If your cat has recently had kittens or you’ve decided to care for some abandoned kittens, nutrition is one of your most important responsibilities. During the first several days of life, newborn kittens rely on proper nutrition for survival. The following detailed instructions should help you understand the best way to bottle feed your new kitten as well as how you can help them with cleanup.
1. Prepare yourself to be a surrogate mother for your newborn kitten. Bottle feeding a newborn kitten will not always be easy and you’ll need to devote 10 or 20 minutes several times a day to ensure proper nutrition.
2. When bottle feeding a newborn kitten, you’ll need a sterile kitten-sized bottle, which you can prepare by soaking the bottle in boiling water for 5 minutes. After cooling the bottle, collect a bath towel, a washcloth, and a bowl of warm water.
3. Fill the bottle with a premium brand of commercial kitten milk and warm the milk in a bowl of very hot water. You want to warm the milk to water temperature before bottle feeding your newborn kitten.
4. With the kitten face down in your lap, stroke her until she is warm to avoid digestive problems. Do not raise the kittens head, but place the bottle in her mouth and she should start nursing immediately.
5. If your kitten does not start nursing immediately, check that milk is flowing freely from the bottle. You may need to gently stroke your newborn kitten’s head and back to stimulate nursing reflexes.
6. When you’re finished feeding, burp your newborn kitten by holding one hand under her stomach while gently patting her on the back.
7. Mother cats will help their newborn kittens to eliminate by licking their anus and genital area. As a surrogate mother, you’ll need to use a warm, damp cloth to gently rub your newborn kitten’s anus and genitals to stimulate elimination.
8. Finally, understand that newborn kittens will require somewhere between 9 and 12 feedings of about 1 ounce of formula every day.