Kitten Won’t Take Bottle: Tips And Solutions

How to Bottle Feed a Kitten Purrfect Love
How to Bottle Feed a Kitten Purrfect Love from


Welcoming a new kitten into your home can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it can also come with its fair share of challenges, particularly when it comes to feeding. If you find yourself in a situation where your kitten won’t take a bottle, it’s important to address the issue promptly to ensure their health and well-being. In this article, we will explore some common reasons why kittens refuse bottles and provide helpful tips and solutions to encourage them to drink milk.

1. Transitioning from Mother’s Milk

When kittens are very young, they rely on their mother’s milk for nutrition. Transitioning them to a bottle can be a daunting task, as it involves replicating the comfort and familiarity they associate with their mother. To ease this transition, try using a bottle with a nipple that closely mimics the mother’s teat, allowing the kitten to latch on naturally.

2. Temperature Matters

One common reason why kittens refuse bottles is the temperature of the milk. Just like human babies, kittens prefer their milk warm. Ensure that the milk is at a comfortable temperature, approximately 100-102°F (37-39°C), by using a bottle warmer or placing the bottle in warm water for a few minutes before feeding.

3. Proper Handling

Kittens are sensitive creatures, and their feeding experience can be influenced by how they are handled. Make sure to hold the kitten gently but securely, allowing them to feel safe and supported during feeding. Additionally, position the bottle at a slight angle to simulate the natural feeding position they would assume with their mother.

4. Gradual Introduction

If your kitten is resistant to the bottle, it may be helpful to introduce it gradually. Start by allowing the kitten to lick the milk from your finger or a small saucer. This allows them to become familiar with the taste and scent of the milk before transitioning to the bottle. Slowly guide their mouth towards the bottle nipple, encouraging them to latch on and drink.

5. Patience and Persistence

When facing a stubborn kitten who refuses the bottle, it’s important to remain patient and persistent. It may take several attempts before they feel comfortable and start drinking. Avoid forcing the kitten as this can create negative associations with feeding. Instead, try different techniques, such as gently stroking their chin or offering the bottle during their sleepy moments.

6. Seek Veterinary Advice

If your kitten continues to refuse the bottle despite your best efforts, it’s crucial to seek veterinary advice. A professional can assess the kitten’s health and determine if there are any underlying issues causing the feeding problem. They may recommend alternative feeding methods or provide specialized formulas to ensure the kitten receives proper nutrition.

7. Consider Syringe Feeding

In some cases, kittens may respond better to syringe feeding rather than using a bottle. This method allows for more control over the amount of milk and the pace of feeding. Use a small syringe without the needle and slowly administer the milk into the kitten’s mouth, taking care not to overwhelm them.

8. Introduce Solid Food

As kittens grow, they naturally start transitioning to solid food. If your kitten refuses the bottle, it may be a sign that they are ready for solid food. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate time to introduce a kitten-friendly diet and ensure they receive the necessary nutrients for their growth and development.

9. Provide a Comfortable Environment

Kittens thrive in a calm and comfortable environment. Minimize distractions and noise during feeding sessions to help them relax and focus on the task at hand. Designate a quiet space where you can create a cozy feeding area, making it a pleasant experience for both you and your kitten.

10. Seek Support

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. If you’re struggling with your kitten’s feeding habits, consider reaching out to fellow cat owners, online forums, or local pet support groups. Sharing experiences and seeking advice can provide invaluable support and insights to help you overcome any challenges you may encounter.


Feeding a kitten who won’t take a bottle can be a frustrating experience, but with patience, perseverance, and the right strategies, you can overcome this hurdle. Remember to prioritize your kitten’s health and seek professional guidance if necessary. By following these tips and solutions, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring your furry friend receives the nutrition they need for a healthy and happy life.