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What To Feed A Stray Kitten Without Cat Food

Determine If There Is A Mother Cat

Hungry stray cats meow for food

Dont kitten nap! Resist your instinct to scoop up abandoned kittens right away. Even though they are adorable and helpless! It may seem counter-intuitive, but the best thing to do for the kittens is not to move them.

Keep an eye on them and see if a mother cat comes for them. Mom cats move their kittens often and she may be in the midst of moving them and on her way back to these seemingly abandoned kittens. Or she may be out looking for food. It is not unusual for a mom to leave her kittens for several hours looking for food. Stand at least 30 feet or more away from the kittens for a few hours to see if mom will return.

If you move the kittens, she wont be able to find them and continue to care for them.

If there is a mother cat, is she nursing and caring for the kittens? Its best to leave them with mom until theyre weaned.

Kittens begin to nibble at wet food at 4 weeks of age and are fully capable of eating on their own at 6 weeks. . Ideally mother and kittens should be provide with a shelter in a safe environment: a garage, outdoor cat house, or bathroom if the person is able to bring them indoors, until the kittens can eat on their own.

If you see no visible health problems , go ahead and leave food out for the mom and continue to monitor her as she cares for her kittens until they are eating solid food and are 5-6 weeks old.

For help determining the age of the kittens you are looking at, check out

Help The Cat Find A Home

So, weeks have passed and no owner hascome forward to claim the stray cat. If you dont have space in your life for anew pet, but are worried about the stray cat ending up in a crowded shelter,you can try to be more proactive in helping the cat find a new home. Askfriends and relatives if they or anyone they know would be interested to adopta stray. When you find a new home for the feline, remember these tips on relocating acat.

Wait For The Mother Cat To Return

You want to help, and your first impulse may be to swoop up the tiny kittens and bring them straight to a shelter. However, a mother cat will periodically leave her nest to hunt for food.

If you see young kittens without their mother, it is likely she will return. The mother should return to the nest within a few hours- if you watch quietly from a distance .


  • Sprinkle flour or baby powder around the nest to see the paw prints of a mother cat who may be coming and going from her kittens. Check it throughout the day.
  • Dont put food by the kittens: Do NOT place food near the kittens to lure mom. Mom almost always purposely hides her litter away from food sources as she knows that food will attract other cats and even bigger predators!
  • If the kittens appear healthy and comfortable, you can safely wait 4-6 hours for a mom to return if the kittens are six weeks and under.

Assess the kittens apparent health

While you are observing from a safe distance, pay attention to the kittens appearance and their surroundings. If the kittens appear healthy, and in a relatively safe location, they can survive without mom longer than if they are sickly, and in the middle of a muddy yard.

  • Does their fur look healthy, full and fluffy? OR Are they dirty? Sickly? Eyes crusty?
  • Are they sleeping quietly? In a heap? OR Are they crying? Squalling?
  • Are they dry? OR Are they wet/soaked?

Assess the environment

Are the kittens in IMMEDIATE danger from:

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Is It Bad To Feed Stray Cats

You may have encountered stray cats in your neighborhood, took pity on them, and gave them food. These stray cats have been socialized to people and had owners before but may have gotten abandoned or wandered off. These lost or displaced cats eventually become feral cats if they are homeless for a long time.

It is not bad to feed stray cats and it is a humane act to feed homeless and hungry cats. However, many vets and cat experts do not encourage feeding them. This is because they need health care and should be checked to ensure that they are not carriers of diseases or even rabies.

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What to Feed a Stray Cat Without Cat Food

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    Human Foods That Are Safe For Cats

    Searching for a healthy snack for your cat? Fortunately, you dont have to look much further than your own pantry for some cat-safe foods to feed your pet. And once you find out what human foods your feline friend can eat, you can start getting creative by making your kitty delicious DIY cat treats.

    Read on to discover which feline-friendly human foods are expert-recommended, so you can start feeding your cat like every other family member.

    Preparing Food For Stray Cats At Home

    If you are thinking about what to feed a stray cat without cat food and would like to cook something all by yourself for you feel especially affectionate to the felines, here are some recipes you can try. Its easier to make homemade food once you have noticed the liking of your cat and can make a nutrient-packed meal that can be made in big batches. Watch this.

