Coming Soon ×

Forgot your Password?


When to Wean a Kitten catipedia-icon3.png

Weaning is a big step in a kitten's young life. It happens when kittens move from mother's milk to solid food. Just as important, it's a time when a kitten moves from depending on her mother's care to becoming a more socially independent cat. And if you live with a cat, you know just how seriously they take that independence!

The process of weaning usually starts when kittens are about three to four weeks old, and takes two to three weeks to complete. If you are bottle-feeding an orphaned kitten, or one whose mother isn't able to feed her, weaning can begin as early as three weeks.


The weaning process is actually very ordinary and natural, especially when handled by the mother cat. Like any good mother, she instinctually knows what to do and when, without ever consulting a single kitten development book. One of her best indicators that it's time to wean comes from her kittens themselves. At just a few weeks of age, they begin trying to eat her food, and she has to push them away. That's when the transition to independence known as weaning begins.

During weaning, kittens should remain with their mothers as much as possible. In fact, taking a kitten away from her mother too suddenly can negatively affect her health and socialization skills. After all, a mother cat is not only her kittens' first source of food; she is also their first teacher, guiding them on everything from playing to mastering the use of the litter box - arguably a most important thing to master.


To help weaning kittens become less dependent on mom (and her milk), place them in an area separate from mom for a few hours at a time. Make sure this area has a litter box and water bowls. This will allow the kittens to get used to spending time without their mother close by… and hopefully give mom time to catch up on some sleep.

Kittens generally nibble solid foods at three to four weeks of age, which is a great time to start setting out moistened kitten food for them. Just add one part warm - not hot - water to three parts dry or canned kitten food, changing frequently to ensure freshness. It should look like oatmeal and will likely never be featured on the cover of a cooking magazine. But once your kitten develops a taste for it, you'll become her favorite chef.

If your kitten plays with her food at first, batting it with her paws and even stepping in the bowl, remember that she has to get used to the idea that this really is food… and not just a fabulously messy toy. So be patient. And have a moist cloth ready to clean up. Like human babies, weaning kittens need to be wiped off occasionally, so be sure to keep them warm while they dry off.

Also, at some point, you might be tempted to reach for the milk jug in your fridge. The problem is, your kitten's digestive system might not be able to handle cow's milk… and neither of you will be happy with the results.


As your kitten gets used to eating more solid food, gradually decrease the amount of water and increase the amount of food each day. After a week or two of softened food, she should be past the oatmeal-like food stage, and happily munching on only lightly moistened food. At this point, you can leave out small amounts of dry kitten food and fresh water - a sort of all-day snack buffet.

By the time your kitten is five to seven weeks old, she should be getting all of her nutrition from solid food. The weaning process is over - congratulations! - and your kitten is ready to move on to other adventures in development, with her nutritional foundation firmly in place.

Just be sure to keep feeding her kitten food during those first 12 months, since kittens continue to develop throughout their first year. And if you have questions about your kitten's transition to solid food or concerns about her progress, don't hesitate to consult your veterinarian.


  • Kaye T. petMD. "Weaning Kittens: How and When." <>
  • ASPCA. "Weaning." <>
  • Vigil L. Nestlé Purina PetCare Senior Nutritionist (Cat Portfolio). Interviewed Dec 2014.



Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Our Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
  • Ingredient Tracking & Control
  • 99% of all Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities and Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retail stores.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. We don't have a regular section on our website itself. We suggest you watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat.