8 Tips For Successfully Weaning Kittens

Weaning kittens requires patience and determination. Having only known mother's milk since they have been born, solid food will be quite different to them. Introducing the solid food to the kittens slowly and patiently will determine how successful the weaning process will be. Weaning is an important part of kitten care.

Tip #1: Never Force a Kitten's Face into Food

He may inhale it accidentally which will cause serious health problems, not to mention the kitten will have acquired abhorrence to solid food due to the bad experience.

Tip #2: Confine the Kittens During Feeding

Kittens may actually get more food on them than in them at first so by keeping them confined, they will not be able to track the food around. The mother may perhaps lick them clean; however, you may need to assist with some baby wipes.

Tip #3: Determine the Age of a Kitten

Starting before the digestive system is capable of digesting solid foods can be counterproductive. Start after they reach 4 weeks of age or if you do not know their birth date, when they reach 350 to 500 grams depending upon the breed. By using a bottle, a kitten can learn that food does not necessary have to come from the mother.

Tip #4: Use Small Portions at First

Start with a tablespoon of canned kitten food per kitten and place it on the edge of the plate so they can reach it. Placing the food in the center of the dish will make it harder for them to reach. Placing it in a single bunch will only allow one kitten access to the food. Refrigerate leftovers; however, microwave the food (not in the can) before introducing it to the kittens so that they can smell it.

Tip #5: Introduce the Food to Reach Kitten, One at a Time

Start with one kitten, perhaps the boldest one or the most outgoing one. If this kitten will start eating the canned food on his own, then the others will watch and follow, making it easier for you. Dab a little morsel of food on your finger. Gently open his mouth and wipe the little morsel off and onto the roof of his mouth. If he resists or spits the food out, wait a day or two before trying again.

Tip #6: Coax the Kitten to Lick the Food Off Your Finger

If the kitten had accepted the food offered before in tip #5, immediately attempt to allow the kitten to lick another morsel of canned food off of your fingertip on his own. Repeat this 2 to 3 times a day until he willingly takes the food.

Tip #7: Coax the Kittens to Eat Off the Dish

Once the kittens are licking food off of your finger, gradually move closer to the dish. Soon they will discover that there is food there for the taking. This process may take awhile, so patience is needed.

Tip #8: Introduce Dry Food

Once the kittens are eating canned food, introduce dry food by mixing it in with the canned food. First soften the dry food in hot water so that it can be mashed with a fork. Gradually increase the dry food amount until the mixture is half and half. Gradually introduce non-softened dry food into the mixture until finally the servings are exclusively dry food.

Most veterinarians recommend feeding cats half dry, half canned food at each feeding or the morning feeding exclusively canned food and the evening feeding exclusively dry food for a balanced diet.