Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bottle Feeding A Kitten

Hand Feeding And Bottle Feeding

image of a kitten feedingSometimes you come across a kitten that was abandoned by the mother or something may have happened to the mother and you end up with a whole litter of cats that need to be feed and are not able to eat on their own.  You have to feed them and keep them warm so they can live and grow up.
 Keeping them warm is not hard and if you have a whole litter then they keep each other warm, feeding becomes the issue.  A good pet store will have what you need to feed the kitten or you can get it online. Being a cat lover myself I get everything I need except the milk online and have it on hand in case one of these little babies need help, then when the time comes I get the milk at a local place.

Amount To Feed Kittens

  • Kittens under 4 ounces: 1/2 teaspoon per feeding, every 2 hours
  • Kittens that are 4-8 ounces: 2-4 tablespoons per day, every 3 hours
  • Kittens 8-24 ounces: 6-10 tablespoons per day, every 4 hours.

You may not have an ounce scale on hand, I have a food scale that goes to 1 pound in ounces that I use. You can get one of these or go by you instincts with what you think they need, never force them to eat.
  It may be easier to use the syringe when they are smaller but you have to be careful and let them take it in slowly. I prefer the bottle because they take it in as they want it.   


Best Milk To Use

Always let the mother nurse if possible, if you have to do this never give them cows milk. I know you hear kittens like milk but cows milk is bad for them, most cats are lactose intolerant.
 When buying cats milk I will get the powdered and mix it as needed, it lasts the longest. Never heat the milk in a microwave, it can get to hot very fast when dealing with such small amounts. I feel the vitamins are damaged in the milk by the microwave also, my personal belief but I feel better. Heat the bottle in water like you do a baby's bottle. Make sure it is warm and not hot then feed the baby.

Kitten Massage

It is important to teach the kitten how to relieve itself, the mother does this by cleaning or licking the babies. On kittens less then four weeks of age and especially less then two weeks of age you need to caress their genital area so they can pass waste. I do this before and after every feeding, I gently message their genital area and lower belly. I like when they go because I know they went, the trick is to do it over a towel for easy clean up and not to make a new fashion statement. They are so cute when little but need around the clock care, you have to remember they are babies and very fragile.

Feeding times

Kittens O–2 weeks need 10 feeds in 24 hours or about every 2.2 hours
Kittens 2–4 weeks need 7 feeds in 24 hours or about every 3.5 hours.
Kittens 4–5 weeks need 5 feeds in 24 hours or about every 5 hours.

This calls for a serious commitment by the person that is caring for the babies, you have to feed them at these times.

It is important to make sure they are kept warm, this helps them to sleep and digest. It keeps them from getting sick or being at risk of hypothermia. 

Kittens Vaccinations   

It is important for a kitten to be vaccinated after it stops feeding on it's mothers milk. Mom's milk has colostrum and protects the kitten, once the kitten stops feeding on the mother's milk it needs to be vaccinated within 2 weeks.

It is best to not try to feed a newborn unless you have experience, if there is no other choice then do what you can to save the baby, You have many resources online to use for help. An older kitten that is 3 or more weeks is easier to start with, there are some situations where the kitten may have been alone too long to save so you do beat yourself up if you lose one.

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