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6 week old kittens

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I see many kittens being offered for adoption at the age of 6 weeks. I know from being on this forum, that this age is too early.
I have heard that kittens don't learn all they need to know by that age but what are the physical ramifications? When I try to educate others I want to say that right things. Thanks!
post #2 of 23
Some of the benefits of staying with Mom until older:

Boosted immunity from continuing to nurse
Better grooming and litter box habits
Better socialized behavior

The benefits of a kitten continuing to nurse (even though they are starting to sample "real" foods) are numerous. Health-wise, the immune system boosting properties in mother's milk is quite high on that list, what with kittens not possessing a completely functioning immune system until a few weeks later on. Additionally, the nutritional value of mother's milk can't be beat by anything you can possibly feed a kitten. They get everything they need (even if they are sampling "real foods") in one place.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Perfect! Thank you
post #4 of 23
I got Persi when he was 7 weeks old out of ignorance because I had never had a kitten. He has turned out fine in every respect but I would say he is the exception to the rule. 12 weeks seems to be the most recommended time. Of course people that are just giving kittens away, want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Persi is a registered cat with champ parents and there is no way he should have been sold to me so early but I did not know that. And that is why I am here on TCS, to get the facts.
post #5 of 23
My dad's friends cousin gave my dad and sister the kittens from their litter at 7 weeks old.. i think they are doing fine and they have another kitten friend at home too.. i had no idea about what age kittens should be sold at..so i am glad to see this post so i can get more information on this too.
post #6 of 23
!2 wees is ideal. Any younger then 8 weeks and they can have sucking issues and trama from leaving the mom too early. At 5 weeks or so mom teaches them to use the litter box.
post #7 of 23
I've always thought Trout was taken away from her mom too early..she has some issues.
post #8 of 23
When we got Tao (RIP) back in the '80s, I think the general rule was 8 weeks rather than 12, and I think she was 8 weeks. She was fine. Mi-ke was 12 weeks when I got her. I don't know when she was actually taken from her mother. Anyway, she suckles on me. There's no hard-and-fast rule on that, as I understand it. So some 12-week-olds won't and some will. Her siblings did, too, though. When I first saw them at the shelter, she and a couple others all ganged up on the remaining kitten and sucked his tummy.
post #9 of 23
It is my understanding that kittens do a lot of learning from each other as well. They learn what is acceptable (nipping gently while playing) and what's not (biting hard). The rescue group for whom I foster will adopt kittens out at 8 weeks, but all kittens MUST go either to a home with a kitten or in pairs. I have a litter of 7 here at home, and 3 of them will be going to the same home at 8 and a half weeks. Unfortunately, Mom has mastitis and is not allowed to be with the babies while she's on antibiotics and pain meds and is trying to dry up, so they rarely get to see her because all they want to do is nurse. But I am confident that they will continue to learn from each other and their foster sister (a kitten we found who is about 3 weeks older than they are).
post #10 of 23
I got Dee Dee when she was 7 weeks old because the family she came from were going through a bitter divorce and they were all being neglected. She had suckling issues because of it. Firstly she did it on my daughters forehead and arm which my daughter found hilarious, then she settled with the dogs front leg. He seemed to not mind a great deal unless she dug in her claws. She hasnt done it since she gave birth to her own babies but she still loves the dog!!
post #11 of 23
Kittens should ideally stay with mom and siblings for a minimum of 10 weeks. At 6 - 8 weeks old they barely are eating solid foods on a consistant basis. AND many of them are still nursing at that age! They continue to nurse up to 8-10 weeks old if left with mom.

Plus not only physical development might be affected, but MENTAL development is very much affected. They need time to socialize and learn to be a cat - they need to physically play with their brothers/sisters.

Many behavior problems develop cause they were taken away too soon - this includes, biting, scratching, learning to use the scratching post, sucking on people or material, and some litter box problems.

If you want a kitten to be physically and mentally stable and healthy, don't adopt till older

BTW my rex kittens were just beginning to eat solid foods at 6 weeks old - they were not ready to leave home till 4 months old.
post #12 of 23
Hi

In the UK they are allowed to leave their mum at 8 weeks old, no sooner.

