Weaning normally occurs at about 4-5 weeks of age, but keep in mind that some kittens take longer, particularly without their mom to show them the ropes. You will know that a kitten is ready to begin the weaning process when it is biting the feeding nipple often and forcefully and also is able to lick formula from your finger. The next step is to persuade the kitten to lap up formula from a spoon. Once they've accomplished that hurdle, try offering formula in a small, flat dish.
If the kittens appear to need encouragement to lap from a bowl, dip your fingertip in the formula and let him lick it off your fingers as you move them down to the bowl. DO NOT push their nose into the dish as they can aspirate the fluid and develop pneumonia! Once the kittens become accustomed to lapping liquids you can add weaning formula or baby cereal by combining them with the formula. While the kittens are grasping the art of eating from a bowl you will still need to bottle-feed them and monitor the amount of formula and food they are consuming. Always offer food from the bowl first, and then offer the bottle. When you see they are eating well from the bowl begin to decrease the amount of formula they are receiving from the bottle.
At that point, you can mix the kitten formula with baby food into a gruel and try to get the kittens to lap it up from a dish or a spoon. We recommend Chicken Baby Food but any meat flavor will do, just be absolutely sure there are no onions in the list of ingredients. You can also try using Dr. Hill's A/D brand which is sold at any veterinarians. Eventually, you can mix canned kitten food (we recommend Wellness, Avo Derm, Nutro Max Kitten or any other premium brand of kitten food) with formula, gradually reducing the amount of formula until the kittens are eating just the food. Try to buy high quality food for the kittens (from the vet or pet food stores). Much of what is sold in supermarkets is junk food and will not help your kitten thrive. It is not uncommon for weight gain to slow and minor, temporary diarrhea to occur during weaning.
Some kittens grasp the concept right away; others take days. Keep bottle feeding while weaning to make sure they get enough to eat. Reduce bottle feeding as their solid-food consumption grows. If you give dry food, moisten it, because kittens can