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12 Best Milk Replacers For Kittens

If you have a kitten that is too young to be separated from its mother, you must provide a milk replacer until it is at least 4-5 weeks old.

However, with so many brands to choose from, it can be difficult to find the best one for your kitten. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has chosen %product_count% brands to test and review.

We'll tell you about our experiences with them so you can learn more about them before you buy.

We'll go over the benefits and drawbacks of each, and we've also included a short buyer's guide where we look closely at milk replacers to see what you should look for if you continue shopping.

Our top picks for the best milk replacers for kittens are listed below.

Continue reading as we examine the size, ingredients, ease of use, and other factors to help you provide the best nutrition for your baby kitten.

Reviews

Nutri-Vet Kitten Milk Replacement Powder – Overall Winner
 

Nutri-Vet Kitten Milk Replacement Powder is our pick for the best overall milk replacer for kittens. It makes use of powdered whey protein to provide your pet with the nutrients he or she requires to develop strong bones and have plenty of energy.

Opti-Gut by Nutri-Vet is a unique blend of prebiotics and probiotics that will help regulate your kitten’s digestive system and reduce constipation and diarrhea. The 12-ounce container yields 36 ounces of milk replacement.

We felt good about giving our kittens Nutri-Vet, and they seemed to enjoy it. The only drawback we can think of is that you have to mix it with water before feeding it to your cat, but it was simple to do and didn’t separate while the kittens were drinking it.

Pros

  • Whey protein isolate
  • Nutri-Vet’s Opti-Gut blend included
  • This recipe yields 36 ounces.

Cons

  • Mixing is required.

 

Best Value PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Liquid
 

The best kitten milk replacer for the money is PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Liquid. It’s safe for kittens, stressed-out cats, and even the elderly.

It has the same amount of protein as mother’s milk and comes pre-mixed so you can serve it as is. It contains real milk protein as well as eggs to ensure that your cat receives the nutrients it requires to grow into a healthy cat.

The majority of our cats seemed to enjoy the milk and lapped it up. Each container contains 11 ounces of milk substitute. The disadvantage of using PetAg KMR was that it caused gas and loose stools in some of our kittens.

Pros

  • Ideal for kittens and stressed-out cats
  • It closely resembles mother’s milk.
  • No combining

Cons

  • It has the potential to cause gas and loose stools.

 

Premium Choice Thomas Labs Goatalac Goat Milk Replacer Supplement
 

Our premium choice milk replacer for kittens is Thomas Labs Goatalac Goat Milk Replacer Powder Puppy & Kitten Supplement. It makes a protein-rich milk substitute similar to that of a cat by using natural goat’s milk.

It contains digestive enzymes and immunoglobulins to help your kitten’s immune system fight disease. It’s a powdered supplement that makes 36 ounces of milk per 12-ounce container.

Our cats adored Thomas Labs and would dash for them whenever we put some out. The only issue we had was that it was slightly more expensive than most other brands, and you had to mix it, but each batch can last up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Pros

  • Immunoglobulins and digestive enzymes
  • Pure goat milk
  • This recipe yields 36 ounces.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Mixing is required.

 

Powdered Hartz Kitten Milk Replacer Formula
 

Hartz Kitten Milk Replacer Powdered Formula is a high-protein milk replacement product that uses real milk as its base to provide milk similar to what your kitten would get naturally.

It’s a powdered product that dissolves easily in room temperature water and has a long shelf life in the package. Each container yields 22 oz. of replacement milk.

The main issue we had with Hartz was that it contained the potentially harmful chemicals BHA and BHT, which can cause health problems for your cat later in life.

There is also no scooper included, so we were concerned about using the proper amount.

Pros

  • High protein content
  • Simple to combine
  • Simple to understand

Cons

  • BHA and BHT are present.
  • There is no scooper.

 

Breeder’s Edge Foster Care Feline Revival Animal Health
 

Animal Health Restoration Foster Care at Breeder’s Edge Feline replacement milk is ideal for anyone who frequently works with orphaned or abandoned kittens who require milk replacement.

