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Newborn kittens...how long until you are able to touch them?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My cat is going to give birth soon and I was wondering if it is true that the mother will kill the baby or deny it food if you touch the babies. please help me and give me some more info on this matter.
post #2 of 12
No, this is only true of birds as far as I know. Kittens can be handled from the time they come out. This is unless of course the mother takes your hand off while trying. When they are within the first weeks, I would limit it to petting and talking to them. Make sure if you have contact with other cats that you wash your hands before playing though. Young kittens are very vulnerable at an early age. When they are a few weeks old you really do want to pick them up and cuddle them, it helps to socialize them and make them love humans and not fear them.
post #3 of 12

 my cat had birth recently and everyone is telling me to wait at least a month or the mother will either, yes, abanden them or hide them somewhere until she's ready to share them. i know because when my cat had birth we only waited 24 hours until we pet them and held them and she hid them in the back of our christmas closet which is about 20 feet back.

.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by noellover View Post

 my cat had birth recently and everyone is telling me to wait at least a month or the mother will either, yes, abanden them or hide them somewhere until she's ready to share them. i know because when my cat had birth we only waited 24 hours until we pet them and held them and she hid them in the back of our christmas closet which is about 20 feet back.

.

 

If you wait that long you will have wild kittens.  I weigh kittens at about the same time every day, very quickly, in front of the mother.  If they gain 10g or more most days they are doing fine.  Once their eyes are open and ears standing back I start holding them until they squeak, as soon as they do that or the mother looks anxious back they go.  The time I hold them gradually increases.

 

The sensitive period for socialisation is from 2-8 weeks.

 

http://www.fabcats.org/behaviour/understanding/kitten.html

post #5 of 12

A momma cat wont attack you for touching her babes, as long as your'e gentle with them, it's fine to touch them. Obviously as they grow in the ensuing weeks they will be more active, so socialising is important and getting them used to being held and picked up for when they are to be rehomed.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by noellover View Post

 my cat had birth recently and everyone is telling me to wait at least a month or the mother will either, yes, abanden them or hide them somewhere until she's ready to share them. i know because when my cat had birth we only waited 24 hours until we pet them and held them and she hid them in the back of our christmas closet which is about 20 feet back.

.


Moms are renown for changing nest, sometimes into a quite uncomfortable nest, but they do fancy it.

It may also be so you held them a little too long, or didnt layed them back as soon mom began to be anxious.

 

Moms abandoning etc is essentially a myth, and comes from wild rabbits and deers. And possibly birds.

Cat mom dont do so, as long as you touch them kittens respectfully to them and the mom, like Oriental skissed. Not even semi-ferale moms you are fostering do so. 

post #7 of 12

My cat had kittens one week ago. For the first 2 or 3 days I only touched them to weigh them and to gently touch them while they were with their mum. Since then I've been increasing the time I touch and hold them. Now I can hold them for several minutes, even letting them sleep on my hand for a while. The only time mum cat doesn't like it is if they squeak so I put them right back.

 

I think it's pretty easy to tell if the kitten and the mother cat are happy with you touching them. If no one appears distressed you're probably ok.

post #8 of 12
My mother cat Tabby (her name) let me hold her baby withen the first few hours. I held him for only a min or two. Tabby was relaxed with me holding him. I held him every day since he was born and now he loves to cuddle, doesn't meow except when scared and hungery, wants to do alil exploring but mainly sleeps on me my bf or his mom or one of my stuffed animals/ blankets.
post #9 of 12
it all depends on how close you are with your cat and if she trusts you.
post #10 of 12

What if my cat had kittens 2 hours ago? Can i still touch them?

post #11 of 12
As long as you wash your hands before and after cause their emun systems are weak that I heard. If the mother is agressive when you go to pick them up then wait a few days and then try again. You don't wanna be to agressive with trying to pick them up because then mama cat will try and move the kittens if she thinks they are in danger. Don't pick up the kittens more than a foot or two away from its mother so she doesn't have to worry.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycats7896 View Post

What if my cat had kittens 2 hours ago? Can i still touch them?

Almost all breeders, and most rescuers, do weight them every day, beginning with immediately after the birth.  So yes, per definition you can touch them.  Although dont overdo the touching, not the first two weeks.

Moms are often protective, so the trick is to do it is: shortly, quickly, near the mom so the mom sees what you are doing.  A quick weighting and let them lay back. Maximum half a minute...

 

Do have clean hands, but you dont need to overdo it.  Moms mouth isnt not sterile.

 

Good luck!

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