Weaning a Kitten From Mother’s Milk to Solid Food: How and When?

Weaning a Kitten From Mother’s Milk to Solid Food: How and When?


When do kittens start eating food? How long do kittens nurse? These questions appear when you have to deal with a little lump of fur. In this article we’ll try to answer questions cat lovers often ask.

When you take a pet, all the care of its nutrition and health falls on your shoulders. The sooner you take the kitten away from its mother, the more difficult it’ll be to feed it at first. After all, a small lump needs nutritious milk, which can support the immune system and protect its body. Focusing on heat and smell, the kittens have the reflex to look for a food source.  Therefore, don’t wean the baby from its queen until it reaches at least the age of 3 or 4 weeks.

Changing a kitten’s diet to complimentary food is a very important stage of growing up. You need to properly approach the issue of feeding the pet in the right way and when it’ll be ready.

A healthy, lactating queen weans her kittens from her milk. Typically, this process takes less than a month. When mom sees that the kittens get ready for solid food, she begins to gradually wean them. But if you separate the kittens from the nursing queen (or they are orphaned), this responsibility is shifted to you.

In this situation many questions may naturally arise: “when does kitten start eating food?”, “how long does a kitten need milk?”, “when should I wean kittens?”. The best solution is to visit a vet and get professional recommendations. We will also give you some tips as for the nursing of a little kitten:

  1. “In case of emergency, you can mix 200 ml of milk with an egg yolk and a multivitamin tablet”, says the veterinarian Dr. Jules Benson. “But this mixture must be used only once or twice as a means to give the newborn some nutrients”. Then you’ll have to buy a special mixture for kittens.
  2. The formula can be given to your pet with using a syringe or a bottle. There are many similarities between feeding human and feline babies. The pet should lie on its stomach, and the bottle should be held at an angle.  After feeding, it should burp. To help the animal to burp out excess air, place it on your knee and pat it slowly until it produces a burp. You should repeat these steps every time you feed your furry ball. A place where the kitten will sleep is also very important. Build a small bed by filling a box with rags or towels. Then put a closed hot water container and cover it with towels to make your pet feel comfortable and safe.  A litter tray is also needed.
  3. A small kitten needs warm milk in small doses very often all day and night. Over time, the interval between feedings will increase, so you will be able to get some rest at night. If the kitten is sleeping, don’t wake it up, when it’s hungry, it’ll let you know. This stage will last about four weeks. Growing up, the little lump will eat more, but less often. As a rule, 5 times a day.  From now on, you can relax and enjoy communication with your growing pet.
  4. Usually, at the age of a month, the older cat weans the kittens. She lets them try food from her bowl and then gradually stops breastfeeding. As for the orphaned kitten, you can start giving other food at the age of 3 or 4 weeks. It’s ready to eat solid food when it begins to bite and chew your fingers. You’ll notice that.

Then you can make next step – add new foods to the pet’s ratio.


When do kittens eat solid food?

When the pet becomes more active and playful, it will begin to leave its warm box in order to play and explore the room. But if it cannot stand straight on its feet, then it’s too early to think about weaning. It means that your pet isn’t yet ready to try some new food. You may be asking: “When do kittens stop nursing from their mother?” It’s a very individual process that can vary significantly. Only a small part of pets start eating dry food on their own, often the task of weaning from the breast is taken over by an adult cat. Your pet is already deprived of maternal affection and nutritious milk, so don’t rush with trying complementary foods if it doesn’t show interest in it.

How to accustom pets to other food? The first step is mixing food with water to make it wet. You should offer this liquid to your pet. If it licks, then try to give more of this food. It’s necessary to get a separate bowl when it begins to eat complimentary food with taste. Never put your kitten’s face into the bowl, because it can cause it to inhale the liquid and fall ill. Remember, you are dealing with a small child, which is only learning to eat.

We hope we were able to answer the question “When does kitten start eating food?” We tried to collect the most useful tips to help you easily switch your kitten from formula to other types of food.

Adopting a kitten is always a big deal. The little fluffy needs all your love and care to get through the first weeks of its life. Yes, it will grow up to be a healthy and energetic cat, but first you will have to learn many aspects of kitten fostering. Questions like “when do kittens start to eat”  “how to get kittens to eat wet food?” will follow you throughout the path of feeding the cat’s baby. But you will replace its mother and your relationships with a furball will only become stronger and warmer.

As for the pet food in general, it must be a specially formulated age-appropriate nutrition. At each stage of its growth, a cat needs a certain amount of proteins, calories and vitamins. Food, designed specifically for cats, meets all the growth criteria, so don’t skimp on good bites for your pet. It will thank you with its healthy appearance, energy and love.


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