Many thanks to serval breeder Janet Syperda of Mystique Miniatures and Exotic Spots, for allowing the use of this article on AfricanServal.com.
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Over the years I have found that nothing is written in stone. At times you
may have to change an ingredient or the amount of that ingredient, to best
service your kitten. I have found that none of my Serval kittens are the
same. Most do well on my formula, but once in a while you have to adjust
the powder formula, the food product you use, etc. Some kittens have more
sensitive digestive systems than the next. The first thing to remember is,
If your kitten has loose stools, or diarrhea, cut the powder formula down,
making it less rich, or increase the water.
Things have come a long way since I adopted my first Serval in the 1970's.
So much more is known about exotic cats, their needs, and their diet. When
I was adopted by my first Serval, no one hardly had ever heard of a Serval,
much less seen one. Formula was canned Carnation Evaporated Milk, half milk
half distilled water. Even later when the regular kitten and puppy formulas
became available, I had trouble with them, being too rich, and a lot of
diarrhea.. Am I ever thankful for Milk Matrix and the different formulas
for different breeds. They have a different ratio of protein to fat. This
is the basic formula I use, and adjust from there depending on the kittens.
Do not be afraid to adjust where I indicate if you feel it is too rich or
not rich enough.
- Milk Matrix 33/40 ( I purchase from Jeffers Pet Catalog, or on line)
- 2/3 part distilled water to
- 1/3 part milk matrix
Blend the above into smooth mixture.
I feed this for the first 3 - 4 weeks. Kittens will let you know when they
need additional added to their milk formula. As they approach the 3 - 4
week age, plain milk matrix will not satisfy them. They will eat or suck
more and be hungry more often.
At (4) weeks of age I start adding baby Gerber Rice Cereal. Start with about
1/4 cup to the above mixture of milk matrix .
Observe their stool and make sure everything is going as it should. If
diarrhea, cut the amount, or wait a couple more days before trying again.
After a few days you can gradually increase this amount, if they are eating
and everything is normal.
Approximately 5 - 6 weeks of age I start adding 1 Tsp. of Iams Chicken cat
food to this mixture, and blending. Again wait and see how their little
system handles this. Gradually increase this amount also, or decrease, if
not agreeing with them. Here is where I will add that, you can use what
ever you are comfortable with. Iams, Zupreem, or Baby Food Chicken. ( a
lot of times I use Baby Food Chicken to get them started if they do not like
the texture of the Iams or Zupreem. It is a little grainy and some just gag
I might add here, when you start to add other foods to the Milk Matrix, that
is when I start to use my Mazuri Supplement, or many of you prefer the
Oasis, to the formula mix. When they are on the Milk Matrix only, I do not
add anything to that until I start adding other foods.
When I make formula, to make a blender full I use the above mixture X 5 or:
- 3 1/3 cup distilled water
- 1 cup Gerber Rice Cereal
- Blend, Add
- 5 Tbls. Iams Chicken Flavor Cat Food, (or Zupreem or your choice)
- Blend, Add
- 1 2/3 cup Milk Matrix, a small amount at a time until blended.
YOU WILL HAVE A VERY THICK CAT FOOD MILK SHAKE!!!!
When the kitten is ready for some kind of solid food, I use the above thick
shake, to pour on, or stir in, to get them to eat the more solid food. Most
times I will start by putting a small amount of the Iams, Zupreem, or your
choice, in a saucer, pour the thick shake over, heat a little, dip your
finger in and touch the nose of the kitten to get it to lick. As it licks
your finger, lower your finger down to the saucer. In a very short time the
kitten will be sucking up the mixture from the saucer, standing in it, and
laying in it, Oh, what a joy!!!!!! Another item that you can use in the
mixture that they really go for is fine cut up cooked chicken.
I will get many who disagree at this, but let me explain. I feed my older,
and grown Servals raw meat. I have fed my kittens raw meat too. But, in
some cases I have had the kittens get ill when I add the raw cut up chicken
to their food at a very young age. Bacteria sets in easy in a tiny kitten,
so I cook the chicken at first, only.
Many thanks to serval breeder Janet Syperda of Mystique Miniatures and Exotic Spots, for allowing the use of this article on AfricanServal.com. This article is copyrighted 2004 by Janet Syperda. All rights are reserved.