Eating On Their Own

Kittens can begin to eat on their own as early as four weeks (the same age as litter box training). You will know they are ready for weaning when they begin to bite the nipple with force and will lap formula from your fingers. This is an important step in their development. Their tummies are immature and food quality is important. Their teeth have not really developed and they are still unsteady on their little feet. Expect lots of slurpy noises (like nursing from a bottle) and lots of sitting or standing in their food bowl. Some kittens even fall asleep in their food bowl while eating! Keep your camera handy

  • Step 1: Get the kitten to lap from a soup spoon to get the hang of eating. After they have grasped this concept, place the food in a small flat dish until they are comfortable with this form of eating. Be patient. Most kittens bite the spoon or the edge of the dish at first and don’t seem to understand where the food is!
  • Step 2: Always include regular kitten formula in with the food. The first meals should mostly be made up of formula with a little human baby food mixed in. We recommend Gerber’s Baby Chicken or Beechnut Baby Chicken with NO onion or onion salt.
  • Some kittens start eating right away but some take a little longer. For those who take longer, continue to bottle feed until they eat on their own. The idea is to slowly reduce the amount of formula as they begin eating on their own more and more. Eventually, you will completely remove the formula from their food.
  • Canned kitten food is easier to mix with formula, but if you want to use dry kitten food, you must soak it thoroughly. Kittens don’t really chew their food properly until they are about 8 weeks old.

Recommended kitten foods (canned):
Nutro Max Kitten (purchase at pet store)
Dr. Hill’s A/D (purchase from vet)

Recommended kitten foods (dry):
Royal Canin for Baby Kittens (purchase at pet store)
Nutro Max Kitten (purchase at pet store)

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