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When to wean kittens?
When to wean kittens?

Weaning a kitten means making him switch from a mother's milk-based diet to solid food. It is a key part of a cat's development and must be done in the right way and at the right time. So let's try to understand when to wean kittens.

kitten in front of bowl
kitten in front of bowl

Before starting

Wherever possible, kittens should always be fed del breast milk, especially within the first 12-24 hours of life. The first milk, or colostrum, in fact, it contains important antibodies that can only be absorbed by the baby during this period.

If a mother cat has a very large litter and cannot produce enough milk, each kitten should still receive at least part of it, even supplemented with powdered milk. If she cannot produce any, another cat may accept cubs if they are not too different in size than hers.

If, on the other hand, there is no possibility of breastfeeding, it is necessary to give them some milk powder, by bottle or syringe. If you want to know more, we have already given some advice on which milk to give to kittens.

When to wean kittens

Weaning usually begins at about 4 weeks old, a time when it is possible to see them trying to eat their mother's solid food. With orphaned kittens you can start even earlier, around 3-4 weeks, perhaps when they begin to nibble on the pacifier of the bottle used to feed them.

In any case do not rush to initiate this process, because early weaning can cause both physical and psychological problems for the kitten.

kitten sleeping
kitten sleeping

How to wean kittens

For starters it is advisable to mix solid cat food and powdered milk, so that the kitten recognize the flavor. Spend some around his mouth and let him lick it off.

Once he is used to the flavor he will look for it elsewhere, and at that point you can teach him to eat from a bowl. Check that he doesn't eat too quickly and that he doesn't push his muzzle too far into the bowl, which could cause him to inhale food and develop pneumonia.

Between the fourth and fifth week, let the kitten switch to more solid food: Use canned food or dry food mixed with water. Gradually reduce the amount of water used as your kitten gets used to it. Don't rush and don't force it.

By 6-7 weeks weaning may already be complete, and by 8 to 10 weeks at the most the kitten should be able to eat solid food on its own.

3 kittens
3 kittens


  • For this operation it is very important to use powdered milk specific for kittens, as it can provide them with the right level of calcium, protein and calories.
  • Keep the kittens warm.
  • Make sure it's a gradual process, because cats have very sensitive stomachs to diet changes.
  • If the kittens still have their mother, do not move them away from her during weaning and in any case not before 3 months of life: the presence of the mother, in addition to representing an emotional support for the little one, is a model for him to learn, through imitation, many other activities (using the litter box, cleaning up, playing).