Homemade Kitten Formula

When kittens are born, they are tiny and helpless. Under normal circumstances, this is not a problem because they are cared for and fed by their mothers. Their mother’s milk provides them with all the nutrition they need for the first month of their lives. BUT their milk is not always available for the kittens.

When a mother’s milk is not available, it is up to us as human to feed the little ones before they starve to death. If you adopt newborn from animal shelter or rescue group, they may give you a list of kitten formula. Kitten formula may also be given to nursing adult cats who require additional nutrition, and recovery from sickness.

It is recommended to buy store-bought milk replacement formulas from KMR, Nutri-Vet, PetLac, The Honest Kitchen, Breeders’ Edge or Just Born


The Cornell Book of Cats by the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine shows list of formulas that you can made by yourself. The following list are only for times when store-bought kitten milk is not available:

Kitten Replacement Formula #1

  • 1 quart whole goat’s milk
  • 1 teaspoon light Karo syrup
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat plain yogurt (made with goat’s milk preferably)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Unflavored gelatin
    • Newborn to 1 week — 1 package gelatin
    • 2nd week — 1-1/2 to 2 packages gelatin
    • 3rd week — 2-1/2 to 3 packages gelatin
    • 4th week — 4 packages gelatin

Put the goat’s milk in a saucepan and add the proper amount of gelatin based on the kitten’s age. Heat the mixture just until the gelatin is dissolved and then remove it from the heat. Mix in the remaining ingredients and refrigerate. It will keep up to one week.

Kitten Replacement Formula #2

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

Mix well and keep refrigerated.


Kitten Replacement Formula #3

  • 1 part boiled water to 5 parts evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon bone meal per 16 ounces fluid

Mix well and keep refrigerated.

Kitten Replacement Formula #4

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 drop liquid human pediatric vitamins (optional)

Mix the milk, egg yolk, and syrup well and store it in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator. At feeding time, mix half of the estimated feeding amount with an equal amount of boiling water. Once a day, mix one drop of the human infant liquid vitamins in each kitten’s formula portion. 

If constipation occurs: add 1 drop of vegetable oil to each kitties formula no more than once daily until the problem is eased.


The most ideal way is for you to purchase a kitten-milk replacement from the pet store.


Now you know how to make the Secret formula but you are still missing the next step on how to feed the litter. You can always use a syringe without a needle or a tiny baby bottle for kittens. The syringes can be bought at any pharmacy while the tiny bottle maybe available at pet store or through online stores, be aware of scammers!

Heat the formula until it is warm, make sure to test a few drops of milk on your wrist first. If you want an easy way to warm the formula, put a formula-filled bottle or syringe into a bowl of hot water to heat it up.

For a feeding, keep the kitten in a natural feeding position on its belly and give warmed formula every 3 to 4 hours. After 7 to 14 days, they may wean for solid food but before then you have to give formula. The litter should eat about 8 mm of formula per ounce of body weight a day.

  • 4 ounces of kitten = 32 mm of formula total in a day
    • 8 mm of formula every 4 hourse

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Other articles: Why You Should Own A Pet