when can kittens start eating cat food? this is my cat's second liter but for a week now she refuses to stay in the house and feed them, and when she is inside she eats then stands at the door, whines, and scratches the door.
sounds like she is in heat already, thats why she wants to go outside-- to mate!-- she doesnt need to go back out unless you want her to have ANOTHER litter of kittens in about 2 months which would be very unhealthy for her.
On the food note-- they are only 2 weeks old-- just now they are opening their eyes. They arent ready to have kitten food yet. They need their moms milk for another 3-4 weeks. They probably dont have teeth even yet. so no they cant eat kitten food-- their mom is still stimulating them to go to the bathroom at this age. Their systems cant handle processed foods.
You can give them some kitten milk replacer if you feel up to it. Otherwise just keep their mom inside and away from other cats and she will take care of them.
When the kittens hit about 5-6 wks old you can start offering softened kitten food a couple times a day to see if they will eat but now is too early.
Kittens have teeth, and are capable of handling food...you should be giving both.
I would soak some small pieces of cat food in KMR kitten formula and let them experiment. Hold up a piece to their mouth and let them suck on it. In no time, you will see how quickly they catch on and start gobbling it down.
This way, they still get the nutrients from the formula as well as from the cat food. Mom needs a break, Have you checked out their teeth?....
I raised a kitten from a day old, so I know what I am talking about.
One more thing, start leaving down a small bowl of water once they start actually eating the food on their own without your help.