Which kitten milk replacements are best?
Kittens require a very specific set of nutrients that are found in the milk of their mother. Sadly, there are many circumstances where a kitten won’t have access to that milk, such as if they are abandoned or if their mother passes away. For those kittens lucky enough to find a new home with people, their nutrient necessities can be met with kitten milk replacements.
The best kitten milk replacement is the PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Powder. This is one of the best-selling kitten milk replacements available due to its protein and pro/prebiotic-packed formula and it’s usability with cats of all other ages as well.
What to know before you buy a kitten milk replacement
Powder vs. liquid
Kitten milk replacements are available in both powdered and pre-mixed liquid forms, although it is recommended to stick with powdered kitten milk replacement. The main reasons are a far easier method of ensuring an appropriate strength and concentration (generally two parts water, one part powder) and that liquid kitten milk replacements can cause diarrhea.
Feeding a kitten requires following very precise feeding instructions to maintain their health and ensure they grow up strong. These guidelines are broken up into three four-week periods.
- Weeks zero to four: For the first four weeks, a kitten should be fed very small quantities often, up to six times a day. You need to wake them to feed during the late nights and early mornings.
- Weeks four to eight: You can introduce solid food during the middle four weeks because only kitten milk replacement will no longer be enough. If they are struggling, you can mix wet food with some kitten milk replacement.
- Weeks eight to 12: In the final four weeks, you can begin to wean your kitten off their milk replacement and begin to follow regulated mealtimes.
What to look for in a quality kitten milk replacement
Kitten milk replacements contain a handful of key ingredients, with the most important being colostrum, calcium and probiotics.
- Colostrum: A kitten’s mother’s milk contains loads of colostrum immediately after giving birth, an ingredient responsible for providing key nutrients and an immune-system boost. Kitten milk replacements that contain this ingredient typically cost a little extra but it’s very much worth it.
- Calcium: Calcium helps to build strong bones, which is vital to kittens in the first two weeks after birth.
- Probiotics: Without a healthy amount of probiotics, kittens can develop digestive issues and sensitive stomachs; these are issues that can continue well into adulthood.
Artificial flavors and preservatives
If your prospective kitten milk replacement contains any kind of artificial or preservative, immediately look for a different kitten milk replacement. These kinds of ingredients can easily affect their digestion and stomachs, causing diarrhea and discomfort.
How much you can expect to spend on kitten milk replacement
Kitten milk replacement is fairly affordable, especially if you stick to powdered options. You can find a solid amount of medium-quality powdered kitten milk replacement for $10-$20 with the higher-cost, more nutrient-rich powders running $20-$35. You get more powder in this range as well.
Kitten milk replacement FAQ
How much kitten milk replacement should you make at once?
A. Only prepare as much powdered kitten milk replacement as you’ll be using in a 24-hour period; liquid kitten milk replacements last up to 72 hours. You can refrigerate leftovers of either source, but you should still discard them once the respective maximum hours have been reached.
Can you feed a kitten any other kind of milk, like goat or cow?
A. It turns out popular media has been lying to us. Cats do not have the enzymes to break down the lactose found in cow’s milk, which can and will cause dehydration and diarrhea. Goat’s milk is a little better but it is still recommended by veterinarians to stick to kitten milk replacement. Never give kittens almond or soy milk as that can irritate the stomach and does not contain any necessary amino acids. You can feed your kitten special milk beverages made specifically for cats once they start eating solid foods.
What’s the best kitten milk replacement to buy?
Top kitten milk replacement
What you need to know: One of the highest-selling kitten milk replacements, it has an excellent formula.
What you’ll love: This formula is packed with probiotics, prebiotics and protein and most cats love it.
What you should consider: Some cans have been reported to have arrived dented, and there are a few cats that won’t drink it.
Top kitten milk replacement for the money
What you need to know: This solid option mixes very easily and is well suited to cats of all ages.
What you’ll love: While all ages can enjoy the benefits of this kitten milk replacement, it’s best for kittens and lactating cats.
What you should consider: Some bottles are very rarely reported to go bad far quicker than they should have.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Another solid option, it doesn’t sit very well with those with sensitive stomachs.
What you’ll love: The formula is strongly centered on kittens but it can ably serve as a meal supplement for older cats.
What you should consider: Certain cats have been known to vomit or have other digestive issues after drinking this kitten milk replacement.
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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