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    Is It A Feral Cat Or A Stray

    What to feed a feral cat is essentiallythe same as what youd offer any stray, but dealing with feral cats would be anentirely different matter. Adopting feral cats, for one, isnt an option as experts agree.These animals are simply too wild to be tamed. Local governments, however,often have TNR initiatives for the care and management offeral cats. More than finding out how tofeed a feral cat, you might be interested in volunteering your time or donatingto local TNR programs. You may also contact your local Humane Society if youreinterested in becoming a caretakerfor a feral cat colony.

    Few things in the world are as heartwarmingand as fulfilling as helping animals that have been lost or forced to surviveon their own. If you decide to feed and help a stray cat and are a littleconfused on how, dont worry because youre not alone in wanting to provide abetter world for our pets. Get in touch with local shelters or humane agenciesfor guidance.

    Feeding Kittens 8 Weeks To 6 Months Oldand Beyond

    Hungry stray cat stands on both feet for food and attention

    Between 8 weeks and 6 months old, continue feeding your kitten three to four times per day. Only offer food formulated especially for kittens that says complete and balanced on the label. By the time your kitten is 6 months old, you can cut back meals to twice a day until they are a year old.

    RELATED: How Much Should I Really Feed My Cat?

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    Dont Give Cats Milk Dog Food Chocolate Or Onions

    Contrary to popular opinion, milk is not healthy for cats. They lack the proper enzymes to be able to digest it, and it can make them sick. If you find a stray kitten, you will need to find some specialized kitten formula to feed it if it is still in the nursing stage.

    Dont give a stray cat dog food, even if you have an abundance of it. Dog food is specially formulated for dogs needs, not cats, and it could make the cat sick. Feeding a stray cat human food, such as chicken or beef, would be better for the cat than dog food.

    Chocolate, onions, garlic, avocado, and grapes are all very toxic to cats and should not be put in with the other food you plan on giving the stray cat. Tomatoes and most potatoes should not be given to cats as they cause a lot of stomach issues.

    If the stray cat appears to be starving, make sure that you give it protein-rich animal foods. If it doesnt have a lot of salt, canned tuna is appropriate instead of cat food. But dont give the cat a lot at a time, especially if it is starving, because it might eat too much all at once. This action is not healthy and could leave it with an upset stomach.

    Your Age Chart For The First Weeks

    Week 1

    • If the umbilical cord is still attached, your kitten is in its first week of life. It will fall off at around 5 days after birth.
    • Newborns are small and truly helpless. They are toothless, their folded-down ears are deaf and their eyes are closed.
    • Don’t feed a kitten on its back like a human baby or give cow’s milk. It will cause diarrhoea. You can contact your vet for a commercial formula or make one at home. Your vet should also be able to tell you how to mix the latter and provide the necessary bottles or tell you where you can get some.
    • Feed the recommended amount every 2 hours.

    Week 2

    • During their second week, they will still be small and not really able to move around.
    • They will develop their hearing and at the end of this week, the eyes will also start to open. Feed the formula once every 2-3 hours.

    Week 3

    • Aged 3 weeks, their walk will be more of a crawl-and-stagger. Some will start purring at this age and most will cut their teeth.
    • Feed the formula once every 3-4 hours.

    A happy kitten will make a toy out of anything.

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    How Often Do 3

    Not all three-week-old kittens should eat the same amount of food. The feeding frequency is also individual. Refer to the table below to understand what would work for your kitten at three weeks:


    Once every 46 hours

    1420 grams

    Remember that this is a suggested feeding plan. You should analyse your kittens development to determine whats adequate for them and reach out to a vet if you have any doubts.

    Supplies You Will Need For Newborns And Young Kittens:

    What to Feed a Stray Cat Without Cat Food
    • Kitten formula such as Just Born or KMR . The liquid formula is best to use if you are not sure what to do.
    • Feeding bottles and several nipples .
    • Eye dropper or syringe in case the kitten will not eat from the bottle.
    • Several bath towels for bedding and cleaning kittens.
    • Kitchen food scale for weighing kittens .
    • Digital rectal thermometer
    • Have Emergency Veterinarian or Veterinary Clinic number on-hand.

