Hello I have 4 kittens and they are hungry as their mother just died 4 or 5 hours ago. I need to prepare food for them as they are only 34 days old. What can I feed them?
In an emergency situation, absence of an available vet or pet food store where you can get appropriate milk replacement, you can use a couple of options that should be readily available from a local convenience store:
Simple option is an egg yolk mixed with a can of unsweetened evaporated milk.
More complicated option (in absence of the evaporated milk) would be egg yolk, mixed with whole milk, multi-vitamin, and some crushed antacid pills.
In both cases, this must be short-term, emergency feeding only. Ideally, as Matt S noted, you want to get proper milk replacement (powdered options are available) and kitten food for anything beyond a few feedings. For feeding, you can use an eyedropper or similar, just make sure it's been cleaned very thoroughly if you ever used it for medications.
I used PetAg KMR Milk Replacer Food Supplements. I would suggest getting the big container of powder over the pre-mixed canned milk. The cans will go bad two days after you open them. It sounds as if they're old enough to be able to drink it from a bowl.
Don't feed them cow's milk. It's not the same, and will make them sick. Even adult cat's shouldn't drink significant amounts of it.
At this point, they should be starting to wean away from the milk. You can try to start this process yourself by offering them soft food at mealtimes. If they aren't too interested, you can encourage them to eat the soft food by mixing in a bit of the milk. Slowly encourage them to switch over to the soft food by switching the milk with water for periods of time throughout the day. So that eventually the milk will be seen as a treat, not a source of food.
Personally, I would wait another two weeks before considering putting them on hard food. For kittens it's easier to digest the soft food. There also aren't many hard foods made for kittens under a year old.
+1 even though the hard food for kittens is plenty to choose from in any cats-n-dogs pet store. The store I use has 114 different dry foods for cats, 12 of those are made specially for kittens under 12 months old. Dec 18, 2013 at 20:00
1Thanks! It must be a regional thing. There are lots of choices for adult cats where I live, but none specifically for kittens. Still, I'm going to leave my answer as it stands, because the slower transition is beneficial to prevent digestion problems. Dec 18, 2013 at 20:03
Yep, it is allright. Here (in Finland) it is harder to find food for turtles and such exotic, but for cats and dogs there's everything :) Dec 18, 2013 at 20:08