4-week-old kittens love wet food but trouble drinking/inhaling

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of pussigato pussigato 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #858844
    Profile photo of Kristin
    Kristin
    Participant

    Hi, guys! Believe it or not, I’ve got my little guy’s brother now, so I now have two 4-week-old kittens!

    The second kitten is just a teeny bit bigger than my little guy, and both LOVE wet food – gruel, plain, doesn’t matter what form. However, both just stick their entire faces in the wet food when it’s a gruel or watered down with formula (I tried saucer, Tupperware lid, and spoon) so that they inhale it as they eat and it gets up their noses. The vet said, “If they like it, that’s great and a sign to begin the weaning process…” so I’ve switched to feeding them just a teensiest bit of plain wet food from my finger before I bottle feed them, but how do I teach them to lap it up? Is it a sign they still might be too young and/or small? From what I’ve read online, everything else indicates they are ready to begin the weaning process (biting the nipple, love wet food, etc.), but I obviously don’t want to risk pneumonia or weaning too soon…

    Thanks!

    #858854
    Profile photo of pussigato
    pussigato
    Participant

    Kristin,

    Kittens wean from mama cat around 8-10 weeks. For the next two weeks, continue to feed them gruel and formula/milk. At 6-7 weeks, give them only wet food. I don’t know of a way to teach a kitten to drink/eat politely.

    You will see that face first in food/gruel is not unusual. Remember to clean them up esp. around the nose so they don’t snort it down.

    I don’t know if that was your intent but I believe in adopting more than 1 so they each have a playmate.

    #858855
    Profile photo of Kristin
    Kristin
    Participant

    Great, thanks! Just wasn’t sure if I should wait until they could lap it up, but I see now that I can just make it a little thicker to avoid liquid going up their nose.

    Is the formula mixed in with the wet food enough fluids? Or should I continue bottle feeding and/or give them water too? (Again, nervous about the water as they can’t really lap yet…)

    Thanks again!

    #858860
    Profile photo of Kittyzee
    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Well, sounds like you aren’t going to have to try to wean them, as they are doing it themselves. Yes, give them their wet food, just don’t make it so thin that they breathe it up their noses. I don’t recommend giving them a saucer of milk just yet, just because they would suck that up their noses too! You probably don’t have to worry about the bottle, unless they want one, and then I say go ahead with it until they don’t want the nipple anymore.

    #858863
    Profile photo of Kristin
    Kristin
    Participant

    Thank you! One of them just got diarrhea, and I’m thinking it was the introduction of the wet food (he has a VERY sensitive digestive system). I’ve read online that bottle feeding and wet food may do that to a kitten, but will they get enough fluids without the bottle?

    Also, how often do you think I should feed them throughout the day while weaning? They’re bottle fed every 4 hours right now…

    Sorry for all the questions, but so appreciated! (As always!)

    #858866
    Profile photo of pussigato
    pussigato
    Participant

    They should be getting 100cc per day. With the hardier food, you should be able to feed them 3 times a day. They’ll let you know if that’s too long. Be sure one of the feedings is just before bed. At 5 weeks, they should be eating 125cc.

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