Weaning a Kitten – How and When to Wean a Kitten

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How and When to Wean a Kitten

Kittens are the most adorable things you’ll see, but when they start growing up, they start getting independent. Slowly, they stop depending on their mothers entirely. The first step towards the independent lives they take is weaning, the process of starting solid foods and leaving milk behind.

Most of the time, you don’t need to get a kitten weaned because most responsible breeders will hand you the kittens that are 8-weeks of age when they are already weaned. However, sometimes the circumstances lead you to adopt a kitten before they are weaned, or you become the parents of a cat litter due to accidental breeding.

So, if that’s the case and you require immediate advice on how and when to wean kittens, then you’re in the right place! Keep reading!

At What Age Should You Start Weaning a Kitten?

Are you wondering when these furballs are ready to taste some delicious solid food?

Look at signs of them chewing stuff, their toys, milk bottle, and other things they put in their mouths. It’s time for them to start on semi-solid foods to help strengthen their digestive systems. This happens when your kittens are around 4-weeks-old.

Cute little kitten sniffs bottle with milk

But if your kittens don’t have their mother, the weaning process can start a little earlier, like at 3-weeks. But every kitten has its own schedule when it comes to growing up and becoming independent by starting on solid foods. When you start their new diet, make sure they’re enjoying it and then continue the process.

It’s not easy for a cat parent to decide the weaning time; if you’re facing difficulty and have some questions, then contact a professional and seek out help on the weaning process.

Steps that Make Kitten Weaning Effortless

If you’re sure that your kitty is ready to take on the world and start its weaning, then here are some steps that you should follow:

Cute kitten is eating its food from orange bowl

Start Out with Choosing the Right Kitten Food

As weaning kittens are tiny and their internal organs are still developing, they need the right foods that help their development. When it comes to kitten-approved foods, they should be high in proteins and calories that are also highly digestible. This is crucial for you to follow because your kitten’s growth depends on the foods that you choose. So, make sure you choose highly nutritious foods.

No pressure, you’re doing fine so far!

Select the Best Bowls

Choosing the first bowl for your weaning kitten is always exciting, and you’re compelled towards the most colorful ones. But you need to keep a few things in mind, make sure that the bowls you choose are in the right material because some plastic bowls easily scratch them and the grooves in the bowls make it easy for bacteria to accumulate in them.

So, let’s pick out a shallow bowl that is the right size for your kitten that doesn’t need to strain much. Also, ensure that it has an attractive exterior that compels your kitty towards it!

A Perfect Place or a Nest for Them

Now that you’ve decided on their food and food bowls, let’s pick out the perfect place for your weaning kitten to enjoy its meals. Select a quiet place in the house that is far away from their litter tray. Make a cozy corner with some blankets or comfy towels that your kitty loves the experience of eating delicious new food in a comfortable new place!

So far, so good!

Don’t Stop the Milk Right Away

When you become independent, it’s a slow process from school in childhood to your job in adulthood. Similarly, don’t stop the kittens’ milk intake right after you start them on solid food. Their body is used to the milk, and if you change their diet all of a sudden, their body might not accept it because it doesn’t know how to digest it.

Keep it slow and steady, and eventually, they’ll just ask for food in a few weeks, abandoning the milk altogether!

Introduce the Most Important Thing: Water

Many cats are flighty when it comes to drinking water because stagnant water makes them uncomfortable. If you start them early, they don’t mind it much. The water bowl is the second most crucial part of a cat’s diet. Make sure you choose a shallow bowl and put water of about 2 inches that is not too deep. Next, keep the water bowl a little ways away from their food bowl because most cats don’t like their food and water together.

Now, you’ve mastered the basics of kitten weaning!

Feeding little newborn kitten from bottle with milk replacer

Some Tips to Smoothen the Weaning More

Some advanced advice that will help you and your kitten effortlessly go through the weaning are:

  • When kittens are weaning, they are also going through the teething process, so chewing on dry kitten food may be hard for them, so keep a variety of dry and wet kitten foods that’s easy to chew as well as easy to digest.
  • Keep both kinds of food handy because some kittens prefer dry kibbles, and some turn their nose on dry ones and go for the wet food, so it’s useful to keep both in the house.
  • Cats are always attracted to warmth, so put the food in the microwave for a few seconds and then see how your kitty, who’s reluctant on leaving the milk, comes crawling to you.
  • Keep a mat under their bowls; this is important because kittens tend to get quite messy while eating.
  • Create a schedule for feeding; it will make your life easier, and your kittens will always turn to you for food at those specific times.

Final Thoughts

When you’re weaning a kitten, the first thing you should remember is to remain patient with them. These small fur balls are taking their first steps towards an independent life; it takes a few weeks for them to get used to solid food. So, remember to never rush your little kitty, or they might stop eating altogether. And in a few weeks, you’ll surely see them rush towards you as soon as you pick up their feeding bowl!

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