Weaning in Cats: Tips to Help Kittens Wean Properly

June 2, 2020
You have to get kittens accustomed little by little to eating solid food. However, you don't want to separate babies from the mother prematurely, as this can lead to problems with physical and social development.

Kittens, like other species, need to feed from their mother for some time in order to be healthy and well-developed. Therefore, it’s important for you to know about weaning in cats. In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know!

What you need to know about weaning in cats

When should weaning in cats happen?

This is the most important question! Prematurely weaning cats can interfere with proper development. However, late weaning can have the same effect. Additionally, late weaning in cats can also cause discomfort and problems with the mother.

The correct time to wean cats is four weeks after birth. In fact, at this time, the mother will stop producing milk and encourage the kitten to look for their own food.

Weaning in cats takes place 4 weeks after birth.

However, there are times when a mother could start this process prematurely. So, you’ll need to know when this process should take place and be aware if the mother starts weaning early.

Don’t separate the mother and kittens abruptly

Even when it’s time for weaning, don’t separate the kittens from the mother abruptly. This isn’t beneficial to either party. On the one hand, the mother could become aggressive or even depressed.

On the other hand, the kitten won’t have finished properly socializing. In fact, they could imitate the mother’s aggressive behavior. This would all be the result of your act of separating them too abruptly.

Kittens nursing from a mother cat.

Don’t worry or be impatient! In fact, before 10 weeks of age, the kittens will naturally separate from the mother. However, we recommend that, when the kittens are four weeks old, you start separating them from the mother for a few hours a day. Then, you can increase this time as they get used to it. This can help the little ones develop their independence.

What to feed kittens

Although weaning in cats takes place after four weeks, you need to make sure that the weaned cat already has its eyes open and can move on its own. Once this happens, it’s time to give the kitten different food.

There are kitten food options that are substitutes for breast milk. You can combine these with other food. However, make sure you buy food specially made for kittens. These substitutes will provide all necessary nutrients and taste like milk.

However, this milk shouldn’t be the only thing your kitten eats. You also need to incorporate solid food into their diet. These substitutes are just another supplement that can help the kitten get used to dry food.

A cat eating from a bowl.

The amount of breast milk substitutes must be reduced as the kitten gets used to solid food.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t under any circumstances give your cat cow, goat, or sheep milk. A cat’s stomach is not prepared to digest these types of milk. As a result, it may cause diarrhea.

Prepare food bowls

Each kitten should have its own bowl for food and water. However, make sure these are small and not too deep. This way, it will be easier for your kitten to eat and drink.

A kitten being fed from a bottle.

If you see that your kitten is struggling to eat, you’ll need to get a syringe and fill it with the milk substitute. Then, you can feed the kitten while they work on becoming self-sufficient. However, you don’t want to let your kitten become used to this. Bring them to their food and water bowls so they get used to the idea. But remember, don’t force your kitten or starve it! It’s just a baby.

Just solid food

Once the kittens are eight to ten weeks old, you’ll need to completely remove the milk substitutes. Then, you’ll just have to give them solid food. Wet food specially made for kittens is a great option. In fact, this can help the kittens become used to solid food more quickly.

Remember to follow these tips! Weaning in cats must be done properly to ensure that the kittens properly develop.