Having kittens might be thrilling, but you must be responsible for their upkeep. Training is not required to care for your kittens. If you pay enough attention to them, taking care of your newborn furry friend should be easy.

Kittens are one-of-a-kind creatures who demand your undivided attention and care 24 hours a day. However, understanding what to feed newborn kittens in an emergency might be confusing.

You need not worry as we are here to help you out. If you have a new kitten at home and want to know more about taking care of her, keep reading.

What Do I Feed A Baby Kitten If I Don't Have Formula?

What Can I Substitute For Kitten Formula?

What Can I Substitute For Kitten Formula?

When store-bought milk replacement isn’t an option, try a recipe using all the components you have on hand until you can acquire some milk replacement formula.

It is not recommended to use a homemade kitten replacement formula for more than 24 hours.

You can follow these recipes as a substitute for kitten formula. These are easy to make and require ingredients that are easily available at home.

The following formulas are from The Cornell Book of Cats by the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine:

1. Kitten Replacement Formula #1


  • 1-quart whole goat’s milk
  • 1 teaspoon light Karo syrup
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat plain yogurt (made with goat’s milk preferably)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Unflavored gelatin

Newborn to 1 week — 1 package of gelatin

2nd week — 1-1/2 to 2 packages of gelatin

3rd week — 2-1/2 to 3 packages of gelatin

4th week — 4 packages of gelatin

In a saucepan, combine the goat’s milk and the appropriate amount of gelatin for the kitten’s age. Remove the liquid from the heat after the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Refrigerate the remaining ingredients after mixing them in. It will keep up to one week in the refrigerator.

2. Kitten Replacement Formula #2


  • 8 ounces homogenized whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks   
  • 1 teaspoon salad oil
  • 1 drop of liquid pediatric vitamins (optional)

Mix well and keep refrigerated.

3. Kitten Replacement Formula #3


  • 1 part boiled water to 5 parts evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon bone meal per 16 ounces of fluid

Mix well and keep refrigerated.

4. Kitten Replacement Formula #4


  • 1 can evaporate milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 drop of liquid human pediatric vitamins (optional)

Combine the milk, egg yolk, and syrup in a securely covered container and keep it in the refrigerator. Mix half of the estimated feeding amount with an equal amount of hot water during feeding time.

Mix one drop of human infant liquid vitamins into each kitten’s formula portion once a day.

You must check out How To Prepare Homemade Kitten Milk Replacer: 4 Recipes

What Do You Feed Baby Kittens In Emergency?

If you find yourself needing to feed newborn kittens late at night or on a day when you can’t go to the store, or if the scenario is classified as an emergency, a handy kitten milk recipe is necessary. There are recipes for homemade kitten formulas that are meant to be used as a last-minute kitten formula replacement.

They’re made using items you probably already have in your kitchen and will tide you over until you can obtain kitten formula. A basic formula may be applied in a variety of ways.

  • For the first method, combine one can of evaporated milk, one egg yolk, and two tablespoons of Karo syrup.
  • For the second method, mix 8 ounces of homogenized whole milk, two egg yolks, and one teaspoon of salad oil.
  • The third alternative is much more straightforward. Simply combine one cup of boiling water with five cups of evaporated milk. After that, for every 16 ounces of liquid, you mix and add half a teaspoon of bone meal.

Each of these three handmade recipes should be properly combined. Put them in a sealed container and keep them in the refrigerator.

Combine half of the mixture with an equal quantity of boiling water when it’s time to feed. When feeding the mixture, make sure it is just above room temperature. Before feeding the kittens, make sure to test the mixture on your fingers.

Commercially manufactured milk replacers are available at pet stores, feed stores, and even internet sellers. Your veterinarian may also have these items and can provide you with some until you can go to a store or order online.

To keep the prepared formula fresh, store it in the refrigerator. These are thoroughly researched recommendations just for you in times of emergency, but if you are caring for orphaned newborn kittens and notice any significant health issues, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

For more details, check out What To Feed Newborn Kittens In An Emergency?

What Can I Use For Emergency Kitten Milk?

If you’re not sure what to feed your kitten, consider giving it goat’s milk. Lactose content in goat milk is lower than in cow milk.

Because lactose intolerance is common in nursing kittens, whole cow’s milk is not a good choice. Diarrhea is a likely outcome.

If this is all you have on hand, combine 8 ounces with two egg yolks and a teaspoon of vegetable oil to produce an acceptable emergency formula for your little friend.

You may even use human newborn formula as a substitute for cat formula if you have it in your cupboard or can get it in a supermarket shop that is open late. Use this until you can go to your veterinarian or a pet store to obtain the genuine thing.

Also, check out how to bottle feed a kitten that won’t eat

What Kind Of Milk Can Newborn Kittens Drink?

What Kind Of Milk Can Newborn Kittens Drink?

To avoid diarrhea, we recommend that you use solely powdered kitten milk replacement formula from the beginning — or as soon as feasible.

PetAg KMR® Powder and Farnam Pet Products Just Born® Highly Digestible Milk Replacer for Kittens are the two primary brands of formula available. Both brands are available in canned as well as powdered form.

