How to Dilute Cow Milk For Kittens: Process & Feeding Guide

The nutritional needs of kittens increase as they grow. Milk is part of the most desired food for kittens; it contains balanced nutrients to meet the cat’s nutritional needs. While the queen’s milk is the best for kittens, there are certain conditions that may warrant feeding kittens with milk from cows or other lactation animals. Such is when the kittens have been abandoned or orphaned.

Feeding cow milk as a whole has been seen to cause more harm than good to the kitten’s health. There is a need to dilute the cow milk before giving the kittens. That said, there are certain processes that must be followed to get the actual nutritional balance for the kitten.

This process includes knowing the correct amount of cow milk, the amount of water needed for the dilution, and how to store any leftover portions in the fridge. This article is definitely going to help with this.

Nutritional Composition of Cow Milk

It is important to take a quick look at the nutritional composition of the cow’s milk; this gives an idea of the nutritional composition of the milk as well as what the kittens are getting. This nutritional composition of cow milk aids the decision of whether or not to give cow milk to kittens. 

Whole cow’s milk contains an average of 87% water, 4.9% lactose (carbohydrate), 3.4% fat, 3.3% protein, and 0.7% minerals. Cow’s milk composition varies depending on the breed (Holstein, Jersey), the animal’s feed, and the stage of lactation.

Read more: Nutritional Facts And Composition Of Guernsey Cow Milk

The Importance of Diluting Cow Milk For Kittens

Dilution of cow milk is an important part of a kitten’s diet. It prevents digestive problems and keeps the kitten well-hydrated. Cow’s milk contains more fat and protein aside from the water content. This can lead to gastrointestinal upset if it is not diluted correctly.

Also, cow milk contains high lactose for kittens to digest, so it needs to be diluted with water. This way, the kitten can digest it without causing diarrhea or any digestive obstruction.

Although cow milk is a good option for kittens, it should not be fed as a sole source of food. Cow milk does not contain taurine, which is necessary for normal vision, heart health, and reproduction.

You can also give your kitten diluted formula or softened kitten food if he is at least three or four weeks old. Remember to feed him at least four times a day.

Procedures To Dilute Cow Milk For Kittens Properly

Cow milk contains too much sugar for kittens to digest, so it needs to be diluted with water. This way, the animal can digest it without causing diarrhea. You can follow this process for proper dilution of cow milk with water to achieve a proper nutritional balance for kitten health.

Getting the Quantity Right: The amount of cow milk to dilute is dependent on the number of kittens you want to feed. Kittens need about 10 milliliters (ml) of milk per ounce of body weight per day. This daily requirement gives the idea of how much cow milk to dilute. Ensure you do not give kittens too much milk, this could cause diarrhea or other digestive distress.

Ingredient Mixture: It is not ideal for me to give a particular amount of cow milk to put up for dilution, however, I will give a mixing guide to ensure you arrive at a balanced ratio for the kittens. Now, mix 3 parts of water with 1 part of cow milk. Mix well to avoid lumps formation. You should use an equal measurement like a pet measuring cup for the milk and water.

Storage: Store any leftover or unused mixture in an airtight container in the fridge. Milk lasts for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Ensure you warm the stored cow milk with hot water before giving the kittens.

Dilution of cow milk for kittens should not be given to young kittens because it may cause stomach problems. You should only give your kitten a small amount at a time. If it is too much, it can lead to digestive problems and urinary tract problems.

Bottle Feeding Diluted Cow Milk to Kittens

The best way to feed kittens diluted cow milk is to use a bottle feeder. These bottles are specially designed for tiny kittens. You will need to make sure that the hole in the nipple is small enough so that the milk can drip out with minimal squeezing. The nipple will tend to expand over time, so you need to introduce new holes on a regular basis.

You should avoid using a bottle with large nipples if you want to dilute cow milk for kittens. The large holes can lead to over-feeding, and the kitten will not eat as much as it should.

Kittens are considered neonates until four weeks of age. Kittens can be weaned at about 4-6 weeks; they can eat a slurry of kitten wet food and kitten formula. You can start by leaving some dry food down for them to try.

Aside from feeding the kitten cow milk, you can buy kitten milk replacement formula from pet shops or online. Keep in mind that this type of formula should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours.

End Notes

Feeding a newborn kitten diluted cow’s milk is an alternative to their mother’s milk. Although, cow’s milk is not a suitable replacement for cat’s milk. Newborn kittens have unique nutritional requirements that are best met with their mother’s milk or specially formulated kitten milk replacers. When these two are absent, then diluted cow milk can be helpful when properly prepared.

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