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When can kittens be taken from their mother?

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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-25-07 01:40 PM
Original message
When can kittens be taken from their mother?
My sister has five kittens from an abandoned cat she found, who turned out to be pregnant. The mom had her litter on April 14 and now the kittens are eating cat food and my sister feels they are ready for adoption. It's only been 6 weeks, however, and I had always heard one should wait 8 weeks before separating them from the mother. A coworker told me it should be 12 weeks. Does anyone have a good time rule or perhaps some benchmarks for determining this? I expect to adopt one of them -- the runt of the litter -- but as anxious as I am I don't want to take him too early. :shrug:
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-25-07 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't know the recommended age, but I do know why it is better to leave them
until later -- there is much that they learn about feeling safe around people other cats from their mom and littermates. Cats that are separated from mom too early often become cats that don't accept other cats into their households and/or that are aggressive or very fearful.

Good luck! Post pics when you do get your new kitty. :hi:
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-25-07 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I'll tell my sister that
Edited on Fri May-25-07 05:07 PM by nuxvomica
Yes, I will post pics, too. And I'll probably be asking a lot of questions once I get him cuz I haven't had to deal with a kitten for 16 years now. :hi:
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-25-07 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. Anytime between 8 and 12 weeks is optimum.
Six weeks is just too young.
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-25-07 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I'd rather wait a few weeks then
I'd like to have the kitten at home ASAP but I'd rather wait the few weeks if that ensures that he gets the best start in life.
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-27-07 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. If it's possible, they need to be with their mother and
siblings for at least 8 weeks. They learn social skills in the early weeks, like how to get along with others and they will be more "civilized", calm and confident kittens if they have this time with their kitty family. I've seen baby kittens in the shelter where I volunteered that were taken away from their mother too soon, and most of them are shy, nervous, and have some sort of behavioral problems. When people wanted to bring in litters of kittens, we always tried to persuade them to keep them for another couple of weeks. Of course, they were often bringing in the mother as well and, in that case, it really didn't matter. :-(
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-27-07 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. My sister won't take them from the mom for another 2 weeks
Which would be 9 weeks. I'm visiting them now and I really would like to take one home - they are extremely cute, y'know -- but waiting 2 weeks for a better lifetime seems a small incovenience.
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