Newborn Kitten Not Latching On To Mom – You Have To Know

Bringing home a newborn kitten can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it is important to remember that these tiny creatures require special care and attention to thrive.

Newborn kittens depend completely on their mother for food and warmth. So, if you have taken in an orphaned kitten, you must provide them with a warm, safe environment and bottle-feed them every few hours with kitten formula.

Trying to nurse a newborn kitten can be quite frustrating. They seem not to want to latch on properly, which will frustrate them. We will explore some causes of a newborn kitten not latching on to mom and offer solutions that might work for you.

We will also provide instructions on how to help a newborn kitten latch on properly. You will better understand what is happening and be able to solve the problem yourself.

Newborn Kitten Not Latching On To Mom

6 Causes Of A Newborn Kitten Not Latching On To Mom

6 Causes Of A Newborn Kitten Not Latching On To Mom

Newborn kittens require a warm, cosy environment to thrive and regular feedings every two to three hours. Keeping them clean and dry is also important, as they cannot groom themselves effectively.

As the kitten grows, they explore their surroundings and develop their unique personality. It’s always heart-wrenching to see a newborn kitten not latch on to its mommy. If the kitten is older but still not latching on, there may be a problem with its mouth or jaw.

In these cases, remedies may include feeding the kitten through a tube or using a nipple feeder. If the issue is beyond human control, it may be best to adopt or find another home for the kitten. Here are six common causes of newborn Kitten not latching on to mom:

1.Lack Of Milk

Lack Of Milk

A lack of milk is one of the most common reasons a newborn kitten may not be latching on to their mother. This can occur if the mother cat does not produce enough milk or the kitten cannot find the nipples. The kitten may have difficulty suckling due to oral health issues or congenital abnormalities.

It is essential to closely monitor the kitten’s weight and behaviour in these situations as they may require supplemental feeding or veterinary intervention. If you’re nursing a new kitten and it’s not getting the milk it needs.

There are some things you can do to help. Newborn kittens do not use being away from their mom for long periods and will search for her. If your kitten refuses to nurse or seems agitated, take it to the doctor. Feeding the kitten kitten milk replacer formula may be necessary when wet nursing doesn’t provide relief.

2.Separation Anxiety

Newborn kittens not latching on to their mother can cause concern. They need the nutrients from their mother’s milk to survive. One possible cause of this issue is separation anxiety. Suppose someone separated the kitten and its mother shortly after birth.

The kitten might be hesitant to latch on when reunited with its mother. This can also happen if the kitten was hand-raised and had insufficient time with its mother in the early stages of life. Separation anxiety is a common problem that can affect newborn kittens. This occurs when the kitten isn’t getting enough attention from its mother and, as a result, experiences feelings of loneliness and fear.

There are various ways to help relieve separation anxiety in kittens. For example, it is providing them with a nearby box to play in or separating them for some time until they are apart again. Reintroducing the cat gradually back together again usually works best.

3.Wrong Latch

The wrong latch is the most common cause of newborn kittens not latching on to their mothers. Incorrect positioning of the kitten’s jaw, tongue, or lips in the early days and weeks of life causes it. It can be corrected with several methods, such as using a dummy nipple or feeding different types of food. If latch training fails, it may be time for your veterinarian to intervene.

4.Premature Birth

Premature birth can commonly cause newborn kittens not to latch on to their mother. Kittens born prematurely may not have fully developed the necessary reflexes and strength to nurse effectively, which can lead to difficulties in latching on.

Also, premature kittens may not fully develop immune or digestive systems. They are making nursing even more important for their health and well-being. If you suspect your newborn kitten is struggling to nurse due to premature birth. It is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible to ensure. They receive the proper nutrition and care needed for their development.

5.Inadequate Breeding Kitten

Inadequate Breeding Kitten

Poor breeding can cause newborn kittens not to latch on to their mothers. Causes may include inadequate maternal milk, genetics, environmental factors, etc. We should breed as early as possible to improve the chances of success. If your kitten is not latching on after several attempts, it may need veterinary help.

Inadequate breeding is one possible reason a newborn kitten may not latch onto its mother. This can occur if the mother cat is not producing enough milk or if her nipples are blocked or infected. Sometimes, the kitten may also be born with a cleft palate or other congenital abnormalities that prevent them from properly nursing.

6.Food Allergies In The Environment

Food Allergies In The Environment

When a newborn kitten is not latching on to their mother, it can be concerning for the owner. A possible cause of this issue could be food allergies in the environment, such as goat’s milk, which can upset their tiny tummies. If the mother cat is consuming a diet that contains allergens, these allergens can be passed on to the kitten through her milk, causing the kitten to have an allergic reaction that makes them reluctant to nurse.

Food allergies in kittens can occur for a variety of reasons. The newborn kitten’s immune system has not fully developed yet and is more susceptible to food allergies. The environment in which the kitten was born (e.g., dust mite infestation) can also affect their development, leading to food allergies.

