The Best Kitten Milk Replacers
PetAg KMR Liquid Kitten Milk Replacer: available at and PetSmart
Our take: This all-natural, all-milk protein formula will give your kitten all the nutrients they need without the addition of preservatives. What we like: Made for kittens up to six weeks old, this formula is easy to digest and no mixing is required. What we dislike: Some customers complained about this formula being a little too chunky.
Cat MX Kitten Milk Replacement Powder: available at PetSmart
Our take: This easy-to-use powder will give your kitten the nutrients and vitamins they need for their general health, bone formation and nervous system. What we like: The added Vitamin A and D are great in helping kittens develop strong bones, while vitamins like B12 and B1 also aid their nervous system. What we dislike: You need to make sure to stir the powder well enough so it dissolves completely in the water and resembles milk. You don’t want your kitten to drink a clumpy formula because it might affect their digestion.
Hartz Kitten Milk Replacer Powdered Formula: available at and Chewy
Thomas Labs Goatalac Goat Milk Replacer Powder: available at and Chewy
Our take: Made with natural goat’s milk, this powder for puppies, kittens and small animals helps ease digestion.What we like: The immunoglobulins and digestive enzymes help support a healthy immune system.What we dislike: It is a little on the pricier side compared to other replacer formulas.
PetAg Petlac Milk Powder for Kittens: available at
Why Use Goats Milk
Easier To Digest
Smaller Fat Globules
Goats milk is often termed the universal mothers milk because its easier to digest. Since goats milk has smaller fat globules. This makes the fat easier to break down and be digested.
Lower Casein Level
Mammals milk contains an enzyme called casein. Cows milk contains Alpha S1, which is very difficult for adult cats and dogs to digest, and in some cases cause allergies.
Goats milk contains a lower level of casein, Alpha 52. This Casein is much more digestible,significantly lowering chances of digestive problems.
It Tastes Good!
Pets love the taste of goats milk! So in addition to being a milk replacement for kittens and puppies, it can be fed in moderation as a meal topper for adult cats and dogs.
Goats Milk Is Naturally Higher in Several Nutrients
Turns out goat milk is a nutritional powerhouse with 185 more calcium, 43% are potassium, 40% more magnesium and 104% more Vitamin A than cows milk!
How Is Tailspring Different From Other Milk Replacer Products
Tailspring believes in providing kittens and puppies with the best start in life.Their products do not contain fillers or chemicals that do not provide nutritional benefits.
The primary ingredient is Meyenberg Grade A goats milk. Tailspring products contain 17 ingredients, half those of other brands. Other replacements on the market use soy or vegetable oils as the base, which dont add nutritional value.
All of Tailsprings products are approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Manufacturing, packing and storage follow human food regulations, ensuring a very high level of quality.
Pet parents are looking for quality and quantity of the ingredients in their cats and dogs food. The ingredients in Tailspring products are top quality human grade, with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.
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Preservatives And Artificial Flavors
Its best to avoid formulas with added sweetener or artificial ingredients. Newborn kittens tend to have sensitive stomachs, and artificial flavoring and preservatives can wreak havoc on their sensitive stomachs.
Wet Kitten Food: Purina Pro Plan Salmon & Tuna Entree Kitten FoodThink ahead to purchasing some wet kitten food for weaning. The label should say kitten specifically, as growing kittens have different nutritional needs from adult cats. Purinas Pro Plan offering, made from real fish, includes DHA to support vision and brain development. And, kittens seem to adore the taste.
Food and water bowl: Immaculife Raised Cat BowlKittens wont bottle-feed forever, so you should prepare for their eventual growth with quality food and water dishes. Immaculifes raised cat bowl is built to relieve whisker and neck fatigue and encourage slower eating. Buyers find the design adorable, and some note improvements in vomiting and acid reflux.
Who Should Buy A Kitten Milk Replacer
There are a few different scenarios where you could need KMR.
- The kittens have been orphaned. Sometimes, kittens get left without their mama cats for a variety of reasons. These kittens are usually fostered out to someone whos able to dedicate the time to regularly feed, care for, and clean them.
- The mama cat cant provide enough milk. If a mother cat has a particularly large litter of kittens, she might have trouble producing enough milk for them all. In this case, the runts might be in danger of becoming underweight. KMR can be used as a supplement to the mother cats milk and given to any of her kittens who seem hungry.
- For older or ill cats. Because kitten milk replacer provides a complete range of nutrients, its an excellent choice if you need to entice an old or sick cat to eat. Sometimes they might not feel like eating kibble or wet food but can be tempted with a bowl of KMR.
