Is it possible to wean kittens from their mother and is this measure reasonable? The sucking reflex is the key to survival. In fact, newborn kittens can do nothing but look for the mother’s nipple and eat. What to do if the kitten is very attached to breast milk, at what age to introduce complementary foods, and what methods of weaning can be used. We’ll figure it out below.
General information on feeding kittens
Kittens learn to suck in the womb. By the time of birth, babies have only one mission, to determine the direction with the help of ascent and crawl to a power source. The first sips of colostrum help colonize the intestines with microflora so that the kitten can digest food. Within 2-3 days, the kittens receive colostrum, after which the cat begins to produce milk.
Cat milk gives kittens all the necessary nutrients and antibodies – temporary immunity. The duration of a feeding is regulated by a cat, some mothers feed their babies up to 15 weeks. Most often, the cat begins to avoid kittens or not to suck at 8-12 weeks. Up to 12 weeks of age, it is advisable not to interfere with the process of feeding kittens!
If the pet refused kittens earlier – they need to be fed artificially. Kittens are regularly weighed, if some baby has underweight, they are fed with mixtures. In a non-multiple litter, milk should be enough for all the crumbs. If the kittens are 6 or more, usually 1-2 of the last-born kittens need additional feeding.
At about 3 weeks of age, kittens become interested in the smells of adult food. If the kittens are fed, it is permissible to start complementary feeding from 2 weeks. By the way, in the 3rd week of life, the kitten’s teeth erupt, which can cause serious inconvenience to the cat. You need to think about this point in advance, gradually train the kittens to feed, so that the mother’s milk is not the main source of nutrition.
Right methods to wean kittens from their mother
To wean a kitten from sucking a cat without psychological trauma, you need to act gradually and slowly. Believe me, your pet will help you, because it will not allow kittens with teeth to bite her nipples. Kids will be hungry, so they will be more willing to switch to complementary foods.
Sucking is not only a way to eat, but also tactile contact. Most kittens older than 3 weeks suck their mother just because they lack communication, like the smell, etc. Simply put, kittens are childishly attached to their mother and do not want to change this. If you carefully watch adult kittens, many of them do not suck on the nipple, but on the mother’s hair, trample her paws, purr – this is communication that mother-cat will not mind.
There are several methods for weaning a kitten from sucking:
- Games – at 3-4 weeks of age, the kids are very playful, their attention can be attracted by the noise, rustling, or squeaking toys. Enter the feeding according to the schedule, and the rest of the time, as soon as the kids rush to the cat, distract them.
- Time – most kittens cease to suck mother and without interference. This happens after the kittens gain self-confidence and a sense of “self.” A baby can maintain the habit of trampling, but this is also common in many adult cats.
- A nipple – a kitten is first accustomed to a bottle and mixture, and then, the mixture is poured into a saucer and taught the baby to lap. In this method, the transition occurs gradually, since the smell of food plays a very important role when sucking. That is, you change the usual things in stages, first the smell, then the way.
What to do if an adult kitten sucks a cat or things
What to do if an adult kitten continues to suck the cat, its body parts, your hands, clothes, bedding? The crude method recommended by many owners is separation. That is, the kitten and the object of his adoration should be in different rooms for 3-5 days. Perhaps the pet will put up with the loss … and maybe choose a new sucking item. If the cat is the subject of addiction, her nipples can be protected with an ordinary postoperative bandage. Thus, the kitten will be able to communicate with her mother, but will not bite her.
However, for a truly effective solution to the problem, its cause must be excluded. Kittens suck everything for one reason only – stress. Strange habits are also inherent in people, for example, many bite their nails, tease or chew their hair, children can suck their fingers in a dream – all these are methods of complacency.
The problem is that the pet’s calming therapy often ends with bites … the pet sucks a finger and then starts to chew it, and if you try to twitch, it will “gently” hold its hand in its claws. It is especially lucky for those owners to whom pets creep in a dream and suck not their hands, but their nose or ear.