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Weaning of kittens should begin at one month of age, but it is usually not until almost two months that the transition to solid food is completely finished. That is why this stage is critical for a kitten. In addition, during its first month of life socialization takes place, which will be essential to have a healthy and happy cat in the future. If a very young kitten has just come into your life, either due to abandonment, death of the mother or that it has been given to you, and especially if you have not seen yourself in the situation before, you can ask yourself: ¿what can you do feed a 1 month old kitten?
In AnimalWised we bring you the necessary information to be able to raise a 1-month-old kitten that is no longer with the mother and that its diet will depend exclusively on you.You may also be interested in: What to feed a 2-month-old puppy? Index
- What do baby kittens eat?
- How much does a 1-month-old cat eat?
- What happens after the first month of a cat's life?
- How to feed a 1 month old kitten?
What do baby kittens eat?
Newborn kittens obtain their mother's antibodies through colostrum during the first hours of life and, later, from mother's milk, the nutrients they need to put on weight in their first weeks of life. If the mother rejects her litter, does not produce milk or one of her cats is weak or sick, we must feed them with milk formulated for baby kittens, just as when we find abandoned kittens in the street, owing them feed every 2-3 hours up to three weeks of life. In addition, we must provide them with heat at all times, since they are not yet capable of thermoregulation by themselves. From 10 days of age they will open their eyes and from 20 days they will start to erupt teeth.
The energy needs of newborn kittens are increasing and reach the 130 kcal / kg daily with 3 weeks. From this moment on, the frequency of feedings can be extended up to 4-5 hours. It is important to use formulated milk for cats, Although if you don't have one, in case of need you can opt for emergency puppy formula milk. If it is in powder form, you should not prepare more than one serving for 48 hours at a time. On the other hand, when reconstituting a powdered milk marketed for cats, it can be divided into portions and kept refrigerated until used. Before use, they should be heated to 35-38 ºC immersing them in a warm water bath, never in the microwave because of the risk of overheating or uneven heating.
Orphaned kittens are owed bottle feeding, leaving the syringe for emergencies. To do this, they are placed horizontally, in the sternal decubitus with the head elevated to resemble the breastfeeding posture. To facilitate the start of suction by the cat, we can put a drop of milk from the bottle on our finger and bring them closer to the kitten's mouth. During the bottle feeding process, the bottle should never be removed from the cat, as it can cause the contents to expire.
In kittens less than three weeks old, it is necessary that after each meal the anogenital area is stimulated to induce them to relieve themselves, as we explained in this other article on How to help a kitten to defecate. A daily record of weight, meals, elimination, and general behavior should be kept, as well as maintaining a good temperature (30-32 ºC during the first week, dropping to 24 ºC in the later ones) and that they are protected in a safe place.
Of course, before you start feeding a baby cat, especially if you have found it abandoned, it is important that you go to the vet, since, among other things, it will help you to know exactly how old the kitten is. For more information, you can consult this other article about ¿How to tell the age of a cat?
How much does a 1-month-old cat eat?
If at 3 weeks the kittens must ingest through milk, either maternal or formulated, at least 130 kcal / kg, a month of age these amount to 200-220 kcal / kg daily spread over 4-5 daily intakes. From there, the needs grow much more slowly. Thus, a one and a half month old cat should consume about 225 kcal / kg per day, and when they reach 5 months it will be the maximum: 250 kcal / kg per day. At this age, growth will be quite complete and will require less daily energy until reaching, at one year of age, the daily calories of a standard adult cat (70-80 kcal / kg daily).
Normally, one-month-old kittens naturally still continue to drink mostly milk if they are with the mother in a house, although since their teeth have already come out they show interest in solid food. Due to this, in freedom the mother usually offers prey to her young. If an orphaned 1-month-old kitten has just come into our lives, it is important to know that at four weeks of age, their diet should change, although it must be based largely on formula formulated for kittens.
For more information, you can read this other AnimalWised article about ¿How many times does a cat eat ?, where we talk about both baby and newborn cats.
What happens from the first month of life of a cat?
The period of socialization of a cat begins at 2 weeks of age and ends at 7 weeks. During this time, kittens learn everything from their mother, and 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. Ideally, it should not be handled by a single person, being preferable that there are at least four, as well as other animal species and people of different ages, which will increase their future sociability.
From the first month of life, the kitten begins stage of weaning, reducing the 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 cat food. Weaning begins at four weeks of age and can be lengthened until eight weeks old, where the transition is complete.
How to feed a 1 month old kitten?
When we are in charge of a one-month-old cat, we can favor the introduction of wet food for kittens, but never force them. If they are not interested, better save it for something later or try another food. Another option, especially if we do not have any type of 1-month-old cat food, is to try a homemade diet, such as bringing them pieces of chicken and see if they are interested. Some cats can be very interested in this type of food, but we should not go overboard so as not to cause indigestion, since it is still very small.
To encourage weaning, the bottle that a cat would be fed during its first weeks of life should be changed to a little plate with milk to teach them to drink from there and, little by little, a quantity of I think marketed for kittens it will soften. Thus, the kitten will have it easier to start ingesting it. This amount of feed will gradually increase until it is fully fed at around 7 weeks. The best feed that can be given to a kitten until it becomes an adult is a specific feed formulated for kittens, which the mother can also feed until the end of lactation..
In short, the feeding a 1 month old cat it will consist in:
- Feeding it formula formulated for baby cats.
- As it is four weeks old, it should be started to introduce dry food to encourage weaning, and always do it gradually, starting with very little feed in relation to milk, until this proportion is reversed and finally only they are will administer I think.
- Never forget that they have at their disposal a water container, although they are not yet exclusively fed dry food.
- They should be fed about four or five times a day. It is not recommended that they have food always available, as it can cause them to pack.
- It must be borne in mind that a kitten from the month and, up to at least 6-7 months, triples the energy needs of an adult, so the food must be more energetic. The ideal is a commercialized feed for kittens.
- When they reach seven weeks, they should be fed exclusively with dry food and / or wet food for kittens.
To learn more about how to feed and care for one-month-old kittens, we recommend you read this other article on Care for one-month-old cats..