Typically, kittens are fed milk by their mothers. The milk from the mother has all the necessary nutrients for the kittens. But, at times it is possible that the mother is not around. In such cases, using a homemade kitten milk replacer can come in handy.
Homemade Kitten Milk Replacer
The idea of the kitten milk replacer emerges because of unavoidable circumstances where a kitten’s mother is not able to or available to feed her milk. Following are some instances which lead to the use of kitten milk formula:
- The mother of the kittens dies after giving birth to them
- The mother cat suffered a horrific accident
- The mother cat is ill
- The kitten is abandoned by the mother or in some cases by pet owners
- The mother cat is sick
Natural milk contains the required nutrients in a balanced proportion. But, if there is no scope of feeding the natural milk to a kitten either with the help of a mother or a surrogate mother then you have to use alternative methods which include commercial milk replacer and homemade kitten milk replacer formula.
Further, it is not good to use the kitten milk replacer formula instead of natural milk for a longer time. But, if you are rescuing a cat, adopting an orphaned one, or feeding a newborn cat you have to use them for providing the necessary nutrients in the initial period.
However, it is important to note that in the initial period, you have to use the homemade kitten milk replacer formula instead of the commercial milk formula. Afterwards, the health of the kitten improves and you get an idea about the preferences it’s time to use a commercial milk replacer as it is specifically made per kittens’ requirements.
Homemade Kitten Milk Replacer Recipes
The feeding task may seem simple but demands precision as you are dealing with young kittens. So, how do you make a homemade kitten milk replacer or come up with a homemade kitten milk replacement formula?
Here are some of the homemade kitten milk replacer recipes you can refer to make one of your own:
Homemade Kitten Formula Recipe – 1
- 1 Bowl
- 1 Whisk or Spoon
- 70 g skim milk
- 15 g low fat curd
- 8 g lean beef hash
- 3 g vegetable oil
- 3 g egg yolk
- 0.8 g lactose
- 0.2 g vitamin-mineral mix
- Mix the ingredients
- Heat up the mix at 95-100 ° F
- Feed the mix to your cat approximately 18ml around 100 g of body weight
Homemade Kitten Formula Recipe – 2
Make a homemade milk replacement formula using the proper ingredients to provide sufficient nutrition.
1. Use 1 quart of goat’s milk and mix it with some light Karo syrup, egg yolk, nonfat plain yoghurt and gelatin.
2. Mix gelatin considering the age of the kitten. For instance, if a newborn then 1 pkg and if 4 weeks old then use 4 pkg.
3. Heat up the mix and warm it until the gelatin is dissolved. You can feed the formula and keep it in the freeze for at least one week.
Homemade Kitten Formula Recipe – 3
This recipe is an emergency recipe, use it for a rescue kitten or a newborn without a mother.
1. Take evaporated milk, egg yolk, and corn syrup.
2. Mix the ingredients and store them in a tightly sealed jar.
3. When you decide to feed use the mix along with boiling water. If you wish you can also add human infant vitamins to this formula mixture.
The above-mentioned recipes are from The Cornell Book of Cats.
Homemade Kitten Formula Recipe – 4
This recipe is also one of the emergency kitten formulas. Use it when you have no alternative to commercial milk packs for kittens.
1. Use 1 cup of cow’s milk and mix it with 3 egg yolks, some salt and 1 tablespoon of corn oil.
2. Now heat the formula at 95-100 ° F
3. Store the formula in the refrigerator and if not used for 24 hrs dispose of it.
Feeding New Born Kitten
Now, how to feed your kitten with these recipes, especially if it’s a newborn. It’s a challenging task and requires the utmost patience along with comprehensive planning. Here is a stepwise guide on how to feed your newborn kitten.
Step 1: Make a fine Feed
If you are feeding the homemade recipe use the ingredients (similar to the ones mentioned above) in a precise proportion. Otherwise, the newborn kitten will face severe health issues.
Further, if you plan on using commercial milk then firstly you need to check the expiration date of the pack. Check out the steps mentioned on the pack and mix the water accordingly. If you add too much water the formula may dilute reducing the nutrients.
On the contrary, if you add less water then your kitten will suffer dehydration as the formula will be more concentrated.
Step 2: Feed the kitten properly
You can feed the homemade kitten milk replacer using a syringe or a bottle. Use a syringe for small kittens who are weak and have difficulty sucking the bottle nipple. The bottles are easy to use for all kittens but are more suitable for older kittens.
In addition, using an eye dropper is also helpful for feeding the cat without worrying about using the bottles or the syringe.
Step 3: Feed consistently
If the kitten is a newborn or say about a few days old, then make sure you feed them every 2-3 hours. Feed them at night as well because they are sensitive to low blood sugar.
As they get older they will get strong and you can reduce the frequency of feeding. Regardless of the strength, you’ll have to feed the older kitten 4-5 times a day. Still, the weak kittens should be fed every couple of hours.
Step 4: Post Feeding Stimulation
Once you feed the kitten stimulate them for urinating and excreting their bowels. Generally, the mothers induce it by licking them. To replicate such stimulation you can rub around their genitals using a warm cloth dipped in warm water.
Further, continue this process after each feed and you will see them urinate and excrete bowel. Make sure that the kitten will urinate and release faeces at least twice a day.
Step 5: Continous Monitoring
When you start feeding the homemade kitten formula, you have to monitor the progress of the kitten, especially in the early stages. Track the amount of intake, and time their activities (drinking, urination etc.). Also, check when they are urinating, meaning, after feeding the formula or before.
The kittens have to put on approximately 100g of body weight at a young age. After you start the feeding gauge the weight and note down the changes during that time.
What can I substitute for kitten formula?
You can substitute kitten formula with homemade milk replacement recipes. These recipes include ingredients like cow milk, goat milk, corn oil, gelatin and so on.
How long does a homemade milk replacer last?
The homemade kitten formula can last about 24 hours. If stored in the refrigerator you can reuse it but if unused for 24 hours or kept at room temperature for more than 1 hour, needs to be discarded.
How to feed orphaned kittens?
You can feed orphaned kittens commercial milk formula or homemade milk formula (Kitten formula). The kitten formula is useful when the cat doesn’t have a mother who is dead or not available for her.
You can consider these homemade kitten milk replacer recipes as s short-term alternative or emergency recipe option to the commercial pack which is a suitable option. The recipes will not be a permanent solution its best to serve the mothers milk or a commercial pack.