I still think it a little too young but that is the policy over here.

Claire

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post #13 of 23
ermm i think you will find its still 12 weeks over here aswell. im in the uk . you ask any rescue they will tell you at least 12 weeks of age.
post #14 of 23
I was referring to a breeder or anyone that sells cats via adverts.

8 weeks is a viable age for them to leave their mother. Not that I agree with it, I think they should be older. when I was on the hunt for a kitten they were all 8 weeks old, but I felt it was too young and did not get one. I got an older one.
post #15 of 23
a good breeder and i dont mean people who think they can put a cat with another cat , will not allow there kittens to go before there 12 weeks old. all the adds your on about are people who are just looking to make a quick buck , or they just cant be bothered to keep the kittens any longer. i know iv seen the ads that you refer to
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by claire1973 View Post
I was referring to a breeder or anyone that sells cats via adverts.

8 weeks is a viable age for them to leave their mother. Not that I agree with it, I think they should be older. when I was on the hunt for a kitten they were all 8 weeks old, but I felt it was too young and did not get one. I got an older one.
The GCCF rules state that breeders of registered cats MUST NOT let kittens go to their new homes until at least 7 days after the final set of kitten vaccination boosters. The boosters are given at 12 weeks, so 13 weeks is the earliest a registered breeder can let kittens go to their new homes.

Any GCCF registered breeder letting kittens go before this age will be suspended from the GCCF or struck off for life if they are reported.

There are NO guidelines in the UK that state 8 weeks is the age to let them go. It is 13 weeks. Unfortunately unregistered 'breeders' seem to think that 8 weeks is OK, but there is no way of doing anything about this as they are not GCCF registered.
post #17 of 23
I know that but what Im saying is that some people DO sell kittens at 8 weeks old!!!!

Please dont jump down my throat, I know what breeders SHOULD do and I know what decent people SHOULD do. I was just replying to a post about what some people DO here in the Uk.

Perhaps I should not have bothered!

At the end of the day I know that kittens should NOT be sold at 8 weeks!!!!!
post #18 of 23
no body was having a pop at you hun , were just trying to state what it is ment to be , just in case someone who dosnt know any different and decides to let there kittens go at 8 weeks . we just try and put our views across strongly to try and help the situation.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by claire1973 View Post
I know that but what Im saying is that some people DO sell kittens at 8 weeks old!!!!

Please dont jump down my throat, I know what breeders SHOULD do and I know what decent people SHOULD do. I was just replying to a post about what some people DO here in the Uk.

Perhaps I should not have bothered!

At the end of the day I know that kittens should NOT be sold at 8 weeks!!!!!
I'm so sorry, that was not intended to be harsh at you at all! I am very sorry that you took it that way, I am not always too clear in the way I phrase things, and if you took it that way it is my fault for the way I phrased it.

My only intention was to let people know that there is a guideline for registered pedigree breeders in the UK, not to have a pop at you in the slightest.

Please accept my apologies.

post #20 of 23
Im sorry perhaps I took it the wrong way, dunno perhaps Im having a bad day!!

Think this week Im having a severe case of PMT, Hubby just looked at me when I snapped at him for no reason apparently!

Oh dear perhaps I should go hide under a rock, think hubby would prefer it LOL, hee hee Im gonna take Humphrey up and make him sleep on his side of the bed!!!

Listen, Im sorry if I snapped did not mean too, please forgive me!!

Claire
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post #21 of 23
aw all is forgiven on here lol
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by claire1973 View Post
Im sorry perhaps I took it the wrong way, dunno perhaps Im having a bad day!!

Think this week Im having a severe case of PMT, Hubby just looked at me when I snapped at him for no reason apparently!

Oh dear perhaps I should go hide under a rock, think hubby would prefer it LOL, hee hee Im gonna take Humphrey up and make him sleep on his side of the bed!!!

Listen, Im sorry if I snapped did not mean too, please forgive me!!

Claire
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You did nothing wrong at all Thank you for being so forgiving
post #23 of 23
I have to say that a cat that stays with mom till 12-14 weeks is much calmer and in a way more loving. I think being with the person who owns the mommy cat should handler the kittens so they are use to that also.
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