When you want to adopt a kitten, it is essential to ensure that it is well weaned because weaning done too early can have negative consequences. The consequences are all the more important as they will be present throughout the life of the kitten. So, if you want to know everything about weaning the kitten so that it is done at the right time, this article will give you all the details to ensure optimal weaning.
Many people therefore ask themselves the question “At what age is a kitten weaned?” ”, in this article, you will know everything you need to know about weaning the cat, follow the guide!
At what age is a kitten weaned? What is weaning?
Weaning, if done at the wrong time can be traumatic for the cat and you have to wait a certain age before weaning the cat. Weaning represents the transition from maternal food to solid food consumption.
Weaning is very important because it will always have an influence on the kitten’s state of health and behavior when it is an adult. A cat weaned too early or too late will have many behavioral problems, for example being afraid of everything or being dirty, not knowing how to relieve itself correctly.
In nature, it is the mother herself who takes care of it, which is also often the case in cat flaps. She gradually reduces the cat’s maternal diet until it only eats food from outside.
During the first 8 days of their life, the kittens always suck the same teat to reduce competition between kittens before they can eat their own food.
This ability to always choose the same teat for access to breast milk is a good illustration of the importance of choosing the right time for weaning in order to do it correctly.
During the first weeks of life, kittens spend 10% of their time feeding, but this increases to 60% once they reach 3 weeks of age, then it drops to 10%.
At what age is a kitten weaned?
In general, weaning does not always occur at the same time for all cats. But in general, the mother does it from the fourth week by preventing them from feeding them when they want. The more time goes by, the less their mother will allow them to drink breast milk.
The fourth week usually represents the start of weaning to create changes in the digestive system and behavior of kittens.
The process is often complete by the sixth or seventh week, when the cat begins to eat specially adapted solid foods.
During these months, the kitten will drink less and less breast milk until it no longer drinks any, at which time it will be completely weaned.
What about orphan cats?
The weaning age of orphaned cats can be maintained by purchasing cat milk or specially adapted milk ( never cow’s milk!).
Be careful to feed the kitten well with a cat bottle that faithfully reproduces the mother’s suckling. It has been noted that weaned cats that previously drank from human bottles were more aggressive.
If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to contact a feline behaviorist who will explain everything to you so that you can accompany your kitten until weaning correctly.
The consequences of early weaning
If you have adopted a kitten that has not yet been weaned, wait well until the fourth week before doing so to avoid negative consequences on its behavior.
The first weeks of a kitten’s life are critical for its development and health, and the nutrients and colostrum in mother’s milk are responsible for bone, eye and organ development.
As a result, if the kitten is weaned too early, it may suffer from health problems throughout its life.
In addition, behavioral problems are very likely and they will undoubtedly be clumsy in their behavior, not knowing how to bury their excrement, being more brutal and not necessarily knowing how to clean themselves.
Indeed, their mother teaches them everything and emits soothing pheromones, structuring their behaviors for life.
You should also know that a kitten weaned too early will have difficulty socializing and will be more fearful, not being used to being with its litter at the age it should be. The role of the litter is also to allow the cat to learn herd life.
How can I be sure that I wean my cat at the right time?
To help you wean your cat at the right time, here are our tips for the traditional 4 weeks of weaning:
- 4th to 5th week : Give him moistened food mixed with water. Avoid dry foods like kibble which will be too hard for him. All foods besides cat’s milk should really be easy to chew and digest.
- 5th to 6th week : You can start giving him moistened kibble. Failing this, you can moisten them yourself by soaking them in water. The food should not be too dry, you have to go gradually.
- 7th to 8th week : Begin to introduce normal foods gradually, rather easy to chew so that his food intake is as gentle as possible for his brain and his body.
When to take him away from his mother?
Never, oh never! Let the mother do it herself, she’s the only one who will know how to do it instinctively and can do it without incident.
At what age is a cat weaned? The final word
The weaning of the cat is essential to him, he will forge his personality, his behavior and will be able to develop correctly physically. If you have adopted it before it is, implement all our advice well so that it can be done correctly.