Heating is very important as kittens will become cold very quickly. Electric pad heaters may not be sufficient if they are the type that produce heat proportional to weight. Hot water bottles require constant refilling and can cause burns to the kittens if not sufficiently insulated. Newspaper makes the best bedding because it retains warmth and can be disposed of easily in the event it gets soiled. Blankets and towels do not retain heat as easily, require frequent laundering and can be a source of infection if left soiled for a period of time. It is also possible that kittens will become trapped in them.
The environment which the kittens are being kept should be kept as clean as possible. Obviously total sterility is impossible, but bedding should be changed at least daily, or more often if soiled. Use of disinfectants to clean the cage and equipment is important. Isolation from other cats is also important until the kittens have been vaccinated.
Kittens should be wormed for intestinal worms at 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age (and then monthly until 6 months of age.)
Their first vaccination can be given from 6 weeks of age.
For hand-reared kittens, early weaning should be encouraged. This can be started from as early as 14-18 days old with a suitable early weaning formula (such as Royal Canin®). This should initially be done as a supplementation to formula feeding and gradually increased in frequency over the ensuing days to not stress the intestinal system of the kitten. Start with a reasonably thick mixture and place a small amount in the kittens mouth, allowing it to become familiar with the new taste and texture by gently masticating the jaw.
Singleton kittens are likely to develop some strange behavioural problems if they do not have any feline contact within the key developmental period (4-12 weeks) so allowing supervised contact with older, vaccinated cats may be advised. This can also assist them to learn self grooming behaviours.