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Weaning Kittens

Weaning kittens will depend on your management of their feeding.  Generally it is advised to let your kittens to nurse for as long as they want. Kittens will nurse often as long as the queen stands for it. While the first couple of weeks this is normal to nurse often as they grow there comes a time they must learn to handle life on their own. From the time they are three weeks old they can learn to navigate food but leave them with the queen longer.

If she is a heavy milking queen reduce her feed for a few days to slow milk production, allowing the kittens to continue nursing. Once her milk level drops it’s safer for her to progress with weaning. Withhold food and water overnight in order to drop the nutritional level then remove the kittens. While the kittens are undergoing a transition so is the queen! It’s easy to forget about her sometimes when the focus is on those oh-so-cute kittens especially those with show potential! Once the kittens are removed be sure to give the queen a special treat with her meal – she’s earned it!

 Kittens should be eating well on their own and able to handle the kitten food or raw food, whichever you are feeding. Being carnivores they need meat so be sure to keep this in mind when selecting a growth diet. Although weaning kittens can be done at eight weeks they still have a great deal of growth to do! Whether a show kitten or not, bone, muscle, organ and coat development is a foundation developed in this early stage.

 

The first introductions to food will probably be messy! As the kittens learn to eat it will get better. Have a good nutrition program in place. If you are feeding raw foods start them on raw foods – no need to introduce to kibble then raw.

 

Just a few things can make a difference between a stressful weaning experience and one that goes smoothly! Your kittens deserve it!



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