When Should You Wean Kittens
When should kittens be weaned from their mother's milk? The answer depends on several factors. If the mother cat is in good condition, and if there are no other problems, then kittens can continue to nurse until they are between 10-12 weeks of age, unless you are planning on giving the kittens away before then.
Often the mother cat will stop her kittens from nursing on her own when the time is right. Kittens should remain with their mother until they are at least eight weeks old. It is best to let them continue nursing during this time.
If you are wanting to wean the kittens early due to some problem with the mother cat, or the mother cat's milk supply, and you need to feed the kittens yourself they can be fed kitten replacement formula. If the mother cat is not present see the article on feeding orphan kittens.
If the mother cat is still present, but her milk supply is inadequate or if there is some other problem you can speed up the weaning process by mixing cat replacement formula with some solid kitten food.
Kittens can start eating solid food when they are very young. Kittens start getting their teeth between 2-4 weeks of age and so you should start giving them small amounts of solid food when they are 3 weeks old.
The easiest way to do this is to give them some canned food for kittens or you can get a quality dry kitten food and mix it with a little kitten milk replacement formula or water.
You should provide a clean bowl of water for the kittens (and the mother cat) at all times. Kittens get dehydrated easily. Make sure the bowl of water isn't large enough for the kittens to get themselves all wet.
While the kittens are making their transition to solid food you should allow them to nurse from their mother in addition to eating the solid food.
If there are any problems or if the kittens develop diarrhea, then contact your veterinarian.