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Why Does My Cat Like Milk
Why would a cat like something thats bad for them? Well, for the same reason I can house at least two king sized bars of Kit-Kats in one sitting. Okay, maybe not the same reason Im sure burying her face in unhealthy food is probably not an emotional coping mechanism for my cat. Probably. However, what can I say? I just love the flavor, and the same is true for cats. They like it because its yummy! Cream is particularly irresistible to cats, and for many, milk is just as good. The difference between milk and cream is that cream is heavier in butterfat and thats what cats love.
Transitioning To A Commercial Formula
Please, note: these homemade kitten formula recipes can be used only as an urgent temporary solution. In the future, you should transition to commercial formula.
Commercial kitten formulas are better balanced and guarantee proper muscle, bones, and organ development. Also, they prevent your kitten from diarrhea and constipation.
Claudine Sievert, DVM
If you are in hurry and just want to get an optimal product we suggest KMR because its one of the highest-rated milk replacers for kittens.
If you want to find out about more options available on the market please, read our separate guide .
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Choose A Milk Replacer Based On Age
Your kittens age will determine the amount of milk replacer theyll need:
- 0 to 4 weeks old: Only feed your kitten a tiny amount of formula up to six times a day.
- 4 to 8 weeks old: At this age, kittens can eat solid foods because formula won’t be enough for their diet. They should have a mix of wet food with a little bit of milk.
- 8 to 12 weeks old: At this age, begin to start weaning your kitten off of milk.
What To Do If You Find A Newborn Kitten
This article is now outdated. An updated version of this information can be found at bit.ly/HelpOrphanedKittens
During kitten season, its not unusual to discover a nest of unattended kittens or a single kitten seemingly abandoned by his/her mother.
by Valerie Sicignano, NYC Feral Cat Initiative
During high kitten season in the spring and summer, its not unusual to discover a nest of unattended kittens or a single kitten seemingly abandoned by the mother. You want to help, right? Before jumping to the rescue, consider these recommendations.
First: Wait & Watch
You might have come across the kittens while their mother is off searching for food, or is in the process of moving them to a different location. Try to determine if the mother is coming back for them, or if they are truly orphaned.
To do this, stand far away from the kittens 35 feet or more. If you stand too close, the mom will not approach her kittens. You might need to go away completely before the mother cat will return to attend to the kittens. It might be several hours before the mother cat returns until she no longer senses the presence of humans hovering near her litter.
The mother cat offers her kittens best chance for survival, so wait and watch as long as you can. The best food for the kittens is their mothers milk. Remove the kittens only if they are in immediate, grave danger.
If the mother cat returns
If the mother cat does not return
Kitten Care & Bottle-Feeding
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Kitten Formulas Perfect For Sensitive Stomachs
Similar to a newborn puppy, a newborn kitten gets their source of nutrients and vitamins from their mothers milk. However, there is a higher risk of malnutrition for kittens who were abandoned or kittens with mothers that can’t produce the right amount of milk. That is where kitten milk replacers come in.
Although these formulas are key to giving your kitten the nutrients they need, since they are still tiny, its important to find ones that wont upset their stomach.
Petag Petlac Kitten Milk Replacement Powder Best Overall
As the best overall kitten milk replacer, we recommend the PetAg PetLac Kitten Milk Replacement Powder. This formula is designed to be easy to digest for tiny kitten tummies, as well as containing live probiotics and probiotics that help to support your kittens digestive system as they grow.
This kitten milk replacer is formulated to closely match the fat, protein, and nutrient levels found in mother cats milk. Among other ingredients, it contains taurine, other amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and milk proteins. All in all, you can be confident that this is a great choice for your tiny kittens.
- None that we can see
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Nutrience Natural Kitten Milk Replacer
Nutrience Natural Kitten Milk Replacer is carefully formulated to ensure optimal nutrition for young kittens still needing mother’s milk, such as weaning, rejected or orphaned kittens.
In addition to starting your kitten off on the right foot in life, Nutrience Kitten Milk Replacer also provides a nutritious boost for convalescing, malnourished or nursing adult cats.
Key Features :
- Growth: Optimally balanced proteins for healthy muscular, skeletal and cerebral development
- Immunity: Formulated with bovine colostrum and coconut oil to support the immune system.
- Digestion: Pre- and probiotics help your kitten maintain a healthy intestinal tract and more effectively absorb nutrients.
Feeding Recommendations :
Petag Kmr Kitten Milk Replacer Powder Premium Choice
As our premium choice, the PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer is an excellent product. This is the number-one selling brand for good reason! The highly digestible formula provides complete nutrition for growing kittens, so you dont need to worry about adding any supplements. The essential milk proteins are balanced by all the vitamins and minerals your kitten needs.
