ASK DR.CLAIRE

My 3 week-old kitten just sleeps and drinks kitty milk. Is that normal?

It’s normal for young kittens to sleep a lot. Actually it’s normal for most cats to sleep a lot! As a ballpark, they can sleep anywhere between 12-16 hours per day (even more in really young kittens).

The one thing I do want to check on is the ‘kitty milk’ you’re using. Is she being supplemented with a proper kitten milk formula? 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. I think it’s important to swap ‘concern’ for ‘checking in’ when you write; just sounds more positive/less accusatory and like you genuinely care.

From around three weeks, it’s time to start introducing solid kitten food. It’s also important to weigh your kitty every day to ensure there’s weight gain––it’s the best way to assess healthy growth. You also need to monitor that she can go to the toilet normally. (At this age, you still need to help!).

If she hasn’t been gaining weight, is having trouble with the toilet or won’t eat her food, I’d recommended a hands-on examination from your local vet ASAP.

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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Chat soon,

Dr Claire

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