What to feed very young kittens

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by KDailey, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. KDailey

    KDailey Crazy Cochin Lady

    Jun 27, 2011
    Bronson, Tx
    I might be taking in some kittens that are only a couple weeks old, if that, and I need to know what they should be fed. Right now she's just feeding them milk outta the fridge but I thought I saw somewhere that you shouldn't do that....
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    At the pet store you can buy KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer). This is what they should really be getting instead of regular milk out of the fridge. It is like formula - you will mix the powder up with water to the correct consistency and then warm it. When they are around 4 weeks old you can add in a little canned kitten food and/or kibble, although at first they will probably only taste those.
  3. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    hmm, I had a three week oldkitten who is now 4 years old - when I got him, the vet said once they are away frmo their mom, no more milk. Feed him canned cat food with water mixed in for liquids. Older he gets, then you can give him dry food BUT make sure the kibble is large enough for him to chew. If it'stoo small, it gets stuck in his throat.

    I vote canned food with water mixed in, no milk
  4. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    If you feed them cows milk it could kill them. They should be on KMR or you can even use fresh raw goats milk. Please tell her to stop feeding them cows milk immediately. If they are only a couple weeks old you might need to get them a bottle nursing kit too. Just pour the KMR into the bottle and set it in a glass of very hot water to heat it up. Shake it up and you can then test it on your wrist, it should be warm but not hot. The rest of the KMR can be put in a closing type baby bottle in the fridge. They will need to eat 4 times a day and ideally once or twice a night depending on how young they are. If their eyes are not open twice or three times a night is best. If the eyes are open you can do once or twice a night until about 5 weeks then they can sleep through the night. Feed them all they will eat at each sitting. Hopefully they aren't too skinny or weak from eating the cows milk.

    They may have diarrhea, watch closely for the first day you get them to see if they do, if so you may need to take them in for Sub Q fluids to replace the fluids they have lost from the diarrhea. I keep my bottle babies in a cat carrier with a heating pad set on low and a towel on top of the pad. Then they go with me everywhere I go.

    I work for a cat rescue so if you need more info than this please PM with your email address and I can send our kitten care packet to you to read.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  5. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    Cant go wrong with goats milk! No matter the age. I have raised baby animals on it, as well as rehabbed emaciated adults. If they are a couple weeks, I'd go with goats milk for a week or two, then add some fresh ground turkey to a soupy consistency.
  6. KDailey

    KDailey Crazy Cochin Lady

    Jun 27, 2011
    Bronson, Tx
    Ok great! Thanks so much guys! I'll get the kittens and some KMR. They do have their eyes open, they're just not really old enough to be away from mama. We had a bad storm the other day and the mama cat never did come back for these babies and they were drenched to the bone so she brought them in. They saw the mama outside and took the babies outside to see if she'd take them but she acted completely disinterested and just walked off.
  7. Conn55

    Conn55 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    You can buy a baby animal dry formula that is good for most babies. I bought it for the 1st few weeks and then swicthed them over to a calf /goat supplent, my cats ar 6 yrs old now and doing fine. I got them at 4 weeks old. Be sure to wipe there rectual area with a damp soft cloth several times a day as they need to go to the bathroom, the momma cats and dogs do this for 4-5 weeks sometimes.
  8. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    KMR or goats milk untill they are about 4 weeks old, then start mixing the formular/goats milk with a good quality wet food, start with soup and decrease liquid slowly untill its normal wetfood consistency...they should be on mostly solid by 7 weeks old and completly weaned by 8 weeks.

    good luck with them, hand raising kittens is very rewarding but hand raised kittens can develop socilization problems so be sure you dont seperate them untill at least 8 weeks old so they can learn to be cats form each other since they dont have momma cat to teach them.
  9. KDailey

    KDailey Crazy Cochin Lady

    Jun 27, 2011
    Bronson, Tx
    Well here's an update with a picture:

    The lady I work with went to get the kittens for me when we got off work. I had to stay at work a few more minutes so she went to get them and brought them back here. She walks in the door with ONE kitten (there's supposed to be 4). She says, "you're never going to believe this but this is the only one I can find." She had them in a box and somehow the little buggers climbed out and are nowhere to be found.

    So I took the one kitten and I was supposed to have someone bringing me some cat milk replacer later on. They never showed or called and now it's late and I live almost an hour from the nearest store that would stock any kind of baby animal formula. Great.

    The poor baby is screaming because it's hungry. I have no choice but to give it milk from the fridge until I can get to the store today after work. I have 2% milk so I don't know if that's better than just straight whole milk or not but that's what I gave it.

    I did get a washcloth with warm water and wiped his little bottom until he did his business though and he seems ok so far. More like diarrea but maybe kittens always have that at this age? I don't know.

    I've got his box next to my brooder so they can share the heat lamp, my boyfriend keeps it freezing inside.

    The lady did find the other three kittens and I'll be bringing them home today. They all look pretty much the same: black with white markings.

    This isn't the greatest picture because it wouldn't hold still and it's off my phone but he's still cute
  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've raised countless kittens over the years on this formula:

    2 cups whole milk
    1 tsp cornsyrup
    pinch of salt
    1 egg yolk

    I've raised them from as young as a couple of days old on this.

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