How much responsibility do you have as a new kitten parent? If you have an adorable kitty orphan, then prepare weeks ahead. If you have a mother cat by the kitten’s side, let her do the maternity duties and lend her a hand. A newborn kitten craves her mother’s warmth, not to mention she provides the ideal source of nutrition in the early days. Take a look at our guide of newborn kitten care week-by-week with questions and answers.
How much weight should a newborn kitten gain daily?
The average weight of a newborn kitten is about 3 ½ ounces. However, it also varies on the type of breed as well as the litter size. Week by week, a healthy kitten should gain double or even triple its weight.
Further, a newborn kitten should gain weight a quarter to half an ounce daily. This should continue until they are weaned. If you notice that your kitten did not gain any weight by this age, you should immediately bring her to the vet.
How much milk does a newborn kitten need?
The best feeding you can provide to newborn kittens is from a mother feline. The milk from a mother cat contains colostrum, which serves as antibodies with maternal immunity protecting kittens from potential diseases during their early weeks. For situations wherein you are left with kittens without their mother, it is best to find a nursing mother cat from local veterinarians or shelters. Bottle-feeding kittens with formula should be your last option.
The first two days after the kittens are born, they should be provided with at least 1 mL of milk every hour. Increase the amount of feeding per day by 0.5 ml until you reach a maximum of 10 ml.
Why are my kittens’ eyes not open?
Your kittens are not blind. Know that kittens are born so fragile without the capability to neither see nor hear. They come in the world with their bitty eyes sealed shut and ears folded as well as toothless. This is an indication that they are still in a developing stage.
How long does it take for a kitten to open its eyes? They start to open their eyes as soon as they reach seven to ten days old. However, they still cannot open it widely as adult cats can. They can fully open both eyes at two weeks old.
What can you do to help her? Never force her eyes open. Instead, help her by cleaning them up. Prepare some cotton balls and damp it with water. Wipe her eyes gently with the dampened cotton balls. Help them get sun exposure but choose the right time when the heat of the sun is not too hot. This is essential in the cat’s physical development.
How much should kittens eat when weaning?
Weaning is an important turning point for kittens. This is the transition from depending on the mother’s milk to eating solid food on their own.
They are usually introduced to weaning by the mother cat during four weeks of age. For those raising kittens on their own, pay close attention to your kittens during feeding. Are they starting to bite and chew on the bottle? If they are, that is a good indication that they are ready to be introduced to kitten food.
Allow a gradual transition by providing your kittens with a mixture. Here is a general guide for kitten weaning schedule:
- At 4–5 weeks, feed her with a mixture of formula and wet food.
- At 5–6 weeks, provide her with kibbles to nibble. Make sure that kibbles are dampened with water.
- At 6–7 weeks, congratulations, you have completed the weaning process of your kittens. They should now be more than capable of eating solid food at seven weeks old.
It is important to keep a close eye on the kitten’s stool. Remember that their stomach is very fragile that it can be easily affected by feeding and food selection.
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How can I soothe my teething kitten?
Similar to humans, kittens grow baby teeth and lose them too by the time they reach the age of at least three months. As a kitten parent, you must help them alleviate sore teeth and gums with these ways:
- It is important to encourage them to eat even at this stage. It helps to provide them with soft, wet food.
- Provide them with soft chew toys. There are teething toys available in pet stores that can be stored in the freezer. Know that chilled toys greatly help in alleviating painful gums.
- Whilst brushing is essential in your kitten’s dental condition, it is wise to lessen or avoid brushing at all during teething. The last thing you want is to associate brushing as a negative experience due to the pain.
- Monitor her teeth every week. Some have growing adult teeth inserting along with the baby tooth. If you notice something amiss, it is best to meet with the veterinarian. The tooth may need to be extracted. Set another dental check-up at the age of six months to ensure that everything goes well with her new set of adult teeth.
Be with your growing kitten
At seven weeks, kittens can finally learn how to use the litter tray. They are most likely to follow what their mother cat does. Without the mother cat, you, as the kitten parent, should introduce desirable traits. Learn how to litter-train a kitten here. Kitten behaviour development is just as important as nutrition feeding.
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