Kittens – fourth week – weaning6 August, 2006
I started weaning the kittens yesterday. They’re now nearly four weeks old and I wasn’t sure if it was too early to start, but what prompted me was that Mum cat was losing condition and starting to look quite skinny. Nursing kittens is hard work, and lots of queens lose condition during that time, but I wanted to help her out as much as I could. During the two weeks I was at home I fed her up to as much as once every two hours. Now that I was back at work, I suspect that Hubby wasn’t as conscientious.
A lot of breeders have problems with weaning, with kittens being fussy etc. Some advocate using intermediate foods like porridge, or rice pudding. With last year’s litter I fed raw mince (homemade and ground up with the bone and supplements added – recipe to be supplied in a later blog) and there were no problems at all. It seems that kittens recognise real food when they see it.
I smeared a little raw chicken mince on the rim of a small plate and put it down in the pen. The cream kitten investigated and to my delight sampled it. The larger kittens all had a taste of it. The smaller kittens, like Squeaky, didn’t bother even though I put a little on my finger and offered it to Squeaky.
Today I repeated the raw food offering, and a few more kittens ate it. Good thing I supervised the meal because the mackrel kitten started making yowling noises. I checked it and there was a piece of meat sticking out of its mouth, so I loosened the meat. It tried to swallow it, and to my horror, started choking. I immediately pulled the piece of meat out, and saw that it had been attached by a piece of ligament to another piece of meat that it had already half-swallowed.
This is the second time I’ve had to rescue a kitten and been successful. I think I’m blessed.