How to Teach a Kitten to Drink from a Saucer


When a kitten reaches 4 weeks old, you need to transition it from drinking formula from a bottle to drinking the formula from a saucer, so you can begin to add solid food to the shallow dish. A kitten weaning off formula will also need to learn to drink fresh water from the saucer to get needed hydration. By the time the kitten reaches 10 weeks old, it needs to fully understand how to drink and eat from a saucer to get the nutrition and fluids it needs, according to the Purina website.

Things You'll Need

  • Towels or newspapers
  • Kitten milk replacement formula
  • Kitten feeding bottle
  • Bowl
  • Dish soap
  • Place two saucers on the floor of the kitten's room, a small distance apart, over towels or newspapers. Use opaque, shallow saucers, wide enough so that the kitten's whiskers do not touch the sides of the dish when it drinks.

  • Mix the kitten milk replacement formula according to the package directions, if using powdered formula. Pour the formula into the kitten's bottle and place the bottle into a bowl of hot water to warm it.

  • Test the formula on the inside of your wrist to make sure it is warm, and not hot, around 98 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Doctors Foster and Smith website. Pour it into one of the saucers. Fill the other saucer with plain, cool water.

  • Bring the kitten over to the saucer containing the warm formula. Wet your finger with the formula from the saucer and touch it to the kitten's nose or mouth. This will prompt the kitten to lick the formula and understand that its food is in the dish, not a bottle.

  • Dip your finger into the formula, hold it in front of your kitten's nose and allow the kitten to lick it off your finger. Repeat this procedure four to five times in a row.

  • Allow the kitten to climb into the saucer or dip in its paws while drinking. As your kitten explores its new food dish, it will want to experiment through touch, to understand the new source of its food. After it drinks the formula, put it in front of the saucer with the water, dip in your finger and touch it to your kitten's mouth. Repeat this procedure until you see the kitten drinking the water, along with the formula.

  • Remove the formula after 15 to 20 minutes and wash the dish in hot water and soap. Change the towel or newspaper. Leave the water dish available at all times to the kitten so it can drink to stay well-hydrated.

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