe into the 3cc syringe (where you took off the needle) and draw off .25cc/ml of this mixture into separate syringes for each kitten. Prepare this solution no more than a couple of hours before the kittens are born (refrigerate). Give each kitten this injection subQ.


  • Dehydration: Re-hydration is also important for restoring the body with fluid and flushing the system of the infection. Kittens will be unable to digest food if too dehydrated.
  • Weight-loss: All felines, especially kittens, in your household should be weighed immediately so you can determine weightloss.
  • Respiratory Distress: Cat(s) showing signs of respiratory distress of any level should be seen by the veterinarian immediately they may require intensive veterinary supportive care (Incubator with oxygen therapy, fluids and antibiotics).



  • After clindamycin treatment, the G Strep will most likely still be retained in the normal flora at a very low level.  Therefore, the cat could always be a potential G Strep carrier with respect to breeding only.  In other words, we should be concerned with the breeding aspects of the Strep G rather than whether the cats do not have any G Strep at all, since the clindamycin will most likely not get every last bit of it - even at a 3 week dose. The other thing (which you may already know) is that a culture will take about 10 days, and will most likely come back with "normal flora", because the G Strep is at such a low level that it won't "register" on the lab tests.
  • Beta-haemolytic Streptococci are usually resistant to sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline and gentamicin. Resistance to penicillins or cephalosporins is very rarely detected.

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