So you are a new parent of a sweet and fluffy creature whose cuteness mesmerizes you?
Great, Me too!
Trust me I want to keep it with me the whole day but I had some problems with her certain habits. She was little when I brought her and then I came across many distinct habits of kittens like; she needs a mother for certain tasks, become sexually active at a young age, too fragile, and then comes their eating habits.
Kittens need to be fed after every 3 to 4 hours for better growth. You should feed them the new food slowly and gradually. Fortunately, a kitten is not picky unlike cats so you should provide her with different food options.
Kittens have different eating habits. After being a parent of a little kitty I came to realize I have a long list of work to do.
What Should I Serve My Kitten?
A kitten needs a high amount of calories in comparison to cats. Their diet should be full of protein and fats for better growth. They can be served with certain formulas.
The diet plan of kittens is as follows;
- 0-4 weeks– During this period a kitten usually drinks its mother’s milk but if due to any reason she can’t have the milk feed her with milk replacement formula.
Don’t feed her with cow’s milk it can disturb their digestion and health.
This period is crucial.
- 4-5 weeks– During this period you can serve her some solid food with milk. It should be liquid type.
Add the solid quite slowly so your kitty may adjust. Fortunately, you can provide her with various options as she is still not picky like a cat.
- 6-8 weeks– During this period your kitty can now eat proper solid food. Serve them 3 to 4 times a day.
- 8 weeks or more– At this age, your kitty is mature and sexually active. You can serve her canned food too.
Remember your newborn kitty only needs milk or milk replacement formula. It should be served with canned food as they cannot digest it at such an early age.
Apart from don’t serve her the food you eat. You both have a different diets!
You might also like to read What To Feed Newborn Kittens In An Emergency?
How Long Does It Take A Newborn Kitten To Starve?
Taking care of a baby cat is no less than dealing with a human baby.
Is your kitty sitting in one corner of a room under a bed with no trace of hunger?
Kittens need to be fed every 4 to 6 hours for better development. A starving kitten will start waning out of hunger. They can usually survive up to 4 days to a week without food but this starving can lead to serious liver issues in your kitty.
A starved kitten will have low immunity.
The newborn kittens are totally dependent on their mothers as they have almost no eyesight and like humans, they learn from their mothers.
This could be the main reason for starving. So you need to help them with eating or drinking the milk.
Also check out how long can a mother cat be away from her newborn kittens
Do Kittens Need Feeding At Night?
Yes, kittens can need to be fed at night. They have a small stomach which is filled with a small amount of food and so they need to be fed after every 3 hours which means you need to take care of them 8 times a day!
You shouldn’t wake them up if they are sleeping. Make sure they urinate after eating.
Can A Kitten Go All Night Without Feeding?
Can a kitten go all night without feeding? The answer lies in the routine. A kitten might or might not need to be fed at night. This depends on the routine you are setting up for her.
Before serving your cat makes sure to make a proper food chart to have a peaceful night.
You need to remember two points:
- Kittens need to be fed after every 3 hours.
- Unlike cats, kitties are not independent.
Now you know how you should be prepared for the night with a kitten.
Have a look at the following feeding time;
8:00 AM, 11:AM, 2 PM, 5 PM, 8 PM, 11 PM, 2 AM, and the routine goes on.
According to this routine, you will need to feed her at 2 AM too. You will hear the cry of the newborn kitten if she is hungry.
Do not wake them up if asleep.
Though after an age your kitten might not need to be fed at night. Also, you can keep your kitten active throughout the day to make them sleep at night.
Also, check out How Long Can Newborn Kittens Live Without Their Mother?
How Long Can Kittens Go Without Milk?
A mother’s milk contains an efficient amount of nutrients that is required for a newborn baby. Breast milk is called colostrums. Humans or cats every living mammal requires colostrum for healthy existence.
Yes, even your kitten.
But the newborn kitten is not with her mother!
A newborn kitten can only survive for 12 hours without a mother’s milk. A little grown-up kitten can survive up to 4 days without food.
In such cases, keep the alternative of milk which contains almost all the nutrients. A milk replacement formula is one such option.
