To many, kittens are some of the cutest things in the world. Our obsession for them has caused us to put them on calendars, t-shirts, cups, and just about everything in between. But, while they are an obsession of ours, they require a lot of care. And, like every other animal in this world, the better they’re fed, the healthier they’ll grow up to be.
What to Feed a 4 Week Old Kitten
Knowing what to feed a kitten at a young age is critical to ensure it has a healthy upbringing. At 4 weeks old, your kitten is at a very fragile age. They are full of energy but, because of their developing bones and undeveloped immune systems, they are prone to all sorts of injuries and illnesses. Being able to feed them properly will greatly aid you in avoiding the worst.
In the wild, kittens at this age are still drinking mom’s milk. When you adopt a kitten this young, it is essential to find a milk formula or supplement that can replace the mom’s milk until it’s old enough to drink solely water. One thing is very important tho: Do NOT give your kitten cow’s milk. While this is what humans drink, it does not have the necessary nutrients and vitamins that kittens need to grow.
Finding milk formulas for kittens is fairly easy. At most pet stores or supercentres, you should find some sort of milk replacement. If you’re not sure which one to buy, go to a pet store and ask the people who work there; they, more than likely, will have a good base of knowledge in this area.
At around 4 weeks, your kitten is at the age to start moving away from mom’s food source and move onto actual foods. This is where you can start to introduce soft foods, such as gruel.
Gruel is a mixture of warm water or milk formula and soft kitten food. You’ll want to start with a mixture that is mostly formula and some kitten food. Over time, start removing the amount of milk and increase the amount of food. After a little while, your kitten will be accustomed to eating actual food, rather than milk formula.
Remember that kittens can’t go from liquid diets to solid food diets right away; think of how you feed a human baby as it gets older- you’ll want to take it slow and ease into harder foods. After about 4 or 5 weeks of slowly removing the amount of milk replacement, you should be able to feed your kitten nothing but kitten food. If you’re ever nervous or unsure, just talk to someone at your local pet store.
Other Tips To Take Care of Your 4 Week Old Kitty
While feeding is very important, there is a lot more to taking care of a 4-week old kitten. You have to remember: at this age, they aren’t usually away from their moms yet. That being said, you have to know what to do in order to, in a sense, become your kitten’s mother.
Interact With It
One of the biggest thing a kitten needs is attention, exposure, and interaction. This will create a bond between you two and increase the kitten’s comfort with you. Activities such as petting the kitten, using toys to play with it, speaking to it softly, and slowly introducing it to new environments and other animals will make it more comfortable as it grows up.
If you’re looking to introduce it to new places or other animals, keep a very close watch over it. Kittens this young are easy targets for larger animals and have a higher potential of getting hurt in the wild.
Keep it Warm
At this age, kittens don’t have a lot of fur on their bodies. That being said, you need to make sure they’re warm. This includes keeping your house at a warm temperature, avoid keeping it in colder areas of the house (ex. Basement or attic), and not exposing it to colder elements (ex. Keeping it away from the outdoors during the winter).
Keeping a warm towel or heat pack nearby on colder days can comfort your kitten a little more. If need be, hold it to yourself and allow it to warm up.
Regularly See the Vet
Because your kitten is so young, there are many ways it can get sick or injured. A good way to stay on top of these possible problems is regularly taking your kitten to the vet. This way, you’ll be able to get any medication or surgery before the issue becomes a dangerous problem.
All in all, 4 week-old kittens can be some of the cutest things we’ve ever seen, but they can also be quite a handful. Having a kitten this young takes on a lot of responsibility, but with the right mindset and tools, anyone can do it.
It’s important to take it slow and seek help whenever you need it. If you’re not sure where to turn, popular places to go are pet stores or the place where you adopted the kitten. There’s no such thing as too much help: It’s better to be safe with a healthy kitten than sorry.