What to Feed a Newborn Kitten: a Proper Milk and Useful Stages for You to Follow
Up to 8 weeks, a newborn kitten needs to stay close to its mother. Therefore, an experienced breeder will never give a kitten to new owners before this age. However, situations are different: the cat refused to feed the kittens, you found a crumb on the street, or the mother cat died. Then you must come to the rescue. A careful approach to business and proper preparation will turn the artificial feeding of a kitten into a soothing and comfortable procedure. When it grows up, it will be indistinguishable from the cats fed by the mother cat. Today, we will tell you how and what to feed a newborn kitten. However, before proceeding to the instructions, carefully read the answers to these important questions.
- Can newborn kittens drink milk? Of course, kittens need milk in their diet. However, it is a tricky question. Therefore, the answer is yes and no. Regular milk can harm your kitten. In the most favorable scenario, it will have diarrhea. And the worst – the kitten will constantly experience feelings of hunger and slowly die. There is a widespread belief that cow’s milk can replace cat’s milk. However, is it so? Absolutely not. It also does not provide adequate nutrition for a newborn kitten.
- What kind of milk do you feed kittens? If you have problems with breastfeeding, then you buy a special formula for the baby. A similar mixture is sold for kittens. It is a great and safe milk replaced for them. These foods are available in canned and powdered form. However, we recommend that you use the powder mixture to avoid diarrhea for sure. Where can you buy special kitten food? In any pet store. It would not be superfluous if you turn to the veterinarian for advice and get several recommendations.
- How often to bottle-feed kittens? Remember that a kitten’s daily diet is 2 tablespoons per 4 ounces of weight. For example, if the kitten weighs 6 ounces, then you should distribute 3 tablespoons throughout all feeding stages. The frequency depends on the age.
- Kittens under 2 weeks old are fed every 2 hours.
- Kittens from 2 to 4 weeks old – every 3-4 hours.
If your baby is asleep, and it’s time to feed, you don’t need to wake it up.
- Nursing newborn kittens: how long can they live without milk? Their life expectancy is no more than 12 hours. However, if you find a kitten 3-4 weeks old, it can live 2-3 days without milk.
How to Feed a Newborn Kitten?
The feeding process consists of the following stages: preparation, feeding, and burping. You should prepare for each of them so that the feedings would pass without unpleasant surprises. You will need:
- Dry mix for feeding.
- A kitchen scale to weigh the mixture.
- A special bottle for feeding kittens (a bottle for a human baby will be too large).
Let’s have a look at bottle feeding kittens’ instructions in detail.
Dry Mix Preparation
Be sure to sterilize baby bottles in a boiling water bath for about 5 minutes. Let them drain on a clean towel before use. If you are using a new nipple, you need to make a small hole with a needle. Mix kitten food according to package directions and fill the bottle. Place it in a bowl of hot water to warm up the mixture. Check the temperature by dropping a few drops on your hand.
Feeding baby kittens is not an easy task, but if you do everything according to instructions, you will cope with this process. Sit in a chair and place a prepared towel on your knees. Place the kitten there. Many veterinarians advise wrapping a baby in a towel so that it feels warm and comfortable while feeding. Bring the bottle to its mouth and feed until the entire mixture is finished. By the way, almost all kittens instinctively begin to suck, but if this does not happen, then press a little on the jaw so that the kitten opens its mouth.
Kittens need to burp after feeding. Place one hand under the kitten’s belly and gently pat it on the upper back. If your kitten hasn’t poked, don’t panic, just leave it as it is. Most likely, the kitten would cope on its own after a while. By the way, have you noticed that cats stimulate the secretions of their offspring? You can simulate this process with a warm towel. After feeding, the kitten most likely falls asleep.
We would like to recommend that you keep newborn kittens’ feeding schedule, so as not to miss a single feed. You can also leave notes after each meal. If your kitten does not eat well, then immediately contact your veterinarian, and they can examine the pet and help with nutrition. We hope our article was useful and answered all your questions. If not, write them in the comments. Thank you for reading the article to the end. See you soon!
- If you would be a cat you would say Meow* (happy sound)
- If you would be a cat you would say HRR* (angry sound)