Breastfeeding the kitten
For the first 48 hours, the cat never leaves her kittens alone: they suck between 2 and 3 ml of milk every 20 minutes. Then, it encourages them to feed for the first 3 weeks. Each kitten has its favorite nipple and the unassigned breasts stop producing milk. Over the following weeks, we see that:
- From the 3rd to the 4th week, the kittens suckle their mother: alternatively, they or the cat are at the initiative of the meal.
- Then, in the 4th week, kittens systematically become the origin of feeding.
- Around the 5th week, the kittens ask their mother, but the cat begins to move away from her cubs and to scold them when they want to suck. The growth of milk teeth makes feedings more and more painful for her.
- Weaning then begins gradually and usually ends between the 6th and 8th week.
The weaning process
Weaning of kitties should be done very gradually to avoid causing digestive problems. To do this, it is advisable to do this as follows:
The best solution is to make kitten croquettes available to children from the age of 3 weeks. They will be able to become familiar with it gradually.
Thus, when the cat starts to push them back towards the 5th week, they will be more inclined to make the transition.
As weaning progresses, it is best to separate kittens from their mothers for a few hours a day and then longer and longer. This will give them easy access to their food.
Weaning should be completely completed between week 7 and week 8.
Kitten growth and feeding
From birth, the kitten grows very fast, because:
- He earns about 10 to 15 grams a day.
- He doubles his birth weight in 10 days.
- It multiplies its birth weight by 6 in about 7 weeks.
At birth, kittens begin by drinking the first milk (colostrum), which is very rich in antibodies, which protects them from infectious diseases. In order to check that their development is going well, it is advisable to weigh them every day at a fixed time.
The quality and quantity of meals
Kitten kibbles distributed at weaning must be very energetic: a kitten consumes three times more energy than an adult. Its needs remain high for up to 12 weeks, then gradually decrease. Here are some tips to respect the quality and quantity of their diet:
- Kitten croquettes can be given at the beginning of weaning. But so that the little ones do not have difficulty eating them, it is possible, in the early days, to wet them with formula, meat broth, or water.
- The kitten bowl must be large enough for all the cubs to have access to them at the same time.
- Finally, it is advisable to give 30 to 50 g of croquettes suitable for kittens in 3 to 5 meals per day.