Each package contains 4.5 pounds of powdered milk replacement, which you will mix with 2 teaspoons of water to make more than enough milk for several kittens.

It contains taurine, which is essential for cats, and contains almost no lactose, so it should not cause gas or diarrhea.

Unfortunately, Revival Animal Health is yet another brand that contains the potentially dangerous chemical preservatives BHA and BHT, which we prefer to avoid, particularly with small kittens.

We also noticed that it has a sandy texture when compared to the other brands we tried.

Pros

  • 5 kilograms
  • Lactose tolerance
  • Taurine supplementation

Cons

  • BHA and BHT are present.
  • The texture is sandy.

 

Kitten Milk Replacer Tailspring
 

Another brand that uses goat’s milk to provide a healthy substitute for mother’s milk is Tailspring Milk Replacer for Kittens. There are no harmful chemical preservatives or artificial dyes, and all ingredients are of human grade.

Each can holds 24 ounces, and our cats loved it. It can also be used as a treat and helps senior cats maintain a healthy digestive system.

We felt good about giving our cats Tailspring Milk Replacer, but it has an odd odor, and a few of our kittens didn’t like it and wouldn’t drink any, so we had to switch to another brand.

Pros

  • Ingredients of human grade
  • Pure goat milk
  • This recipe yields 24 ounces.

Cons

  • Some cats dislike it.

 

PetAg PetLac Kitten Liquid
 

PetAg PetLac Liquid for Kittens is a simple formula that comes pre-mixed, so all you have to do is pour a small amount into a saucer and keep the rest in the refrigerator.

It starts with real milk for the best nutrition and the closest match to what your cat would get in the wild. Petlac is the second milk supplement on our list from PetAg because they produce high-quality products with no harmful ingredients.

However, this brand may cause gas and even diarrhea in your kitten, and once opened, you must use or discard it, so we ended up wasting some of ours that were about to expire.

Pros

  • 32 fluid ounces
  • No combining
  • Genuine milk

Cons

  • Can result in gas
  • Limited shelf life

 

Simply Kind Hearted Kitten Milk Replacement Food
 

Simply Kind Hearted Cat Milk Replacement is a powdered supplement that contains high-quality whey protein derived from real milk to help your kitten grow into a healthy cat.

It is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, E, and B12, as well as biotin, calcium carbonate, and others. It also provides your kitten with taurine, which is essential for a cat’s vision and must be obtained from food.

The disadvantage of Simply Kind Hearted Cat Milk Replacement is that it can be extremely difficult to mix because it must be mixed with hot water and then allowed to cool to a temperature suitable for your cat.

We discovered that it separates as it cools, and it didn’t look very appetizing to our kittens or us, and some of them refused to drink it.

The container only holds 7.5 ounces of the milk replacement powder, which is insufficient for one cat, especially if you have trouble mixing it like we did.

Pros

  • Taurine is present.
  • Genuine milk
  • Vitamin and mineral supplement

Cons

  • Mixing is difficult.
  • A compact container

Choosing the Best Kitten Milk Replacer: A Buyer's Guide

Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to think about before selecting your next cat meal replacement.

Liquid vs. Powdered

Liquid

One of the first questions you should ask yourself when shopping for a milk substitute is whether to buy a powder or a liquid. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

The liquid substitute is simple to use. There is no need to be concerned about ratios or mixing the appropriate amount of water. The only thing you need to do after opening is keep it refrigerated.

The disadvantage of these brands is that they are typically more expensive because you must pay for the water you would have added, resulting in bulkier packaging and higher transportation costs.

These additional costs are also detrimental to the environment. Another issue with ready-made milk replacers is that they have a shorter shelf life than powders, especially once opened, which means you’ll be throwing away some that you could have saved for another cat.

Pros

  • Simple to use

Cons

  • Greater cost
  • Limited shelf life

Powder

When using a powdered milk replacer, you must mix the product with water, so the packaging is much lighter, and you get a lot more milk from the same size container.

It also has a much longer shelf life, so you can save the unused portion for a cat who might need it in the future, and it takes up no refrigerator space.

