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Photo by Valerie Sicignano

Bottle-Feeding Orphaned Newborn Kittens


To learn about upcoming kitten bottle-feeding workshops, please visit our TNR Workshops & Events page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Online Articles

What to Do (and NOT Do) If You Find a Newborn Kitten

by Valerie Sicignano, Out of the Cage!

What To Do If You Find a Stray Kitten

by Laura Drucker, Tails

Bottle Feeding & Care of Orphaned Kittens
Instructions & Workshop Outline
(Letter Size PDF)

by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative

Bottle Feeding & Care of Orphaned Kittens
Instructions & Workshop Outline
(Legal Size PDF)

by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative

How to Bottle-Feed a Newborn Kitten

by Franny Syufy, About.com

Orphaned Kittens

by Sue Freeman, Guide to Rescue Cats

Help for Orphaned Kittens

by Jill Richardson, DVM, Out of the Cage!

Orphan Kitten Care FAQ

by Olivia Russell

Kitten Care Handbook

by Kitten Rescue


Kitten Development

by Kim Lance

Kitten Progression: 1 day – 10 weeks

First Week | Second Week | Third Week | Fourth Week | Fifth Week | Sixth Week | Seventh Week | Eighth Week | Ninth Week | Tenth Week

by Alley Cat Allies


Hand Raising the Orphaned Kitten

by Myrna L. Papurt, DVM (1999)

Written by a vet on the care of orphaned kittens, this book covers bottle-feeding, nutrition, feeding times, tools needed, how to avoid pneumonia, how to wean, how to socialize, parasites, and the larger issues of overpopulation and feral cats.

The Guide to Handraising Kittens

by Susan Easterly (2001)

Expert advice on first aid for newborn kittens, finding a suitable feline foster mother, hand-feeding, weaning, socializing, and coping with a sick kitten will help even the most neophyte of kitten parents undertake this rewarding adventure with confidence.

Kitten Formulas

Recipe for Homemade Kitten Formula

by Tammy Cross, Kitten Little Rescue

1 cup of canned, evaporated goat milk, well-shaken (can usually be found in a supermarket near the other evaporated milk)

1 egg yolk (do not use the white)

1 tablespoon plain whole milk yogurt (Greek strained yogurt and/or organic is preferable, but any will do)

1 tablespoon Karo Syrup (use the light/clear version, meaning light vs. dark color, not "light" in calories)

1 tablespoon chicken or turkey baby food (meat only, no rice, noodles, or vegetables — labeled Stage 1)

Note: Make sure none of the ingredients in this recipe is non-fat, low fat, reduced fat, or fat free — kittens need the fat and calories.

Special Cases:

If the kittens have severe diarrhea, add a little amoxicillin to the formula (ask your veterinarian about the correct dosage). The diarrhea should clear within 36 hours.

If the kittens have watery diarrhea but are still eating, increase to 2 tablespoons of yogurt (along with some broad-spectrum antibiotics) until their poops are good for several days.

If the kittens are over 4 weeks old, you can increase to 2 tablespoons of baby food to start preparing them for eating solid food, which should start to happen at about 5 weeks.

Other Kitten Information

Socializing (Taming) Feral Kittens

Placing Cats and Kittens for Adoption in NYC