Young kittens, especially those 4 weeks of age and younger, cannot regulate their own body temperature. They rely on external sources to keep them warm. Usually this is provided by the mother cat, but if she is not in the picture, they need something else to keep warm. Soft blankets or towels help but are not enough.
Many people use electric heating pads placed in the kittens’ carrier or box. These should always be covered with a blanket or towel and not left on a high setting. Additionally, microwavable heating pads, such as the Snugglesafe, can be purchased.
One of the most cost effective options though can be made with items you probably already have in your home! A Rice Sock is an easy way, quick way to keep your kittens toasty!
A kitten’s temperature should be between 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. You can tell a kitten is cold if the pads of his feet and/or ears feel cool or cold. A kitten who feels cold and is unresponsive should be warmed as soon as possible, but carefully! When you have your heat source warmed, rest the kitten against it and turn the kitten side to side every 5 minutes. To stimulate blood flow, you may, ever so gently, massage the kitten with hand-rubbing.
Please also remember that kittens must be warm to eat! Do not try to feed cold kittens!