I don’t like having my own pets because to me they’re really just a time-waster. But for someone who has a soft spot for crying innocent creatures like some abandoned kittens in a box ready to be thrown away for instance, it’s quite often that I find myself stuck in this situation.
About three weeks ago I adopted two two weeks old female kitties whom I called Nosy and Buttercup. I wasn’t feeling very hopeful of their chance in surviving because in my experience kittens this young either need their mother to breastfeed them or I provide them with a kitten replacement formula which is impossible to find in my area. But thank God they survived in my care with a lot of help from my helpers and a lot of googling and a lot of trial and error! Hence, it gave me an idea to write a topic about this.
I have taken care of three newborn kittens before these two that had died perhaps due to either malnourishment or starvation or something else. But this time to my surprise our kittens are thriving,happy and active. I have found a good substitute for those kitten milk replacement formula!
Materials and Instructions to Bottlefeed Kittens if without Kitten Replacement Formula
Its best if you can find kitten formulas from a vet or pet shop but since I could not what worked very well for me was the Nestogen One Formula. Its one of the cheapest human infant formula I can find from the supermarket and it worked! The cats love it. Its healthy and cheap. I can tell that the formula works because the kittens defecate ones a day and are very active. (check it out on the video provided, I also included the milk and materials I used in bottlefeeding them. )
Before Nestogen I gave them pasturized cows milk (aka. fresh milk) but the kitties don’t like them plus I think it lacks the vitamin they need. I even tried the lactose free fresh milk which was also unsuccessful. Other useless things I tried was meat soup and scrambled egg…
Secondly, since I couldn’t find any pet nursing bottle I used human baby premie bottle and nipple to feed them. At first it didn’t work, the kittens are not drinking, either the nipple is too big or they didn’t know how to suck from it. So I cut a bigger hole on the nipple with a nail cutter so the milk will flow just a little bit faster and it worked! Feeding them is so easy this way.
Preparing the milk : Sterilizing the bottle isn’t necessary but you do have to make sure that the bottle is washed in soapy water after every use.
A vet I visited told me that unlike preparing human baby formula which is 1:1 ratio or 1 scoop for every 1 ounce of water, for the kitten’s formula it’s 1.5 : 1 ratio. So thats 1.5 scoops of powder + 1 ounce of water . Shake the bottle to mix the milk and place it in a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes to warm it up just a little bit. Make sure not to make it too hot for the kittens.
Positions : At the start kittens are usually hard to feed since they are not used to the bottle and the milk. Sometimes it’s easier to feed then on it’s back with it’s head elevated at 45 degree angle like Nosy (the black spotted cat below ).
While some kittens, like Buttercup (white kitten below ) who’s now very used to the bottle like to be fed on it’s stomach or standing up. As they get more and more used to the bottle it becomes very easy to feed them.
When they were about a week old, I had to feed them 5 to 10ml of milk each every 3 hours, even waking me up in the middle of the night. (Yup! what a life! ) At age 2 to 3 weeks they need to be fed 10 to 30 ml each every 3.5 to 4 hours. ( A huge distraction! ) Any leftover milk have to be discarded. Now at one month old I feed them milk 3 times a day and some solids or leftover soft foods. ( thank goodness! )
Burping the kittens : It is necessary to help the kittens relieve gas when they are less than a couple of weeks old because they can’t move or walk very well at that age. I did this by gently rubbing their belly in downward strokes for 7 to 10 minutes after they have eaten.
Home for the Kittens
If you got a lot of old box lying around you can use that or use a small cage. Shaded area is the best especially during summer or rainy days. It’s also better if you put in a piece of cloth like an old shirt to make it more comfortable for them because I noticed that they get cold VERY easily. .
Sooooo, if you ever find yourself in this situation hopefully your kitties will survive.. And if they do survive hopefully you will have them neutered once their older to control overpopulation of cats! Seriously! I’m tired of finding unwanted cats dying on the streets.