If you think your kitten may have a food allergy. It is important to get them tested as soon as possible so that you can start treatment early on and help prevent any serious health problems from happening later on down the line.

Also, make sure they are getting enough milk from momma cats. Without proper nutrition, there’s no way they will develop properly and be able to avoid developing food allergies in the future.

How Can You Solve The Problem?

Newborn kittens are often closely attached to their mothers, but sometimes this attachment isn’t mutual. If your kitten isn’t latching on properly, you can do a few things to help. The kitten is nursing; ensure they’re latched onto properly and the milk flows naturally.

If the kitten isn’t nursing or breastfeeding well, offer formula or water instead of milk until he’s older and more attached to his mother. If your cat seems stressed or insecure, provide plenty of toys, scratch them behind their ears, and give them affectionate attention when needed. Here are some processes to help your fading kitten transition to solid food:

1.Feed Your New Kitten Enough

Feeding your newborn kitten enough is crucial to solving the problem of them not latching on to their mother. Newborn kittens require frequent feeding, typically every two to three hours. Ensuring they are getting enough milk to meet their nutritional needs is important.

Kittens are energetic and playful creatures but must be fed regularly to stay healthy. Ensure you keep your kitten well-fed and hydrated by feeding them different types of wet and dry food and playing with them frequently. If your kitten gets separated from mom for a long time, it is important to monitor their body weight and ensure they gain 3 to 4 ounces per week. Always ensure you are nearby so she can latch onto you easily.

2.Make Sure The Kitten Is Comfortable And Secure

If you are dealing with a newborn kitten having trouble latching on to their mother, you can do a few things to help. First and foremost, you want to ensure the kitten is comfortable and secure, especially if it is a cold kitten. This means providing them with a warm and cosy environment, with sufficient body heat, free from potential distractions or disturbances.

You may also want to gently massage the kitten’s body and encourage them to suckle by placing them close to their mother’s nipple. Caring for a newborn kitten can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

Ensure the kitten is warm and dry, close to mom so it can learn breastfeeding skills, and that any problems are addressed as soon as possible – by taking your cat to a veterinary clinic for help if necessary. Gently guide the kitten’s mouth to the nipple by placing a gentle hand under the kitten’s belly and bringing them into a feeding position.

3.Check To See If The Mother Is Lactating

If the mother of a kitten is not nursing it, there are several things you can do to try and get her interested. Check to see if she has been recently pregnant and is currently lactating with her own mothers. If you are faced with the issue of a newborn kitten not latching onto its mother, the first step is to check if the mother cat is lactating.

Lack of milk production can be caused by stress or other medical conditions, so it is important to monitor the mother and take her to a vet if necessary. If the mother is not producing enough milk, you may need to supplement the kitten’s diet with formula or cow’s milk or seek help from a professional animal caregiver.

Additionally, if the kitten is experiencing diarrhoea, it may be a sign that it is not getting enough nutrition from its mother’s milk and may need to be supplemented with formula. It is also important to keep the kitten warm and comfortable during this process, as newborn kittens are susceptible to hypothermia.

You can help ensure the kitten thrives and grows into a healthy cat with proper care and attention. If she does not seem interested in nursing her kitten, offer her food or water and check the kitten’s body temperature. You could also try a different mother for the kitten – another cat that might be more willing to nurse it or wrap the kitten in a warm towel to keep it warm.

4.Offer A Bottle Of Milk Or Formula To The Kitten

Kittens need to socialize to develop healthy relationships with people properly. You can help by offering a milk bottle or formula when the kitten isn’t nursing from its mother. Bottle-feeding kittens can be a delicate process, as they require special care and attention.

One way to do this is by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes until it reaches a comfortable temperature. Didn’t use hot water. It is recommended to offer a shallow dish of clean, fresh water alongside the bottle feeding.

This will help provide comfort, feed the kitten, and get handy to being around people again. Ensure you are always close by to monitor its status and ensure it meets all its needs, including nutrition and shelter.

5.Make Sure The Mother Is Attractive To The Kitten

If the kitten is not attached to its mother, there may be a few potential reasons. One of which could be that she is not attracted to it. To check this, try changing the environment or bringing in another mother cat that might prove more appealing. It’s also possible that communication is poor – you need to make sure you are doing everything in your power to get them attached and communicating clearly with each other.

How Often Should You Bottle-Feed A Kitten?

How Often Should You Bottle-Feed A Kitten

When a newborn kitten is not latching on to its mother for nursing, it is important to ensure that the kitten is receiving adequate nutrition. Bottle feeding becomes essential in such cases. The frequency of bottle-feeding a kitten will depend on its age and weight. Generally, newborn kittens need to be fed every two to three hours, including during the night.

