Tips For Feeding Kittens Kmr
Kittens do not require a lot of formula. If they overeat, there is a risk that some formula goes down the wrong pipe and enters the lungs. Feeding kittens every two hours is necessary, so give them no more than two ounces to start and increase it as they grow in size.
Hold the kitten in your hand or on your chest and keep it warm. When finished, place the kitten with its siblings in a box that uses a covered heating pad for additional warmth.
How Often Should A Kitten Eat
The frequency that your kitten eats normally depends on how old they are:
- Up to 1 week old: every 2-3 hours
- 2 weeks old: every 3-4 hours
- 3 weeks old: every 4-6 hours.
- 6 weeks old: three or more feedings of canned food spaced out evenly throughout the day
- 12 weeks old: three feedings of canned food spaced out evenly throughout the day
If you have questions or need additional guidance about how often or what kind of food to give to your kitten, contact your veterinarian for help.
Can Breast Milk Help A Baby Digest Formula
Commercial infant formulas dont contain the immunity-boosting elements of breast milk that only your body can provide to your baby. For most babies, breast milk is also easier to digest than formula. When prepared as directed, however, infant formula supports healthy babies who have typical dietary needs.
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Weaning Varies For Each Kitten
Weaning a young kitten from the bottle requires patience and persistence. Always remember that each kitten is different and there is not an exact timetable for weaning. Some kittens may grasp the process quickly. Others may take longer without their mother to show them how to drink and eat from a bowl. The weaning process should be done gradually, at a pace that is comfortable for the kitten. The entire process could take as little as a week, or may even take several weeks. Eventually, almost every kitten is successful in this step to becoming an independent kitten.
When To Start Weaning Kittens And What To Feed Them
All kittens will reach a point when they’re ready to graduate from consuming their mother’s milk and move onto solid kitten food. But it’s important to carefully wean them off the milk before this diet change.
Dr. Carling Matejka, a veterinarian who is a spokesperson for pet food company Solid Gold, told Newsweek: “For the first few weeks of a kitten’s life, they need to rely on their mother’s milk to provide all the nutrients they need.”
Transitioning a kitten onto solid food is a slow, gradual process that usually takes between four to six weeks to complete, she said.
Here, cat experts explain when and how to wean kittens.
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What Can A Kitten Drink
Orphaned kittens, less than 4 weeks old, need bottle feeding for their nourishment. Before feeding formula to your little kitty, you will need to heat it to a comfortably warm temperature. Kittens chill easily and need their formula warm, just like mom would produce if she were nursing them.
The Dos And Dont’s Of Bottle Feeding Kittens
It is always best to have a mother cat feeding kittens, but complications may arise requiring human intervention. If you take in kittens that are too young for dry cat food, bottle-feeding with a kitten formula is always best.
There are many reasons a kitten might require bottle-feeding. The mother cat may have died. She may have abandoned her babies. She may simply have rejected kittens from her litter.
If you adopt or purchase a kitten, make sure the kitten is at least eight weeks of age before removing him from his mother. A troublesome kitten behavior occurs with kittens taking from their mother too early. They knead and suck on t-shirts, sheets and blankets for comfort. Ingesting fabric softeners and perfumes is harmful to cats.
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Switching To Solid Foods
Offer kittens canned food mixed with some KMR during their fourth week of life to get them started on solid foods. You can add some high-quality cat food kibbles, as well. Many kittens like the crunchy texture and will gladly eat it as treats.
Prescription diet food is generally unnecessary for kittens. Choose a dry cat food rich in protein and no grains. Natural Balance foods provide quality proteins without fillers. Kitten foods you find at the grocery store are full of fillers that cause obesity and a variety of cancers in adult cats.
Feeding Kittens 6 To 8 Weeks Old
When a kitten is 6 to 8 weeks old, it should be thoroughly weaned from the bottle and transitioned to solid foods. At this time, offer only food thats been specially formulated for kittens. Its a good idea to mix dry and canned food together so your pet experiences both at a young age. As your kitten ages, you can switch to an all-dry or all-canned diet. You should be feeding a kitten this age three to four times per day, depending on their appetite. Its also important to keep a clean, shallow bowl of fresh water available at all times to keep your kitten hydrated.
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How Do You Make Your Own Kitten Formula
A variety of recipes for homemade kitten formula exist, but if you can purchase a kitten milk replacement from the pet store to use, that is ideal. For times when store-bought milk replacement is not an option, find a recipe for which you have all the ingredients, until you can get some milk replacement formula. A homemade kitten replacement formula should not be used beyond 24 hours .
