Healthy Kitten Growth Rate
A general rule of thumb in kittens is that they typically gain about 1 pound per month.
Often, a kittens weight is about 1 pound at 1 month , 2 pounds at 2 months , and so on until about 4-5 months.
Kittens do most of their growing within the first year and then stabilize from there. Many of the growth plates of the bones in the kitten skeleton close by about one year old.
At this time, after much of the growth is finished, your vet will typically switch your kitten to an adult diet.
Is It Possible To Overfeed A 2 Week Old Kitten
A baby who is underfed or overfed should never be nourished. Cats become vigilant as their separate feeding periods are approaching the end of their existence. INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals These illnesses have the potential to kill babies.
Do Newborn Kittens Need Special Bedding
You can use a simple box with soft blankets to contain the kitten. For warmth, I would suggest using a warm water bottle wrapped in a towel. Simply put it between two blankets that line the entire box. I would discourage people from using a heating pad, because its easier for the kitten to overheat that way.
Don’t Miss: How Many Calories Should A Cat Eat
How Do I Feed Orphaned Kittens
Most kittens will suckle on small pet nursing bottles, also known as pet nursers. When bottle fed, kittens will nurse until they are full and then reject the bottle.
Be sure the opening in the nipple restricts the outflow of fluid to one drop at a time in order to avoid a flow rate that is too rapid for the kitten. When the flow rate is too rapid, it can lead to aspiration, pneumonia, and/or death.
When feeding, hold the kitten in a horizontal, head-neutral position. If the kitten is too weak to suckle, your veterinarian can show you alternative feeding methods and assist in tube feeding if needed.
TIP: Handling kittens during feeding contributes to critical socialization.
How Often And How Much Should You Feed Your Kitten
Its important to feed your tiny newcomer small portions at regular intervals, up to 6 times a day. Some veterinarians prefer free-feeding, meaning providing unlimited kitten food all day long, tapering off to meal eating at around four to six months of age. Free-feeding has the benefit of reducing stomach distention resulting from eating too fast and is helpful to slow-growing kittens. However, this may not be the best practice for obese kittens, who would benefit more from measured portions as recommended by the food manufacturer. Preventing obesity to start with is a lot easier than having to deal with it when it becomes a problem.
Recommended Reading: Normal Resp Rate For Cats
Caring For Orphaned Kittens
- Orphaned kittens should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian can give you advice on caring for kittens and might be able to provide you with contact information for animal rescue groups.
- During the first few weeks of life, kittens need proper nourishment, warmth, socialization, and help with urinating and defecating.
- Dont give regular cows milk to kittens because it doesnt contain the protein and nutrients that kittens need and it can give them diarrhea.
Orphaned kittens should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian can give you advice on caring for kittens and might be able to provide you with contact information for animal rescue groups. During the first few weeks of life, kittens need proper nourishment, warmth, socialization, and help with urinating and defecating.
Kittens need two to three times as many calories as an adult cat. A mother cats milk provides all of a kittens nutritional needs during the first 4 weeks of life. Newborn kittens may nurse every 1 to 2 hours.
Kittens should be fed while on all four legs or lying upright on their stomachs . If kittens are bottle fed, they must be burped by holding them to your shoulder and gently rubbing their backs. Be careful not to overfeed or underfeed kittens your veterinarian can teach you how to tell when kittens are full. Notify your veterinarian immediately if a kitten refuses to take a bottle, seems weak, or has problems nursing from a bottle.
When Should I Feed My Cat
When you feed your cat essentially comes down to what works best for their needs. “A variety of feeding styles can maintain good health” in cats, points out the Feline Life Stage Guidelines published the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association .
One option is to allow them to eat freestyle with food available 24/7. This method is great if your cat has self-control, but many cats tend to overeat due to anxiety, boredom or health issues. You can also look into automated cat feeders that can regulate how much food your cat eats each day if your cat is prone to overeating.
Breaking up your cat’s caloric intake into two or three smaller meals per day works well for most healthy cats, say experts such as Francis Kallfelz, DVM, Ph.D., at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, as long as they don’t have dietary restrictions due to medical issues.
You May Like: Cats Resting Heart Rate
How Do I Feed A Newborn Kitten
Kittens under 4 weeks of age cannot eat solid food, whether its dry or canned. They can drink their mothers milk to get the nutrients they need. The kitten will rely on you to survive if their mother isnt around.
You can feed your newborn kitten a nutritional substitute thats called kitten milk replacer. Its essential that you avoid feeding a kitten the same milk that humans consume. Typical cows milk can make cats very sick. If youre unsure of which kitten milk replacer to choose, talk to a veterinarian. They can help you select the right one.
