The way how to feed your newborn kittens is totally dissimilar to feed adult cats. It happens because its organs have not been ready yet to digest various foods. Ideally, newborn kitten should stay and drink milk from its queen up to eight week after birth, until being adopted or separated from its queen. Newborn kittens need much more nutrition for backing up its growth than adult cats. The best newborn kitten food is its mother’s milk. Therefore, you should provide proper nutrition and diet for its mother as well.
However, in some cases, such as death of its natural mother, rescue, injury, or the mother alienates herself from her wee fluffy bundles, she cannot feed and nurse her newborn kitten. Therefore, you should provide yourself for being a surrogate mother for your newborn kitten. There are many things to prepare for feeding your newborn kittens. Good and careful preparation will make your newborn kitten feeding will be successful, and in the end your newborn kitten can grow up well and healthy. So, here are what you should give to feed your newborn kittens:
Finding a nursing mother
If kittens’ mother is unable around, you can find a nursing mother to take place its mother responsibility (if possible). You can contact your vet ask for helping to find if there is a nursing mother who can provide milk for your kittens. Mother’s milk is the best food for your newborn kittens. Your kittens should get breastfeeding at least until eight weeks old.
You should be aware. Remain your presence when the nursing mother interacts with your newborn kitten. The nursing mother can attack or murder your newborn kitten as it is stranger for her. You might interested in Safest Ways to Take Care Newborn Kittens for Beginners and Tips to Take Care of Mother Cat after Giving Birth
1. Nutrition tips
A newborn kitten needs much more nutrition than adult cat. Proper nutrition kitten involves diet, vitamin, and other nutrition. You should make sure what you feed your newborn kitten is suitable what it needs during each stage or of growth:
- If the mother cat is being around, she should be feeding kittens for about four weeks of life. It is an important thing as newborn kitten should get all of their nutrition from their mother. On the other hand, if its mother is separated from your newborn kitten you should provide food for your kittens and feed them regularly. You can use newborn kitten commercial milk as replacer formula. Feed them every 2-4 hours in amount of 3-4 cc per feeding. If you use liquid milk replacer, you should ready to bottle-feed your newborn kitten. Always provide yourself to nurse it. On the other hand, if you use powder milk replacer, you should follow the instruction behind the milk box to feed your newborn kitten. You can use KMR powdered formula as your reference. Make sure you give the proper milk replacer formula. If the formula is too concentrated, your newborn kitten will be constipated, on the other hand, if the formula is too dilute, your newborn kitten will diarrhea.
- 3-5 weeks of age, still feed your kittens using newborn kitten commercial milk as replacer formula in shallow bowl. In this stage, you can start to add other kind of foods such as high quality canned or dried kitten food from a pet store, which is very moist and chewable. Feed them 4-6 times a day. Do not feed your newborn kitten with cow’s milk. Cow’s milk contains of lactose. However, most of cats are intolerant for lactose, so cats cannot digest lactose of cow’s milk. Newborn kittens’ digestion is very smooth, and have not ready yet to digest other kind of foods. If you feed them cow’s milk, they can dehydrate and diarrhea easily. Dehydration and diarrhea are so dangerous for newborn kitten even they can die because of it. Thus, avoid feed your newborn kitten cow’s milk. It is better to use Hoskins (homemade formula) than cow’s milk. Here is how to make Hoskins:
3 oz. water
3 oz. goat’s milk
4 oz. plain full-fat yogurt
3 egg yolks
Mix them all. Then, put in refrigerator. If you refrigerated, the formula will be still good until 48 hours. The formula cannot consume, if the formula has left out from the refrigerator more than two hours. Make sure to check the temperature by dropping on your finger to be sure it is too hot or not before feeding your newborn kitten.
- 5-8 week of age, newborn kittens food start changed, it is not milk replacer formula anymore. They should be able to chew their own food. You should provide some food which is rich in protein and energy filled diet. Feed them 3-4 times in a day. There are many kind of newborn kitten food in a pet store, such as dry food, canned food, moist food, semi-moist food, and so on. You should feed your newborn kitten according to its needs.
- 6 or more week of age, you can copy the food menu before. The difference is feeding your newborn kitten 2-3 times daily.
2. Bottle-feeding tips
- Make sure you have washed your hand before bottle feeding your newborn kitten.
- You can buy a bottle at a pet store or online. Be aware that the bottle nipple is not too big or too small. You can cut it by yourself. The hole should be proper one, so the formula can drip slowly of the hole. If it is too big your newborn kitten will get too much formula as it flows freely, but if it is too small your newborn kitten will have to work hard getting formula, even it will not get it.
- Check your newborn kitten temperature before feeding it. If your newborn kitten is too hot or cold, it means it is not safe to feed. You have to stabilize its temperature first. Try to place one or two drops of milk replacer. If newborn kitten cannot swallow it, you cannot continue it. Wait until its temperature is stable.
- Your cat should be on belly down position. Never feed newborn kitten on his back. You can use a warm towel to hold you kitten on your lap. Gently turn the bottle into its mouth and invert the bottle to start flowing the formula. if it is failed, try it again. If the bottle collapses, gently remove the nipple from kitten’s mouth. Let air return to its stomach.
- After feeding your newborn kitten cat, clean its face by using wet clothes or non-perfume tissue. You should keep your newborn kitten clean.
Those are what you should give to feed your newborn kittens. Newborn kittens need much nutrition for their growth. You should give them proper nutrition, so they can grow up properly and healthy.