However, it is not without drawbacks. Each brand has its own formula, and some blend well while others do not. Some even require you to heat the water before adding the product and allowing it to cool before serving it to your cat.

Pros

  • Increased shelf life
  • Environmentally friendly
  • More affordable

Cons

  • Mixing is required.

Lactose

The milk of a feline mother is mostly water with very little lactose. Lactose is an ingredient that many humans have difficulty digesting, and it has the same effect on cats.

According to some experts, drinking products high in lactose can cause intestinal distress in more than half of cats, resulting in flatulence, loose stools, and diarrhea. Lactose content in mother’s milk is approximately 5%.

Cow’s milk contains a lot of lactose, which can cause digestive problems, loose stools, and even diarrhea if consumed in large quantities.

Goat milk contains significantly less lactose than regular cat milk. If your cat has gas or soft stools after drinking cow milk, we recommend switching to a goat milk brand to see if there is an improvement.

Fat

Mother’s milk has a low fat content, whereas cow’s milk can have a high fat content, especially if you don’t choose a low-fat variety.

Goat milk contains slightly more fat than cow milk. Too much fat in the diet can lead to weight gain and obesity, which is already a major issue for cats in the United States, with more than half of all household cats overweight by the age of five.

Obesity can cause a variety of health issues for your dog, including life-threatening diseases, so keep a close eye on your pet’s weight as it grows so you can make the necessary adjustments.

Minerals and vitamins

Milk contains several vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your kitten, including vitamins A, C, D, E, as well as important B1, B2, and B6, as well as calcium.

While both goat and cow’s milk are high in nutrients, goat’s milk is higher in vitamin A, which is essential for cats.

Taurine

Taurine is another essential nutrient that cats require but cannot produce, so it must be provided through food. Most cats will get enough taurine from meat proteins like turkey, chicken, and fish.

However, taurine-fortified milk replacements are available to help boost levels in your pet. Taurine is required for good vision, digestion, strong heart muscles, fetal development, and other functions.

How Long Should I Give My Kitten a Milk Replacement?

Week 1

Your tiny kitten will still have closed eyes and ears and will need the milk replacement fed in a bottle every 2-3 hours for about 45 minutes.

Because the kittens are so young, it’s best to limit feeding to one or two people to help the cat feel more secure without its mother. We recommend going with someone who has a lot of free time.

Weeks two and three

You’ll be doing more of the same in weeks 2 and 3. Your cat will begin to eat more and, by the end of the third week, should weigh more than 10 ounces and spend its first few days exploring and playing.

Weeks four and five

By weeks 4 and 5, your new kitten should be eating a lot, and if you haven’t already, you should switch to a small bowl of milk replacement instead of the bottle.

It should weigh around 1 pound by the end of week 5, and the kitten can begin eating a small amount of solid food mixed with water or milk replacement.

Weeks 6 through 8

During these three weeks, your cat will eat less and less meal replacement, so reduce meals to three times a day while adding less and less water to the solid food.

8 Weeks Later

After 8 weeks, your cat should be on a normal solid food diet. We recommend crunchy kibble because it keeps the teeth cleaner by scraping away tartar, but if your cat is having trouble transitioning, a few more weeks of wet cat food won’t hurt.

You can give your kitten some milk replacement on occasion, but try to wean it off because many cats lose their ability to digest lactose, and you may notice your cat having frequent gas or diarrhea.

Conclusion

When it comes to the best milk replacers for kittens, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) strongly recommends our top pick.

The Nutri-Vet Kitten Milk Replacement Powder comes in a large container and contains whey protein-based milk for your kitten.

It’s also enriched with Nutri-Opti-Gut Vet’s probiotics, which can help your cat maintain a balanced digestive system and reduce the risk of gas or diarrhea.

Another excellent option is our pick for the best value. PetAg KMR Kitten Milk Replacer Liquid has a low-cost formula that is similar to mother’s milk. It comes pre-mixed, so you can start using it right away.

We hope you’ve found these reviews and buyer’s guide helpful in answering your questions. If these eight best kitten milk replacers have made you feel better about nursing a baby to health, please share them on Facebook and Twitter.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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