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More Tips for Bottle Feeding Kittens

Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for bottle feeding an orphan kitten. (If you’ve never bottle fed a kitten, be sure to first read our “How to Bottle Feed” page.)

  • If you are feeding kittens from more than one litter, it is best to keep each litter separate and in quarantine for at least two weeks. Wash your hands before and after feeding kittens from different litters.
  • Never feed a kitten that is cold. Make sure its body is warm before attempting feeding, even if the kitten has gone a long while without eating. Feeding a cold kitten can cause death.
  • Never feed a kitten on its back. They need to eat in a belly-down position like they would be when nursing from mom.
  • If the kitten refuses to eat, first try the tips in Kitten Lady’s video on tricky eaters. If none of those work, the best option is to tube feed very young kittens. If you do not have access to a trained tube feeder or veterinarian to help you, you can learn how to do this via videos online. If you cannot get the supplies in time, try syringe feeding. For newborns, only give one drop at a time and see if they can swallow. Add unflavored Pedialyte or Kitten Lyte to the formula in order to boost their electrolytes. Be sure to get professional advice from a veterinarian.