Tips on Feeding 4 Week Old Kittens
Feeding a 4 week old kitten works nearly the same way as feeding babies, kittens eat different things depending on their current stage in life.
From birth to the age of around three weeks old, kittens should only consume the mother cat’s milk. This provides them with all the nutrition they need in order to continue growing and developing well. In cases where the mother cat is unavailable, and another foster mother cat cannot be found, then kitten formula works well as a substitute.
When your kitten reaches the age of four weeks, this signals that the weaning process can now begin. Weaning is a term that refers to introducing your kitten to solid food, while leading it away from kitten formula at the same time. Basically, this means replacing your kitten’s usual formula meal with kitten food. This is a big change for the kitten, and will allow it to become accustomed to the type of food it will be consuming for the remainder of its life.
The process of weaning should always be done gradually. One of the biggest causes of kitten diarrhea is sudden or drastic changes to the kitten’s diet. This may occur even if you simply switch from one food brand to another, so what more when you suddenly present your kitten with solid food instead of formula? Slowly replacing the formula with dry food is always the way to go.
Start out by mixing a small amount of kitten food with the kitten’s usual formula. Use only one type of kitten food and stay consistent with this, to avoid any additional diet changes from occurring in the future. Mix this dry kitten food with the kitten formula until this has a wet, oatmeal-like consistency. This can be achieved by mixing one part of kitten food with three parts of formula. Present this to your kitten, encouraging it with soft words and cuddles until it begins lapping up the food at usual.
Most kittens will take to this type of food with some reassurance. Other kittens however, may snub the meal entirely. When this happens, return to bottle feeding your kitten plain formula, and try starting the weaning process again after a few days until it takes to it.
Continue feeding your 4 week old kitten this oatmeal-like kitten food and formula mixture. After a few days, try adding more kitten food while lessening the amount of kitten formula. Do this gradually, with a few days in between each change. Continue making your kitten’s meals dryer and dryer, until finally, you can present it with completely dry kitten food with no trouble at all. Your kitten should be completely weaned at around eight weeks of age.
Once you start drying your kitten’s food out, always remember to present your kitten with a separate bowl for water as well. This will keep your kitten properly hydrated and healthy.
The start of feeding 4 week old kittens is considered a big change to the kitten’s diet. Weaning is a relatively easy problem and should cause no challenges if done slowly, gradually and patiently. Complications may occur with more finicky kittens, but keep presenting it with dry kitten food and eventually, your kitten will be happily consuming dry kitten food and getting all the nourishment it needs to grow into a healthy adult cat.