The Basics of Feeding Newborn Kittens
Newborn kittens bring joy into the family, just like human babies do. They are adorable and too cute for the camera.
When my first cat gave birth to four kittens, at first I was too frightened to touch them for fear that I may injure them. But one thing I remember, the day I held them in my arms, I shed some tears; they were too cute to handle and very gentle, and the cutest smiles in town.
But that aside. Once a kitten is born, he or she needs to be taken care of with caution because what you do may build or crush them. Some may be tempted to give them biscuits or sweets, but that just threatens the cat’s life.
First four months
In essence, the first four months of a kitten as very important. The kitten is predominantly on the mother’s breast milk where she obtains all the essential nutrients to support her growth.
As long as the mother is healthy, the kitten needs to feed on ONLY milk and nothing external. Feed the mother high-quality and nutritious foods to help in milk production.
However, if the mother is sick or not available to breastfeed, the best thing you can do is to visit the vet. The vet may recommend some infant formulas that provide almost the same level of nutrients as the mother’s milk.
Fourth Week of Breastfeeding
After the four weeks of breastfeeding, it is time to introduce food, and this should be a balanced and nutritious kitten food If you are not sure about the kind of food to give your kitten, always call your vet to give you suggestions. But with a little research, you can get some good brands that are perfect for newborns. A good kitten food for early stage kittens should be balance, nutritious, palatable, and have high energy to support the kitten’s rapid growth.
Four weeks old kittens require large amounts of food, typically three times the amounts of food/energy required by adult cats. 30% of this energy should be derived from animal proteins. At this stage, feed the cat with specially formulated formula for cats.
You can get these at your local stores or order from online stores like Amazon. These food are formulated to provide your kitten with high amount of energy and nutrients to support their rapid growth.
Six Weeks Old Kittens
By the sixth week, most kittens are usually ready to eat high quality dry kibbles. These foods are usually nutritious and can stay fresh for long periods. Dry kibbles have low moisture content and you should make sure that the kitten breastfeeds several times a day or if the mother is unavailable, you can try giving her water using a water bottle.
By the eighth week, the kitten is ready to be weaned and should derive 80% of her nutrients from kitten formulas. The kitten should also continue breastfeeding, but not as much as when she was 1-4 weeks old. After the 8th week, the kitten should be ready to be put on a 100% kitten formula.