Kitten Feeding
How To Hand Feed Orphan Kittens

Knowing the correct kitten feeding techniques is an important part of providing good kitten care. Feeding a new born, who has unfortunately either lost his mother or has been abandoned, is not that difficult but it does take a little extra care and knowledge.

Please note: do not attempt to feed any shop bought kitten food until they are properly weaned. 

The following advice and video about feeding kittens will demonstrate how to hold your kitten, how to hold the bottle feeder and also how to help your kitten eliminate for themselves afterwards.

Kitten feeding can be fun too, for both you and your new furry friend. You will see in the video how the kitten becomes excited when you begin to feed them.

However, this can cause problems at first as they may begin to suckle excitedly but not actually be getting any milk!

It is important that you take note of how much is in the bottle feeder to begin with so that you can see how much milk they are getting.

How To Feed Kittens

It is important to feed your kittens correctly as not doing so can cause serious harm to them. The main concern is Pneumonia caused when fluid enters the lungs. 

Bottle feeding kittens

  • Warm the bottle with the formula by placing it in a cup of warm water for a few minutes.

  • Test the milk on your wrist; it should be very warm but not hot. (Kittens prefer warmer milk than human babies)

  • Hold the kitten so they are on their fronts and so have to extend their heads to get the milk. This is the natural position.

  • While feeding kittens, make sure they are kept warm; hold them close to you or to a warm blanket.

  • Squeeze a little milk out so that the nipple is wet.

  • Place the nipple into the kittens' mouth and push to the back of the mouth, as this will encourage the kitten to suckle.

  • Move the nipple in and out slightly; this will also encourage them to suckle.

  • Make sure that air is entering the bottle when the kitten sucks, this will prevent a vacuum that prevents the kitten being able to suck the milk out.

  • Make sure that milk is not running out of the kitten's mouth. If this happens it means the hole in the nipple is too large and there is a danger of the kitten breathing in the fluid.

This special Kitten Feeding video demonstrates how to bottle feed and how to stimulate the kitten to eliminate:

Kitten Feeding Using A Stomach Tube

This method is only required in cases where the kitten is either unable or too weak to feed from a bottle. This requires expert kitten care and your vet will advise you if this is necessary and will show you what to do as well as supply you with the equipment needed.

It is important that the stomach tube is not accidentally placed into the kitten's trachea instead of the oesophagus. This is why it is important to use the correct equipment and that you are shown how to insert the tube by the vet before you attempt to do it yourself.

Nursing Bottle by PetAg (2 oz)

Nursing Bottle by PetAg (2 oz)

2 ounce size.


You should also attempt the procedure in front of the vet to make sure that they can check that you are placing the tube correctly. The tube should go down the throat easily and does not require any force.

Mark the tube with a pen at the point just in front of the kitten's nose when correctly inserted so that you know in future when it is correctly placed.

Weigh the kitten and work out how much formula they need and draw up the correct amount into the syringe. Place the tube into the kittens' stomach and then gently empty the contents of the syringe.

Please see my other pages for more great kitten care advice, including weaning,
choosing the best kitten food and health care tips.


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