I have an orphaned baby kitten and it is to young for solid food, how do I nurse them?

The related question Kitten Food in an Emergency talks about what foods to use, but how do I get them to drink it?

  • I can't say I know how to encourage kittens to drink milk as I've never had a problem with it. I do know you should only feed them on their stomachs. Feeding them on their backs might be cute, but their digestive systems aren't made for it.
    – Spidercat
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 19:44
  • I've heard of people bottle-feeding young kittens, but I don't know the details of how to do it. Commented May 21, 2014 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can bottle-feed a kitten. There are kits designed for this purpose, available at many pet stores, but you don't necessarily need them if you have baby bottles at home. Basically, the key is to have the liquid be able to drip from the opening of the bottle slowly, without needing to squeeze it, so that the kitten can easily get the fluid without the need for significant suction. If you have a bottle that isn't doing that, you can widen the hole of the nipple using a heated needle.

As for milk, it's not cow's milk that you should be looking at. There are kitten milk replacements that you should get from the pet store or your vet. Warm this according to directions (about 100 °F / 37 °C) to avoid upset tummies.

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