Is the kitten growing up and is it time to start feeding it for the grown-ups? The most useful tips for weaning kittens.
When a kitten is born we are assailed by a thousand worries about its health and about the care to be reserved for that little animal. Perhaps because we see it as fragile and defenseless and totally dependent on us: therefore it is absolutely important to understand how to ‘detach’ it from the mother cat’s udder and start it in what will be, from now on, its feeding. Here is what should never be missing and what precautions to use when it is time to wean the kittens.
What is the right time to wean a cat
It is difficult to define the right moment in a cat’s life because sometimes it is not enough to simply rely on a mathematical calculation. Usually weaning begins around the fortieth day of life from birth and is absolutely gradual: it would be unthinkable to get a little cat accustomed to breast milk to eat baby food prepared by its master. As with infants, kittens also need to move gradually from liquid to solid food until reaching food with greater consistency.
So let’s say that from 8 to 10 weeks of life we can start weaning the cat, but in reality we should see it ‘ready’ or more independent from the mother figure. When the kitten has opened its eyes and is able to move independently, we can wean it. In reality, he himself will make us understand that he has grown up and no longer totally depends on the maternal figure, also thanks to the muscle strengthening, his immune system and a balance now acquired in walking.
Weaning is not a moment but a period that lasts at least up to its 3 months of life. starting to accustom him to a more consistent and less liquid diet, however, does not mean removing him from his mother: let’s be careful, because a forced removal could traumatize him and have repercussions on the psyche when he is an adult. Reason why puppies should never be adopted before the age of three months.
The weaning of kittens: what is needed
When we understand that the time has come to wean the kitten, we need to get everything we need to ensure that the transition from mother’s milk to baby food is not too traumatic. It is also necessary to be very careful, since it is precisely in this period that the biggest mistakes can be made, with serious repercussions on the health of the cat. Let us ask our trusted veterinarian for advice on the quantities of food that can replace a feeding and on the interval between one meal and another. Here is everything you need for a ‘painless’ weaning.
- Milk: it is essential that it has the same nutritional value and a taste very similar to that of the mother. We do not think only of our wallets because often a low-cost milk corresponds to an equally poor quality.
- Solid foods: together with milk it is also important to buy solid foods, in short, baby food that has meat as its first ingredient. In fact, it contains the proteins necessary for the healthy growth of the cat. Baby food or baby food based on crunchies, to be dissolved in water, are fine. Gradually we will use less and less water to dissolve the food and we will give it more solid.
- Bow: The material chosen is not important, but it is essential that its edges are low enough and accessible for the kitten. It is likely that at first it can play with it like inside a swimming pool, so it’s always better to keep an eye on it!
Mistakes when weaning kittens
In reality, the most serious mistake is to give the cat food that its intestine would not be able to digest, causing it to vomit and diarrhea: an example above all is cow’s milk. His digestive system will have to get used to disposing of more solid foods.
The first feedings away from the mother must be carried out with a dropper or even letting the kitten lick the milk directly from our finger. It would be absolutely wrong to force him to drink immediately from the bowl, also because he could choke in a container so large for its size.
Finally, it is important not to abruptly remove him from the mother figure : for them he is always a source of inspiration, an example to imitate to use the litter box and also to get used to the bowl. The separation from the mother must be gradual, a little more every day.
Weaning of kittens: if the mother cat is no longer there
Unfortunately it happens that a mother leaves her puppies prematurely and they find themselves orphans doing everything by themselves. It will be sad but we must trust in their strong spirit of adaptation to the situation: they will find a way to get used to new foods, even when they can no longer attach themselves to her breasts. The situation is the same if we happen to find a lonely kitten on the street that, more often than not, wanders alone looking for help.
The feeding problem will not be the only one to solve: in fact, orphaned kittens will also have to deal with their body temperature: in fact, the mother also warms them up simply by keeping them next to her. Let’s get a source of heat such as a hot water bottle or a blanket.