For many dry milk replacers, refrigeration is not always required. But if extra milk is prepared, it should be stored in the fridge. To feed your kitten, follow these steps:
Prepare the formula. Warm the kitten formula to slightly above room temperature. Test the temperature of the formula right before you feed your kitten. Do this by placing a few drops of the formula on your wrist to ensure its not too hot.
Keep things clean. Before and after each feeding, you should wash your hands and the bottle that you used to feed your kitten. Its also recommended that you use a kitten gown. This could be a robe or a shirt that you only wear when youre handling or feeding your kitten. Using a kitten gown helps reduce the possibility of spreading germs.
If for any reason you cant get your kitten to eat, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Bottle Feed The Kitten
Sit in the chair with a towel folded in your lap. Place the kitten face down on your lap. You can wrap it in the towel to make sure the kitten stays warm while it eats.
Without raising the kitten’s head, place the nipple in its mouth. The kitten should instinctively start sucking right away. Continue to feed the kitten until it pulls away.
Recommended Reading: Blue Buffalo Diet Cat Food
Its Been A Few Hours No Mom In Sight
The kittens appear to be abandoned, what can you do to help?
Once you remove the babies, you must keep them at an appropriate body temperature. Using a box with clean, soft towels, and warming bottles make a nest and place the kittens in the box. Keep them away from drafts and out of humidity. They need a room that stays close to 90 degrees for the first two weeks of age, then the temperature can be lowered to 80 degrees. Unweaned kittens need round-the-clock care and monitoring.
The kittens will need to be bottle fed with milk replacer every 2-3 hours and kept warm and dry.
- 1 4 weeks old: will need to be bottle-fed kitten formula.
- 5 weeks and older: can be offered canned food for KITTENS ONLY but they may still need to be bottle-fed. Canned food must be creamy texture with no chunky food or big pieces. Please try to find the best quality canned kitten food from the pet store.
- If you, a neighbor, friend, or relative are able to take on this responsibility, you can give these abandoned kittens a shot at life! If your schedule does not allow for it, there may be resources in the community to help. Be aware that most local shelters do not have the staff to feed kittens around the clock and mortality rates in these kittens are very high.
What Are Some Best Practices For Proper Kitten Hygiene
Orphaned kittens require you to pay strict attention to their hygiene for optimal health and development. Follow these best practices for proper kitten hygiene:
- bottles and nipples should be cleaned and then boiled in water to sterilize them between uses.
- never prepare more milk replacer than can be used within 24 hours and always keep it refrigerated.
- discard formula after 1 hour if left at room temperature.
- once or twice each week, gently wash the kittens with a moist cloth.
Also Check: Tuxedo Cat Life Expectancy
Determining How Much To Feed A Cat
Different cats have different nutritional needs based on their size, life stage and more. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how much food your cat should eat.
- Age & Life Stage: Kittens have different nutritional needs than adults or senior cats. Pregnant or nursing cats also have different needs.
- Weight: If your cat is not at her ideal body condition, you may need to adjust what and how much you feed her, says Dr. Callie Harris, DVM.
- Activity Levels: Cats who are active and playful throughout the day may need more calories than those who prefer to spend their time napping.
- Indoor vs. Outdoor: Indoor cats may not get as much exercise as an outdoor cat would, so they need fewer calories. Outdoor cats living in regions with cold winters may need more food in the cold months.
The best way to determine how much food your cat needs is to talk with your veterinarian. They can tell you how much food your cat needs based on the above factors.
They can also help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise, such as your cat eating more or less than usual.
How To Bottle Feed A Kitten
Once the kitten and formula are ready, set the kitten on his stomach never try to feed a kitten on its back. Hold his head gently with one hand to encourage the kitten to latch onto the nipple. According to Alley Cat Allies, try your best to imitate the position a newborn kitten would use when nursing from its mother. Use your other hand to guide the kittens mouth to the nipple. Never force a kitten onto a nipple. The kittens tongue should form a v-shape to facilitate sucking. By holding the head of the kitten, youll be able to feel if hes swallowing the milk.
If your kitten refuses to suckle, you may want to try gently rubbing his face and head with a terry washcloth or an old toothbrush to simulate the roughness of the mother cats tongue. If the kitten still refuses to latch onto the nipple you can use a syringe to provide nourishment. Offer small drops of formula this way. Never force formula down the kittens throat or you could asphyxiate the animal by filling its lungs with liquid.
Recommended Reading: What Does It Mean When A Cat Nibbles Your Nose
Her Primary Kitten Food
Your kitten should be eating a good quality kitten food or a food labeled for all feline life stages. Even as you introduce her to other foods, this should be her primary food as too many changes can cause digestive upsets. Feel free to change flavors of food but remain within the same brand to maintain some consistency.
