There is no doubt that cat’s mother’s milk is the most complete and economical food for the sustenance of a litter of kittens. However, it may happen that their mother is dead or sick and therefore cannot breastfeed them.
If you find yourself in this complex situation, you will have to arm yourself with patience, due to the dedication that it will bring you, and stockpile quality products . The care of the environment and the stimulation of their excretions will also be aspects to be addressed. Do you want to discover more?
You may also be interested in: What is the best food for a cat?
How to feed a newborn cat
Locating a nursing cat is one possibility. However, it is possible that he rejects these young because he does not recognize them. Therefore, you should turn to formula formula to feed your babies.
You can obtain it without difficulties at any veterinary clinic or hospital. Never offer cow’s milk to a newborn kitten , as it will cause diarrhea or vomiting that will lead to death from dehydration. Neither raw food ( BARF diet ) since you cannot assimilate it yet.
Rice milk is another helpful solution that guarantees the absence of digestive discomfort. You just have to cook a little rice and strain the water.
You will have to deposit a few drops on the kitten’s snout so that it drinks them until it develops the sucking instinct. Breast milk replacement can be given by teat or tube.
The latter is ideal for feeding large litters, but some experience or knowledge is necessary to avoid causing injury to puppies.
Therefore, our recommendation is that you opt for a dropper or a 3 cubic centimeter syringe (obviously without a needle). Bottles are not suitable at these young ages because they could favor the passage of milk to the lungs.
Colostrum in cat puppies
Do you know that the survival rate drops dramatically among newborns who have not received colostrum from their mother? Without a doubt, being colostrated guarantees to be immunized to get ahead.
It is a thicker , yellowish milk , very rich in protein. In fact, its nutritional composition is unbeatable for kittens by providing them with antibodies with which to overcome the first diseases that appear.
If the kitten that you must support has not been caltrated, you should take extreme care of its cleanliness and that of its environment to prevent the spread of diseases . Sterilizing utensils is also a convenient practice.
A kitten less than 2 weeks old needs about 21-26 kcal per 100 grams of weight. In fact, in this 15-day period, you will have to double your weight, which requires you to eat regularly.
This rule will serve as a guide:
- In the first 2 weeksyou should give him between 13 and 17 ml of formula milk for every 100 grams of weight per day. You should ration this dose in 5 daily intakes every 3 hours.
- In weeks 3 and 4you should administer between 20 and 22 ml per 100 grams. The daily feedings will be 4, spaced every 4 hours.
- From the fourth weekyou should proceed to weaning and for this, you must introduce the dry or wet feed mixed with milk. You will offer it on a plate 2 and 3 times a day without allowing more than 6 hours to elapse between each intake.
- As you show interest in the solid, you should replace the milk with water. You will prepare that kind of porridge with your favorite food or tin for puppies and water.
- At 2 months of age youshould already be familiar with the feed, without mixing, accompanied by water only as a drink.
Since the first 2 weeks are critical for the survival of your kitten, it is advisable to use a kitchen scale to weigh it and record its evolution. If he does not gain weight in 2-3 days you should urgently consult the vet.
Kittens are estimated to be born weighing 90-110 grams. During the first month they should gain about 7-10 grams a day (between 15 and 30 grams a week).
After 15 days of being born they must double their weight , and from that date they have to grow at a rate of 50-100 grams per week. Never use milk that has been refrigerated for more than 48 hours. It is advisable to prepare it to be consumed immediately.
You must use the dosage established by the manufacturer and heat the milk in a water bath at 37-38 ºC. The microwave does not guarantee a uniform temperature and also tends to form bubbles that could interfere with proper swallowing or digestion.
Once satiated, you will have to replace the licks of its mother to stimulate its excretions. Otherwise, it will die. Use a damp cloth or soak a cotton ball in warm water and rub it on her anus and genitals. When you’re done, clean it up.
The puppy’s posture is essential
Unconsciously, we feel the urge to place the kittens lying down as if they were human babies. However, this position does not suit them at all by favoring aspiration pneumonia .
The appropriate thing is that you place yourself in a comfortable position and that you place the kitten with its abdomen resting on your leg or on a towel. Your head should be slightly elevated and forward. Thus, there will be no risk of choking.
The environment to take care of it
As decisive as the quality of the food that you provide them is the adequacy of a medium, a temperature and a humidity that are optimal for the development of the little ones.
You will have to build a nest in which they can rest and keep warm . A carrier, box or basket will prevent drafts from bothering them and making them sick.
This nest should consist of a first absorbent layer, for example, with newspaper and cardboard. The second layer will be the one corresponding to heat. You can use a heating mat or an infrared heat lamp.
In the first week the required temperature is 30-32 ºC, in the second and third 26-28 ºC. From the fourth you can set it at about 21-24 ºC.
The third and last layer of the nest will act to prevent burns and provide them with a warm and pleasant touch . Blankets and towels are ideal for this purpose.
Likewise, the environment must preserve 55-65% humidity to guarantee that the mucous membranes of the kittens are hydrated. To do this, you can place several bowls with water scattered around the room. Thus, you will keep respiratory diseases away.
As you have observed, the mission of how to feed a newborn cat involves many details and demands a lot of dedication. It is about simulating the care that her mother would provide until 8-10 days after weaning.
He will surely remember well who fed him and will keep loyalty to you for life. Do you accept the challenge?