Feeding Kittens

Feeding kittens is a bit different than adult cats as they require special food mixes in order to meet their needs for growth. Very small kittens that have been abandoned and not been weaned from their mother should be fed with a bottle, but kittens that have been weaned can eat a kitten mix recommended by the breeder or your vet.

Feeding kittens that are newborn up to about 6 weeks old and have been abandoned or rejected by their mother requires a bottle. You need to use the bottle as a substitute for the mother so you want to warm the formula up to body temp and use a sterilized bottle and nipple. The kitten may want to need with it’s paws or be clingy so put it on a towel or blanket or you can hold it to simulate the mother. If the kitten isn’t willing to suckle open his mouth gently with your finger and slip the nipple in. You should also burp him just like you would a baby!

You should only be feeding kittens from a bottle until they are about 5 or 6 weeks, after that you can start to wean them onto regular foods. If you are weaning a kitten from being bottle fed you should mix a little bit of canned kitten food with the kitten formula it was drinking from the bottle and hand feed. Gradually add more canned kitten food and less formula until the kitten is eating all canned food. Now mix in some dry kitten food and repeat the gradual process. These processes should span over a couple of weeks to get the kittens system used to digesting the new food and avoid and digestive problems.

Feeding kittens the right foods is vital to insure there nutritional needs are met. They need twice the amount of energy as adults so it is important to feed them a special mix and not regular cat food meant for adults. When they are 2 to 6 months they will grow very rapidly and require an animal protein based food of high quality that has added nutrients. From 6 months to a year there nutritional and energy needs will decrease but they still need more than an adult so a special brand for “adolescent” aged cats is recommended. After 12 months you can transition them to adult food but for your cats health and longevity it is best to make sure you feed them a high quality food. Cats are carnivores and need a food that has a high percentage of animal protein – also all kittens and cats need fresh water available at all times.