How To Shop For A Wet Cat Food
When choosing any cat food, whether it be wet, dry or semi-moist, the first ingredient should be a good quality protein sourced from a real meat, not a meat by-product. Also avoid foods that contain a lot of grain or fillers as these are cheap substitutes that companies use to bulk up the food, rather than use good nutritional ingredients.
Our favorite for kittens based on years of experience is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Wet Cat Food .
Its recommended to feed the best food your budget will allow. Quality wet cat food will not only keep your cat fuller for longer but will aid in its digestion, give it a healthier coat and help prevent many diseases. In addition, be sure to choose a cat food that is specifically made for kittens. Kitten food is higher in protein, providing your fur baby with the added nutrients and energy it needs to grow and be active.
You May Like: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Cat
How Much Wet Food Or Dry Food To Feed A Kitten
Use your kittens weight to determine approximately how many calories they should be getting each day. Then, look at the label on your kitten food to see how many kcal/kg and kcal/can or kcal/cup it provides. Divide your kittens caloric needs by the foods caloric content to figure out how much of that food to feed your kitten each day. Finally, divide this amount by the number of meals you plan to offer each day to get each meals serving size.
As an example, lets say you have a kitten that is 5 pounds, and you feed them Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food. According to the chart, you should feed your kitten 327 kcal/day.
Since the calorie content of the wet cat food is 108 kcal/can, you would determine how much wet food to feed your kitten by dividing 327 kcal/day by 108 kcal/can.
327 kcal/day ÷ 108 kcal/can = 3.027 cans of Wellness CORE Naturals Canned Kitten Food per day.
What You Need To Bottle Feed A Kitten
To get started youll need several baby bottles with nipples designed especially for kittens, and some kitten milk replacer. Most nipples dont come with holes, so you may have to make a small hole in the end to allow milk to drip out. Kitten milk replacer is available in pre-mixed liquid form and in a dry powder. Both work equally well, but some people find the powder to be more convenient because you only need to mix what you need for each feeding.
Before you offer your kitten a bottle, make sure the milk replacement is warm. To check that its not too hot, shake a few drops of formula onto your wrist to make sure its comfortably warm. Carlene Strandell, founder and director of Smitten with Kittens, a nonprofit, foster-based kitten rescue that operates in Tallahassee, Fla., says that the first thing you need to do when feeding a newborn kitten is to ensure that the kitten is warm. You should not feed a cold kitten. A cold kitten is a fading kitten, and trying to feed them is just adding one more stress to their bodies, she says. If your kittens pads or gums feel cold, wrap him in a blanket and/or hold him against you until he warms up.
Read Also: Shirts For Kittens
Do Not Disturb The Kittens
It is best to 1st observe from a distance for a few hours to determine if mom is returning to her nest. The mother cat may be out searching for food, taking a break, or even hiding from you. If you see kittens and no mom, wait a few hours before trying to rescue them. The kittens have a better chance of survival with their mom. If mom returns, the best thing you can do is place some fresh cat food and water out for her. It is best not to continue to check on them more than once a day as not to disturb the nest.
What Are Some Special Handling Techniques To Keep Them Healthy And Safe
In the first four weeks of their life, minimize the number of people who handle the kitten. During that time, they have not yet built up their immune systems, and they are prone to illnesses and infections. Be sure to wash your hands before and after each time you handle them.
Avoid allowing the kitten to interact with other animals even other cats. You never know how another animal will treat a small kitten, and neonatal cats are fragile in this stage of life.
If you have more than one kitten from the same litter, you can definitely keep them in the same box. They can help keep each other warm. If they are from different litters, you can still keep them in the same box, unless they are radically different ages or sizes. Also, dont mix sick and healthy kittens.
You May Like: Tuxedo Tabby Cat
How Much Do You Feed A Baby Kitten
May 15, 2022
Our Mission is to make parental duties easier as you bring joy to your kids. We aim to provide you with the necessary tools and credence to make the best toy choices for kids.
Kittens are a cute and cuddly bundle of fun. But little do you know, kittens grow up to be big cats with sharp claws who love hunting small animals like mice. These felines can weigh anywhere from 5-30 pounds! Heres how much food your baby kitten needs every day:
A 3 month old kitten needs about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food per day. Read more in detail here: how much to feed a kitten 3 months.
Kittens should take 2 teaspoons or 30 centimeters of formula every 24 hours. If a kitten is between the ages of two and four weeks, ensure that cat feeding is done every two to three hours. Do not feed the kitten if it has been sleeping for more than two hours.