What to look for in quality cat milk replacers

The best kitten milk replacer should match a few criteria to call it worth giving. When choosing which one to buy for your kitten or adult cat, consider its type and nutritional profile.

As for the type of a replacer (powder or liquid), it’s more a matter of your preference than a cat’s health. Both offer nutrient-dense calories and are OK to feed if used and kept right.

As for a nutritional profile of a kitten milk substitute, please choose those fitting your situation best. Newborn kittens will need a cat milk replacer with colostrum. For older felines, the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates will be a must.

Please look for these components in a kitten milk replacer:

  • Milk: Most replacers contain cow’s or goat’s milk, a source of protein that is much better for kittens than soy. Together with added probiotics and prebiotics, it serves to enhance digestibility. For gut health, some replacers come in low-lactose formulas.
  • Taurine: This amino acid is necessary for a cat’s vision, heart health, and digestion.
  • Biotin: It helps a cat stay active and takes care of claws, coat, and skin.
  • Vitamins B12 and E: The former helps with growth, metabolism, nerve function; the latter is responsible for reproduction function and muscle development.
  • Folic acid: It’s responsible for proper oxygen and nutrient levels in the tissues.


Where to buy a kitten milk replacer?

Milk replacers with the best kitten formula are available in many retailers such as PetSmart, Walmart, and others. Also, you can always visit the official websites of all the manufacturers from this guide and find the information about their partners and trade promoters. The fastest and surefire way to buy a kitten milk replacer is Amazon and Chewy.

How long does kitten milk replacer powder stay fresh after opening?

After you’ve bought a powdered cat milk replacer, please keep it in a cool, dry place before opening. Think of a kitten milk replacer as of fresh milk: Once opened, a powder will stay fresh for up to 3 months in a fridge. When reconstituted, keep it for no longer than 24 hours in a refrigerator.

How often do you feed a newborn kitten with a milk replacer?

Feed a one-week-old kitten every 2-3 hours, and give a milk replacer every 4-6 hours when a kitten reaches the age of 2-3 weeks. As for the amount of kitten milk supplement they’ll need daily, follow the rule: 8 ml of formula per ounce of cat body per day. (Read how to bottle feed a newborn kitten here)

What to mix a kitten milk replacer with?

If feeding with a store-bought kitten milk replacer, there’s no need to mix it with anything. Just follow the recommendations from manufacturers on preparation and feeding, and give it to your feline accordingly. After a kitten gets the age of 2-3 months, you can gradually mix a replacer and kitten food to switch a young feline to it. If you feed a senior cat with milk replacers and she has no difficulty eating, feel free to mix them with cat food.

How to make a kitten milk replacer? 

If you don’t want to buy commercial milk supplements, feel free to prepare replacers yourself. (We’ve shared the separate guide for homemade kitten formula recipes already.) Just make sure to choose the ingredients that would meet several key nutritional factors: 100 g of a milk replacer should contain 79 g of moisture and 21 g of dry matter (with protein, fat, and lactose).

When to discontinue kitten milk replacer?

When you feed a newborn kitten with a cat milk replacer, please give it until this baby gets eight weeks and older. After that, start feeding with the best kitten food formulas (both dry and wet). In the case of adult cats who take milk replacers as nutrient-dense food to recover, always consult a professional vet and feed until a cat can eat well-balanced cat food.

At the end of the day

A kitten milk replacer, powder or liquid, is a must-have product for owners of newborn kittens and ill or weakened senior cats. It’s nutrient-rich but easy-to-digest, supporting a feline’s life-sustaining activity and helping her to recover.

I hope my review of the best milk replacers for kittens has helped you puzzle out all the details and find answers to all the questions about this product. Now you’re ready to choose the best kitten formula for your growing four-legged fellow!

Any questions left? Don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments.

I’m Kimberly Baumgart, a future veterinary physician from Manhattan, Kansas. Volunteering in animal shelters and assisting in the local vet hospital, I help pet owners learn more about feline lifestyle. Read my works on CatPet.Club blog to discover the world of healthy nutrition and well-being for your four-legged friend.

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