Kittens are very fragile and sensitive during their first few weeks outside their mother’s womb. Without adequate warmth, food, and protection from infectious diseases and parasites, a young kitten of six weeks may not survive.
Normally, even at this age, the mother will be able to nurse them, keep them warm, and protect them. But the situation becomes complicated when the kittens are being weaned. Ideally, weaning kittens should start at 5 or 6 weeks after birth, and it can be a tricky job. One wrong food and your kitten can become sick, provide inadequate shelter and your kitten may catch a cold, and so on.
What Food Type Should I Feed A 6-Week Old Kitten?
When it comes to feeding, most kittens at this age may not be able to chew on dry food (though their canine teeth must have started developing).
The normal routine here is to start (or continue) with a milk replacer, then start feeding them a slurry.
You can prepare a slurry by mixing replacer milk with some crushed food (wet or dry) and then feeding it to the kitten. A slurry is important to help the kitten transition to the wet or dry food you’ll be feeding them later on. A weaning food specifically made for transitioning kittens from milk to solid food can also come in here, in place of a slurry.
Next, you move on to giving the kitten wet food. Canned foods are the best option here, and a good one would provide the necessary proteins and nutrients for the healthy development of your kitten.
Finally, you can then introduce dry food to the kitten. However, dry foods may not be so good at this stage, because the kitten may not be able to chew them well.
Remember that cats love milk, so you can always use replacement milk as a supplemental meal at any point in time.
This meal switching (milk replacer – slurry – wet food – dry food) can be done in the space of one or 2 weeks, but try not to switch meals too suddenly.
How Often Should I Feed A Six Weeks Old Kitten
Kittens at this age still have small stomachs, and so may only be able to eat small meals at a time. To ensure that they get enough food, you should feed them at least 4 times daily. Small, light rations will do at this stage. By the time they get to 8 weeks of age, you can then bring it down to 3 heavy meals per day.
What Key Nutrients Should I Look Out For When Buying Kitten Food
If you want your pet to receive all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong, there are some things you should check for before buying any kitten food. If these nutrients or ingredients are not present, you may as well forgo the product.
Protein: This is the most important nutrient needed by young kittens. Proteins are necessary for healthy growth and muscle development, and energy too. It is recommended that kittens should get about 30% of their energy from proteins.
Such proteins may range anywhere from meat, fish, or milk. But usually, kitten foods use chicken as the main protein source, and may also use fish as the supplementary protein.
Always seek products with real meat or fish as the protein source, and avoid products made majorly from protein by-products.
Amino acids are another set of vital nutrients kittens need for proper development. These acids aid in the metabolic processes, and can also promote vision, heart function, and digestion. An example of essential amino acid for cats is taurine.
Calcium is another nutrient that is of great importance to kittens. It helps in the formation of strong bones and teeth. Ideally, milk replacers should contain calcium in high amounts, and even wet or dry foods should contain reasonable amounts of it as well.
Adding milk replacers to wet or dry foods to form a slurry may help increase the calcium content of the food.
Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins such as vitamins B1, B2, B12, A, C, and E should be present in kitten food. Mineral supplements such as zinc, potassium, manganese, and folic acid should be present as well. All these help boost the overall health and vitality of your kitten.
That being said, here are the best foods to feed your six-week-old kitten.
Best Milk Replacer
PetAg KMR Milk Replacer Powder
From the popular and highly reputable PetAg brand comes this highly nutritious milk replacement formula. Specially formulated for kittens 1-6 weeks old, this KMR milk replacer is enriched with the necessary milk proteins, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (like taurine), that kittens will need to stay healthy and function at their peak. It comes in a powder form and must be mixed with water before being fed to the kitten.
The KMR milk replacer is made from dried skimmed milk, vegetable oil, butter, egg yolks, casein, corn syrup solids, and other wholesome ingredients. Also, vitamins and mineral supplements such as calcium, potassium, taurine, zinc, manganese, ascorbic acid, folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, and biotin are present in adequate proportions.
All these are to ensure that your kitten gets all-round balanced nutrition, even if it never feeds on the mother’s milk again.
The KMR Kitten Milk Replacer is armed with prebiotics and probiotics to help boost the immune system of young kittens. It is also highly digestible and can be an ideal supplement for kittens during post-surgery periods.
