Can Cats Drink Baby Formula?

For people who keep cats as pets, this is a valid question to ask, especially in an emergency where the cat milk is gone.

Imagine a situation where your cute little kitty is raving hungry, yawning, and purring in the agony of hunger.

Would you rush to the store miles away, or do you grab the baby formula at the kitchen counter and feed it?

Perhaps we should first try and understand what baby formula is and its components.

Can Cats Drink Baby Formula

Baby formula is food specifically designed for newborn babies.

Typical baby formula is made from skimmed cow’s milk. Among other components, the baby formula contains lactose.

Most but not all cats are lactose intolerant and feeding them baby formula might cause a problem.

Try as much as possible to feed your cat with kitten milk.

Replacing this milk with baby formula might cause health challenges for your cat.

But as they say, meat cannot rot in a day.

Using baby formulas only in emergencies can suffice, but be careful not to make it a habit.

Feeding Cat With Baby Formula

You should only give baby formula to your cat if it is the only option you have at hand.

Check to see if a newborn kitten is warm before feeding her. Cold kittens are unable to suck.

Wrap the kitten in a towel and place it close to your skin to warm her up before feeding.

The ideal body temperature for kittens between the ages of two and 21 days is between 96 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Baby formula will work well until you can get regular cat milk if your kitten is an orphan or its mother abandoned her.

This is because kittens under the weaning age, as earlier mentioned, can digest lactose compared to older cats.

When you are preparing baby formula for your cat, you might want to make it twice as strong as indicated in the packet.

Fill a bottle made just for kittens with the kitten formula after mixing it.

Both pet stores and veterinary clinics sell these unique bottles.

Use a nipple made for infants, and you might need to make a hole at the end of a brand-new nipple before you begin.

By submerging the bottle in warm water (much like you would a baby’s bottle), you can warm the formula inside.

When you apply the liquid to the inside of your wrist, you want it to feel comfortable and the formula should be warm—not hot—to the touch (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit).

Consult your vet in case your kitten is sickly and fragile to avoid any further complications.

Unless your kitten is medically fragile, baby formula, if not made a habit, can be good enough for your kitten beneath the weaning age.

This is because their ability to digest lactose is activated, unlike in older cats.

What To Feed Your Cat – Alternatives

Mothers Milk

There is something magical about a mother’s milk.

Whether it’s humans or cats, the most appropriate food for any newborn is the mother’s breast milk.

This milk is high in nutrients, which help to strengthen children’s immune systems.

However, sometimes a mother’s milk might not be available to feed the infant.

If the kitten has a mother, it would be appropriate not to separate it from the mother until it is weaned.

What We Love About This Feeding Option

Besides a mother’s milk helping to boost the infant’s immune system, this option comes with an economic advantage.

It is not only free, but it is easily accessible. Mother’s milk change over time to suit the young one’s development as designed.

Solid Food

Humans consume a number of foods that are also healthy for cats.

For instance, chicken and rice are a magic treat for a sickling cat.

Cats wean earlier than people do.

Their immune systems mature between three and four weeks, at which point they are ready to join the solid food club.

However, this does not mean that you should fill their bellies with baby formula or cow milk.

We already mentioned that baby formula and cow milk is high in lactose.

Given that it is present in the mother’s milk, a newborn kitten has a special capacity to digest this substance.

However, when a kitten weans itself from its mother’s milk, it loses its ability to digest lactose.

What We Love About This Feeding Option

As earlier mentioned, food like chicken and rice, and soup can help your cat recover quickly if they do not feel well.

This is because such food is bland and sufficient in both nutrients and calories.

Canned Food

Today’s market offers a wide selection of canned cat food.

These foods are designed in such a manner that they will not cause stomach upset or digestive problems to your cat.

But that is only if you know the right brands to pick the food from.

Many people tend to grab the cheapest and the easiest thing they can lay their hands on on the counter. This includes cat food.

If you are not conscious of the brand and do not take your time to read the label, you can end up endangering your cat.

Vet bills will come knocking at your door as we all know, cheap is expensive.

What We Love About This Feeding Option

If you are a cat owner, you should seriously consider switching entirely to a wet food diet.

Cat canned food is not only heavy in protein but also promotes hydration as planned.

Besides, the manufacturing process reduces the levels of carbohydrates in the food, which, in essence, is a good thing.

These foods also highly come in various flavors. This helps to boost the cat’s appetite.

Why Feeding Your Cat Baby Formula Might Not Be A Good Idea?

All the feeding options mentioned above come highly recommended.

But there are a few uncertainties when it comes to baby formula.

This feeding option has been vilified because there is a heavy lactose presence in this food, which most grown cats are highly intolerant to.

There are emergencies, and sometimes, you just want to give your cat a different treat.

In such cases, using baby formula is acceptable.

But even as you do that, you should consider an iron-free formula.

Having this in mind will help you avoid complications that come with iron overdose.

Optionally, you can opt for goat milk-based formula as they are easier to digest compared to cow milk.

Too much baby formula for your cat can cause diarrhea, leading to dehydration and, eventually, kidney and liver destruction.

Just as the baby formula is designed to satisfy human needs, so is the cat’s food.

In as much as we love these little companions and they feel like a part of the family, their needs are different.