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How and what to feed baby kittens

Updated on August 8, 2008

Basic guide for your hungry kitty


Baby kittens are vulnerable little creatures that need special tender loving care as they grow into the well known adult furballs we are all familiar with. Careful care is therefore needed when the kittens are still days or weeks old as they are prone to becoming weak, cold and dehydrated especially when not fed properly and at regular times.

Feeding an orphaned kitten cow's milk may sound as the most convenient solution in the rescuer's mind, however, cow's milk is not digested properly and may cause major stomach upset and even diarrhea. In an already dehydrated kitten, cow's milk may cause further dehydration due to diarrhea and prove even fatal at times. Fortunately, there are various products that may help jump start a weakened kitten into a healthy cat with 9 lives!

In order to properly feed a baby kitten you will need:

Kitten sized baby bottles



KMR stands for kitten meal replacement and can be found in any major pet store chain. You may find it in powder or already reconstituted, please read label carefully.


Sterilize bottle and nipple by placing in boiling water for just about 5 minutes. When taken out of water allow to cool down a few minutes. After ward, fill sterilized bottle with dose of KMR, place nipple on and warm up by placing into a hot water for a few minutes. Test the warmth of the bottle by placing against forearm. It should feel warm without burning.

Finally, feed the kitten.

*Adding a teaspoon of unflavored yogurt for every 3 and a half ounces of KMR every few days helps establish good intestinal flora helping the digestive system.


-It is very important not to feed a kitten that is cold as this will cause major stomach upset and even death.

-Do not force milk down kitten's throat as this may cause aspiration pneumonia from the milk going in the lungs.

-As mentioned above do not substitute KMR with cow milk or human formula.

-Do not overfeed as this may cause diarrhea and therefore dehydration

-Burp the kitten after feeding by holding one hand under kitty's abdomen and kindly patting the upper back area.

-After 15 minutes post feeding stimulate your kitten to eliminate by using a warm wet towel and rubbing gently genitals and rectum. This imitate's moms licking.


Now that you need how to prepare food, you need to know how much to feed! The amount of KMR to feed is based upon body weight, here is a general guide or consult with the KMR's label and instructions.

A 4 ounce kitten will need 32 ml of KMR per day divided in 6 servings

A 7 ounce kitten will need 56 ml of KMR per day divided in 6 servings

A 10 ounce kitten will need 80ml of KMR per day divided in 4 servings

A 13 ounce kitten will need 104 ml of KMR per day divided in 4 servings

A 16 ounce kitten will need 128 ml of KMR per day divided in 4 servings

*Kittens usually switch to solid food once they are about 3-6 weeks. You can help in the process by providing watered down canned cat food or chicken/turkey baby food with no onion or garlic.

It is amazing how kittens grow quickly. Kittenhood flies by and sooner than later your tiny vulnerable furball will have turned into a handsome, healthy cat!



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