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Always make sure kitten is warm before you feed. Never feed a cold kitten. Feed with kitten formula, such as kitten milk replacer (KMR), which can be purchased at most pet supply stores. Never feed kittens cow’s or goat’s milk because this will cause an upset stomach and diarrhea. It is very important to hold off on bottle feeding until the kittens have completely warmed up. Make new formula every 1-2 feedings as old mixed formula can spoil or collect bacteria.

Step One: Cleanliness is key: Wash your hands and sterilize the kitten bottles before feeding.

Step Two: Follow the instructions on the formula label f or click here for KRM instructions. Always warm the KRM and test it on your wrist to be sure it is warm but not hot, like you would do with an infant.  Put mixture in a kitten bottle to feed the kitten, be sure that the KMR drips out slowly when the bottle is turned upside down. Use a whisk to get rid of clumps so that the nipple does not get clogged. Remember, do not feed cold kittens.

Step Three: Hold or place kittens on their stomachs (never feed kittens on their backs), slip the nipple into the kittens mouth and watch for latching, and tilt the bottle so no air gets in. Follow the guidelines on the formula label for how much to feed, but they will usually stop eating when they’re full. Be sure to never squeeze the bottle, they will take in the formula on their own. Squeezing the bottle can cause aspiration.

Feeding frequency:

10 days or younger – every two hours around the clock

11 days to 2½ weeks – every three to four hours

2½ to 4 weeks – every five to six hours

4 weeks and older – two to three times a day. Weaning occurs around this age.

Step Four: After the kittens eat formula, you need to burp them. Put them on your shoulder or on their stomachs and pat them gently until you feel them burp.

Step Five: Kitten formula is messy, so make sure to spot clean kittens after feeding with a warm, damp washcloth, and dry them as needed.


This typically will occur when kittens are around 4 weeks old. When weaning a kitten, mix formula with wet food to form a slurry so kittens can begin to lap it up in a small bowl or dish, or put the mixture in a bottle.

May 6, 2020

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