Kittens start eating food and drinking water from about 4 to 6 weeks old. Water should be fresh and replaced on a daily basis. Filtered water is best and preferred if possible. From birth to about 1 month, kittens are highly dependent on their mother for nutrition and shelter. It is recommended to not separate the kittens from their mother before this important development period. If you do, the kitten is more likely to develop health issues and more prone to behavioral problems.
What are the stages that kittens go from birth to eating like normal cats
Newborn kittens cannot stand or open their eyes, they snuggle together with their brothers and sisters for warmth, they are completely dependent on their mother or caretaker. They are vulnerable and do not venture far. In week 2, they still cannot see or stand without wobbling. They are still reliant on only their mother’s milk and depend on her to help with food elimination by stimulating their private areas. By week 3, the distinctive features that identify each gender are easier to tell if the kitten is a boy or girl. They are less wobble-y and their teeth are starting to come in. It is around this time that they are getting ready to become less dependent on their mother. The quantity of eating and drinking increases. In weeks 4 through 6, this is where the kitten is now able to start eating food and drinking water. To encourage them to eat, use wet food and try mixing it with kitten formula. To encourage them to drink, use a pet water fountain designed specifically for cats or feed them with the tip of your finger. The week after the kittens are still developing their taste buds for solid food while being nursed by their mother. Finally, at 6 weeks they start to become more independent and explore the world around them. They can start to see and walk and are able to find the way to kitten food and fresh water by themselves. However, they are still not completely independent from their mother, as they occasionally go back for comfort and milk.
Troubleshooting if wearing kitten is taking too long
If a weaning kitten is taking too long there are a few things you can do. The easiest method is to hand-feed it with your finger. Simply dunk a moderately-sized finger, such as your index finger, into your kitten’s water bowl and remove it to create a small dew drop on the tip of your finger. Then help your kitten to have easy access to this water by placing the finger you used close to its chin and mouth. If that method does not work, try adding more water into the kitten food. This way the kitten has added hydration when it eats, without knowing that there is extra water added. Note, do not add too much water. It is important that the consistency of kitten food remains relatively the same, otherwise the kitten may not eat either. Finally, if both of the previous methods do not work, observe their behavior closely. Kittens need to eat and drink frequently, so do not wait too long before taking them to a vet as there can potentially be some underlying issues or health problems. Keeping a close eye on your kittens mannerisms can be instrumental in getting the help it needs before it’s too late.
Ways to encourage your kitten to drink water
There are many ways to encourage your baby kitten to drink water. A popular method is to purchase a water fountain designed specifically for pets to drink. Stagnant water is not exciting to drink. There are pet-designed water fountains available, and its design allows for the water to be continuously clean, as well as having the moving water being fun for kittens to drink. In turn, they will drink more water. Alternatively, you can separate the kitten’s litter box and food and water bowl. The smell from the litter box can deter and discourage a kitten from drinking water.
Food recommendations for young kittens
For young kittens, there are certain food recommendations for them. Wet food is generally preferred, since the liquid will help hydrate the feline. Getting plenty of water is important, especially if a kitten is stubborn and does not drink a lot of water. Dry food, on the other hand, might be challenging for baby cats to chew and digest. And there are no added hydration benefits like what wet food has. In the end, the choice of what kind of food to give ultimately lies with the caretaker. Kittens can have treats in small quantities. The typical recommendation is to stick with oily fish, such as tuna or mackerel, and without bones.