In their first year of life, kittens develop a lot, much like newborn humans do. A kitten's growth and development are strongly impacted by the sort of food they eat and how much of it they consume. You can monitor your kitten's growth and make sure they are getting the right nutrients by putting them on a regular feeding plan.
Week One Feeding Schedule
A kitten's birth weight is usually between 3 and 3.7 oz, however feeding causes them to acquire weight quickly. A newborn kitten will only rely on its mother to feed it with nourishment for the first few weeks of life. Since it is born without eyes or hearing, it must rely on the pheromones released by its mother to locate food and warmth. The majority of kittens thrive without any assistance from humans, but if a kitten has to be bottle-fed because its mother cat is not around, is unwell, or rejects it, you should measure the kitten frequently to ensure that its weight accurately represents a healthy and typical growth rate for a kitten.
For the first week after birth, a kitten will feed for around 45 minutes at a time every 2 to 3 hours. We'll sleep for the remainder of the time. Each meal for kittens that are bottle-fed should consist of around a tablespoon, or 15 ml, of special kitten formula. If at all feasible, try to keep the kitten with its mother or a substitute lactating cat who can nurse it because bottle-feeding a newborn kitten takes a lot of time.
A kitten's ear canals should have opened by the end of the first week, and if it is eating normally, it should weigh around 4 oz. A gram scale, such as the sort used for weighing meals in the kitchen, should be used to keep track of weight increase.
Weeks Two and Three Feeding Schedules
A 2- to 3-week-old kitten will still require feedings every two to three hours, and each meal should include at least a half-teaspoon of formula or milk. You must rely on the kitten's weight to determine whether it is getting enough food if it is nursing from its mother. It should weigh approximately 10 oz between days 8 and 18 and start to move about quickly after opening its eyes.
A kitten will be able to stand up by the end of the third week and will have started interacting with its littermates. The beginning of playing, ear-biting, wrestling, and exploratory activities are crucial components of socializing.
Weeks Four and Five Feeding Schedules
A kitten gradually increases how much food it eats at each meal during weeks 4 and 5. Less frequent feedings mean that a dish of formula or should be accessible so that a kitten may begin to sip from it. A kitten should only be nursing three times per day by the end of the fifth week, but it should also be drinking around three tablespoons of milk or formula at each meal.
If a kitten is consuming enough food, it should weigh between 14 and 16 ounces by the time it is 4 to 5 weeks old. By the end of the fifth week, the kitten should be receiving more food from a saucer than it is eating from breastfeeding. With over the course of a few weeks, the meal should transition from being a liquid to finally more of a gruel. Since a kitten generally ends up stepping in the food during this time of life, it will be messy, but it is a vital step to start weaning it off of its mother's milk.
Week Six Feeding Schedule
A kitten should be eating the gruel four times per day and nursing less by the time it is six weeks old. Dry kitten food should be added to the gruel, which should gradually become less watery, along with a dish of water.
Reduce meal times to only three times each day by the end of week six. To prevent food aggression in many kittens, make sure to supply a few bowls of both canned and dry kitten food.
Weeks Seven and Eight Feeding Schedules
If all the kittens are eating the kitten food that is supplied to them three times a day, then limited nursing sessions should still be permitted until the kittens are two months old. By the end of week eight, a kitten should weigh around two pounds from the combination of limiting nursing and consuming ordinary kitten food. The mother cat may need to be separated from kittens who are obstinately trying to nurse more than they should.
Feeding a Kitten Over 8 Weeks of Age
A kitten should be fed with typical kitten food twice a day once they are older than eight weeks. For kittens of this age, eating solid food shouldn't be a problem, but occasionally they might still attempt to nurse. If you want to locate the kitten a new home, it should be fully weaned and getting ready to leave its mother between eight and ten weeks of age. The first immunizations are often given to kittens around the age of eight weeks, so you can be confident they have been developing normally when they visit the veterinarian.