Help Weaning a Stubborn Kitten From Momma Cat

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jojo Tommas 4 months ago.

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    Jade L

    A cat I rescued over the summer had turned out to be pregnant. She was in bad shape when I found her, skin and bones and sick with a cold. She joined my cat family and I got her treatment for her cold right away. She got better and then I found out she was pregnant with 5 kittens. By the time the kittens were born, she was a healthy cat with meat on her bones and took to her mothering duties with no issues. When the kittens we’re just 7 weeks old, we ended up losing one of them to an internal issue having to do with the little guy’s heart and it just couldn’t be fixed with all of the care I got for him. The kittens that remain are now 8 weeks old, they’ll be 9 weeks on Monday. At 4 weeks, I read that it was okay to start introducing them to a food source other than momma cat. So I bought kitten kibble and kitten milk replacer and made a little gruel for them. At first, they didn’t seem interested but then Mischief started eating it and decided it was pretty good. A week later, Chester decided he liked it, too. By week 6, Mischief was eating the kibble without the milk replacer in it after he saw momma eating it. I still gave him the wet stuff, because he was still new to having the kibble by itself and didn’t always eat very much of it. Chester soon followed Mischief’s lead in eating the kibble, but again, I still made sure to give them the wet stuff, because they would only eat a little bit of the kibble. Towards the end of week 6, I had given momma cat some the pate canned cat food and Mischief, Chester, and Mr. Cat (Mr. Cat is the one who passed away.) decided they wanted to eat that alongside momma. It was just Ellie and Popcorn that remained content with continuing to eat from momma only. Now, up until that point, Mr. Cat would not touch the gruel I had made for the other kittens, as he was happy still feeding from momma cat, but that canned food sure sparked his interest once he saw momma and two of his sibling chowing on it. Now, during week 7, a day before Mr. Cat passed away, Ellie finally decided she wanted to try the canned food with momma and so far she’s doing really good at eating that stuff. She won’t touch the kibble yet and like Mr. Cat, she would not touch the kitten gruel I made. I’m just glad that she is interested in another food source other than momma now, though. Mischief and Chester will eat the kibble much more now and just love it. However, momma will still let them all nurse from her, but 3 of them know she is not their only source, which is great. On the other hand, Popcorn is being a very stubborn kitten. He won’t touch anything unless it’s momma’s teat. I have tried putting kitten milk replacer on my finger and offering him that and nope, he’s not interested. He doesn’t want the gruel, he doesn’t want the pate style canned food, he doesn’t want the gravy that fancy feast makes for cats, he only wants to eat from momma and she lets him every time. At first, I thought that maybe he was scared of the food dishes, because he backs away from any type of dish I give him food in.I had went out and bought some small low to the ground dishes for them to see if that would help him maybe not be so afraid fo the dish. Before I was using small paper bowls. He will sniff out the scent of the pate food, but will not touch it. He would rather play or nurse from momma. I’ve had them all to the vet for their 8 week checkup and to get their shots, my vet said they are doing great and suggested I try putting food for Popcorn on a paper plate, along with separating him from momma when he gets hungry and putting the plate of food in front of him. So, I have been following those instructions, but the little guy is terrified of the plate. He’ll sniff out the food, but won’t touch it. If he slightly touches the plate, he’ll jump back away from it and avoid it as much as possible. He’s watched his siblings and momma eat from the plate and other dishes, but he seems convinced that any form of dish is evil or something. If I put any food on my finger and offer him some, he will sniff it and then walk away to seek out momma’s teat or go off to play with toys. However, if he sees a little bit of litter next to the cat boxes, he’ll try to eat that.

    After losing Mr. Cat, I often worry about the other kittens. Basically, I just want to know if this is normal for a kitten to do and if he will eventually come around to trying another food source other than momma? Everything I have read says they should be mostly weaned by the end of 8 weeks and I feel like I am failing at properly weaning him. Are there any other tips or tricks I should know/try? I’m so afraid he’ll never want to eat from any other source aside from momma and I don’t want him to starve when momma won’t be nursing him anymore. This isn’t my first time having kittens, this is just my first time having kittens that had a momma to help care for them. All of the past kittens I have taken in were old enough to chow on wet food just fine or have kitten kibble. I’m kind of out of my element on this particular situation.



    Yes, he will eventually eat food and not just from momma. She sounds like a very good kitten mom and you are very lucky. Most kittens aren’t fully weaned until 8 to 10 weeks, and some just are reluctant to give up the teat. If she lets him nurse, I wouldn’t worry about it, but her milk will eventually dry up. Try putting some pate style food on your finger and putting it on the roof of his mouth for him to taste. Maybe he just needs to realize how good it tastes!

    I’m so sorry about Mr. Cat, it’s so hard to lose them after you have had them for a few weeks.


    Jojo Tommas

    Some cats will never grow out of this behavior and will start sucking on all sorts of random things. If you read about the Catsifier, this is what it was invented for. I’m only recommending it because my cat certainly seems like she would recommend it, if she could talk. I certainly don’t regret the purchase for a second!

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