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The First Big Step
Weaning is the process of acclimating a kitten's system to solid food.  This is a gradual change and should follow certain guidelines according to your kitten's age.
At about 3-4 weeks of age, a kitten is capable of experimenting with more solid foods. By 5-6 weeks of age, though small, the kitten's teeth are ready to make the transition to a solid diet. Depending on the individual mother, some will allow their kittens to nurse up to 3-4 months of age, others actively avoid nursing once the kittens develop teeth and begin to eat solid foods.
Once eating solid foods, the kittens can be removed from the mother. Most kittens transition very easily and rapidly to canned food between 6-8 weeks of age.
Once the kittens are twelve weeks old, the mother may discourage her kittens from nursing by batting or hissing at them. 

Since the kittens should already have been introduced to solid food at this point, they soon begin to stop nursing and move to a diet that consists exclusively of solid foods.

Never remove a kitten from its mother before the age of six weeks unless it is absolutely necessary.  Common reasons to separate a kitten from its mother include health problems and neglect. 

Kittens weaned too soon may even try to nurse from their human caregivers and will often knead items such as blankets and towels.

Feeding Kittens
Getting your kitten onto solid foods is a gradual change and should follow certain guidelines according to your kitten's age.
When considering milk replacements for nursing kittens, remember that not all milk are created equal.  Look here for help in choosing the right replacement formula.

Care of Orphaned Newborns
Most kittens can be fed with a bottle, although some kittens may need to be nursed with a hypodermic syringe or a simple eye dropper.

Link to Mens and Womens Health


3-5 Weeks

5-6 Weeks

6-8 Weeks

8 Weeks

Food Type

Gruel: canned kitten food with small amounts of added water.

Begin the transition to canned food without water added.

Reduce gruel
Increase canned food

Introduce small dry kibble kitten food if desired.


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