Having little kittens on your hands is always as challenging as much it is cute. This is true, especially when it comes to kittens around the age of four weeks. Why four weeks, you ask? Well, this period is especially critical for young animals because they make the jump from their mother into the slow and painful world of adults.
It’s during this period that kittens get taken before being completely weaned. They also start switching their mother’s milk for real kitten food. However, this can be a little tricky, as it may prove to be difficult to choose the right type of food for the young animal. Let’s take a look at the whole process.
Replacing the milk
Given the fact that kittens feed on their mother’s milk for the first few weeks, you first need to give them a good, liquid milk replacement. Some people advocate for the use of cow milk, but this is about the worst possible thing you can do. Cow’s milk can cause a stomach upset and it doesn’t even contain the right nutrients for kittens of that age.
You need to get a milk replacement formula. The good thing is that they are meant for orphaned animals of all kinds, so your kitty will indubitably love it. The best way to combine this replacement is to add it next to homemade gruel meals. It’s painless, but an effective transition from their mommy’s milk.
About the gruel
Before the milk is introduced, you have to think of the gruel. At about 3 weeks, you should start introducing your kitten to some food other than her mommy’s. This gruel mixture should be made using the kitty replacement formula, along with some infant kitty food and warm water. Such a meal presents the right balance between nutrition and texture, something that kittens need.
When it comes to introducing the kittens to the gruel, you should simply put your finger in the mix and allow the kitty to smell and lick it. This should be repeated for a few more times until the little guy realizes that there is a route from the bowl to your finger.
Calories and timing
Basically, 4-week old kittens can eat every six to eight hours. If they cry for food, don’t worry. There are always hungry at that age, due to the growing process. When it comes to calories, the recommended rate is 8 calories per ounce of bodyweight.