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    What To Do If The Stray Kitten Does Not Have A Mother

    If you have determined the stray kitten does not have a mother, his greatest chance for survival begins with you. The first thing youll need to do is capture the stray kitten. For some kittens, this is as easy as reaching out and scooping them up. For others, you may need to contact a local animal society or shelter to obtain the humane traps often used in TNR. Simply place the trap out with some food inside, and wait nearby. The kitten should wander in and trigger the trap to close its door. Kittens do not get hurt in the process!

    Next, get the stray kitten to a veterinarian for a checkup ASAP. If the vets office is closed, youll have to start his care right away. Even if you cant foster a stray kitten long term, youll be a lifeline during this first phase of rescue.

    If you cannot foster the stray kitten for any amount of time, find a no-kill animal shelter. The No Kill Network has a list of organizations by state, and Adopt-A-Pet lists cat rescues.

    Containing and monitoring the formerly stray kitten is key to his health and well-being. A dog crate is perfect. To keep him toasty, place a covered heating pad in his crate and keep the room temperature at 75 degrees. The heating pad should cover only half the crate so he can get away from it. Watch for panting you dont want him to get overheated either. A cold or limp kitten indicates a medical emergency.

    Yes To Chicken Beef Lamb Etc

    A great option is simple cooked chicken. Making sure it doesnt have any additives or flavorings, you can also add alittle plain boiled rice or even unseasoned scrambled eggs to the dish.

    While sure, some cats will eat raw meat, it is better to give them something cooked and devoid of potential bacteria.

    With any of these options, you should always try it sparingly. If you dont know the history of the cat or its diet, you dont want to be in a situation where you are upsetting a delicate stomach.

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    Boneless Cooked Meat Chicken Lamb Beef

    Feeding a cat cooked meat is also a great option. You can either feed the meat on its own or add some scrambled eggs or a small amount of plain boiled rice.

    Do not feed raw meat as it has much more bacteria and the stray might not be in great health or could have a sensitive stomach so it is a lot safer to cook the meat before offering it.

    Raising An Abandoned Or Motherless Kitten Untamed Can Help Them Grow

    We gave this hungry white stray cat some dry food to eat

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    What To Feed A Stray Baby Kitten If You Cannot Tell Their Age

    If youre taking care of a stray kitten but cannot determine their age, you will have to rely on the development markers. If the kitten is weak and cannot stand on their own, give them formula milk. If they are more robust, have milk teeth, and can walk around, give them commercial cat food.

    Stray kittens have usually wandered off from their mother and siblings. Contact a local shelter or a vet if you spot a lone stray kitten in distress but cannot care for them.

    Kitten Careweeks 3 To 5 And Beyond

    Weaning can take several weeks, especially if a kitten is physically or mentally stressed, which is often the case with orphans. Here are some tips to ease the process:

    • Offer them fresh food and water as unpleasant odours can agitate kitties
    • Make their sleeping space warm and safe
    • Place their litter tray in a quiet and private area if theyre nervous every time they need to go
    • Use bonding tactics like caressing, gentle grooming, and a comforting voice to calm them down
    • Dont bathe young kittens as its uncomfortable and triggers a fight-or-flight responseget a vets opinion if you feel your kitten needs a bath

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    Can I Rehome A Stray Cat

    You can decide to take on a stray cat yourself if no owner can be found. If youre unable to keep the cat, a local animal rescue charity may be able to help. Try contacting your local RSPCA animal centre, Cats Protection or other reputable organisations. Some of these are listed on our lost and found contact list .

    Giving a home to a cat in need can be hugely rewarding but its also a responsibility and a long-term commitment. Consider carefully whether you have the time, space and money to help care for a stray cat. If the cat becomes ill or injured in the future youll be responsible for ensuring that they get the veterinary care they need.

    If after consideration, youve decided to take responsibility for a stray cat thank you! There are so many benefits to doing so. Cats that come into our care will live in one of our catteries until we can find them a suitable forever home this can be stressful for many cats, especially those stray cats who have been used to the freedom to roam and live outside.

    Taking on the responsibility yourself means the cat can return to a place they know and feel comfortable. You will also be helping us to care for more cats who are victims of cruelty or neglect and have been brought in by our dedicated inspectors by freeing up a space in our centre.

    If you decide to take on responsibility for a stray cat, please make sure you get them microchipped and have your contact details registered so that you can be identified as the owner.


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