Weaning Kittens to Solid Food

For the first few weeks of life, kittens depend solely on their mother’s milk as their source of food. This milk provides them with all the nourishment they need at the beginning of their life. After some time, however, kittens need to be introduced to different types of food, and to the diet, they will be following for the rest of their adult life. This is what weaning kittens are all about.

Normally, the mother cat takes care of the process of shifting the kitten’s diet from liquid to solid. When the kitten is separated from its mother, however, the responsibility of weaning now falls into the hands of the pet owner.

Weaning can usually start when the kitten reaches the age of four weeks. At this point in life, the kitten’s eyes should be open. The kitten is now more active and regularly interacts with the mother, other littermates, or in a pet owner’s case, the pet owner.

If the kitten has been separated from its mother, then you have most likely been feeding it through means of a dropper. Start off slowly. Allow the kitten to drink from the dropper as usual, then slowly move the dropper towards a small bowl filled with formula. When the kitten reaches the bowl, dip the dropper into the bowl to encourage the kitten to lap from its new dish.

The kitten may be hesitant at first, but with patience, it should be able to drink milk from the bowl with no trouble at all. If the kitten refuses to drink, return to bottle feeding for a while, but always offer the bowl first before bottle feeding. This will encourage the kitten to drink from the bowl instead.

After a while, you can now introduce solid food to the kitten’s milk bowl. Make a gruel mixture by mixing a tiny bit of kitten food with the kitten’s usual formula. This mixture should have an oatmeal-like consistency; not too solid and not too watery.

At around eight to ten weeks of age, the kitten is now ready to be introduced to more solid food. Continue to gradually make the gruel more and more solid, until finally replacing the gruel itself with moistened kitten food. When this switch is done, be sure to provide the kitten with a separate bowl of water to drink from.

Once the kitten has become accustomed to the moistened kitten food, it is now time for you to gradually moisten the food less little by little. This should be done until you can serve the kitten food right out of the can with no added moisture at all. Be sure to always provide your kitten with a bowl of water to make sure it is properly hydrated. When you reach this point, your kitten is fully weaned, and completely able to eat a regular adult cat diet.