Kittens are beautiful little balls that are born blind and deaf. During their first two months of life, they depend on the mother (or on some benevolent human, if she were missing) to be able to stay protected from inclement weather and also to feed themselves.
But they grow very fast, so much so that it is recommended to have the camera ready every day to take some pictures of them. And, as soon as we expect it, it will be time to start giving them another type of food.
So if you want to know how and when to wean kittens, do not stop reading.
Read also: Is It Okay to Feed Your Cat Human Food?
Kittens Must Be Cared for by the Mother
As much as we love kittens, it is extremely important that they are with their mother during their first two months of life. She will be the only one who can take care of providing them with everything they need: nutritious milk, warmth, training and mother’s love.
For this reason, we only recommend taking care of the furlings if their mother is not there, if she rejects the little ones or if there is some veterinary reason why babies cannot drink milk from their mother.
Find a vet for your kitten here.
What Happens If Kittens Are Separated from Their Mother Early?
Well, these problems may arise:
- Lack of cleanliness
- Difficulty learning to use the litter tray
- Lack of bite control and scratches during play
- Problems to relate, getting to show antisocial behaviors
- Lower defenses
- Nutrient deficiency, which in the long term can lead to somewhat strange behaviors, such as eating plastics
Read also: Why Does My Cat Eat Garbage?
This does not mean that we have to be excessively worried about those kittens that we collect from the street, but it does mean that we will have to be more aware of them.
How and When to Wean Kittens?
In normal situations, the mother cat will begin to wean them as soon as they are 3 weeks old. Little by little, and always with great care, she will force them to eat other things (depends if the kittens are living inside a house, or other animals like mice or birds if they were in the field).
Of course, the little ones will continue to drink breast milk, but less and less.
If these same kittens have been unlucky enough to lose their parent, then it is up to us to take care of everything. So, as soon as the third week is up, we will introduce wet food to our kittens without cereals.
It is likely that at first, they do not want to eat it, but for that, we can open their mouth and introduce very little food – very, very little – and then close it firmly but gently.
Read also: When Do Kittens Open Their Eyes
How Many Times to Feed Them and How Much Milk?
Much will depend on what the kittens ask for. From the third week on, milk no longer feeds them as much as before. So you have to be very aware of them.
To give you an idea, I will tell you how I weaned one of my kittens:
- Third week: 3 feeds of milk + 2 of wet kitten food
- Fourth week: 2 shots of milk + 3 of wet kitten food
- Fifth week: 1 intake of milk + 4 of wet food for kittens
- Sixth to eighth week: only wet food, often soaked with milk or water
- From two months: wet food with its water-filled trough next to it
- From four months: wet food with their drinking fountain filled with water
And now she is a cat that has grown very well, and that everybody adores. Of course, he has a couple of pounds left, but he has a heart that does not fit in his chest.
Read also: The 15 Stages of Kittens Growing Up