Fostering an orphaned kitten may be a daunting task. Kittens, like newborn human newborns, require their mothers’ undivided attention. Kittens without moms require our help to live.
In young kittens, a lack of maternal connection might result in increased aggressiveness, shyness, and fearfulness, which can lead to eating problems. So, you should make the right formula for bottle feeding a kitten that refuses to eat.
If this is your first time caring for a kitten, bottle feeding might be intimidating. But don’t worry; we’ve put up a detailed tutorial to help you understand the right method for bottle feeding a kitten.
Continue reading to learn how to bottle feed a kitten, the proper formula, and how frequently you should feed your cat.
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How To Bottle Feed A Kitten For The First Time?
The kitten must be kept warm during eating because kittens under four weeks of age are unable to thermoregulate, which means they are unable to create much body heat.
The kitten should be kept warm when bottle-feeding or feeding in general. Kittens cannot digest their food entirely if their body temperature falls below 85°F (29°C).
While nursing, mothers frequently offer warmth to their kittens. If the moms are not there, the kitten can be wrapped in a towel like a burrito.
You may also keep the kitten warm by using your body heat. Tuck your pal against your exposed flesh. Wrap a lightweight blanket or towel across half of its body.
Heating pads are another excellent alternative for keeping your kitten warm and comfortable. Simply keep them away from any chilly areas.
The right formula is closely similar to cat’s milk. The right formula should contain at least:
- 40-42% protein
- 24-25% fat
- 24-26% carbohydrates
Many handmade recipes, in general, differ from cat’s milk. To the best of our knowledge, commercial milk replacements for kittens are preferred over homemade versions. However, don’t put your confidence in any random commercial milk substitute.
Some commercial milk replacements might potentially be harmful to your kittens. Some recipes are poorly designed and might result in diarrhea and cataracts.
Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR) is widely accessible at pet stores. Consult your veterinarian to determine which brand is best for your kitten. To make the formula, follow the directions on the back of the container.
Cow’s milk might be harmful to your cat if ingested alone. Cow’s milk lacks the necessary amounts of protein and lipids for a kitten’s healthy development and growth.
Kittens are lactose intolerant, and cow’s milk includes a high concentration of casein and lactose. Lactose in excess can be fatal to kittens under the age of one week. It is also considerably more diluted.
PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Powder is fortified with all of the essential vitamins, minerals, and trace components. The formula also provides the appropriate amounts of protein, fat, and carbs to promote the optimal development and growth of kittens.
The formula is additionally fortified with prebiotics and probiotics, which are necessary for the growth of newborn kittens.
You might also like to read about how long can newborn kittens go without eating
PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Powder is recommended for kittens under the age of six weeks (1.5 months). The milk-powered is not only simple to make, but it is also kind to the kitten’s stomach.
Measure your kitten’s weight to determine how much Milk he or she should have with each meal.
For example, if your cat is two weeks old and weighs 198 to 199 (7 oz. ), feed it 55 ccs of formula (15 cc equals one tablespoon). Within 24 hours, kittens should consume 30 ccs of formula per 14 grams of body weight.
When kittens are properly nourished, they acquire 14 grams (4 oz.) per day and a minimum of 111 to 114 grams per week. As a result, keep an eye on their weight to ensure you’re feeding your kitten the proper quantity.
Experts recommend feeding your kitten every two hours if she is less than two weeks old in order to promote her healthy development and growth. If your kitten is less than three to four weeks old, feed it every three to four hours.
If your kitten is weak or not eating enough, you can change the frequency and amount of feedings based on your veterinarian’s advice.
If your kitten falls asleep at feeding time, do not wake it up to feed. Allow it to sleep; otherwise, it may get annoyed or agitated.
You probably already know how many teaspoons of formula you’ll need once you’ve measured your kitten’s weight.
Feeding a kitten in human milk bottles is not a good idea. Kittens are adorable little animals. They require only a small bit of milk on occasion. As a result, get a milk bottle designed specifically for kittens. These bottles come in a variety of nipple sizes and shapes.
For each feeding, try to prepare a new formula. Check that the formula is warm, not hot or cold. Feed your kitty at around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 C).
To reheat the formula, either set it immediately in the microwave or immerse it in hot water. Test the temperature of the formula on your palms before feeding it to the kitten.
The formula should not be boiled. Position your kitten’s head for feeding gently. To reduce air intake, tilt your kitten’s head forward.
Avoid laying your kitten on its back because it may aspirate and choke. This posture can result in pneumonia. As a result, while feeding, ensure sure your kitten is leaning forward or lying flat on its tummy.
