Weaning Kittens from Their Mother

Weaning kittens from their mother may be a challenge at first, but should become easier with time. After a kitten has been drinking his mother's milk for weeks, it may seem the kitten is resistant to give up the milk and move on to dry kitten food. Even so, weaning is a natural process and just takes proper patience and motivation. To learn more about weaning kittens, read on.

When Is it Time to Wean Kittens?

The mother will be the one to tell the pet owner when it is time to wean her kittens. She will slowly start to become resistant to her kittens when they approach her for milk, and will start to hiss at them. Du ring this time, it is very important to feed your kittens a new diet of dry cat food and meat, because the kittens will depend on you at this point. They can no longer depend on their mother for food.

The Challenges of Weaning

One of the biggest challenges kittens face is switching to an eating position and putting their heads down to eat. The best way to solve this problem is to put some food on your finger and feed it to the kitten above head level. Gradually bring your finger down to the level of the food bowl. The finger feeding technique can be used until your kittens eat from their bowl that is in front of them without assistance.

Some kittens will be very resistant to leaving behind their mother's milk, and may moan or cry when it is time to eat regular cat food. Pet owners who have crying kittens should very slowly introduce solid food. It is advised to mix soft and wet food with warm water when they first start eating solids. It will also be closer in consistency to the mother's milk than dry food. As the kittens get used to eating solids, gradually put less water into the food until they eat without water. Even a stubborn cat will eventually come around to the solid foods as they are meat eaters by nature.

It is also recommended that pet owners do not feed their kittens cow milk at any time. Cat's do not have the enzymes to digest milk from a cow, and it will likely cause stomach upset. It will also make the weaning process much more difficult.

After Weaning the Kittens

Once kittens have been successfully weaned from their mother, they will need to eat a balanced diet high in protein, calories, and vitamins. Most pet stores sell food made especially for growing kittens. It is important to feed kittens a well-balanced meal that is made for kittens, as kittens need more nutrition as they are growing.

Remember that weaning kittens may take weeks to accomplish, but it can be done successfully with the proper steps. It's important for pet owners to be aggressive in the weaning process, as the kittens depend on you for their food supply and nourishment. Once you begin the weaning process, you will likely find it gets easier as time goes by.