Cat Care

Weaning A Kitten

Cat Care > Cat Breeding > Weaning A Kitten

Weaning A Kitten

When the kittens are three to four weeks of age, the queen will probably show signs of growing tired of continually feeding them. She limits the times that she allows suckling and may get up and walk away once she has had enough. At this stage they can be encouraged to lap cows' milk or a proprietary cat milk substitute, starting with small quantities about three or four times each day. After one or two days a little baby cereal can be added to the milk, and once this is accepted, finely minced and cooked chicken, meat or fish can be offered in small amounts.

A flat dish makes feeding easier for the kittens, and their natural curiosity usually encourages them to show interest in the food. Some strategies can be employed to help the process along, such as introducing a small taste of the food into the kitten's mouth from the back of a plastic teaspoon. Once they have got used to the idea, kittens are normally eager to eat solid rood, and by about five weeks of age, they can be given about four teaspoonfuls four times a day.

They should also be given additional drinks of milk so that by six to eight weeks they no longer need to be fed by their mother. At this stage, the queen will probably have got tired of her family and may have ceased to permit suckling. This coincides with the time, generally three or four weeks after weaning, when the queen comes into season again and starts calling. The timing of this is variable and depends upon when the kittens were weaned and/or taken away to new homes. If the queen is not to be permitted to have any more kittens, then a veterinary surgeon should be con-salted as to the best time to have her spayed.