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Age of a Kitten Able to go a Home

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I am getting a kitten but the breeder that I am getting it from wants to give it to me now as she says that it is ready....It is only 9 weeks old now...I probably can't wait until 12 weeks old but do you think I should try to wait one more week.

Annie
post #2 of 13
If it will be kept with its mother for that one more week then yes, I think you should give it more time. But it all depends. The mother could be pushing them away already. If so then take the kitten now. Breeders usually have a good idea when the kitten should leave and that usually isn't at 9 weeks only. i would rethink purchasing from the breeder at all maybe if they aren't keeping the kittens best interest in mind...
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks...The girl I am getting my ragdoll from has her degree in animal sciences/breeding so I guess that gives me some comfort......I got another cat from her before and he turned out fine but I was a little surprised that she would want to give it away now at only 9 weeks....
post #4 of 13
9 weeks seems awfully young - kittens need their mommies for more than milk when they're little. Mom teaches them how to interact with humans, how to interact with each other, how to use the litterbox, etc. Some cats taken away young are fine, but others develop all sorts of behavioral problems - including "wool-sucking." I would definately question her motives - just because she has a degree doesn't mean she knows anything about cats, though its possible. It just doesn't seem like the kind of move a good breeder would make without some serious reasons.

Ask more questions, something seems kind of fishy here.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi, yeah I found that kind of strange too but she did just have another litter of cats so perhaps that is why. (another cat of hers had kittens) I do have another cat that is 4 years old so I am hoping he can teach her a thing or two so that she learns what is acceptable cat behaviour....
post #6 of 13
Just to give you my experiences, not making any judgements, and not everyone's experiences will be the same as this but it may help you make a decision, and it may not.

I have 2 kittens. Radar is 10.5 months old, and Sonic is nearly 5 months old.

Radar left his mum at nearly 9 weeks old. He is a lovely cat and we adore him. It is in his nature to let us handle him and he goes floppy and purrs when we pick him up, he wouldn't ever claw or bite in aggression, he is just a big softie. BUT he does not realise that play-biting HURTS and is not acceptable. He wasn't with his mum and learning this by playing with his siblings for long enough. He plays very rough with us, and I hate to say it but tbh there are many people in this world who would not have shown him the patience and unconditional love that we have done despite his lack of understanding that teeth hurt when they are clamped around a hand or foot, even if it is just in play. I want to make it clear that he is NOT aggressive in the slightest and we can do anything with him, but when he gets excited and plays he doesn't understand that biting hurts.

Sonic was with his mum until he was 13 weeks old, and seems to have an innate understanding that play-biting is not acceptable. He is a kitten so does get overexcited and try it occassionally, but a swift 'no' and he will stop. He grabs my legs when I walk past, but always with claws in and no biting.

Having had these 2 different experiences - I have to say that I love both my cats absolutely unconditionally - but also, with hindsight and given the option, I would have had Radar stay with his mum and littermates for another couple of weeks to learn that play-biting hands and feet is not on. It is still an issue for us at over 10 months old, mum cat could have taught him an awful lot quicker than we are managing.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Just to give you my experiences, not making any judgements, and not everyone's experiences will be the same as this but it may help you make a decision, and it may not.

I have 2 kittens. Radar is 10.5 months old, and Sonic is nearly 5 months old.

Radar left his mum at nearly 9 weeks old. He is a lovely cat and we adore him. It is in his nature to let us handle him and he goes floppy and purrs when we pick him up, he wouldn't ever claw or bite in aggression, he is just a big softie. BUT he does not realise that play-biting HURTS and is not acceptable. He wasn't with his mum and learning this by playing with his siblings for long enough. He plays very rough with us, and I hate to say it but tbh there are many people in this world who would not have shown him the patience and unconditional love that we have done despite his lack of understanding that teeth hurt when they are clamped around a hand or foot, even if it is just in play. I want to make it clear that he is NOT aggressive in the slightest and we can do anything with him, but when he gets excited and plays he doesn't understand that biting hurts.

Sonic was with his mum until he was 13 weeks old, and seems to have an innate understanding that play-biting is not acceptable. He is a kitten so does get overexcited and try it occassionally, but a swift 'no' and he will stop. He grabs my legs when I walk past, but always with claws in and no biting.

