SHAKING NEWBORN KITTEN TO CLEAR FLUIDS FROM MOUTH
If the queen doesn’t break the amniotic sac covering the kitten’s head within a minute or two, you should. Then hold the kitten in your hands or wrap in a towel. Support the head so it doesn’t swing freely, then move the whole kitten vigorously in a wide arc from about chest to knee level. At the end of the arc the kitten’s nose should point toward the ground. This helps clear excess fluids from the nose and major airways. Other methods to remove excess fluids are to put your mouth over the kitten’s nose and mouth and suck, or to use an infant ear syringe to suck the fluid from the kitten’s mouth and throat.
After clearing the airways, rub the face, chest, and body of the kitten with a rough towel. If the kitten still does not start to breathe and cry, take in a breath of air, place your mouth over the kitten’s nose and mouth, and blow gently until you see the chest expand. Remove your mouth and let the kitten exhale, then repeat. (Using mouth-to-nose and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and/or airway clearing carries some small risk of infection for humans should the kitten be contaminated with certain bacteria.) Shaking and towel drying even healthy kittens is a good idea if the mother is not interested or is too slow, but this is not absolutely necessary.