As they grow older and their stomach capacity increases, the feeding intervals can be gradually extended. It is crucial to consult with a veterinarian or an experienced animal care professional to determine the appropriate feeding schedule and formula for the specific needs of the kitten. Additionally, proper hygiene and temperature control during bottle-feeding are paramount to ensure the health and well-being of the newborn kitten.

Why A Mother Cat Can’t Nurse Her Kittens

There can be several reasons why a mother cat is unable to nurse her kittens. If you notice that a mother cat is not able to nurse her kittens, it is important to seek veterinary advice. The vet will be able to assess the situation and provide appropriate guidance and treatment if necessary. Here are some possible explanations:

  • Insufficient Milk Production: Sometimes, a mother cat may not produce enough milk to nourish her kittens adequately. This can happen due to various factors such as poor nutrition, stress, or health issues.
  • Mastitis: Mastitis is an infection that affects the mammary glands of a nursing cat. It can cause pain and inflammation, making it difficult for the mother cat to nurse her kittens.
  • Rejection Of Kittens: In some cases, a mother cat may reject her kittens for various reasons. This can be due to stress, illness, or if she perceives the kittens as a threat.
  • Physical Barriers: Sometimes, physical barriers like engorged teats or clogged milk ducts can prevent a mother cat from nursing her kittens effectively.

What To Do If A Mother Cat Can’t Nurse Her Kittens

What To Do If A Mother Cat Can't Nurse Her Kittens

If a mother cat is unable to nurse her kittens, it is crucial to take action quickly to ensure the health and well-being of the newborns. One option is to visit pet supply stores, where you can find specialized milk replacers specifically formulated for kittens.

Here are some steps you can take if you find yourself in this situation:

  1. Assess The Situation: First, determine why the mother cat is unable to nurse her kittens. It could be due to physical or medical issues, such as mastitis or low milk production.
  2. Consult A Veterinarian: Reach out to a veterinarian for guidance and advice on how to proceed. They can assess the mother cat’s condition and provide recommendations for alternative feeding methods.
  3. Bottle-Feeding: If the mother cat is unable to nurse, bottle-feeding may be necessary. Purchase kitten-specific formula and bottles designed for newborn kittens, and carefully follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian on how much and how often to feed.
  4. Stimulate Elimination: In the absence of nursing, it is essential to stimulate the kittens’ elimination process. Use a warm, damp cloth or cotton ball to rub their genital area after each feeding.
  5. Monitor Weight Loss: Keep a close eye on the kittens’ weight gain as they grow. Regularly weigh them using a small scale and consult with your veterinarian if there are any concerns.


Having a newborn kitten not latching on to its mother can be concerning for any pet owner. It’s important to remember that this behaviour is not uncommon. From using a nursing bottle to providing supplemental feedings with a syringe, there are several ways to ensure your kitten gets the required nourishment.

Additionally, it’s crucial to monitor their weight and overall health during this time. After going through the whole article, you will have enough information to keep your newborn kitten not latching on to mom properly and grow it healthy.

Feeding quality food is a must, so try not to give it any other food apart from what we have listed above. Don’t worry if your kitten doesn’t latch on to its mother. Ask a vet, as they might be able to help this kitty by force-feeding milk or egg yolk in its bottle until it becomes used to latching on its mother.

Frequently Asked Questions

What To Do If A Newborn Kitten Won’t Latch?

If a newborn kitten won’t latch, seeking veterinary advice as soon as possible is important. The kitten may not be able to nurse due to various reasons such as illness, weakness, or improper technique. In the meantime, you can gently massage the kitten’s head and mouth to stimulate the suckling reflex or use a clean, soft cloth to mimic clicking while nursing.

Why Isn’t My Cat Nursing Her Newborn?

There could be several reasons why your cat is not nursing her newborn. She may be experiencing complications or health issues that are preventing her from producing milk or inhibiting her ability to nurse, leading to malnutrition. Another possibility is that she rejects the kittens for various reasons, such as stress, discomfort, or lack of maternal instincts.

Can A Newborn Kitten Survive Without Its Mother?

No, a newborn kitten generally cannot survive without its mother. Kittens rely on their mother for nourishment, warmth, and socialization. The mother’s milk provides essential nutrients and antibodies that help protect the kitten’s immune system. In addition, the mother teaches the kitten important skills such as grooming and using the litter box.

Do Mother Cats Reject Their Kittens If Humans Touch Them?

No, mother cats generally do not reject their kittens if humans touch them. Cats have a strong maternal instinct and are usually tolerant of human interaction with their offspring.

Can A 1-Month-Old Kitten Survive Without Milk?

No, a 1-month-old kitten cannot survive without milk. At this age, they still depend on their mother’s milk or a substitute milk formula, also known as milk replacement, specifically designed for kittens. Milk provides essential nutrients and antibodies that are crucial for their growth and development. Providing them with proper nutrition is important to ensure their overall health and well-being.

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