Spay Or Neuter And Adoption
Eight-week-old healthy kittens are fully weaned and should soon be ready to be spayed or neutered and to find their new forever homes. It is much easier to find homes for eight-week old kittens than it is if you wait longer, so start setting a plan early on. Sharing photos of the kittens with friends and family as they grow, and telling everyone you know that youll be looking for homes for the kittens is a great way to find homes. For more advice on finding homes for the kittens, see this guide on finding homes for homeless pets.
It is also important to ensure that all the kittens are spayed or neutered, so they dont accidentally add to the thousands of unplanned litters of kittens that enter shelters each year. Find a low-cost spay/neuter clinic near you.
While caring for orphaned kittens is a lot of work, its also a lot of fun. The most rewarding part is watching your charges grow up and go into new homes. And the best part is that you can feel good knowing that you helped keep kittens the most at-risk animals to enter shelters safe and sound.
How To Teach Your Kitten To Go To The Bathroom
Young kittens can’t go to the bathroom by themselves. Usually, a mother cat will clean her kittens to stimulate urination and a bowel movement. If the mother isn’t present, the kitten will rely on you.
To help your kitten go to the bathroom, use a clean, warm, wet cotton ball and gently rub your kitten’s belly and genital and anal area. Your kitten should go to the bathroom in less than a minute. After your kitten is done, clean them carefully with a soft wet cloth.
Once your kitten is 3 to 4 weeks old, you can introduce them to their litter box. Add a cotton ball to the process in a similar way that you used one on them when they were younger. This will help them to understand what to do.
Gently place your kitten in their litter box and let them get used to it. Keep practicing with them. Ensure that their bathroom is in a safe area away from other people and pets so that they feel comfortable.
How Do I Keep A Newborn Kitten Warm
Kittens should be kept in a cat carrier wrapped in a few layers of towels. Using a heating pad or heat disc for pets alongside a soft fleece blanket can also help keep them warm. Ensure that the carrier is large enough for your kitten to move away from the heater when they want to.
It is very important to keep your cat carrier in a safe, warm room away from other pets. Its helpful to go and check on your kitten throughout the day. If your kitten feels cold, you need to warm them up as soon as possible.
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Weeks Two And Three Feeding Schedules
A 2 to 3-week old kitten will still need to be fed every 2-3 hours and it should consume at least 1/2 tablespoon of formula or milk during each meal. If a kitten is nursing from its mother, you’ll have to depend on how much the kitten weighs to know whether or not it is consuming enough food. Between days 8 through 18, its weight should increase to about 10 oz. and it will begin to crawl around shortly after its eyes open.
By the end of week 3, a kitten will be able to stand up and will have begun to interact with its littermates. Playing, ear-biting, wrestling, and exploring behaviors will begin and are important parts of socialization.
Can Cats Eat Baby Food
Yes, cats can eat meat-based or plain meat baby food, so long as you read the ingredients list on the label and ensure they contain nothing toxic for cats.
In general, the occasional spoonful of plain meat baby food for your cat as a treat should be fine.
However, about 60% of cats in the US are overweight or obese, a condition that causes various severe health problems as your feline ages.
So pet parents need to be careful of feeding their cat baby food in larger quantities. According to Cailin Heinze, VDM, DACVN, pets should receive no more than 10% of their daily calorie intakes from treats.
But since some simple meat-based baby food looks similar to the pâté-style foods we find in the cat food aisle, we may be tempted to feed our cat a jar or two in a pinch.
We may also be thrilled to discover that they love it, and some picky-eaters have been known to turn up their nose at anything else.
However, this does not mean that you should allow your cat to eat baby food instead of FDA-approved cat food forever.
Commercial pet food is fortified with AAFCO approved essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
This nutrient profile is needed to create complete cat food that meets their basic nutritional requirements.
This is quite important since cats have particular needs for certain levels of amino acids such as thiamine and taurine, and too little of these can prove fatal.
However, baby food is still among the gentlest foods made for delicate baby stomachs.
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What To Feed Kittens 8 Weeks Old
So you have a kitten and at 8 weeks old, the cuteness factor is still off the scale! Kittens are full of life when they are awake, getting into all manner mischief. They do spend a lot of time sleeping however when they are awake for those other 4 hours, they use up huge amounts of energy.
Using so much energy means they need good nutrition to help them grow and keep healthy. So what to feed kittens 8 weeks old? At 8 weeks old you should be looking to introduce your kitten to solid cat food Your kitten has started to be weened of their mothers milk at 8 weeks and need to be introduced to more solid foods.
What Can I Use For Emergency Kitten Milk
If youre not sure what to feed your kitten, consider giving it goats milk. Lactose content in goat milk is lower than in cow milk.
Because lactose intolerance is common in nursing kittens, whole cows milk is not a good choice. Diarrhea is a likely outcome.
If this is all you have on hand, combine 8 ounces with two egg yolks and a teaspoon of vegetable oil to produce an acceptable emergency formula for your little friend.
You may even use human newborn formula as a substitute for cat formula if you have it in your cupboard or can get it in a supermarket shop that is open late. Use this until you can go to your veterinarian or a pet store to obtain the genuine thing.
Also check out how to bottle feed a kitten that won't eat
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How Do I Make Homemade Kitten Formula
There are many different kitten formula recipes available online, but many of them are from unknown sources, or have been passed around and changed over time. Formulating kitten milk is complex and must be done by experts getting it wrong can cause the kittens to become sick and die. Do not be tempted to use other recipes unless you know that they have been approved either by a veterinarian who is a specialist in nutrition, or by a scientist who has an MS or PhD in animal nutrition. These are two recipes that have been approved by veterinary nutritional experts, and so will be the best options until you can find some commercial formula:
Pick The Right Supplies
For small babies, I recommend a 3cc oral syringe You can find these online for less than ten cents a piece. In a pinch, ask your local veterinarian or animal shelter for a few 3cc syringes they will definitely have some on hand.
