How To Bottle-Feed A Kitten That Won’t Eat (Guide)

Kittens under four weeks of age without a mother need regular bottle feeding for healthy growth.

But, how do you bottle-feed a kitten that won’t eat anything?

How To Bottle Feed a Kitten That Won't Eat

If this is your first time looking after a kitten, bottle feeding it can be a little overwhelming.

But don’t worry, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide for you so that you can grasp the proper technique of bottle-feeding a kitten.

Read the article to know how to bottle feed a kitten, the right formula, and how frequently you should feed your kitten.

Guide To Bottle-Feed A Kitten That Won’t Eat

Fostering an orphaned kitten can be an overwhelming experience.

Just like newborn human babies, kittens also need the full attention of their mothers.

Kittens without mothers need our assistance to survive.

Lack of maternal interaction can lead to increased aggression, timidity, and fearfulness in young kittens, resulting in eating disorders.

Down below, we’ve prepared a few essential things that you must consider while feeding a kitten.

Don’t Bottle Feed A Kitten In Cold Places

While feeding, the kitten must be kept warm. Kittens under four weeks of age can not thermoregulate, meaning they can not generate much body heat.

The University Of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program guidelines also recommends that while bottle-feeding, or feeding in general, the kitten should be kept warm.

Kittens can not digest their food completely if their body temperature is lower than 85°F or 29°C.

Mothers usually provide kittens warmth while feeding.

However, if the mothers are not around, you can wrap the kitten in a towel like a burrito.

You can also use your body warmth to keep the kitten warm.

Tuck your little buddy against your bare skin. Cover half of its body with a lightweight blanket or towel.

Heating pads are also an incredible option to keep your kitten warm and cozy.

Just keep them away from any cold places.

The Right Formula For Bottle Feeding A Kitten

The right formula is closely similar to a cat’s milk. The right formula should contain at least:

  • 40-42% protein
  • 24-25% fat
  • 24-26% carbohydrates

Generally speaking, many homemade recipes are different from cat’s milk.

To our best knowledge, commercial milk substitutes for kittens are considered better than homemade preparations.

However, don’t blindly trust any random commercial milk substitute as well.

Some commercial milk substitutes can also significantly harm your kittens.

Some formulas are not well formulated and can cause diarrhea and cataracts.

You can easily find many Kitten Milk Replacements (KMR) available in pet stores.

Consult your vet to know which brand will suit your kitten better.

To prepare the formula, follow the instructions written on the back of the container.

Please also make sure that you refrigerate the formula after opening it.

Why Shouldn’t You Feed Cow’s Milk Alone To Your Kittens That Won’t Eat?

You probably must have already heard a million times that you shouldn’t feed Cow’s Milk to your kitten.

However, do you know why you shouldn’t?

Bottle feeding a Kitten That Won't Eat

When consumed alone, cow’s milk can seriously harm your kitten.

Cow’s milk does not contain the right amount of protein and fats required for a kitten’s healthy development and growth.

Kittens are lactose intolerant, and cow’s milk also contains an excessive amount of casein and lactose.

An excessive level of lactose can seriously harm kittens under one week of age. It is also significantly more diluted.

Product Recommendation: Petag Kmr Kitten Milk Replacer Powder:

PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Powder contains all the necessary Vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients.

The formula also contains the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to ensure kittens’ proper development and growth.

The formula is also enriched with prebiotics and probiotics essential for growing newborn kittens.

PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Powder is ideal for kittens under six weeks (1.5 months) of age.

The milk-powered is not only easy to mix but is also light on the kitten’s stomach.

Check price on Amazon

The Right Amount To Feed

Measure your kitten’s weight to calculate the right amount of Milk your kitten should take with each feeding.

For instance, if your cat is two weeks old and weighs about 198 to 199 (7 oz.), you should feed it 55 ccs of formula (15 cc equals one tablespoon).

As per University Of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program guidelines, kittens should eat 30 ccs of formula per 14 grams of body weight within 24 hours.

When fed right, the kittens gain 14 grams (4 oz.) per day and a minimum of 111 to 114 grams per week.

Therefore, keep an eye on their weight to make sure you are feeding your kitten the right amount.

The Right Frequency Of Bottle-Feeding A Kitten

As per experts, you should feed your kitten under two weeks of age every two hours to ensure her healthy development and growth.

However, if your kitten is under three to four weeks of age, feed it after every three to four hours.

If your kitten is weak or isn’t eating enough, you can adjust the frequency and amount of feeding according to your vet’s recommendations.

If, during feeding time, your kitten ends up sleeping, do not wake it up to feed.

Let it sleep, or else it may feel irritated or upset.

You should also observe the kitten’s natural feeding cycle.

If a kitten won’t take a bottle, try giving her a gentle back rub or forehead rub.

Similar to how a mother cat cleans, this stroking may encourage the kitten to nurse.

Try dabbing some Karo Syrup on the kitten’s lips if this doesn’t work.

Preparing The Formula And Bottle-Feeding The Kitten

Once you have measured your kitten’s weight, you probably already know how many tablespoons of formula you need.

Don’t feed a kitten in regular milk bottles used for human babies.

Kittens are cute tiny creatures. They occasionally need minimal amounts of milk.

Therefore, buy a milk bottle specially made for kittens.

These bottles come up with different nipple sizes and shapes.

Try to make fresh formulas for each feeding. Make sure the formula is warm, neither hot nor cold.

Feed your kitten at approximately 100 F (37.5 C).

To make the formula warm, you can either put a bottle directly into the microwave or place it in hot water.

Before feeding the formula to the kitten, test the temperature by dropping a few drops on your hands.

Warning Note: Do not boil the formula. Gently position your kitten’s head for feeding.

Your kitten’s head should be tilted upward to minimize air intake.

Avoid reclining your kitten on its back as it may cause it to aspirate and choke. This position can cause pneumonia. Therefore while feeding, make sure that your kitten is leaning forward or flat on its belly.

Once the head is tilted upward, gently open your kitten’s mouth and slip the bottle nipple inside.

While bottle-feeding your kitten, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle to keep the air from getting into its mouth.

How To Bottle-Feed A Kitten That Won’t Eat? – The Takeaway

To conclude, for young kittens to become healthy adults, diet and hygiene play crucial roles.

Knowing the right way to bottle-feeding a kitten can make the procedure easier and less confusing.

Hopefully, this comprehensive guide has answered all your queries.

Now you at least know the ABC of how to bottle feed any kitten that won’t eat anything.

If you have any other queries concerning bottle feeding a kitten that won’t eat, feel free to comment down below.