Caring for a Sick Kitten At Home

Every cat parent, who loves their cat by all true heart, will always want a healthy and good life for their pet. Their pets, especially cats, are just like their own children to them. And if they get sick, the owner starts feeling helpless and scared. They will start looking for ways that will help their cats get better and healthy.

But caring for cats is not that difficult part; the most difficult part is to know if your cat is sick or not. It gets quite hard to identify their sickness. After confirmation, then come other steps like how to care for it, what to feed and what not to feed, and what kind of care should be provided.

But let’s start it from the beginning, so you would have better information when it comes to taking care of your sick kitten at home.

Warning Signs to Know If Your Cat Is Sick or Not

Kittens get more sick and ill than adult cats as they are in their growing age and have weak immunity systems. They can get ill due to various reasons, including parasites, low blood sugar, respiratory infections, and a few other reasons.

The most common signs the kittens show when they are sick are lethargy, decreased or lack of appetite, and weakness. Having less interest in playing and other things, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, trouble walking, weight loss, less interest in their owners, companions, and toys are also common symptoms.

Lack of appetite is the main sign of their sickness. If you have one or two kittens, you can instantly realize if one of them isn’t eating. But it will get very hard for you if you have several kittens. Usually, if you have a sick kitten, a veterinary will recommend you to feed it a canned meal. All kittens love eating canned food, but if they do not show any interest in that, you will have your confirmation regarding the sickness.

Sick kittens also show signs of illness by being lethargic. It is a little challenging to know if it responds slower to things, but if you try to notice it, you will instantly understand. A kitten will reduce its activities and stop playing as it used to play. Moreover, it might ignore its toys and sleep more than its normal sleep routine.

Getting sick is not uncommon. You will see when one day your kitten is running around, playing, eating, and drinking normally, and the very next day, it is lying in the house somewhere and is being lethargic. It just stops all its activities for 4-6 hours. But these signs get a little different when it comes to adult cats; they may not show these kinds of instant symptoms.

But instead of trying home remedies or treats, it is always better to consult a veterinarian first. Seek his instructions to get your kitten back on the healthy track faster.

What to Feed to a Sick Kitten?

The diet of a cat, whether she’s healthy or sick, depends upon its age. If it is a kitten, you can give her milk replacement products or some high quality canned food and dry kitten food. Try to provide them with fresh food always, and that should be in a clean and hygienic bowl. In addition to that, keep water available for them, and change it at least two times a day.

What to Give Kittens Depending Upon Their Age

When cats are sick, they start behaving like a human baby. Convincing them to eat is very challenging when they are sick. If your kitten is less than four weeks, you can bottle feed it using a milk replacement product. And for adult cats, you can use canned or dry food. Here are the following tips on how to take care of your cat depending upon their age;

1. Birth to Four Weeks

At this age, most kittens can’t eat regular food. It takes time for them to transfer from mother milk to regular food. So you can give them a milk replacement product through bottle-feeding, or you can also give them in a plate or any stencil. The best milk replacement product is KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement). Gently warm it, and feed it to your kitten every 2-4 hours.

Younger kittens should be fed more frequently.

2. 4 to 6 weeks

At this age, kittens start eating regular food. But the food should be semi-moist. Create a mixture of good quality dry food and KMR. When kittens get into the 4th week, start giving them food that is more in liquid form or moister, so that by the end of the 6th week, they start eating a solid mixture called ‘gruel.’

3. Seven Weeks and Older

The best way to feed an older sick kitten is canned food. The aroma coming from canned food after heating it a little bit can make your cat eat the food. Cat foods from Fancy Feast have really strong appetizing aromas that will definitely convince your cat to eat food. A small portion of canned tuna or chicken with natural juices will also encourage your cat to eat. On the other hand, after smelling it, if your kitten does not show any interest, then there might be a problem with its nose and respiratory tract.

Some Additional Tips to Care for Your Kitten

Apart from some basic steps related to canned food and milk replacement products, some other minor efforts will also lead to making your cat healthier:

  • We all are aware of the importance and benefits of water for living beings. So, if your cat/kitten is sick, water will help soothe its stomach and may also induce hunger. Cats love to have freshwater, so try to keep water fresh by changing it twice a day, or you can have a special water fountain for your cats at home. You can also add a spoon of tuna juice for attraction.
  • Avoid free feeding and overfeeding. Overfeeding can upset your cat’s stomach and may lead to vomiting. Free-feeding can make your cat lazy. So make proper meal time with balanced nutrition as needed according to their age.
  • Offer them chicken flavored and other meat-based baby food, but make sure they are onion and garlic free as they both are not good for the cat’s stomach.
  • Milk is also good for their health. Try to give them milk at room temperature. Too cold or too warm milk is not suitable for them. Make sure to boil milk once before feeding it to your cat, but do not over boil to the point that it loses all its nutrients.


For every cat parent, cats are really important. It will not be wrong to say that a cat owner and their pet are emotionally attached as well. The pet’s well being makes them happy and satisfied, and if they are sick, the parents get concerned and worried. If you always want to give them the best, happy, and healthy life, take care of them in every possible way and put all your effort into doing so.