It can be a little daunting when you first become the proud parent of a Siamese kitten. Unable to nurse from their mother, one of your most important tasks is bottle feeding.
Bottle-feeding kittens the right way is essential to ensuring they have a healthy start in life. I’ll walk you through this guide, so you should know how to bottle-feed your Siamese kittens.
I’ll cover topics such as how to choose the right formula and how much to feed them. Read on!
What Supplies Do You Need to Bottle Feed Your Kitten?
You’ll need to get some things first if you’ve decided to bottle-feed a Siamese kitten. Here’s a list of equipment you’ll need to bottle-feed your kitten:
1. Good quality and appropriately sized feeding bottle.
Siamese kittens weigh between 90 g to 40 g when they were born. Their tiny stomachs can only hold about a tablespoon of milk at a time. Use a small bottle that will allow them to eat slowly and prevent them from becoming overwhelmed.
The rubber nipple should be soft, and the hole should be small enough that the milk drip out slowly.
2. A high-quality kitten formula milk replacer (KMR).
A cow’s milk is not as nutritionally dense as KMR. Kittens need more protein, fat, and calories than adult cats. Cow’s milk doesn’t have the right balance of nutrients to support a Siamese kitten’s high activity level.
Cow’s milk can cause digestive upset, leading to diarrhea and dehydration. It’s best to stick with KMR when bottle-feeding Siamese kittens.
3. A heating pad.
Siamese kittens are delicate, and their tiny bodies can quickly become chilled. That’s why breeders often recommend using a heating pad during bottle feeding.
You can keep your Siamese cat warm and comfortable by placing the heating pad underneath your kitten’s nesting box. He won’t be able to properly digest his food otherwise.
4. A clean towel.
Siamese kittens can be messy eaters, and they’ll often end up with formula all over their faces and fur. A clean towel will help you to clean them up after each meal. It will also keep them warm, as Siamese kittens are sensitive to temperature changes.
Opt for a soft, absorbent material when choosing a towel, so it won’t irritate the kitten’s skin. Avoid using towels with scented detergents or fabric softeners.
5. A thermometer.
You might need a thermometer to ensure the milk is at the right temperature. The ideal temperature for bottle-feeding Siamese kittens is 100 °F (or 38 °C).
You can use a regular digital thermometer to take the milk’s temperature. You may also buy a special bottle-feeding thermometer from a pet store. Whichever type of thermometer you use, be sure to wash it before each use.
How Do You Prepare the Kitten Formula?
- Sterilize the bottles and nipples for 3 to 5 minutes to kill any bacteria that could cause disease. You can also use a bottle brush to scrub the inside of the bottles and then rinse them with hot water.
- Be sure to mix the formula according to the directions on the package. Siamese kittens have delicate stomachs, so getting the proportions right is crucial.
- Warm the formula. Kittens need their food to be warm, so make sure to warm the formula before you feed it to them. You can do this by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
- Ensure the formula is at the right temperature before feeding it to the kittens. You can test the temperature by placing a few drops on your inner wrist. Wait a few minutes if it feels too hot and cool it down before feeding it to the kittens.
One of the first things I did when I got a Siamese kitten was to learn how to bottle-feed him. It’s not as difficult as it might sound, and you must ensure that you mix the formula correctly.
The directions on the package will tell you how much water to add. It’s best to use warm water, so the kitten doesn’t get cold. You’ll need to fill the bottle once you’ve mixed the formula.
I like to use a syringe to measure the right amount and then pour it into the bottle. Ensure you don’t overfill the bottle, or your kitten will have difficulty drinking.
How Do You Safely Bottle Feed a Kitten?
1. Wash your hands before and after handling your kitten. Avoid transferring bacteria or other contaminants to your kitten to prevent him from getting sick.
Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to do this. Make sure you scrub for at least 20 seconds and rinse well. You should also dry your hands with a clean towel or air dry them. You can proceed with feeding the kittens once your hands are clean.
2. Hold the kitten properly. Some caretakers find it helpful to cradle the kitten in their arms. Others prefer to hold them on their stomachs. Trying to feed a kitten while he’s on his back can put unnecessary stress on his little body. This can make it more difficult for him to latch onto the nipple.
3. Hold the kitten’s head gently with one hand while offering the bottle with the other. Gently insert the nipple into their mouth and tilt the bottle so that the formula flows into their mouth.
Try rubbing your kitten’s belly or stroking his head if you’re having trouble getting him to take the bottle.
4. Do not make the mistake of forcing your kitten onto a nipple. Siamese kittens are stubborn and may become even more resistant to feeding if forced. It is best to let them approach the bottle on their own terms instead.
Siamese kittens are intelligent. They will soon realize that the bottle contains food. They will follow your lead once they’ve adjusted.
5. Be prepared for spills. Kittens are not always the best at eating from a bottle, so be prepared for some spills. Have a towel handy to clean up any messes.
6. Keep an eye on the kitten as they drink. They should be taking small, frequent sips. Slow them down if they start gulping down the formula too quickly. You can do so by removing the bottle for a few seconds.
Your kitten may try to pull away from the bottle, or they may even fall asleep while drinking. As long as you can keep an eye on your kitten, he should be fine.
7. Be patient. It may take a few tries before your Siamese kitten finally gets the hang of bottle-feeding.
8. Burp the kitten. After your kitten has eaten, hold him upright and gently pat his back to help him burp. This will prevent him from getting gas or indigestion.
How Much Should a Kitten Drink From a Bottle?
You must feed your Siamese kittens every two to three hours. They will usually drink between two and four ounces of formula per feeding. Be sure to give them the correct amount of formula, as too much can cause them to vomit or have diarrhea.
Siamese kittens should be weaned from bottle feeding by around six weeks. At this time, they should be eating solid food and drinking from a bowl. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for advice if you’re unsure about how much to feed your Siamese kitten.
Thank you for reading our complete guide on how to bottle-feed Siamese kittens. I hope that you now feel confident in your ability to provide a kitten with the nourishment it needs.
It can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it when you see those little faces looking up at you with trust and adoration.
Bottle-feeding kittens is one of the most rewarding things a cat lover can do. I know you and your new furry friend will enjoy every minute of it!