1. Comes in easy-to-mix powder form
2. Ideal for kittens aged 1-6 weeks
3. Provides essential vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients needed by very young kittens.
4. Contains nutrients and calories similar to mother’s milk
5. Contains probiotics and prebiotics
1. Highly palatable, and easily digestible for kittens
2. Supplies the milk protein and taurine kittens need.
3. Made by an excellent and reputable brand
4. Milk powder is easy to mix and easy to preserve
5. Contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids needed by kittens of a young age
1. Only good enough for supplemental feeding
2. Not suitable for kittens older than six weeks
3. Prepared milk replacer must be consumed within 24 hours
4. No meat protein
General Product Details
|Date first available||August 3, 2004|
|Age range||1-6 week old|
|Rating||4.8 out of 5 stars|
Best Weaning Food
PetAg KMR 2nd Step Kitten Weaning Food
With your kitten growing so fast, milk replacers may not be so satisfying at six weeks of age. You’ll need to start feeding them a more filling and yet gentle weaning food. This is what this KMR 2nd step weaning food is for.
Made for kittens ranging from 4-8 weeks old, this KMR kitten food is made in a powder form that you mix with water to form a slurry, and feed to your kitten. It is crafted with all-natural ingredients such as beef, natural milk protein, rice flour, animal fat, coconut oil, canola oil, whey, and many more.
As for vitamins and mineral supplements, the KMR 2nd Step contains Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid, taurine, calcium, biotin, manganese, and other essentials.
This creamy cereal is great for helping your kitten transition from mother’s milk or milk replacers to wet or dry food. It is not just tasty, but also easily digestible and tender on the kitten’s tummy. It also comes in a handy and easy-to-preserve powder form.
1. Especially made for weaning kittens from mother’s milk
2. Fortified with the essential nutrients needed by 4-8 week olds
3. Easily digestible formula
4. Convenient to use, and easy to prepare
5. Milk flavor
6. Contains essential vitamins, minerals, and supplements
1. Quality brand
2. Good source of essential vitamins and nutrients for young kittens
3. Made with natural ingredients
4. High digestibility
5. Very good transitional meal to help students switch from milk or milk replacers to solid food.
6. Good for all breeds and sizes
1. It May does not give satisfaction to kittens since it’s just a slurry
2. Best used as a supplemental meal
3. Only ideal for kittens 4-8 week old
General Product Details
|Date first available||November 2, 2004|
|Age range||4-8 weeks|
|Rating||4.7 out of 5 stars (1,581 reviews)|
Best Wet Food
Purina Fancy Feast Grain-free Pate Wet Kitten Food
Six-week-old kittens are in a stage of rapid growth, so milk replacers or slurries just won’t cut it. Wet/canned foods have to be part of the menu, and this Purina Fancy Feast is a very popular canned food product for young kittens because it comes in rich and delicious recipes.
The Purina Fancy Feast Kitten Food is tender, provides whole nutrition, and comes in different flavors so you can always spice up your cat’s meal.
It’s available in “ocean whitefish”, turkey, chicken, and salmon formulas, and each formula contains a certain percentage of real milk for some extra protein.
This kitten food is grain-free, easily digestible, and comes in pull-tab cans for convenient serving and storage. Its amazing texture, taste, quality, and nutritional value make it a real feast for kittens, that’s why it’s so popular. Even older kittens or adult cats, enjoy this meal.
1. Comes in 4 different flavors (whitefish, salmon, turkey, and chicken)
2. Wet cat food
4. Suitable for all breed sizes
5. Provides 100% balanced nutrition for kittens
6. Made with real poultry or seafood
1. Delicious taste that is loved by kittens and even adult cats
2. Easily digestible
3. Packed with 100% nutrients needed by developing kittens
4. Tested and trusted brand, with good product rating
1. Food must be used up once the can is opened because preserving it after opening is a problem
2. Added artificial flavor & color.
General Product Details
|Manufacturer||Nestle Purina Petcare Company|
|Date first available||February 11, 2019|
|Age range||6 weeks and older|
|Rating||4.8 out of 5 stars (14,000+ reviews)|
Best Dry Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-free Natural Kitten Dry Cat Food
From the highly reputable Blue Buffalo brand, comes this premium quality cat food featuring real meat, fruits, vegetables, and more. To add to that, it is grain-free, bone-free, and loaded with supplements like DHA which are vital for good eyesight and other body functions.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Food is made with real chicken as the protein source, and yet it still consists of chicken meal, turkey meal, chicken fat, fish meal (source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids), dried egg, potatoes, fish oil, peas, carrots, blueberries, cranberries, apples, and other natural fruits and vegetables.