Ideally, you will use the 3cc syringe in combination with a Miracle Nipple. The Miracle Nipple is a very helpful tool that fits on a bottle or on a syringe. The nipple comes in both small and large sizes, and is perfect for helping tiny kittens get a good latch. If no Miracle Nipple is available, it may be challenging to get a kitten to latch, and you may want to opt for a standard bottle.
You will also need to purchase kitten formula. Do not attempt to feed a kitten cow’s milk or other dairy products, dairy alternatives, or human baby formula, as this can be dangerous or fatal for the kitten. Kitten formula can be purchased at most pet supply stores, or can be found in rural areas at feed stores. You can also buy it online by visiting the links on my supplies page.
Tip: Be sure to pick up at least a dozen syringes, as you don’t want to use them over and over again, even if you’re sanitizing them. Used syringes can operate less smoothly, making it harder and more dangerous to feed the kitten.
A neonatal kitten with a 1cc syringe
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Weeks Seven And Eight Feeding Schedules
Limited nursing sessions should still be allowed until the kittens are two months old, assuming they are all eating the kitten food that is offered to them three times a day. The mother cat may need to be separated from kittens that are relentlessly trying to nurse more than they should, but by the end of week eight, a kitten should weigh about two pounds from the combination of limited nursing and eating regular kitten food.
Illustration: The Spruce / Emilie Dunphy
Can A Baby Kitten Drink Regular Milk
Cats should not be given cows milk since it lacks the necessary nutrients. Cows milk will also induce diarrhea, a potentially fatal disease in newborn kittens.
Only give kitten formula that has been approved by the manufacturer to your little friend. Hoskins, a homemade recipe, is excellent. You can also use KMR, a commercial powdered product.
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Kitten Development In The First Six Weeks Of Life
The first six weeks in a kittens life is crucial for its development. They will grow and develop quickly, however they are susceptible to a number of threats. Now outside the womb, a kitten will need warmth, food, and protection from infectious diseases and parasites .
Kittens will probably never grow again at the remarkable rate they accomplish during this period, and seeing the changes in their development from week to week is an incredible experience. Learn about their first week and move on from there.
Feeding A Kitten Over 8 Weeks Of Age
Once a kitten has surpassed eight weeks of age, they should be fed twice a day with normal kitten food. Solid food should not be an issue for kittens of this age but they may still try to nurse on occasion. Between eight and ten weeks of age, a kitten should be fully weaned and preparing to leave its mother if you plan to find the kitten a new home. The first vaccinations are typically administered at about eight weeks of age, so when the kittens have a vet visit, you can be sure they have been growing appropriately.
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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 Ã· 108 kcal/can = 3.027 cans of Wellness CORE Naturals Canned Kitten Food per day.
How To Feed A 1 Month Old Kitten
In short, the diet of a 1-month-old cat will consist of:
- Formula milk for cats
- Start introducing dry cat food or wet cat food
- Always provide them with fresh and clean water
- They should be fed 4-5 times a day
- We do not recommend providing them with food that is always available as it can lead to certain eating and behavioural problems
- When they reach seven weeks, they should be exclusively fed dry food or wet food for kittens
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Can You Use Human Baby Formula For Kittens
Human baby formula is not the ideal diet for an orphaned cat if you are caring for her. To guarantee her long-term health, you should use a kitten milk substitute. However, if it is an emergency, a human baby formula may suffice until you can go to the pet store.
A newborn kittens mothers milk is the best nourishment for her, but if shes been abandoned, it may not be an option. If you need to be a surrogate mommy for a small kitty, use a commercially available feline milk replacer.
Only a properly designed milk replacer can guarantee that your young friend gets the right vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins. Human baby formula is designed to meet the nutritional demands of human newborns, and the nutrient ratio differs from that of a kitten.
In an emergency, you may be able to feed an orphaned kitten powdered or concentrated human baby formula until you can obtain a regular feline milk replacer. However, you must disregard the packages instructions.
Make the formula at double the strength recommended for human infants. You may also prepare a quick formula using one can of evaporated milk, one egg yolk, and two teaspoons of Karo syrup.
Human baby formula can be hazardous to medically vulnerable kittens. They have the potential to produce diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.
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.
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Formula #2 Kitten Replacement
- 8 ounces of homogenized whole milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 drop of liquid pediatric multivitamin
To feed the kittens, warm this formula in a hot water glass bath. Test with your palm to see if warm. If the formula passes the palm test, feed to the kittens as necessary.
This formula should only be refrigerated for 1 2 days.
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.
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What To Feed A Kitten At 3 Weeks Old
- May 25, 2018
- Fact Checked
A 3-week old kitten is a sight to behold. They are a cute bundle of fur, with distinctive lanky limbs and a round potbelly. Their insistent mewling is a signature of this developmental period, as they learn to communicate and explore the world around them. At 3 weeks old kittens are completely mobile and will spend much of their time exploring the world around them. When they arent exploring, they will probably be eating or sleeping. Their growth and development place an enormous caloric burden on them. Your kitten will need to be fed well at this time to keep up with the demands of his body.
3 weeks is also the time when kittens begin to transition to solid food, making it incredibly important for them to be transitioned to a food source that provides adequate nutrition to support their continued growth. When figuring out what to feed a kitten at 3 weeks old, there are a couple of important things you should take into consideration.