The following formulas are from The Cornell Book of Cats by the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine:
Feeding Kittens 8 Weeks To 6 Months Oldand Beyond
Between 8 weeks and 6 months old, continue feeding your kitten three to four times per day. Only offer food formulated especially for kittens that says complete and balanced on the label. By the time your kitten is 6 months old, you can cut back meals to twice a day until they are a year old.
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Feeding A Newborn Kitten
In an ideal situation, the kittens mother will nurse them for their first few weeks. The nutrients in her milk helps the newborn kittens transition from milk to solid food. Consuming these important nutrients in her protein-rich milk helps form the kittens immune systems and offers protection from disease.
If you stumble upon a litter of new kittens whose mother is unable to feed them, these orphaned kitties will need to be bottle-fed a suitable replacement for their mothers milk. Newborn kittens up to 4 weeks old should be fed a kitten milk replacement formula . Carlene Strandell, founder and director of the non-profit Smitten with Kittens, a foster-based kitten rescue that operates in Tallahassee, Fl., says you need just two things for feeding a newborn: a kitten bottle with a nipple, and kitten replacement formula. Once you have those two essential items, then you can begin to bottle feed the kitten their special formula.
What Are Some Tips To Encourage The Weaning Process
While weaning can be challenging, remember that kittens are young animals. Donât be surprised if your kitten wants to step in the bowl, bat the pieces, or spill the saucer. Play is a normal and healthy way for them to explore their environment, so be patient and donât rush the process. Things may get messy, so make sure to keep your kitten clean after each feeding.
Alley Cat Allies: âCaring for Neonatal Kittens,â âHow Old Is That Kitten? Kitten Guide: 3 Weeks,ââHow Old Is That Kitten? Kitten Guide: 4 Weeks.â
ASPCA: “Cat Nutrition Tips.”
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How Do I Teach A Kitten To Eat Solid Food
IOnce a kitten has started trying to eat mom’s food, the process of offering them mushy food can begin.
f you are weaning an orphaned or fostered kitten, plan on serving the kitten milk and food in a shallow saucer or bowl. Donât use cowâs milk, which can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea in some kittens. Instead, use kitten formula.
Gradually mix the formula with wet food and encourage the kitten to eat it on their own. The next step is to adjust the ratio of formula to wet food until the mixture is primarily wet food. Next, mix formula with dry food and repeat the process.
Remember to always provide your kitten with fresh water.
What Can You Do With Expired Formula Powder
Expired or used-up formulas can be safely disposed of. Throw them away immediately because they are not safe for use and may potentially harm your child in some way, even if its just an upset stomach from eating contaminated food. The general rule is that a bottle will last 2 hours at room temperature unless heated.
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Reasons Your Kitten May Not Be Eating
If your new kitten is not eating well or has diarrhea, call your vet and schedule another checkup.
Sometimes intestinal parasites can cause gastrointestinal upset in kittens. It is common for kittens to come home already infected with parasites. They can get some parasites through the placenta before birth as well as in the milk from the mother cat.
Some of these parasites can also be transmitted to people, so good hygiene and preventive care are important.
Four Weeks Old Kitten
Its been one whole month! Its amazing how quickly these helpless kittens have grown up over a four-week period. Darling, Denby, Corduroy, Tweed, and Wembley are thriving babies, starting to explore the world around them and play frequently with friends and toys.
At four weeks old, Corduroy is ready to explore!
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Finishing Up The Routine
When you have finished feeding, play with the kitten for a while to encourage movement: this will assist with burping, removing gas that may have entered the stomach.
It makes sense to carry out other aspects of kitten care at this time. This includes wiping under their tails with a moist cotton ball or washcloth to encourage urination and defecation . As urine and feces are passed, be sure to clean it all up thoroughly.
Remember to thoroughly clean all utensils including bottles and nipples: cleanliness around young kittens is very important as their undeveloped immune systems leave them very vulnerable at this time of life.
Second Determining The Age Of The Kittens
Once your kittens are inside in a warm, dry place, try to determine how old they are. Depending on their age, kittens have different needs. There are a few things to look for which may help you:
- Kittens eyes are closed the first week. They begin to open them from about a week to ten days, and somewhere between two to three weeks, their eyes should be completely open.
- A kittens first teeth begin to erupt at around 3 weeks, with the first canines appearing at 3-4 weeks. All 26 primary teeth have usually appeared by 6-7 weeks old.
