Getting a newborn kitten as a new pet can bring you so much joy. This is mostly because of their innocent looking faces, not to mention their adorable high-pitched meows at an early age. Even though having one or several kittens can be exciting, you have to be responsible if you want to see them reach adult age. You need to make sure that you understand the foods that they require and establish the right routine to enable them to feed efficiently and grow properly. You may be wondering what exactly you can feed your newborn kittens other than milk. Well, there’s actually quite a lot to consider and that’s why I have named a couple of foods below that you can try next time your kittens are hungry.
What to Feed the Kittens during the First Four Weeks
During the first four weeks, your newborn kittens require milk from a mother cat. If they’re orphaned, talk with your vet to see if they can temporarily provide a mother cat for your kittens. If that is impossible, ask your vet to guide you on the proper bottle-feeding procedures. One thing that you should remember as you think about feeding those young kittens bottled-milk is that you ought to avoid cow milk at all costs. Kittens react badly to cow milk.
Alternative Healthy Diets for Kittens
1. Whole Grains
Feline creatures are naturally born carnivores, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t feed on other types of foods. One thing you’ll realize about pets is that they develop a particular eating habit based on what you feed them. During your learning quest on what and how to feed newborn kittens, you will discover that whole grains can be a good diet since they contain a high percentage of protein per calorie. Many cats will generally feed on polenta, corn, and coarsely ground cornmeal due to the good texture. Even so, you can still try mashed brown rice or barley so as to make it easier for them to digest.
As much as eggs are nothing compared to meat, they offer a superior protein source. As you start to understand how to feed newborn kittens, you’ll realize that they might enjoy eggs on several occasions. Please note that raw eggs may be too harsh for your kittens’ digestive system; therefore, you need to make sure that they’re cooked and not salted.
As weird as this may sound, vegetables are actually a good source of vitamins, fiber, and water for your kittens. However, not many felines will eat them due to their natural meat eating instincts. Moreover, they will also resist eating fruits since their taste buds don’t recognize the sweet taste. You need to know what to feed newborn kittens in an emergency, and veggies like steamed broccoli or cucumber could come in handy. Alternatively, you can mix a meat dish with veggies if they often refuse to eat them when served separately.
Since cheese is a dairy product, your kittens may not have a problem eating some. Cheese contains high levels of protein that’s alright for your kittens to feed in small amounts. However, it doesn’t have as much protein as that found in eggs, fish or meat. When trying to figure out what to feed newborn kittens in an emergency, cheese can be a favorable option. However, don’t give the kittens too much cheese because it can be too harsh for a kitten’s gut.
Being a good choice of white meat, fish is known to have lots of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to fight off kidney disease, arthritis, and heart disorders. Moreover, they’re an excellent food choice since they help keep your cat’s eyes sharp. Be sure to come up with a 2-3 times a day feeding routine. This will teach you to understand how often to feed your newborn kittens. You can choose to buy your kittens either canned or cooked fish, but remember not to feed them raw fish due to their underdeveloped guts.
The main reason why I didn’t begin with this option is that most cat owners wouldn’t think of anything else. Cats are natural meat lovers and this means that you might need to learn how often to feed newborn kittens. Meat is known to have high protein levels that’s necessary for a good vision, a healthy reproductive system and a strong heart. You can give your kittens’ fair amounts of chicken, turkey, cooked beef, and little amounts of lean deli meats. However, note that raw meat isn’t too good for a kitten’s digestive system. In addition to this, spoilt meat can easily make your kittens sick which is something that you need to avoid at all costs. If it’s something you wouldn’t eat for a meal, don’t give it to your young kittens.
How often to Feed Newborn Kittens
Young kittens between 3 to 4 weeks should be fed milk and small quantities of kitten food at least 4 to 6 times every day. They require regular feeding because they are young.
When the kittens reach 6 weeks old, you can reduce the feeding times. Kittens between 6 and 12 weeks old should be fed at least 4 times a day. You can start them on the alternative diets mentioned above as you reduce their milk intake.
Kittens that are 3 to 6 months old only need to be given food three times every day.
Feeding your kittens with the right type of foods will let you watch them grow into strong and healthy cats. If you’re unsure about some of the diets mentioned above, consult with your vet.