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Cats/Training hand raised kitten to eat/drink on his own


Dear Kate,

I rescued a kitten who was not quite 3 weeks old, from an abusive and
neglectful situation, and have been hand raising it with advice from my vet
and Internet sources.  I have read that with a bottle-fed cat it is normal for it
to want the bottle until it is 8 weeks old, so I'm not worried, just trying to
figure out how to do this. He will be 7 weeks old tomorrow.

He eats solid, wet food with no problem as long as 1. I hand it to him, and 2. I
make a tall lump in the enter of the little dish.  Repeatedly. He will be in his
room, alone, for up to 6 hours (though usually 3-4) with a full food dish, and
still he will meow to be fed and doesn't eat until I show him the bowl.  Then
he is ravenous.

He also does not lap the formula out of the dish. I have tried at various times
bringing the liquid to his mouth, dipping his paw in it, dipping his nose in it,
and mimicking lapping it myself.  I am afraid to just not give him the bottle
and wait, because I don't want him to get dehydrated.  

As I said I'm not worried so much as hoping I'm not still bottle-feeding him
at 7 years instead of 7 weeks!... He isn't just stupid, is he?  He wasn't fed for a
few days before I rescued him-- maybe this stunted his mental growth.

I'm actually a mouse person (mouse expert on this site), and allergic to cats,
but we don't always choose our fate!

squeaks, meows, & giggles,


some kittens do take longer than others to transfer completely to solid food and indeed some queens can produce milk up to 12 weeks and kittens will still take the opportunity while this lasts.

I have a web page about weaning kittens which you may find of use.

best wishes Kate
P.s I have a cat called Mouse :)



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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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