Ask Dr Claire
My cat had kittens a couple nights ago. I’m wondering how to know when it’s necessary to supplement the mamas milk— I know one of her nipples is lactating just not sure about the others and don’t want anything to happen to these kittens!
Let all of the kittens have access to their mum, and just top all of them up if needed after a feed.
It’s important to weigh your kittens every day to ensure there’s daily weight gain–it’s the best way to assess healthy growth. They should be happy and sleeping in between feeds.
At this stage, mums milk should be meeting their needs without the need for additional nutritional support.
As for a safe milk for kittens, if supplementation is required, it’s important to use a with a proper kitten milk formula from your Veterinarian or local pet supplies store. Kitty milk from the supermarket isn’t a balanced food for kittens. It has nothing on mums’ milk and can cause major deficiencies when fed exclusively.
From around three weeks, it’s time to start introducing solid kitten food.
Whilst lactating, mum should also be on a good quality kitten food fed on demand, and always have fresh water available.
It’s always good to get the kittens and mum checked post birth so consider taking them all in to your local vet, and picking up your supplies from there.
If you’d like to chat in person, you can get a vet on a live video call or start a chat to discuss in more detail now.
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