Kitten Basics: Feeding Tips for the First 6 Months

The timeline for feeding your newborn kitten changes rapidly during the first six months. The following is a broad overview of the key development milestones your kitten will experience to help you learn what and how you should be feeding the newest member of your family.

 

Why Is It Important to Know Milestones for Kitten Development?

Due to breed differences and animal individuality, it is impossible to predict exact dates for growth and development milestones for kittens. However, by using the milestones as a guide for healthy growth, developmental problems can be spotted and possibly prevented early on.
 

What Are Some Common Milestones for Kitten Development?

Age Milestone
7 to 10 days old Kittens begin to urinate and defecate on their own.
10 to 18 days old Kittens attempt to stand.
Kittens double their birth weight at about day 14.
Kittens’ eyes begin to open.
Kittens’ ears begin to open.
18 to 21 days old Kittens hear and respond to noises.
Kittens begin to walk.
3 weeks old Kittens begin responsive vocalization.
Begin weaning process for orphaned kittens.
Deciduous (baby) teeth will begin erupting.
4 weeks old Begin weaning process for mother-fed kittens.
3 to 6 months old Kittens’ adult teeth erupt.
 

How to Wean Kittens with IAMS™

  1. Start introducing a small amount of water in a shallow dish at about 4 weeks of age. Most kittens will play in the water; however, within four or five days, they begin to develop drinking skills. Some kittens may require longer periods for training, so don’t be discouraged if they resist bowl training.
  2. Begin mixing IAMS Kitten Premium Pate with Gourmet Chicken with water. Be sure to also provide a separate dish for fresh water.
  3. Gradually increase the amount of soft food while decreasing the amount of water in the mixture until the kitten is eating soft food only.
  4. Repeat the process, mixing the appropriate dry IAMS kitten food, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Kitten, with the soft food, then increasing the solid food while decreasing the soft food until the transition is complete.

The entire process should take approximately three weeks.