Having had these 2 different experiences - I have to say that I love both my cats absolutely unconditionally - but also, with hindsight and given the option, I would have had Radar stay with his mum and littermates for another couple of weeks to learn that play-biting hands and feet is not on. It is still an issue for us at over 10 months old, mum cat could have taught him an awful lot quicker than we are managing.
Interesting reading that Epona. Never clicked in my mind until I read your post...that could be why my Olivia doesnt realise play biting hurts ( I got her at around 9 weeks)...although the problem seems to be getting better as shes getting older (used to be quite an issue). Whereas the other cats, who were brought up from birth to present with their mum here are very tactile and rarely play bite.
post #8 of 13
Most breeder will let the kittens go home from 10 weeks though many prefer 12-16 weeks ... I think 12-16 is best for socialization
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadaa View Post
Hi, yeah I found that kind of strange too but she did just have another litter of cats so perhaps that is why. (another cat of hers had kittens) I do have another cat that is 4 years old so I am hoping he can teach her a thing or two so that she learns what is acceptable cat behaviour....
I will say that my cats who were with their mom later (12+ weeks) are better mannered in general, when it comes to claw retraction, play biting, etc. If your 4 year old is one of those well mannered types, you may be OK, but it's still not a replacement for being with mom and littermates. I have found that my boys make much better surrogate moms than my girls do.
post #10 of 13
I got Sho at over 5 months old and he's a big gentle baby who doesn't seem to get upset over much. He did have a bit of weird random biting at 2, he'd lean over and try to bite your knee when he was on DH or I's lap. Knees didn't fit in his mouth... no idea why he did it.

Tomas, I found outside with no sign of a momma cat at around 10 weeks old. I can only describe some of his behavior as separation anxiety type behavior. Loud crying, very upset, must have me in sight. He's nearing 7-8 months.

The younger you get a kitten the more you have to become the mother and the more care they will need. There's never a lack of threads on this forum about crying cats, I have to wonder if some of these cats were taken away from their mothers just a bit too young.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
I have found that my boys make much better surrogate moms than my girls do.
Boys cats seem to be more for being "buddies" with other cats. While girls are a bit more possessive, even of people.
post #11 of 13
I've read thru this thread and find it all very interesting.
Our youngest kitties are 10 month old sisters; we got them from their owner (not a breeder, just someone we know) at 8 weeks. One weighed in at 1.75 lbs, the other at 1.5 lbs; they were tiny! The first night, none of our other 3 would have anything to do them. By the second night, both girls were "suckling" our 2 y/o male, Rufus. They continued that behaviour for several months. When they were spayed at 6 months, they immediately went to Rufus for comfort. One of them still does; if she can't find him (and he does get tired of them occasionally & hide) she walks thru the house meowing until she finds him.
Neither of them has ever shown aggressive play behaviour. Even tho they weren't with their cat-mom, they had each other to play with. Maybe that made a difference. I'm obviously not an expert in cat behaviour, but I wonder if it isn't just luck of the draw?
I guess the bottom line for me would be--if you'd feel better leaving your new kitten with her cat-mom for an extra week you should do it. I don't know why a responsible breeder would have a problem with it.
post #12 of 13
I know a lot of shelters let them go at 8 weeks, but 10 or 12 weeks would be better if you can leave the kitten with its mom during that time. I got Alley when she was about 6 weeks old (the people who had them were going to take to a kill shelter! ) and she didn't have any problems from it later but I was very lucky that she didn't have behavioral problems because of it. She did attach herself to me as a surrogate mama and would sleep burrowed under my neck, but she never had biting or scratching issues.
post #13 of 13
I agree with Epona. I got Jaffa as an 8 week old kitten from a shelter and Mosi from a breeder at 14 weeks. Jaffa's adorable and although I've not had any aggression issues with him, Mosi is much better socialised and apart from swiping at my hair he's very non aggressive and seems to have the same understanding as Epona's Sonic that play biting isn't on.

I can understand a rescue rehoming a kitten at 8 weeks plus, esp if they are desperate for space, but over here all the bodies that register pure bred kittens say that breeders should not let a kitten go to a new home until 13 weeks old and has had all vaccinations and that's what I consider to be the best age. I would be wary of a breeder being willing to let a kitten go to a home earlier than that as I think they really benefit from staying with mum and siblings that long.
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