Cubs should stay with their mother for nearly six weeks, after which they can be separated. When cubs and kittens are separated they still need to be supplied with calcium enriched diet to help the healthy growth of bones, teeth, gums and joints. Bottle-feeding is also done so as to make a strong bond between the owner and the animal. Experts say that guests and strangers who visit the owner’s house frequently should also bottle feed the animal so as to help the animal overcome initial hesitation.
There are many compositions which be used to make a perfect bottle-feed. A cup of unflavored pedialyte or distilled water can be mixed with a quarter cup of zoologics milk powder and one ml of poli vi sol liquid baby vitamin. A teaspoon of calcium powder can also be added, along with half a teaspoon of taurine powder. Half a cup of fat free plain yogurt can also be added to make the formula concentrated. The bacterium also helps to digest the food properly, but no sugar should be used as that can lead to diarrhea. After few weeks, very small amount of plain puree chicken baby food can be added to the formula, which can be increased over time. All the ingredients can be mixed in a blender and then the mixture should be used within a day. If not used within twenty-four hours it should be discarded. Before feeding, the mixture, which has been refrigerated, can be warmed and then used. The mixture shouldn’t be stored back into the refrigerator once it has been warmed.
Care also must be taken while heating up the formula. It should never be heated up in a microwave, instead heat some water and place the bottle in the cup of water for some time. The formula temperature should be checked before feeding, otherwise if the formula is more than warm, it can hurt the animal internally. Also the animals have the habit of drinking the formula very fast, so it will be too late before realizing that the milk is really hot. The bottle should have a special nipple called the vet nipple, which is small and not round at the end. The cub should be not be laid on it’s back like how the human babies are fed as that would make the formula enter it’s lung and cause pneumonia. They should be fed in upright position or while sitting on the stomach.
When introducing the cub to a new formula, give him time to adjust to it. Start by giving diluted mixture and then increase the concentration gradually. If the animal suffers from diarrhea, decrease the concentration immediately. It could take weeks for the animal to start feeding on actual concentrated formula. A log can be maintained about the concentration of the formula, the status of stool and its weight. It helps to determine the cause of diarrhea and also helps to improve the diet of the cat. Also if the animal is taking lesser formula as well as its weight is decreasing, this could be an indication of some disease. If the diarrhea isn’t treated promptly, the cub can die out of dehydration pretty soon.
They should be fed with meals, which are five percent of their body weight until they become mature. This principle must always be kept in mind, as there is always a chance of over feeding. Instead of giving less often, large doses of formula, give frequent small doses. Also the animal should be encouraged to go to the bathroom before the mealtime, when it has crossed four weeks. The cubs pass a lot of urine and the owners should be ready for that. The animal will refuse to feed on normal times; it might be because its bladder is full. But if the animal refuses to have anything for twenty-four hours, it should be taken to the vet. Exception is when the cub has been separated from its mother, as it will take about forty-eight to start bottle-feeding.