Once your kitten’s head is inclined forward, gently open its lips and insert the bottle nipple. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle while bottle-feeding your cat to prevent air from entering its mouth.
You must check out Homemade Kitten Milk Replacer: 4 Recipes
How To Get A Kitten To Latch Onto A Bottle?
Insert the bottle nipple into the kitten’s mouth and gently move it back and forth, holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle to prevent air from entering the kitten’s stomach. This motion should entice the kitten to begin eating and latch onto the bottle.
If you don’t succeed the first time, wait a few minutes and try again.
Never feed a kitten when he is lying on his back. The kitten should be lying on his stomach, similar to how he would lie close to his mother to nurse.
You may try keeping the kitten upright and swaddling it in a warm towel or you could have the cat rest on a towel on your lap. Experiment with several positions to see which one works best for you and the kitty.
Allow the kitten to suckle at his or her leisure. If a kitten won’t suckle, try caressing her back or softly massaging her on the forehead. This rubbing is analogous to a mother cat washing herself, and it may encourage the kitten to feed.
If this fails, try smearing some Karo Syrup on the kitten’s lips. If the kitten still refuses to feed, contact your veterinarian right away.
Also check out what to feed a baby kitten if you don't have formula
How Long Does It Take For A Kitten To Latch On?
Kittens begin nursing and start to latch on within 1-2 hours of birth.
Though babies are born with their eyes closed, they may recognize their mother by her warmth, which she should facilitate by sleeping near them on her side.
It is critical for newborn kittens to start drinking milk as soon as possible after birth – no later than 24 hours.
There isn’t much time between birth and their first nursing session with the mom for newborn kittens. Mother cats usually start feeding their kittens 30 to 40 minutes after they emerge.
Why Won’t My Kitten Latch Onto A Bottle?
If a kitten refuses to latch onto a bottle, it means they are sick or deformed.
Try vigorously massaging its brow or caressing its back. This is how the mother cat cleans the infant and encourages the kitten to breastfeed. You may hear a “clicking” sound, which indicates that the kitten’s nursing urge is activated and it is ready for the nipple.
Sometimes a kitty is simply finicky and does not enjoy the nipple you are providing. Your bottle package should include two nipples, one longer than the other. Check to see whether the cat prefers the other nipple.
What Do I Do If My Newborn Kitten Won’t Suck?
If you’re having difficulties getting a kitten to latch onto the bottle, try pushing on the nipple when she starts to suck; this will encourage her to suck harder and latch on. You may also try moving the nipple back and forth in the kitten’s mouth.
Use kitten bottles with, if possible, lengthened nipples since they are simpler to use. You may need to create your own holes in the nipple with a sterilized pin or razor; make sure you do this correctly so that the KMR flows out gently when the bottle is flipped upside down.
If you observe the kitten struggling to get the milk out of the bottle, the pinhole on the nipple may need to be larger; alternatively, if the kitten is struggling to keep up with the volume of milk flowing out, try replacing the nipple to one with a smaller hole.
And because hygiene is essential, sterilize the bottles and wash your hands before and after each feeding.
How Long To Bottle Feed Kittens?
Until the kitten is four to five weeks old, bottle feeding is required.
When the kitten reaches that age, there are various signals to look for that indicate the kitten is ready to begin the weaning process.
Side Effects Of Bottle Feeding Kittens
- Straining to urinate, or not urinating at all
- Upper respiratory symptoms: watery eyes, runny nose, constant sneezing, coughing, wheezing or labored breathing
- Refusing to eat
- Change in attitude
- Hair loss
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you bottle feed a kitten too much?
Some kittens pick up on it immediately away, while others may need a few days. To ensure that the kittens get enough food, you may need to continue bottle feeding them a few times a day until they can eat on their own. Feed them enough to keep them full, but don’t overfeed them.
Do you have to burp a kitten after bottle feeding?
You must burp kittens when they are consuming the formula. Place them on your shoulder or on their stomachs and gently stroke them until they burp. Kitten formula is sticky, so wipe kittens with a warm, moist towel after feeding and dry them as required.
What happens if a kitten drinks too much formula?
If the formula is excessively concentrated, your cat may get constipated; if the formula is too dilute, your kitten may not only obtain the necessary quantity of nutrients, but she may also suffer diarrhea. Both of them are potentially fatal to your kitty.
To summarise, food and cleanliness are critical for young kittens to develop into healthy adults. Knowing how to bottle-feed a kitten correctly can make the process smoother and less difficult.
If you have any other questions about bottle feeding a kitten that won’t eat, please leave those in the comments section below.