Newborn kittens are very tiny and fragile. In this seemingly helpless stage with no mother cat around, many times, humans have to step in and be the surrogate mothers. Many owners have trouble bottle feeding their kittens but not for long, the following steps should make it easy for you.
Get the Mixture Ready
Bottle feeding newborn kittens can be quite tricky. One needs to be very careful while preparing the mixture. The procedure of feeding kittens is very similar to feeding babies. You begin by sterilizing the bottle and nipple by putting them in boiling water for roughly 5 to 7 minutes.
As far as the mixture is concerned, you can buy the commercially available kitty feed replacement powders. In case your kitten is hungry and you don't have the mixture at home, you can prepare one at home with equal measures of egg yolk, condensed milk, water, and yogurt.
Heat the mixture before feeding the kitten. Test the temperature by placing a drop of the mixture on your forearm, it should not be too warm or too cold.
Feed the Kitten
Before you start, it is necessary that you are fully-prepped for feeding the kitten. This is important for taking care of newborns. Place it on your lap, face down, make sure that it is warm, and then gently place the nipple in front of its mouth. Do not lift the head up to feed, the kitten will slowly start feeding on its own.
If you are having trouble, make sure that the nipple of the bottle is functioning properly. Remember to never raise the head of the kitten to feed it as this might choke it.
Burp the kitten
Just like human babies, a kitten too needs to be burped. Do so by gently patting its back while your other hand is under its belly. After feeding her litter, a mother cat stimulates the kittens to help them excrete. You can do so by softly rubbing a damp cloth on its genital area and anus.
Dos and Don'ts
Before you start bottle feeding the kittens, you must know that they need to be fed at least every 3 hours. For the first fourteen days, the kitten's eyes are closed. Therefore, during this time, only feed it with a bottle.
After it opens the eyes, you can give it soft, wet food and bottle feed it three times a day. By the time the kitten is 5 to 6 weeks old, it will start feeding by itself. By this age, it should be off the milk and able to eat regular kitten food. You can start with cat food when it is old enough.
You must remember that kittens need to be kept warm especially in the night, so rub it with a cloth for the same. You can feel the temperature of the kitten by placing your finger in its mouth. If your finger feels cold, the kitten needs to be warmed up. When you are bottle feeding the kitten, if it rejects the nipple, this means that its stomach is full.
It is often said that these animals choose their masters. If your kitten displays affection, consider yourself lucky that you have a loyal pet to look after. Cats are easy to look after as most of the time, they are pretty self-sufficient. They may seem fragile but are extremely tough creatures.