Will Newborn Kittens Cry When Hungry?
Cats are highly vocalized animals it is hard to understand when and why they use certain voices.
A kitten will cry when hungry as they don’t use any other vocals.
The excessive meowing of kittens indicates their demand for something, even for food. A hungry kitten will not shy away to ask for some food.
Although the cry might be saying ‘ I need your attention”, “play with me.” Or “I am in pain!”
The cat’s cry may be the result of pain.
Sometimes, in cats, a disorder might lead to excessive appetite or no appetite. if you feel your kitten is hungry more than usual, it might be suffering from a disease called Cushing syndrome or diabetes.
Cushing syndrome is a medical condition in cats in which their body produces high corticosteroid hormone which leads to obesity. Don’t ignore the symptoms
To avoid the situation of crying feed it regularly and on time.
You might also know regarding why newborn kitten crying constantly
Why The Kitten Is Not Eating?
A kitten might not be eating due to the following reasons;
1. Detached From Mother
Your newborn kitten is new in the world but she doesn’t have her mother for comfortable growth.
A newborn kitten needs to be instructed by their mother as they don’t have better sense and eyesight. She needs the warmth and milk of her mother. They want to feel secure.
That is why some kittens don’t eat.
The location could be one of the reasons stopping your kitty to eat anything.
A kitten might not like to eat in front of you or other pets. Check if the bowl is near a noisy area or a litter box. Being a clean creature they like their food and bowls to be clean.
Also, check out how to tell if kittens are getting enough milk
Stress can be a major cause of cats starving. Being in a new environment she might be scared and sad which can trigger stress. This eventually leads to a lack of appetite.
Loneliness could also be the reason behind the stress and anxiety.
A kitten might be having an aching tooth which could be due to force-feeding or your kitty might have bitten a hard surface!
Any underlying health issues in cats might decrease the appetite of kittens.
The list of illnesses could belong, like intestinal infections, mouth infections, stomach infections, etc. Though you can distinguish it from other reasons if your kitten is crying continuously.
Also check out what to feed a baby kitten if you don't have formula
What Should I Do If My Newborn Kitten Is Not Eating?
You can look for the following ways if your kitten is not eating;
1. The Smell And Temperature Of Food
Smellier the food better the hunger! If the kitten is not eating then try giving her the food with a strong aroma and let them taste the dish.
Provide your kitty the food of normal temperature for it might burn the tongue.
2. Tempting Her
Cats are carnivorous. now, you must be thinking that you can set your kitten in your environment and make her omnivorous, but no you cannot do that.
You can only set her schedule and habits but not the nutrients they need.
You can tempt your kitten by serving her some pieces of chicken! but the kitten should be 3 weeks old.
You might also like to read about how to bottle feed a kitten that won't eat
3. Good Environment
Provide your kitty with a happy and playful environment to make them feel safe.
Don’t force anything on them.
Know when your kitten requires medication. If she has not eaten for many hours then consider taking her to the vet for a better diagnosis.
Don’t wait for 48 hours to visit a pet. if the kitten has not eaten anything in 24 hours then appoint a meeting with the vet.
Force-feeding should always be the last option as it can be painful.
For force-feeding, you can use a syringe. hold her tight and tilt her mouth a little upward. now you can syringe feed the kitten.
Check out more details about how to force feed a cat
Frequently Asked Questions
Can kittens have milk?
Yes, kittens can have milk replacement formula. But do not serve them cow milk as it may lead to indigestion.
What should I feed m kitten if she is suffering from diarrhea?
Your kitten must have lost lots of amount of water. In this condition, your kitten might not feel like eating. In such cases, they usually need a drip.
When can I give my kitten solid food?
In the 4th week, you can give your kitten some solid food but with water. After the 5th week, you can give them fully solid food.
A newborn kitten needs to have cared for just like any other baby.
You should give them your proper concentration and make a routine for a peaceful existence. When it comes to feeding, remember your kitten is new to this environment. So, be soft with them.
Not eating food is quite normal with new kittens so don’t panic but be observant if she needs any medical help.
After all the remedies the best way to nurture them is by giving them your love and care.