We highly recommend the powdered version for your baby kitten. It is available at pet shops, veterinarian clinics, and online.

By opening the pop-top and sniffing the powdered mixture, you can ensure that it is fresh. It should have a somewhat sweet aroma, similar to powdered milk.

If it has a strong odor, such as poor cooking oil, cheese, or chemicals, it is rancid and hazardous to feed to kittens. After the expiration date, do not use any type of formula.

Kitten milk replacement formula (canned or powdered) must be refrigerated and stored in the refrigerator as soon as it is opened. You won’t be able to keep opened kitten milk replacement formula out of the refrigerator for long before it degrades. Consider it like fresh milk.

Because kittens’ tummies are so delicate, it is critical to avoid feeding them other kinds of milk, such as soy milk, almond milk, or any of the other nut milk.

Because cats are obligate carnivores that must eat animal products or they will become malnourished, nut milk and soy milk do not supply the proper balance of amino acids.

You may find that several individuals advocate goat milk for kittens if you perform an internet search.

However, most physicians would advise against giving goat milk to kittens because there are superior kitten formula alternatives that are full, balanced, and a suitable fit for a kitten’s digestive tract.

You might also like to read how long can a kitten go without eating

Can You Feed A Kitten Cow Milk In An Emergency?

The simple answer is that kittens should only consume their mother’s milk, or they should use a kitten milk replacer, commonly known as KMR or kitten milk formula.

Kittens lack the enzymes needed to digest the lactose in cow milk, therefore giving cow milk to kittens can induce diarrhea and dehydration in very young kittens. This is why it is critical not to offer cow milk to kittens.

Can A Baby Kitten Drink Regular Milk?

Cats should not be given cow’s milk since it lacks the necessary nutrients. Cow’s milk will also induce diarrhea, a potentially fatal disease in newborn kittens.

Only give kitten formula that has been approved by the manufacturer to your little friend. Hoskins, a homemade recipe, is excellent. You can also use KMR, a commercial powdered product.

Can You Give Kittens Water?

Cats do not handle dehydration well. Water is essential for all cats and kittens in order for their bodies to operate properly.

Water aids digestion, eliminates feces, and prevents crystals from developing in a cat’s urine. It can also help to keep tissues and joints moist.

Cats can obtain a lot of their water requirements from canned wet food, but they should always have access to lots of fresh, clean drinking water.

Water, on the other hand, is as important to a cat’s life as it is to humans. Water accounts for 60-70 percent of their body weight.

Despite the fact that it is beneficial for them, many cats dislike drinking water, particularly if it is still or standing water. This distaste for water might result in a dehydrated cat, so keep an eye on your cat’s water consumption.

Can You Use Human Baby Formula For Kittens?

Can You Use Human Baby Formula For Kittens?

Human baby formula is not the ideal diet for an orphaned cat if you are caring for her. To guarantee her long-term health, you should use a kitten milk substitute. However, if it is an emergency, human baby formula may suffice until you can go to the pet store.

A newborn kitten’s mother’s milk is the best nourishment for her, but if she’s been abandoned, it may not be an option. If you need to be a surrogate mommy for a small kitty, use a commercially available feline milk replacer.

Only a properly designed milk replacer can guarantee that your young friend gets the right vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins. Human baby formula is designed to meet the nutritional demands of human newborns, and the nutrient ratio differs from that of a kitten.

In an emergency, you may be able to feed an orphaned kitten powdered or concentrated human baby formula until you can obtain a regular feline milk replacer. However, you must disregard the package’s instructions.

Make the formula at double the strength recommended for human infants. You may also prepare a quick formula using one can of evaporated milk, one egg yolk, and two teaspoons of Karo syrup.

Human baby formula can be hazardous to medically vulnerable kittens. They have the potential to produce diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.

Dehydration can be deadly in a kitten that is already fragile. If you must give your kitten human formula for whatever reason, make sure it is iron-free to avoid an iron overload.

A formula based on goat’s milk may be easier to digest than one based on cow’s milk.

Also, check out can cats eat baby food

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Give My Baby Kitten Cow’s Milk?

No, do not give your kitten cow milk. It may make them sick and cause diarrhea.

Do Kittens Need Colostrum?

Colostrum is rich in protein and transports vital immune system components. A mother cat’s milk contains colostrum. If possible, newborn kittens should be given their mother’s milk since it establishes the foundation for appropriate immune system function and disease prevention.

Should A Kitten Sleep With Me?

Avoid allowing your cat to sleep on your bed or with your children. It is harmful to your kitten as well as you because kittens also contain diseases that may be passed to humans. It’s essential to keep your kitten in a safe place while you’re both sleeping to avoid harm.

Final Words

If you find yourself with a hungry newborn kitten, you’ll need to know how and what to feed it. We hope that this article has provided you with enough information that you may use during an emergency.

However, we still recommend that you take her to a veterinarian as they can provide you with accurate information and advice.

Feel free to drop your queries regarding your feline friend in the comment section below!


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