How to Wean Bottle Fed Kittens
If you have a baby kitten, who you have been bottle-feeding, you may need to wean it. Weaning is the process of introducing the kitten to solid food. If your kitten has been fed by it’s mother, then the mother cat will likely take care of the weaning process for you. However, if your cat was a rescue and has been bottle-fed, then you will need to learn the proper way to wean a bottle fed kitten.
This is a process that needs to be done gradually, over time, and with a lot of patience! Your kitten will not be able to simple eat and digest food on their first attempt. You should not begin weaning a kitten until they are at least four weeks old. At this point, their bodies have developed enough so that they can tolerate solid foods. If you try to do it before four months, then your kitten can get sick and may not ever wish to eat solid foods.
One really good way to tell if your kitten is ready to be weaned is to make sure that their eyes are open and they can navigate through your home by themselves if needed. If their eyes are open, then this means that they are far enough along in their development to start eating solid foods.
You will want to begin by shopping for or finding a small bowl- small enough so that the kitten can eat from it, and you will want to by kitten food. It does not matter if the food is wet or dry. On the first day, mix a very little bit of the kitten food with milk replacement. This should be very watery. If your food was dry, then you need to mash it up, making it almost like a pudding consistency. Bring the kitten near it and let her smell it. She will likely begin to lap at it. Let her eat until she is full. During the first couple weeks of weaning, you will need to supplement these little meals with the bottled milk you have already been feeding the kitten. Kittens need lots of food, don’t let her go hungry!
Keep with the process of mixing food in with replacement milk. Each day add a tiny bit more food, and a little less milk. You will want to do this over a period of about four weeks. After that time, your kitten should be fully weaned!