If you are going to adopt a kitten, or if you have a cat with kittens, you will most probably have wondered how they should be weaned.
Weaning your kitten is the stage when she stops drinking her mother's milk and starts feeding on solid foods. It's a very exciting and adventurous phase that's worth experiencing with your kitten.
In this article we'll talk about how and when kittens are weaned so you don't have any more doubts about this wonderful stage.
WHEN ARE KITTENS WEANED?
Kittens spend the first weeks of their lives feeding exclusively on their mother's milk. From the first milk, called colostrum, they acquire immunity to many diseases through immunoglobulins or antibodies transmitted to them by their mother, which keep them protected for up to six weeks. At this age, they begin to lose the immunity transmitted to them by their mother and the vaccination period begins.
At 4-5 weeks, their first teeth begin to appear and kittens begin to taste solid food. From that age onwards, they eat more and more solid food and drink less and less milk, while the mother starts to produce less.
Weaning kittens ends at around 8-10 weeks old and is the ideal age for adoption. During this time with the mother, the kitten has learned how to look after herself and relate to her environment, a time known as the socialization period.
HOW ARE KITTENS WEANED?
At 4-5 weeks, kittens start to be curious about the solid food their mother eats and she encourages them to try it, without letting them suckle like before.
If you have a kitten of this age, here are some things to help her at this stage:
- You can start with moist food that smells good and tastes very appetising to stimulate your kitten's appetite.
- Because she is still teething, dry food can be difficult to eat, but you can try moistening it with warm water or kitten milk, such as NATURAL TRAINER BABY MILK. Do not mix it with cow's milk as it may cause diarrhoea.
- At first, this change may be hard. You can dip your finger in and put it in her mouth to let her taste it. As time goes by, at 6-8 weeks, you can stop dipping in your finger so that she feeds herself. A flat-bottomed container will be easier for her to eat from.
- Kittens eat many times a day. You can give them small amounts of food 4-5 times a day, as they have very small stomachs and, if the food is available all the time, they could get indigestion.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE BEST FOOD FOR WEANING KITTENS?
- A quality diet for weaning kittens and the period of growth are essential for healthy and happy growth.
- It's very important that the food tastes good to stimulate the appetite and to make it easy to digest.
- The diet must be complete and balanced. Cats need protein, which is why it's important to incorporate sources of animal protein to allow them to grow strong and healthy.
- It must be suitable for her age, as her nutritional needs are different to those of an adult cat.
- For us at NATURAL TRAINER, nature is a source of inspiration. NATURAL TRAINER KITTEN chicken or salmon flavour is a complete and balanced food for kittens from 1 to 6 months of age, as well as for pregnant or lactating cats, with specific natural ingredients:
- Schizochytrium Algae and linseed, sources of omega 3 essential fatty acids, which support brain and vision development.
- Yeast nucleotides contribute to the smooth functioning of the immune system.
- Natural cranberry and chicory root concentrate, combined with controlled levels of minerals, help to maintain the correct functioning of your cat's urinary tract in the long term.
- No added colourants, preservatives or sugar.
As we have seen, weaning kittens is a very exciting phase in their development that will lead to them becoming independent of their mother's care. An age-appropriate diet, with the highest-quality natural ingredients, that respects your kitten's internal balance, will help her to grow healthy and strong and become a happy adult cat.