The duration of lactation varies among different animal species, ranging from days to months or even years. In this article, we will discuss some fundamental aspects of nursing care for newborn kittens. If you’re interested in learning about when cats usually stop breastfeeding, keep reading!
The nursing stage is a crucial period for the proper growth and development of kittens. During this time, the mother cat is responsible for nurturing and safeguarding her litter, as they rely solely on her for sustenance. Mother’s milk is uniquely formulated and provides all the necessary nutrients that the offspring require until they are ready to transition to solid food.
Breast milk is composed of several important ingredients that are essential for the growth and development of kittens. The primary component of milk is water, which makes up more than 80% of its composition and helps keep the body hydrated. It also contains easily digestible and absorbable fat that transports vitamins and is beneficial for the cat’s body. Proteins in breast milk contribute to the development of internal structures and the cat’s body mass. Carbohydrates provide energy for the kittens, while immunoglobulins help protect them from diseases they are not immune to. Finally, breast milk is a rich source of minerals such as iron, phosphorous, and calcium, which are necessary for healthy growth.
When do cats stop nursing?
For kittens, it is essential that they feed on mother’s milk when they are newborns, as it is a source of protection for them from diseases and to be able to strengthen a strong and active immune system. The response of cats to stop breastfeeding has a physiological explanation, and until they are able to eat solid food their teeth start to come out.
Typically, kittens stop breastfeeding when they reach around 6-8 weeks old, which is about one and a half to two months of age. At this point, they become more independent, learning to walk, play and explore on their own. Moreover, the mother cat stops nursing because it becomes painful for her nipples when the kittens suckle, and the kittens learn to eat other foods to sustain themselves and continue to grow.
Special care during the cat feeding period
During lactation, the mother cat needs special care, because the success of her kittens depends on her. In the following list, we show you some basic things to help the gentle mother deal with this period:
She should be fed a diet focused on her condition , as feeding a nursing cat is a different matter. There are many commercial diets on the market that are designed to meet your nutritional needs while kittens are nursing. It is possible for a cat to lose its appetite and refuse to eat, but it is important that you help it and make the effort, because it needs a lot of energy to support its young.
2. Veterinary care
It is important to have a veterinarian supervise the process to monitor the kitten’s growth as well as monitor the cat’s health. If she has a problem during childbirth. It is imperative that she go to a specialist to see her and see if everything is OK. Also, if she has stopped eating for more than 24 hours, is very weak and/or has stopped producing milk. See her vet so he can quickly come up with a treatment plan.
3. Dietary supplements
If our cat has not been able to produce enough milk for the kittens. We can help ourselves with powdered milk for the kittens and bottle-feed them. The breastfeeding time will be the same as normally, up to two months, when the kittens stop breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is a precious as well as a delicate moment. They must be carefully looked after and provided with every possible comfort for cats and their young to ensure that all is well.
Mother’s milk will always be the best food a newborn kitten can receive, to ensure healthy growth and development. At least until two months, when the kittens stop breastfeeding.
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