How Long Can A Newborn Kitten Go Without Eating? (Interesting Facts)

Newborn kittens are some of the sweetest creatures known to man. They are not only cute, but they also require a lot of attention.

A newborn kitten is an adorable and vulnerable animal that requires lots of care and feeding. You need to know how long a newborn kitten can go without eating.

If you find yourself with a newborn kitten, whether you have found it separated from its mother or because your cat has just given birth, your instinct may be to feed it immediately.

However, this is not always the best course of action.

With this guide, you will know how to feed and care for your newborn kitten. For example, you can find out how long your newborn kitten can go without eating below.

How Long Can A Newborn Kitten Go Without Eating?

The first thing you need to do when you take in a newborn kitten is to make sure that it is healthy and safe.

After this, you should consider feeding them. Sadly, these kittens cannot go for very long without their mother’s milk.

This means that if you don’t provide them with food within the first few days after giving birth, they could die.

Kittens need their mother’s milk every couple of hours. They can only last for roughly 12 hours without this milk.

Though they can survive longer than this, a kitten should not be deprived of milk for longer than 12 hours.

Kittens that are a few weeks old can last for slightly longer without this milk, but they will still require it in regular doses.

If your kitten is unable to drink its mother’s milk, you do not need to panic. You can buy kitten formula, which will give your fabulous feline all the nutrients it requires.

There are plenty of kitten milk brands on the market, so you may want to talk to a vet to see if they can recommend a kitten milk replacement formula.

If you are using a liquid formula, you will likely need to give this to your kitten every few hours.

It is generally recommended that you feed your kitten with formula roughly every 3 hours.

How Much Should I Feed My Kitten?

The amount of time that a newborn kitten can go without food depends on several factors. These include:

Its Age

The age of a kitten is the most important factor when considering how much you should be feeding them. The younger the kitten, the more often it needs to eat.

However, they will need smaller quantities of food. While younger kittens will be incapable of consuming solid food, older kittens will be able to. Instead, these young kittens will require a liquid diet.

Your Kitten’s Weight

Another important factor to consider is your cat’s weight. If your cat is underweight, then you will need to feed it more than normal. Otherwise, your cat will be more vulnerable.

What Should I Give My Kitten?

newborn kitten

Depending on the age of the kitten, there are slightly different foods that you should give them. Kittens tend to consume:


This is what your kitten was fed by its mother. Milk is essential for a newborn kitten’s growth.

When you feed your kitten milk, you are ensuring that they receive the right nutrition.

The milk of the mother cat is all a kitten will need for the first few weeks of its life.

As stated, you can use a bottle of formula instead if you need to. For example, if the kitten has been abandoned by its mother, kitten formula may be used instead.

However, you should never give cow’s milk to your newborn kitten. This is because it does not contain the same nutrients as a mother’s milk.

Therefore, you may unintentionally make your kitten sick by feeding them milk.

For example, your kitten may experience diarrhea. At such a young age, this can be especially dangerous for kittens.

Solid Food

As mentioned above, young kittens cannot digest solid food. Therefore, you should only offer them milk until they are around three weeks old.

At this point, you can start offering them small amounts of solid food.

Wet Food

When your kitten reaches five or six weeks old, you can begin to introduce wet food into its diet.

Wet food is made up of meat or fish that have been soaked in water or gravy. This helps to ensure that the kitten gets all the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs.

Kitten Formula

While you can feed your kitten any type of food, some formulas are better suited for kittens than others.

Some of the best kitten formulas contain protein, fat, carbohydrates, and calcium. In addition, some formulas also provide essential vitamins.

Kitten Serving Plan

Now that you know what types of food your newborn kitten will eat and how long they can go without feeding, you must set up a feeding plan.

This will allow you to keep on track with how much you should be feeding your kitten at different ages. This will allow you to have a perfectly healthy kitten.

Up To 4 Weeks

If your kitten is less than four weeks old, then you can feed them once every two hours.

This may sound like a lot, but you should remember that kittens are like newborn babies. They will need loads of attention.

For the most part, newborn kittens will simply drink the milk of the mother cat.

If you are using a formula, the amount of milk and the frequency with which you provide it will vary depending on the brand.

This information should be included in a product’s online description or packaging. Be sure to read these instructions carefully.

This is an essential stage in your kitten’s development. Therefore, it is essential to guarantee that they are getting enough milk.

4-5 Weeks Old

When a kitten reaches this age, you can start giving it solid foods. However, you should experiment with small quantities of wet food.

Otherwise, you may end up wasting this food if your cat is uncomfortable with this food.

Plus, it will give your kitten time to get acquainted with the food as opposed to overwhelming them with it.

When using wet food, you should buy ones that are aimed at kittens. Brands will say what age they are aimed at on their packaging.

