What To Feed Newborn Kittens in An Emergency

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Cats love to munch on stuff, and being canines, they love the smell of meat. They even love slurping on milk, human food, and even go nuts occasionally on vegetables! Teenage and adult cats are not a handful when it comes to feeding, but what about a newborn?

Newborns cannot be fed just about anything, particularly when you have rescued them from the streets, or when their mother has abandoned them. So what to feed newborn kittens in an emergency?

Newborns must be fed as soon as you rescue them because you don’t know how long have they been unfed or been starving. Milk or replacement formula is the only available option.

This article will inform you about two easy ways to make milk formula at home that you can feed to the little furballs without any trouble. Read more to find out!


feeding newborn kitten in emergency

What To Feed Newborn Kittens in Emergency?

When you have rescued an abandoned kitten, the first thing you would need to do is keep it warm, especially if you have found it in a place that was water or snow-covered. It is only after you have warmed the kitten enough that you can start feeding it.

The best food for newborn kittens is formula milk. Let’s proceed to find out what could be fed to little newborn kittens, especially in emergencies.

Say you were returning home, and you found a little kitty meowing in a dark corner somewhere, and you estimate it to be somewhere around 2-3 weeks old. You decide to bring home and nurse it back to health.

Specifically formulated cat milk is great for feeding newborns because they contain just the right digestible nutrients for the kitties, but the problem is that people don’t keep special-formula cat food in their pantry unless they have been cat-lovers for a long time.

Feeding that baby then and there is crucial, since it is clear it has not eaten in a long time, and is starving. So what will you do at that instant? Some home ingredients, when mixed in correct proportions can be incredibly healthy for little kittens.

Emergency milk formula may not contain all the nutrients that a growing kitten needs to have, but you must have to feed the kitty something within the first 24 hours unless you get a suitable Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR) formula.

You will need an ounce of condensed milk, mixed with plain yoghurt and an egg yolk, and water to maintain a thick-enough consistency. All these ingredients are readily available in any household almost all the time.

After making the milk formula, and ensuring all the ingredients are mixed well, pour the mixture into a bottle, and then microwave it for a couple of minutes. After taking it out of the microwave, pour a few drops on your wrist to ensure that the mixture is not too hot for the baby kitten, after which you can start feeding the formula to the kitten.

Certain things need to be mentioned about the feeding mechanism though—you may or may not have a bottle handy. If you do not have a milk bottle, an eyedropper or a plastic pipette will also work. A sterile syringe without the needle will also work wonders. Make sure whatever you use has never been used before for any other activity, and is sterile or fairly clean.

Use any one of these mechanisms to pour the much-needed milk formula drop-by-drop into the kitty’s mouth. Every 24 hours, the fragile fur-ball needs to be fed a quarter of an ounce of the milk formula (equivalent to around 8cc) for every ounce of its body weight.

The entire 8cc cannot be fed to the kitty at one go, therefore you would need to divide the amount into around 10 feedings spaced out equally all throughout the day. You can weigh the baby kitty fairly easily using a weighing pan or postal scales.

If you have one or two of the ingredients mentioned above missing in your pantry, then you would need to think of an alternative kitty formula. You can try goat’s milk or human infant milk if you have them available near to you.

Newborn kitten food

Newborn kitties are lactose intolerant and feeding them cattle milk will not be suitable since their milk have an abundance of lactose in them. Nevertheless, when you have little to no alternatives available and you have got to feed a starving newborn kitten, then in comparison, goat’s milk would be more suitable because it has a lower level of lactose in it.

If you do not have goat’s milk, and cow’s milk is the only option you have available, then instead of feeding whole cow’s milk, you can mix other ingredients in it to dilute its lactose concentration.

It is worth telling twice that you should be extra careful at not feeding the newborns with raw cow’s milk because due to its high lactose concentration, the newborns may have severe forms of diarrhea that may prove to be fatal for kittens this age.

In order to dilute raw cow’s milk, you would need to separate out 8 ounces of the milk and mix it with 2 egg yolks and a spoonful of vegetable oils.

This formula is quite tolerable for the little kitties but only for emergency purposes. As soon as possible, get a kitten milk replacement or other kitten milk formula for your little furballs.


Newborn kitten eating food

How to make emergency food for newborn kittens

Evaporated milk, yogurt, and corn syrup formula:

Take a large mixing bowl and break one egg into it. After this, take a whisk and mix the contents of the egg until you achieve a runny consistency.

Take 8 ounces of evaporated milk (condensed milk) and 2 tablespoons of corn syrup and pour them into the whisked yolk contents, and then mix all the ingredients together. Make sure that the condensed milk is unsweetened because it contains excess sugar which is not healthy for newborns.

Goat milk formula:

Take 1 quart or 0.95 liters of goat milk in a saucepan and set the temperature at medium-low. Then add 4 ounces or 110g of gelatin powder and keep stirring the mixture with a whisk until the powder dissolves.

 Remove the pan and then add 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt. For kittens that are only 2-3 weeks old, you can use 8-12 ounces of gelatin.

1 drop of vegetable oil could be added to this formula if you feel that the kitty is dehydrated or has constipation. Do not add more than 1 drop.

Goat milk formula would last for a week inside the refrigerator. Never leave the formula open at room temperature after mixing all the contents. As soon as you get the chance, go to the store or to the vet to purchase a milk replacement formula because the emergency formula does not contain all nutrients.


Final Word

Newborn kittens are too adorable for comfort. But the sight of these little furballs helplessly lying in the corner of the street meowing for the sake of its dear life is pitiful. The mother cat may have lost her way back or died in a road accident, and could not make her way back to save her babies.

There could be various reasons why you may find helpless abandoned kitties on the roadside, but once you rescue them the first question that arises is, “What to feed newborn kittens in an emergency?”

Milk and replacement formula are the only two of the available options. However, kitten milk replacement formula may or may not be available in your house. In that case, on an emergency basis, you can make two good milk formulas at home—condensed milk and goat milk formula.

They are very easy to make and contains a lot of nutrients fit for the baby. However, you should replace this emergency food with a milk replacement formula at the soonest.

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