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What to Feed a 1 Month Old Kitten - Bottle Feeding and Amount

 
By Laura GarcĂ­a Ortiz, Veterinarian specialized in feline medicine. December 30, 2020
What to Feed a 1 Month Old Kitten - Bottle Feeding and Amount

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Kittens begin to wean off of their mother's milk at around 1 month of age. However, it is not until they are almost 2 months old that they fully transition to solid food. So, what should you feed a 1 month old kitten?

In this AnimalWised article we're going to explain what to feed a 1 month old kitten. We'll also talk about bottle feeding, the amount of food a kitten needs and more. Keep reading to learn more!

You may also be interested in: What to Feed a Pet Hedgehog

What do kittens eat?

Newborn kittens obtain their mother's antibodies through colostrum during the first hours of life and, later, from their mother's milk which provides the kittens with the nutrients they need to put on weight in their first weeks of life. If the mother rejects her litter and does not produce milk or one of her cats is weak or sick, they must be fed with milk formulated for baby kittens. This also goes for any abandoned kitten we find, as they will need those special nutrients in order to survive and develop into an adult.

Newborn kittens will need to be fed every 2-3 hours until they are three weeks of age. In addition, we must provide them with warmth at all times, since they are not yet capable of thermoregulation by themselves. Kittens will open their eyes when they are 10 days old and start growing their teeth when they are 20 days old.

Kittens will need lots of calories to fully develop, these calories will reach 130 kcal per kg daily at 3 weeks of age. From this moment on, the frequency of feedings can be extended up to 4-5 hours. It is important to use formula for cats, although if you do not have it, you can opt for an emergency puppy formula if necessary.

If the formula is in powder form, you should not prepare more than one serving for 48 hours at a time. On the other hand, when preparing a powdered milk marketed for cats it can be divided into portions and kept refrigerated until it is used. Before using it, they should be heated to 35-38 ºC by immersing them in a warm water bath, never in the microwave due to the risk of overheating or uneven heating.

Orphaned kittens should be bottle fed, leaving the syringe for emergencies. To do this, they are placed horizontally, in sternal decubitus with the head elevated to resemble the breastfeeding posture. To motivate your cat to drink their formula we can put a drop of milk from the bottle on our finger and bring it closer to the kitten's mouth. This will get the kitten to sense the milk and start sucking on the cup to drink the milk. Learn more in our article about how to feed a newborn kitten.

If your kitten is less than 3 weeks old, you will also need to help your kitten defecate. A daily record of weight, meals, elimination and general behaviour must be kept, as well as maintaining a good temperature (30-32 ºC during the first week, dropping to 24 ºC in the following). They will also need to be in a warm and safe area in your home.

It's important to remember that if you've found an abandoned kitten, the first thing you need to do is take them to the veterinarian. They will make sure the kitten isn't ill, tell you exactly how old it is and will help you plan how to care for it.

How much does a 1 month old cat eat?

A 1 month old kitten will need at least 130 kcal per kilogram of weight divided into 4-5 daily intakes. A 1 month and a half kitten will need about 225 kcal per kg daily, and once they reach 5 months it will be the maximum of 250 kcal per kg of weight daily.

Normally 1 month old kittens naturally continue to drink milk if they live with their mother, although since their teeth have already started to come out, they will show interest in solid food, especially their mother's solid food.

Once your cat is 18 months old they will be an adult cat and will then need 70-80 kcal per kilogram of weight. This may vary if your cat needs to gain weight or lose weight, and depending on the type of lifestyle they have. Indoor cats will need less calories than active outdoor cats. Talk to your veterinarian to learn more.

How to feed a 1 month old kitten

In short, the diet of a 1-month-old cat will consist of:

  • Formula milk for cats
  • Start introducing dry cat food or wet cat food
  • Always provide them with fresh and clean water
  • They should be fed 4-5 times a day
  • We do not recommend providing them with food that is always available as it can lead to certain eating and behavioural problems
  • When they reach seven weeks, they should be exclusively fed dry food or wet food for kittens
What to Feed a 1 Month Old Kitten - Bottle Feeding and Amount - How to feed a 1 month old kitten

What happens after the first month of a cat's life?

The socialization period of a cat begins at 2 weeks of life and ends at 7 weeks. During this time, kittens learn everything from their mother. Physical contact with humans is essential for optimal behavior in adulthood as certain events during this time will have a long-term effect on the cat's personality. This is the moment when cats should meet different people, other animals and visit different places. This way, they will have a more balanced temperament as adults and be able to adapt to different situations more easily, avoiding stress.

Once your kitten is 1 month old they will begin the weaning stage, reducing their ability to digest the lactose in milk and increasing the amylase enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the starch present in the carbohydrates of dry or wet food for cats. Weaning begins at four weeks of age and can be extended to eight weeks of age, where the transition is complete.

If you want to read similar articles to What to Feed a 1 Month Old Kitten - Bottle Feeding and Amount, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.

Bibliography
  • Royal Canin. (2019). Eating behavior of the cat . Available at: https://vetacademy.royalcanin.es/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Cap-13-Comportamiento-alimentario-del-gato.pdf
  • ML Fernandez. Orphaned kittens care: How to feed them ?. Available at: https://axonveterinaria.net/web_axoncomunicacion/auxiliarveterinario/11/11_22-27.pdf
  • GEMFE. Behaviors in puppies and young kittens. Available at: https: //www.avepa.org/articulos/cachorros.html
  • Feline protection. Guide for the care of the kitten from zero days of life. Available at: https://proteccionfelina.org/userfiles/gu%C3%ADa%20final.pdf

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