If you are thinking of bottle feeding kittens there are very important things to take into consideration. Kittens should stay with their mother for nearly six weeks, after which they can be separated. When kittens are separated they still need to be supplied with a calcium enriched diet to help the healthy growth of bones, teeth, gums and joints.
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How to Approach Bottle Feeding Kittens
Bottle feeding kittens is also done to create a strong bond between the owner and the animal. Experts say that guests and strangers who visit the owner’s house frequently should also bottle feed the animal so as to help the kitten overcome initial hesitation.
There are many formulations which be used to make a perfect bottle feed. A cup of unflavored pedialyte or distilled water can be mixed with a quarter cup of zoologics milk powder and one ml of poli vi sol liquid baby vitamin.
Calcium and Taurine Powder
A teaspoon of calcium powder can also be added, along with half a teaspoon of taurine powder. Half a cup of fat free plain yogurt can also be added to make the formula more concentrated.
The bacterium also helps to digest the food properly, but no sugar should be used as that can lead to diarrhea. After a few weeks of bottle feeding kittens, a very small amount of plain puree chicken baby food can be added to the formula.
When bottle feeding kittens the amount can be increased over time and with the growth of the kitten.
All Ingredients Can Be Mixed
All the ingredients can be mixed in a blender and then the mixture should be used within a day. If not used within twenty-four hours it should be discarded.
Before bottle feeding kittens, the mixture, which has been refrigerated, should be warmed. and then used. The mixture shouldn’t be stored back into the refrigerator once it has been warmed. This will avoid bacterial growth.
Care must also be taken while heating up the formula. It should never be heated up in a microwave. Instead heat up some water and place the bottle in the cup or pot of water for some time.
Bottle Feeding Kittens and Temperature Concerns
The formula temperature should be checked before bottle feeding kittens, otherwise if the formula is more than warm, it can hurt the kitten internally.
Also the kittens have the habit of drinking the formula very fast, so it will be too late before realizing that the milk is really hot. The bottle should have a special nipple called the vet nipple, which is small and not round at the end.
The cub should be not be laid on it’s back like how human babies are fed as that would make the formula enter it’s lungs and cause pneumonia. Bottle feeding kittens should be done when they are in an upright position or while lying on their stomach.
Introducing a New Formula
When introducing the cub to a new formula, give them time to adjust to it. Start by giving a diluted mixture and then increase the concentration gradually. If the kitten suffers from diarrhea, decrease the concentration immediately.
It could take weeks for kittens to start feeding on an actual concentrated formula. A log should be maintained while bottle feeding kittens to document the concentration of the formula, the status of their stool and their weight.
This will help to determine the cause of diarrhea and also helps to improve the diet of the kitten. Also, if the kitten is taking less and less formula and their weight is decreasing, this could be an indication of some disease.
If the diarrhea isn’t treated promptly, the cub could die of dehydration very quickly.
Bottle Feeding Kittens and the 5% Principle
Bottle feeding kittens should be done with meals that are five percent of their body weight until they become mature. This principle must always be kept in mind, as there is always a chance of over feeding. Instead of giving one or two large doses of formula, give frequent small doses.
Before bottle feeding kittens they should be encouraged to go to the bathroom, when they have crossed four weeks of age. The cubs pass a lot of urine and their owners should be ready for that.
Refusing to Feed
If kittens refuse to feed at designated times it might be because their bladders are full. But if the kitten refuses to except any food for twenty-four hours it should be taken to the vet. The exception to this is when the cub has been separated from its mother. As it will take about forty-eight hours before they will start bottle feeding.
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