Homemade Kitten Formula

Homemade Kitten Formula

When kittens are born, they are helpless and dependent on their mother. A mother cat’s milk provides them all the nutrition they need for the first months of their lives. However, there are situations when the milk of a mother cat is not available. Some mother cats grow ill and cannot nurse their young. Some kittens are abandoned due to injury or disability. In these situations, you will need to step in and take on the role of the mother cat. 

Easy-to-Prepare Homemade Formula for Kittens

To ensure the survival and development of a newborn kitten, proper nutrition must be provided. There are kitten-milk replacements available from the pet store to use in feeding kittens. You can also use homemade formulas. The following formulas are not recommended for long-term bottle feeding but can be useful should there be an urgent need to feed kittens without a food source.

Using Goat’s Milk


  • 32 ounce of goat’s milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of Karo syrup
  • Non-flavored and unadulterated gelatin
    • Newborn to 1 week – 1 envelope
    • 2nd week – 1 ½ to 2 envelopes
    • 3rd week – 2 ½ to 3 envelopes
    • 4th week – 4 envelopes


Put the milk in a pan and add the proper amount of gelatin based on the kitten’s age. Put the pan on low flame heat and keep stirring the mixture until the gelatin melts. Turn off the heat and mix the rest of the ingredients. The formula can then be refrigerated.

Using Evaporated Milk


  • 4 ounces of evaporated milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons of Karo syrup
  • 1 drop of liquid pediatric vitamins (optional)


Mix the milk, egg yolk and Karo syrup well and keep in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator. At feeding time, mix ½ of the estimated feeding amount with an equal amount of boiling water. If you want to add the vitamins, mix 1 drop in the formula once a day.

Using Homogenized whole milk


  • 8 ounces of homogenized whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of salad oil
  • 1 drop of liquid pediatric vitamins (optional)


Put all ingredients in a pan and mix well. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from heat. Allow the formula to cool down before pouring it into a nursing bottle. Like the formula using evaporated milk, if you want to add the vitamins, mix 1 drop in the formula once a day. Shake well then serve.

How to feed a newborn kitten?

Never feed your kitten hot formula.

Make sure that you feed the kitten with the right temperature – not hot and not cold. The best way to warm up the formula is with warm water. It is not recommended to use a microwave. To heat up the formula, place the formula in the bottle and immerse it into a bowl of hot water. Test a few drops of milk on your wrist and when the temperature is right, you can feed the kitten.

Feed your kitten in a nursing bottle.

Most pet stores have newborn kitten bottles and nipples. You may prefer using those bottles as regular human baby bottles are likely too big for kittens. If the nipple on the bottle does not come pre-cut, cut a small hole in the nipple on a diagonal angle. Be mindful that the hole is not too big or too small as it will determine the flow of the formula during nursing. To guarantee proper flow, test the hole by turning the bottle upside down. The formula should slowly drip one drop at a time if the hole is the correct size.

If you can’t find a tiny baby bottle, you can also try using a syringe without the needle, especially if the kitten won’t take the bottle readily. Oral syringes can usually be purchased from a pharmacy and used for this purpose. 

Feed the kitten using a safe posture.

The kitten should be comfortable lying or seated with its belly toward the floor. Always bottle feed in a natural, belly-down posture. Never feed a kitten on its back as it can cause the kitten to inhale fluid into the lungs.

Sit the kitten in your lap or on a table, holding the head steady with your non-dominant hand and introduce the nipple to its mouth with your dominant hand. Invert the bottle so that the formula can slowly flow into the kitten’s mouth. You can place a finger on its throat to make sure that the kitten is swallowing. Never forcefully squeeze a bottle into a kitten’s mouth. Let the kitten suckle at its own pace instead.

Feed your kitten the right amount with the right frequency.

Newborn kittens require frequent feeding. They need small amounts of food every few hours to keep them hydrated and to provide the nutrients and fat needed for weight gain and rapid development.

Ideally, a kitten should eat about 8ml of formula per ounce of body weight per day. If the kitten is 1 week old, it should be fed every 2-3 hours of 2-6ml formula. At 2 weeks old, every 4-6 hours of 6-10ml. Once it ages 3 weeks old, it should be fed every 4-6 of 10-14ml. Continue to follow the rule of 8ml formula per ounce of body weight per day to determine the amount of food the kitten should be eating.


Feeding a kitten may be challenging as it requires not just preparation of the formula but also making sure that it has been fed in the right amount and frequency. It will require sacrifice and attention but if it means saving the kitten from starvation and malnutrition, then it’s worth it.