Tips For Using Kitten Formula To Feed Your Cat

kitten formula
Like most mammals, kittens are totally dependent on their mother for food, warmth and care. The mother cat makes sure that her kitties are clean, safe in their nest, protected against physical threats and fed on time. If you are taking care of kittens in the absence of their mother or want to feed a young kitty whose mom does not produce enough milk, here are tips on how to prepare kitten formula and make sure that the little ones are safe and comfy:

Use a milk replacement.
Your veterinarian or pet supply store will be able to help you find a good milk replacement product for kittens. These usually come in powder or liquid form. Powder kitten formula can be mixed with warm water or heated to just the right temperature (around 99 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit) and fed to the young cat. If you prefer a more convenient formula that is easy to prepare, you might want to stick with a liquid formula.

When choosing a kitten formula, always check the label to ensue that it is formulated for use for your young cats. Check the recommended age range for the product as well and make sure that the formula is still fresh. Feeding very young kittens with milk formula that is way past the expiry date can have potentially problematic health consequences.

Replacing kitten milk replacement
In the absence of a good kitten formula, it is possible to prepare a substitute using canned goat’s milk. There are many recipes available that you can use. A common homemade formula usually includes goat’s milk (or canned evaporated milk), diluted Pedialyte, gelatin, acidophilus and some kitten vitamins. Ask your vet for advice on how to prepare the formula to suit the needs of your cat.

Is cow’s milk a good option?
In an emergency where there is nothing else, cow’s milk can be used in place of the milk component of a kitten formula. However, it is not recommended for long-term use because it does not contain the kind of nutrients that young cats need and may even cause diarrhea in sensitive kittens. Goat’s milk is much more nutritious as a base and will not upset the animal’s digestive system too much. If you must use cow’s milk, do so with slightly older cats and add a little acidophilus to aid in proper digestion. Test a small amount first before feeding the rest to the cat.

Tools you need
You could use a small dropper or syringe (with the needle attachment removed) to administer the formula by mouth. You will also need a towel (to keep the kitten warm) and some tissues to wipe off any excess. If you are caring for orphaned newborns, keep in mind that after feeding, you may have to assist the young ones in eliminating. Using a tissue, wipe the kitten’s back repeatedly until it turns up its bottom. You may then wipe the bottom to encourage the kitty to urinate or defecate. Provided you have the right tools and use gentle, light movements, you and your kitty should be just fine.

How much milk does a kitten need?
One thing to remember about feeding little cats is that it is better to underfeed than overfeed them. Make sure the hole in the nipple is just enough to allow a steady flow of milk. Keep in mind that young kittens have small throats. If the milk flow is too strong, it will come out of the kitten’s nose and cause it to gag. When feeding, make sure the cat is on its stomach and is warm enough to feel comfortable so it can start to feed.

How To: Weaning Kittens

 

Weaning kittens from formula, or mother’s milk, to solid food will need be done if you have a pregnant cat or have found baby kittens, perhaps abandoned, then you will need to learn the process of . This is generally done as a gradual process. You do not want to force them to eat just solids from the start.

Kitten Formula

Buy Kitten Formula at Amazon

This should be started when the kittens are around four weeks old. The process will usually last about four weeks from there. The kittens should be fully weaned by eight weeks to ten weeks of age. If you do not know how old it is, or if they are developing slowly, a good guideline is to wait until their eyes are open, they can focus, and they are very steady on their feet.

If the mother is around, then you will want her to be involved in weaning. Naturally, she will take over, as this is her job. If the mother is not around, then they will be dependent on you to wean them.

The first step you will have to take is getting them used to drinking from a bowl. If you have been using formula, then pour this into the bowl, if not, go out and buy milk replacement, or kitten formula. DO NOT USE COW’S MILK. Cow’s milk will cause indigestion in the kittens and will not provide them with the nutrients that they need.

Cat Bowl

Buy This Cat Bowl On Amazon!

Encourage the kitten to drink from the bowl, especially if they begin mewing like they are hungry. If you have the mother cat, she will help by dragging the kittens near the bowl. To get the kitten to drink from the bowl, dip your finger into the formula and let the kitten sniff it. Lead the kitten to the bowl. DO not place the kitten’s head into the bowl. Simply let her smell it for herself.

 

After the kitten has learned to lap the formula from the bowl, you will want to begin mixing in a little bit of wet food. Heat it up just a bit so it is slightly warmer than room temperature. Alternatively, you can mash up a high quality dry kitten food and mix this with the milk instead. You can use your blender  if you like. Gradually use less formula and more solid food until the kitten is eating solid food on her own. During this process you can still supplement the kitten’s feeding with a bottle, or she may still go for her mother’s milk, this is fine.

The kitten may try to play in or walk into the food bowl. This is fine! Let them do it. They will lick the food off of themselves, realize it is food, and eat it. You will have to dry her off quickly after she has eaten to prevent pneumonia. However, you do have to be careful. If you remove her too quickly from the food, she may think she is in trouble.

As you can see, it is not very difficult to wean kittens, though you do need to be patient!