You love kittens—we all love them. Who can resist these cute little creatures? Besides loving, nursing a kitten is also an important task. Maybe, you are looking to nurse a kitten even though she has a mama cat, or you have found it from somewhere and want to do its nursing. Whatever the situation may be, the fact is that, being human, you need to nurse a tiny kitten and must find ways to know how long do kittens nurse.
Let’s talk in-depth about all the possible aspects of nursing the kitten after birth or without a mother. Gear up and stay connected.
How Long Do Kittens Nurse After Birth?
Kittens should nurse appropriately after birth. You must be thinking, how long do kittens nurse? It depends on the mother whether she wants to nurse the kitten or not. There are two possibilities.
One, she is afraid and is not active enough to do nursing; two, there is something wrong with the kitten. It is your responsibility to know what the situation is and keep the circumstances in line with that peculiar situation. If you do not understand the problem, consult a vet.
It also depends on the state in which the kittens are born. In the first few days, they’ll need more care and time. Proper nursing can protect them from becoming famished and stunted. Kittens can die within hours if they are not cared for properly.
After birth, the mother’s milk is also an essential component that helps in nursing kittens properly. Mother’s milk contains vital biological parts, antibiotics. As milk enters the kitten’s body, antibiotics also enter. It results in the better build-up of the immune system and nourishment process.
Kittens must nurse for 3 to 6 weeks after their birth. Within this duration, proper nursing will help their healthy growth. When most cat owners search for how long kittens nurse after birth, they must know that appropriate care of approximately 3 – 6 weeks is required.
How Long Do Kittens Nurse at a Time?
Kittens are as fragile as a feather. Nursing kittens is not hectic; instead, it is fun doing. In a single session, nurse a kitten for about 40 minutes after every 2 hours, only in their first week. As kittens are tiny and not active enough, they cannot perform any activity, so they spend the rest of the time sleeping. And they love to do it.
Now, you must be thinking about the nursing schedule of 2- and 3-week-old kittens. For a kitten bigger than one week, how long do kittens nurse for a healthy life ahead?
For 2- to 3-week-old kittens, nursing happens after every 3 hours. 2- and 3-week-old kittens spend the rest of their time sleeping and acting cute. The amount of milk kittens consume in the nursing hours depends on the weight of the kittens.
Do Newborn Kittens Nurse Immediately?
Yes! Newborn kittens must nurse immediately. The reason is simple, immediate nursing of the kittens will help them in healthy and active growth. Moreover, taking care of hygiene while nursing babies is also an essential part. If you do not nurse a kitten immediately after birth, it will result in the late response of kittens towards things. A kitten may not recognize her mother efficiently and result in developing poor crawling and walking habits.
After linking off embryonic fluid from kittens, the mother lets the babies suckle at her nipples. Be cautious during this process, as sometimes kittens won’t suckle at her nipples. If that is the case, call a vet.
Kittens need a healthy diet immediately after birth. And only the mother can provide this diet. Mothers love to feed their kittens, but if they are reluctant, call the vet and handle the situation.
How Often Should Newborn Kittens Nurse?
As we have mentioned earlier, newborn kittens should be nursed immediately. Their pattern of nursing varies with the age of the kitten. In the first week, their nursing plan is every 2 hours, while for the next 2 – 3 weeks, they have to rely on nursing every 3 hours. This pattern also varies with the weight of the kitten.
When kittens get 13 days old, they begin to crawl. Soon, they learn to walk and start roaming around you. It is the time when you’ll completely fall in love with these cute little kittens. So, how long do kittens nurse? As we mentioned, it depends on the health of the kittens.
When Do Kittens Stop Nursing From Their Mother?
Mothers stop nursing the kittens when they realize that kittens do not need to care anymore. When mothers keep a kitten away from her, this is called weaning. It happens when kittens do not need mother’s milk anymore. Or, they have grown enough that they can take small steps or start random walking. It does not mean that you stop nursing kittens because, in many cases, weaning happens at the 10th week of age, and at this time, kittens cannot actively explore distances. Sometimes, when kittens are born, the mother dies in the process or soon after. You’ll have to nurse them, relying on Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR). As you cannot provide them the essential nutrients that mothers milk provides, it affects their growth. In that case, a KMR would do the job.
You must be curious to know when do kittens stop nursing. If truth be told, they never! Although kittens get old enough to care for themselves, they still need all the necessary attention, food, and care.
If a kitten is taken from her mother, it will cause some health and behavioral issues. Early weaning results in aggressive actions and stereotypic behavior in little kittens. When kittens get ready to wean, they change their actions. They move actively, begin to hunt food, and do not show behavioral problems.
How Long Can 2-Week Old Kittens Go Without Nursing?
2-week old kittens are so tiny. They cannot survive much longer without nursing. At the early age of 2 weeks, kittens need mother’s milk, proper sleep, and complete care and time.
If you are giving your kitten all of this, then your 2-week-old kittens can survive and thrive. But if you cannot nurse the kitten due to your tight schedule, do not take the responsibility of nursing a kitten because they cannot survive for more than 12 hours without a mother’s milk—or its equivalent formula milk. Provide all the necessities for better nursing of a kitten. If the mother is alive, you do not have to worry at all. Mother knows how to feed the little one.
Take care of your little kitten and do the proper nursing. If you are confused about how to do it properly, consult a vet.