As if these weren’t enough, this kitten food is loaded with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B7, Vitamin C, manganese, calcium, amino acids, zinc, folic acid, riboflavin, taurine, and others too numerous to mention.
If you are seeking food made from a premium blend of natural ingredients to give your kitten, then this Blue Buffalo Wilderness kitten food is the right choice for you. It is a complete nutrition food consisting of real meat protein, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, formulated by animal nutritionists, guaranteed to give your fur baby optimum nutrition for healthy growth and development.
1. High-quality protein (chicken), is the first ingredient
2. Contains essential vitamins (such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, C, etc)
3. Contains antioxidant-rich ingredients
4. Contains vital minerals and supplements
5. Fruits and vegetables are among the ingredients used
1. No artificial flavors or preservatives
2. High-quality protein source
3. Packed with surplus vitamins, minerals, and essential supplements than most other brands
4. Contains fruits and vegetables like cranberries, potatoes, carrots, apples, and more
5. Contains acids like DHA and ARA for brain and eye development, and Taurine for heart and eye health.
6. Trusted and reputable brand, made in the USA
1. Too many supplements and antioxidants may result in some side effects for tender kittens
2. Its dry nature may make chewing difficult for teething kittens
|Manufacturer||Blue Buffalo Company Ltd|
|Date first available||May 8, 2012|
|Age range||Baby (6 weeks and above)|
|Rating||4.8 out of 5 stars (6,000 reviews)|
Comparison Of All Four Best Products
|Feature / Content||KMR Milk Replacer Powder||KMR 2nd Step Kitten Weaning Food||Purina Fancy Feast Grain-free Pate Wet Kitten Food||Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Kitten Dry Cat Food|
|Protein source||Milk protein||Beef & Milk||Poultry or fish||Chicken|
|Age range||1 to 6 weeks||4 to 8 weeks||6 weeks and above||6 weeks and above|
|Type||Milk replacer||Cereal (slurry)||Wet food (canned)||Dry food|
|Artificial flavors and colors||No||No||Yes||No|
|Flavor||Milk flavor||Milk flavor||Whitefish, salmon, chicken, or turkey flavors||Chicken|
|Rating||4.8 out of 5 stars||4.7 out of 5 stars||4.8 out of 5 stars||4.8 out of 5 stars|
Best Homemade Food For 6 Week Old Kitten
In all honesty, you shouldn’t feed a 6-week old kitten any human food or homemade food. This is because you may not know how to prepare a balanced diet for the kitten, and this may cause nutritional imbalances.
Making proper homemade meals for adult cats is very difficult as it is, how much more a tender and sensitive 6-week old kitten, whose dietary needs are still unknown. Even things like meat should not be given to them at this age. You may whip up some delicious turkey, and feel you’re giving your cat a fantastic meal, but you may have unknowingly put one or two ingredients that your kitten is allergic to.
A homemade meal like this is certainly high in protein but may be lacking in calcium or other essentials. This may cause a mineral imbalance in your kitten, and may even lead to a disease called hyperthyroidism.
The best way to make a home diet is to do so following the guide of a nutritionist.
So the best homemade food for your 6-week old kitten would be one formulated by a nutritionist.
Foods & Treats To Avoid
It’s a normal thing to give your kitten treats from time to time, but you need the be careful what kind of treats you give to your kitten, so you don’t trigger allergies, or cause food poisoning.
Here are a few foods to avoid.
Raw Meat Or Liver: Some cat owners are fond of giving their pets raw meat protein (such as chicken). While this may favor some adult cats, it is a bad choice when it comes to kittens. This is because raw meat may contain parasites, bacteria, and other toxic substances the kitten may react negatively to.
At this early age of 4-8 weeks, they are still very tender and sensitive, and so should stay off raw meat, liver, steak, and other similar threats, to prevent food poisoning.
Raw Or Cooked Eggs: Raw eggs are a big “No” for cats because it contains substances that can cause intestinal problems. Cooked eggs too shouldn’t be given to young kittens, because their digestive system may not be able to handle it. Eggs should be fed to kittens who are at least 6 months old.
Milk: As much as cats love milk, not just any milk should be given to them. Kittens especially can react badly to cow milk or goat’s milk (they may suffer diarrhea for instance), so it’s better to maintain milk replacers or at least get milk prescribed by a nutritionist.
Garlic And Onion-Rich Foods may cause allergies in kittens, mostly due to their pungent smell, and other substances they contain.