Weaning a Kitten
How Do I Introduce a Kitten to Solid Food?
Make a gruel by mixing a high-quality dry or canned kitten food
with kitten milk replacer until it is the consistency of oatmeal. As the kitten
gets accustomed to eating, gradually decrease the amount of milk replacer you
add, while slowly increasing the amount of kitten food. By five to six weeks,
he should be eating only lightly moistened food. Now you can start to leave out
small amounts of dry food and fresh water at all times. By eight to 10 weeks,
kittens should be accustomed to eating unmoistened kitten food.
What About Weaning an Orphaned Kitten?
Generally, orphaned or hand-fed kittens can begin weaning
slightly earlier, at about three weeks of age, but otherwise the process is
essentially the same. Begin by offering milk replacer in a dish, teaching the
kitten how to lap from the dish. Gradually transition to a gruel created by
mixing a commercial milk replacer with high-quality kitten food. As the kitten
slowly grows accustomed to eating, gradually reduce the amount of milk replacer
you use. By five to six weeks of age, he should be relying solely on kitten
food for his nutrients.
What Are Some Steps to Help the Weaning Process?
Kittens may play with the gruel, batting it around and stepping
into the bowl before they understand that it’s food. Have patience and don’t
rush the process-they’ll catch on eventually. In the meantime, use a soft,
moist cloth to wipe any formula off the animal's face and feet after each
feeding. Gently dry him with a towel and keep him in a warm area free of drafts
until he's completely dry.