However, if you are not sure about how old your kittens are, ask your vet. In any case, it is very important that you take them as soon as possible to the vet who can assess their overall health and recommend treatment if needed.
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How To Wean Kittens
To begin weaning a kitten, mix the kitten food with formula so they recognize the taste. Smear the mixture around their mouth with your finger and let them lick it off. Once they get used to the taste, theyll seek it out elsewhere. Then you can introduce them to lapping from a bowl. Monitor them so they dont lap too fast, and never push their face into the bowl, which could cause them to inhale the mixture and develop pneumonia.
Between the fourth and sixth week, gradually transition the weaning kittens to dry food, supplementing with formula if needed. Use canned food or dry kitten food mixed with water at first, add a lot of water, and then reduce the amount of water as the kitten matures.
A general schedule for kitten weaning might be:
- Weeks 4-5: Give wet or moistened dry food, mixed with formula to form a slush. Supplement with formula if the kitten is not taking to the new food, to make sure it gets enough calories.
- Weeks 5-6: The weaning kittens should start to nibble on the kibble, slightly moistened with water.
- Weeks 6-7: By now, the kitten weaning process is complete, and they should be eating all solid food by week seven.
Weeks Four And Five Feeding Schedules
During weeks 4 and 5, a kitten will slowly increase how much food it consumes in a meal. Feedings will occur less frequently and a bowl of formula or other liquid kitten food should be made available for a kitten to start drinking from. By the end of week 5, a kitten should only be nursing three times a day but at each meal it should be consuming about 3 tablespoons of milk or formula.
A kitten should weigh about 14 to 16 oz. by the time it is 4 to 5 weeks of age if it is eating enough food. Towards the end of week five, you should be offering the kitten more food from a saucer than it is consuming from nursing. The food should graduate from being a liquid to eventually more of a gruel by using less and less water with canned kitten food over the course of a couple of weeks. This will be a messy stage of a kitten’s life since it usually ends up walking in the food, but it is a necessary step to begin weaning it off of its mother’s milk.
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How To Feed Kittens
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 26,825 times.
Kittens double or triple their weight during the first few weeks of life. To grow at a steady pace, they need food that contains the right balance of protein, vitamins, and minerals. If your kitten is still nursing, you’ll need to help it make the transition from milk to solid foods. Making sure you meet your kitten’s dietary needs will enable it to grow into a strong, healthy cat.
Kittens First Vet Visit
Ask your veterinarian to recommend a high-quality natural kitten food during your first visit they can tell you the type and amount of food to feed, and help you set a schedule so your kitten knows when to expect her meals.
Besides discussing basic questions and concerns, its vaccination time. Check with your veterinarian for their guidance regarding initial vaccines.
Kittens usually will get a combination vaccine to protect against feline distemper, calicivirus and rhinotracheitis in a series several weeks apart. After that, the vaccine is updated annually.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends giving all kittens a feline leukemia vaccine in two doses, three to four weeks apart. If your kittens allowed to satisfy her wanderlust outdoors, shell get an annual leukemia booster. If shes a homebody, she wont need the annual leukemia protection.
Your kitten should also get her first rabies shot once she is 12 weeks old.
Plus, even though there isnt a vaccine to protect against Feline Immune Deficiency Virus , all cats should be tested because they can carry the fatal virus for months, even years, without any symptoms thats why you shouldnt take untested strays in and expose family felines to them, at least until blood tests prove the stray cat is virus-free.
Fleas, ticks and worms, oh my
At your first vet visit its wise to:
Learn about possible signs of illness to watch for during these first few months of your kittys life.
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Should I Take In An Abandoned Kitten
Be certain kittens are really abandoned before you disturb a nest. A mom-cat can be harder to spot than the stealth bomber, but just because shes not there now doesnt mean shes not around. If the kittens are clean, plump, and sleeping quietly in a heap, odds are that theyve got an attentive mom and should be left alone. Abandoned kittens will be dirty and the nest will be soiled, and they will cry continuously because theyre hungry. Ideally, kittens should not be taken from the mother until they are five to six weeks of age. However, kittens born to feral mothers should be taken away, if possible, at about four weeks old. At this age, it is easy to tame them and they have gotten a full four weeks worth of the precious antibodies mothers milk provides. As they get older, it gets increasingly harder to tame them. Kittens over the age of eight weeks who have had no human contact will probably take months to tame if it can be done at all.