What Can You Feed Newborn Kittens – Bottle feeding is the standard feeding method for orphaned kittens, but if you are struggling to feed a kitten under 2 weeks of age, you may want to consider switching from a bottle to a syringe. Before you get started, learn about the benefits and risks of syringe feeding!
A syringe can be very useful for kittens 0-2 weeks old. Syringes make it easy to measure in small portions, so you can be sure that the kitten is fully fed. However, this comes with some risks, as very small kittens do not have a gag reflex and can easily aspirate if they eat too quickly. If you want to feed your kitten with a syringe, you should know the following:
What Can You Feed Newborn Kittens
For small children, I recommend a 3cc oral syringe (no needle, of course!). You can find them online for less than ten cents each. As a last resort, ask your local vet or animal shelter for a 3 cc syringe; they will certainly be at hand.
Expert’s Opinion On What To Feed A Newborn Kitten Safely
Ideally, you would use a 3cc syringe in combination with a suction cup. The Miracle Pacifier is a very useful tool that fits both bottles and syringes. The nipple is available in both small and large sizes to help little kittens latch on. If the miracle pacifier is not available, it can be difficult to attach the kitten, and you can choose a standard bottle. .
You will also need to purchase kitten formula. Do not attempt to feed your kitten cow’s milk or other dairy products, milk alternatives, or baby formula, as this can be dangerous or fatal to the kitten. Kitten mix can be purchased at most pet stores or found at farm feed stores. You can purchase it online through the links on my supplies page.
Tip: Make sure you bring at least a dozen syringes because you don’t want to use them over and over even if you disinfect them. Used syringes can work less smoothly, so feeding a kitten will be more difficult and dangerous.
Before feeding your kitten, always check that it is safe to feed it. If a kitten is overheated or too cold, it is not safe to feed her until you have carefully stabilized her temperature. It is not safe to feed a kitten if it cannot swallow. Feeding a kitten can be even more dangerous if it has sores. Be sure to assess the kitten’s temperature and body condition before feeding.
How To Take Care Of Newborn Kittens: Week By Week
Put a drop of formula on the kitten’s tongue and feel the throat with a finger to make sure the kitten is able to swallow. If the kitten seems stable and swallows, continue.
Prepare the mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions, making sure it is fresh, lump-free and comfortably warm. Pour the mixture into the syringe. Place the kitten in its natural position, belly down — never, ever, on its back. Carefully insert the syringe into the kitten’s mouth and slowly drip the formula onto the tongue. The kitten should start swallowing. Very slowly, continue to drip the formula into your mouth. If the kitten grabs the breast and asks, that’s great! Just make sure he doesn’t eat too fast; help the kitten maintain a slow and steady flow.
Use this chart as a feeding guide. Remember that every kitten is different and this is just a guideline, not a rule book! Learn how to bottle feed kittens and keep them safe by feeding them the right foods. Feeding them through a syringe or small bottle that replaces kitten milk will ensure successful bottle feeding. Below you’ll find a list of the exact supplies you’ll need, tips for troubleshooting bottle feeding problems, and information on weaning kittens.
Since 2018 I have been bottle feeding over 50 kittens and they are too small to feed themselves. Before that I had one 8 year old cat but wanted so many. ❤️ And I felt the need to volunteer for one of my passions – cat-friendly!
How To Take Care Of A Kitten
So I started volunteer rescue work through Feline Rescue and now work exclusively at the Bitty Kitty Brigade in Minneapolis. Our mission is to rescue orphaned newborn kittens who are often euthanized in shelters or animal control because they lack the knowledge, experience and time to bottle feed kittens. Over the years I have bottle raised 1 day old orphan kittens and adopted them at 12 weeks old. We also adopted one of our pets, our sweet tuxedo girl. That being said, I’ve learned and seen a lot about bottle feeding kittens, and I’m happy to share my experience with you so you too can successfully bottle feed kittens.
The first thing you need to make sure when you have kittens is that they are warm, as they cannot regulate their own body temperature. Keep a small heating pad wrapped in a towel in their bed to keep them warm and ready to eat. * Never try to feed a kitten with cold. If her body temperature is below 102 degrees Fahrenheit, place the kitten on an approved heating pad wrapped tightly in two or three layers of towels. Turn the kitten from side to side every 5 minutes. You can gently massage the kitten with your hands to stimulate blood circulation.
Miracle Nipples: This is the only type of nipple I use because it is designed for small animals like kittens, puppies, and rabbits. The Miracle Nipple was designed by a wildlife rehabilitator with years of experience feeding orphaned animals, and it’s reliable. It also reduces the chance of the animal swallowing the teat whole and, if used correctly, prevents aspiration of formula.
Miracle Syringes: I find it much easier to control the flow of formula with the Miracle Syringe and push it in slowly while the kittens eat than to figure out the right pressure to squeeze the bottle. These syringes don’t stick even after multiple uses, they just slide off, making feeding time much easier.
The Pet Parents® Guide To Taking Care Of Newborn Kittens
Mini Whisk: Dissolving the powdered kitten formula in water is very important and is easiest if you have a small whisk. You avoid covering the nipple with a thick mixture.
Kittens 0 to 5 weeks old should be fed dry kitten milk replacer (not canned liquid formula or cow’s milk – these lack essential nutrients) mixed with water. These powder substitutes are very important for kittens because they contain essential vitamins and minerals that they normally get naturally from mother’s milk, which ensure proper development and growth.
I prefer Pet Ag’s KMR because it contains both prebiotics and probiotics, which are a source of live natural microorganisms. It is designed to provide calories similar to breast milk in terms of protein, fat and carbohydrates. I find that kitties prefer the KMR flavor over the other two brands and it dissolves easily with a mini whisk in water.
Dry milk replacer for kittens should be stored in the refrigerator after opening the can or package. If you do not use part of the package, but you are not sure when the kittens will appear again, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.
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In my experience with bottle feeding kittens, it is best to wait until they are at least 5 weeks old to start weaning them. If they were with their mother, they would even breastfeed up to 6-7 weeks, so they still need to make sure they get the nutrition they need from formula.
, I start by mixing a mix of wet kitten food in a 20ml syringe so they can start to adjust to the taste difference. From now on, as soon as they start biting the nipple repeatedly, I transfer the porridge to a small flat plate and put some in their mouth with my finger. Then move them towards the plate and encourage them to start licking.
Kittens can be started on a high quality dry kitten food when they are weaned and around 6-7 weeks old, but I recommend keeping them on a diet of mostly wet food as dehydration is very important for them. Cats get 90% of their hydration from the food they eat, so a dry diet can be very harmful to their health. Feeding wet food can also help your cat sleep through the night, as it helps keep him full.
I’m Amanda, founder and creator of Heartbeet Kitchen. Like you, I’m a home cook who especially enjoys baking sourdough bread and modern gluten-free dishes. Unfortunately, we do not ship outside the US due to high customs fees. Thank you for understanding!
Caring For A Newborn Kitten: Top Tips
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