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How often should a newborn kitten be fed?

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions - big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
Bogart

390910
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 1, '07 5:37pm PST 
Does anyone know how frequently a newborn kitten should be fed? Looks like I've found one and I have no idea.
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Jack

the little man
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 1, '07 8:00pm PST 
Do you know how old the kitten is? If you're unsure, here's a good way to tell.

1-3 days old: umbilical cord is attached

1-2 weeks old: eyes are still closed

2-3 weeks old: open eyes, attempting to stand, teeth look like nubs

4-6 weeks old: standing, walking, some playing, teeth begin to sharpen

If the kitten is 1 day - 2 weeks old, it is considered a newborn. Newborn kittens require milk/formula feedings every 4 hours. Your local petstore should have kitten formulas, as well as bottles. If you're in a pinch you CAN use goat milk. That is what I used on a feral newborn and she thrived. When you're feeding the kitten, do not hold him on his back like a baby. Set him in your lap on all fours and tilt his head up so he can reach the bottle. He should take to it naturally. Make sure the milk isn't cold, but warm, like their body temperature. Be sure to keep the kitten warm, as without the mother their temps. can drop to dangerous levels. Clean his area and yourself before every interaction and regularly. Since he is not getting his mother's milk, with built-in antibodies, he will be susceptible to bacteria. At this age you'll also have to stimulate his bathroom time. Take a warm rag, usually after feedings, and rub his backside until he goes. If he doesn't, just try again later.

If he is 4-6 weeks, formula feedings every 6-8 hours is good. Same rules apply with warmth, etc. If he seems to be around 4 weeks, you can also begin the weaning process, though I would wait for that since he is obviously an orphan. Feed him formula for a week and then begin introducing softened kitten food. If he doesn't respond well to the solid, make sure you keep supplementing his formula so he gets his nutrition. He can also be introduced to the litter box at this time. If you have some extra litter and a shoebox from your existing cat, you can set him up a little area. Just stick him in the litter and rub his bottom with a rag and let him go. You may even want to take his paws and rub them through the litter, just to get him scratching.

Anything older than 6 weeks and he can be free-fed. Leave out a bowl of fresh water and fresh kitten food and let him eat as he wishes.

Good luck with your little guy!

sarah & jack
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The Fosters

Fosters are- Forever in Your- Heart
 
 
Purred: Sat Jun 2, '07 8:46am PST 
Jack said it...
Keep us posted!
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♥- Sunshine- (Adopted)

Talk to me and- I'll purr for- you!
 
 
Purred: Sat Jun 2, '07 9:25am PST 
Do you have any idea on how old the kitten is? Most feeding amounts are based on a certain amount of formula per ounce of kitten, broken up into a certain number of feedings (number of feedings is based on the age.) Anyways, here are some links that break it down for you, they also have other information that is very useful for caring for newborns.

www.kittenrescue.org/handbook.htm

www.safehavenforca ts.com/newborn.htm

www.kitten-rescue.com

Good luck!
Purrs and bonks,
Sunny
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Dusty

I may be furry- but I'm not- girly!
 
 
Purred: Sat Jun 2, '07 4:08pm PST 
Just a quick note! The more people that handle the kitten at a young age, the more sociable he/she will be when it's older. They say a kitten should have 3 handlers. And kittens need a lot of love to stay happy and healthy!
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