We like that this is available in three can sizes, meaning you can choose the one that suits the number of kittens you need to feed, without worrying about having not enough or too much formula. The only reason this didnt make it into our top two is that as a premium product, youll end up spending quite a bit more if you have many kittens to feed! Apart from that, this is a great choice.
The GNC Pets Ultra Mega Premium Milk Replacer is made with natural milk proteins and uses a powder formula based on skim milk to provide all the essential nutrients and nourishment that a growing kitten needs. The enriched formula is easy on small kittens tummies too. Its specifically designed to support the development of healthy bones and teeth and strong muscles and to make sure your kittens immune system is working effectively.
The one thing we didnt like about this formula is that it can be a little harder to mix than other powders, leaving lumps even when its been extremely well mixed.
- Contains egg
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Kitten Milk Replacement Prices
Lower-cost: Youll find quite a few kitten milk replacements in the $12 to $20 range. The liquid products in this range tend to weigh around 11 ounces. Powders are much more common , and in this range, they tend to weigh 10 to 12 ounces. Note that you will get more bang for your buck from kitten milk replacement in powdered form.
Higher-cost: Kitten milk replacements in the $20 to $35 range often weigh 14 ounces or more. They may contain colostrum, the milk a mother produces immediately after birth. A kitten separated from its mother soon after birth would benefit from this, since colostrum provides extra nutrition and temporary immunity against diseases.
Kitten bottles and nipples should be cleaned and sterilized between uses.
Hartz Kitten Milk Replacer Powdered Formula Best Value
If youre looking for the best kitten milk replacer for the money, we suggest trying the Hartz Kitten Milk Replacer Powdered Formula. Containing real milk protein, this powder has been precisely formulated to support your kitten in all areas of their growth. It contains calcium, taurine, lysine, and linoleic acid, all of which contribute to your kittens healthy development.
This powdered kitten formula is high in calories and fats, meaning its a great choice for underweight kittens who need an extra boost. However, it isnt easy to clean out of the bottles once youre done feeding, and it doesnt mix up easily. Even still, we put this as the best kitten formula for the money on our list.
- Can be difficult to clean from bottles
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Buying Guide For Best Kitten Milk Replacements
Newborn kittens, like newborn humans, need a specific mixture of vitamins to grow into healthy adult cats. These nutrients are typically derived from their mothers milk. But an abandoned kitten, whether feral or in a foster home, is at risk for malnutrition without its mothers milk. Fortunately, there are kitten milk replacements that readily replace these important nutrients.
Before choosing a kitten milk replacement, youll want to consider some important factors. Do you want a pre-mixed liquid or a powder supplement? How old is your kitten? How much do they weigh? Also consider whether your kitten has a sensitive stomach and your desired feeding schedule. Interestingly, some kitten milk replacements are suitable for senior cats who need nutritional supplementation, too.
To learn more about the best kitten milk replacements for your cat, keep reading this product guide. Soon youll be ready to choose the best possible formula for your tiny furbaby.
What To Look For In A Kitten Milk Replacer
How do you know which milk replacers to choose? If youre looking for the highest-quality milk replacements, then look for a formula that has the following ingredients:
- Probiotics: These are necessary to help your kitten with their digestive system and gut health.
- Calcium: Unsurprisingly, look for a formula with calcium as this is integral for strong bones, especially for kittens who are less than two weeks old.
- Taurine: This essential amino acid supports eye and heart health, and it is something kittens cannot produce on their own. Getting a milk replacer that has this key ingredient is crucial for the health of your kitten.
- Protein and fat: These are common ingredients in most milk replacers and an important part of your kitten’s diet.
- Colostrum: Some kitten milk replacers include colostrum, which is a milk fluid that comes out of the mother’s breast immediately after giving birth. This substance includes essential nutrients that ward off illness.
- Vitamins: Keep an eye out for vitamins A, D, B12 and B1. These vitamins are important for your kitty’s nervous system, digestive tract, bones and immune system.
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How Much Kitten Milk Replacer Should You Be Feeding
As a rough guide, you should aim to be feeding your kitten 8 milliliters of KMR per ounce of their weight. Using our best overall KMR as an example, 1 tablespoon of powder mixed with 2 tablespoons of water makes approximately 34 milliliters of formula, which is enough to feed a kitten that weighs 115 grams for one day. This should be split into feeds every 3-4 hours.
As your kitten grows, you can increase the amount of KMR youre feeding them until theyre between 4-6 weeks of age. At this point, you can also offer KMR in a shallow bowl and a bottle, as your kittens begin to wean onto solid food. By six weeks, your kittens should be fully weaned onto solid food, but you can continue to free-feed KMR at a rate of 1 teaspoon of powder per 5 pounds of body weight until your kitten stops requesting it.