What is the Best Way to Wean a Kitten?

By January 18 | See Comments

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Weaning a kitten can be a tedious and time-consuming task. But it’s a necessary one. Weaning is the process whereby you train a kitten to stop drinking her mother’s milk and start eating solid food. This is a very key part of the kitten’s development into a cat. You need to make sure that you’re doing this in the right way and at the right time. In normal cases, a mother cat is the one that takes care of all the weaning. But when she has trouble producing milk, or the kittens are abruptly orphaned, we humans need to step in and do what needs to be done.

Keep these things in mind before you begin the weaning process:

Within the initial 24 hours of their lives, kittens should in some way, be exposed to their mother’s milk. A mother’s first milk has in it, antibodies that kittens need and can’t absorb from anywhere else. If you’re dealing with a large litter of kittens and a mother that can’t produce enough milk for all of them, then make sure that each kitten receives at least a little bit of the milk. A little milk would be better than getting no milk at all.If there are no nursing mothers available in the immediate vicinity, you can take things into your own hands and feed her a replacement formula with a syringe or nursing bottle. Experts recommend creating a mixture of a cup of whole milk, a drop of multivitamin, one egg yolk, and three tums. Mix all this in a blender and you’re good to go. However, you should only make use of this mixture temporarily. Make the switch to formula sooner rather than later.You’ll have to feed the kittens by bottle for at least three weeks. Make sure you warm the bottle by placing it in hot cup of water. Taste test the milk in order to make sure that it hasn’t soured and is the right temperature.

When should you wean them?

Start weaning when she’s just around a month old. When you see them chewing or biting the feeding bottle, that’s your cue.

How do you do it?

To make the whole change a little familiar for them, mix the kitten food with a little formula. They’ll know the smell and taste of the formula and as such be more willing to try out the solid food. Try smearing the mixture around in their mouth and wait for them to lick it all off. Once they’re used to the new taste, they’ll want more of it. This is when you present them with a bowl they can lap from. Try giving them dry foods between the fourth and sixth weeks. Mix dry foods with water and decrease the amount of water once they’re familiar with it.

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