You should always try to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when buying wet food.

If not, you may be feeding your kitten with food that is not suitable for them. For example, the chunks of meat may be too big.

Alongside trying this solid food, you will need to continue to give the kitten milk. This should form the basis of their diet.

However, you should only be feeding your cat approximately 3 times a day once they have reached this stage.

6-8 Weeks Old

At this point, you can increase the amount of time between meals. Your goal here is to gradually reduce the number of meals per day.

This is because you want your cat to be less dependable on you. However, the quantities of the food should increase, as your cat will have a larger appetite.

As mentioned before, you should still be providing your kitten with milk. The reason why you want to do this is that it will help to prevent weight loss.

On the other hand, you should slow down the amount of milk you are giving your milk.

8 Weeks Old

At this point, your kitten has been eating solid food for several weeks. It is now time to introduce new flavors.

You should begin by slowly introducing new flavors, including different types of meat. For instance, cats like to eat food that contains chicken, fish, beef, pork, duck, and rabbit.

Remember that your goal is to make your cat more independent. As such, you will not want to give them any milk at this stage unless it is recommended by your vet.

You can give your cat canned foods now. You can also use either wet or dry food depending on your cat’s preference.

In fact, many pet owners like to give their cats a mixture, so that they do not become bored with one variety of food.

Once they have reached 18 weeks of age, your feline friend will no longer be considered a kitten. Instead, they will be classified as a cat.

As a result, you should not buy them foods aimed at kittens. Instead, you should buy them proper cat food.

Will A Newborn Kitten Need To Be Fed At Night?

newborn kitten

Yes, a kitten may need to receive food during the night. This will be especially true when they are only a few weeks old.

The reason for this is that newborn kittens need food every 3 hours. This includes the night.

Though it may be a pain to wake up in the middle of the night to feed the newborn, it will be essential if the cat mother is not around.

On the other hand, it is not advised that you wake your kitten if they have gone to sleep. Doing so could cause them to lose sleep, which is also important for kittens to receive.

Kittens normally sleep for incredibly long periods of time, with roughly 90% of their time being dedicated to sleep. This whopping figure shows just how important sleep is to kittens.

What Is Weaning?

Weaning is the process whereby a baby stops receiving breast milk from its mother. Though it may surprise you, this process is also applied to kittens.

The weaning process involves kittens moving away from the consumption of mother milk and toward eating solid foods.

If the mother cat is still around, then weaning should occur naturally. However, it can sometimes require some human involvement.

One way of weaning the kitten is to separate it from its mother for a short period. Though this may seem harsh, it will benefit the kitten in the long run. It will allow the kitten to experience time without the mother present. This can make them more independent.

If you plan on doing this, ensure that the kitten has access to food and a clean litter box. This can be done when your kitten is a few weeks of age.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Keep A Newborn Kitten Interested?

As mentioned, many people think of kittens as being similar to babies. Just as you have to ensure that babies are simulated, you must do the same for kittens. One way to do this is to play with them.

Another thing that you can do is to provide them with toys. These include things like balls, ropes, and even stuffed animals.

You may also want to pet your kitten. This is something that you can do without having to feed them. Simply stroke their fur gently. With any luck, your cat will begin to purr.

This is often used by kittens to communicate that they are happy, though it can mean other things too.

What Should I Feed My Cat During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you should avoid giving your cat anything that could harm her unborn baby.

A mother will need increased quantities of food, as she is not just eating for herself but also needs nutrients for the babies.

Pregnant cats will need lots of protein. Thankfully, this can be found in wet food. Ideally, this food should be easy to digest. If possible, opt for a diet that does not contain wheat flour.

When choosing a diet, you should look for one that provides high-quality proteins.

They should be free from artificial preservatives and additives. This will ensure that the mother gives birth to healthy kittens.

How Much Will A Newborn Kitten Weigh?

When a kitten is born, it usually weighs between 2.5 and 3.5 ounces. After this point, it will begin to increase in weight rapidly, amassing roughly 10 grams of weight each day.

If your kitten is slightly underweight, it is usually not a cause for concern. You should simply keep an eye on this cat and ensure that they are putting on sufficient weight.

If your kitten remains underweight, you may want to visit your vet.

Final Thoughts

The above information should provide you with all the knowledge needed to feed your brand-new kitten properly. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

For example, you should never force your cat to eat. Cats are very sensitive creatures and they do not enjoy being forced into doing anything.

They will often refuse to eat if they feel that they are being pressured into doing so.

Instead, you should offer them food, but let them decide whether they want to eat.

If they do not want to eat, then you should simply leave them alone until they start to eat again.

You should only intervene if your kitten continues to refuse their food, in which case you should contact a professional vet.

Continue reading more Cat Related Articles and enhance your knowledge t become a better pet parent.

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