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Introducing kittens to the world?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So, my first litter of kittens were born four weeks ago tomorrow. Within the last week, they've started pouncing on each other, and grooming themselves.

They're currently residing in a banana box (don't ask, mama fetch kept moving them back there ), and I'll take them out when I can sit down and watch them move around. Mom doesn't mind, no longer takes them out of my hands and put them in the box (which was the cutest thing ever - Kittens belong in the BOX!), she just watches them and occasionally grooms them.

My question - they're not quite tall/strong enough to climb out of the box, but they hang on to the edge w/ their claws, heads peeking out, meowing until I come over and let them out to play. Should I let them roam around the room unsupervised? My other cats are kept out of this room (the door is always shut), but I'm just afraid they're going to get lost! (so tiny!).

If so, should I 'cut down' a side of the box so they can get in and out of it?

Also, when is a good time to introduce them to the general cat population (I have five other cats, ranging in age from 1 - 3 1/2 years). All the other cats have been introduced to the kittens one at a time, with me keeping a close eye on them. Mom doesn't like it (won't attack, but meows all concerned), but the other cats sniff the kittens, and then wander away, looking for something more interesting to do.

I'm such an overprotective meowmy I'd love any advice you could give! (must find camera cable... their heads peeking out of the box all in a row is the cutest thing -ever-)
post #2 of 6
I would definately not allow them to roam unsupervised. Their little eyes find things to get into that we can't even see. Is the room they are in kitten proofed? If so you could try letting them roam the room supervised and make sure you haven't missed anything. As for the other cats, a lot depends on their personalities. For now I'd let them come visit the kittens as long as they are not aggressive.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
The room is most definately not kitty proofd. But it's going to be exceptionally hard to do so, I'm thinking of blocking off an area with boxes, so there is nothing for them to get into, but they can run around a little.

In the meantime, I just get them out of the box, put them in the middle of the floor, and scoop them up and gently put them back when they go far 'out of bounds'

At what age can the kittens roam 'unsupervised' if they and their mom are the only cats in the room?
post #4 of 6
For me it was never a matter of what age, but how well trained they were. All activities were supervised closely. I kept my kitten confined to one area and gradually introduced new areas. The decision to introduce new areas was based on how well he responded to correction and training. They must be supervised so that you can correct and redirect unwanted behaviors. We got a 10 week old kitten in December. He was not allowed to roam freely until several weeks later, then he would sleep in his crate at night. After a few more weeks he had free access and had learned to listen very well, but he still gets in to trouble sometimes and still has lots more to learn. Your kittens are so young. Take your time. It would be great if you could have a safe area set aside for them where they had room to play. Be careful though. They will probably try to climb boxes so make sure they're sturdy and can't fall over.
post #5 of 6
I would wait till 6 weeks to do that. Right now what you are doing is fine/ You let them out supervised and they you put them back I bet mom likes that to. I would stick to that routin for the next few weeks. At 6 weeks you will have your hands full They will be able to climb
post #6 of 6
Unless you have kitten proofed EVERYTHING in the room they are in, I would not let them explore unsupervised. I also would cut down the box so they can climb over. You want them to start looking for the litter pan or at least see mom use it

In a few weeks you will be introducing them to solid foods, so they should be familiar with the pan.

If you are giving them initial shots, I'd wait till they've had some protection before really introducing them to the other cats. Now if your other cats are all up to date on shots and do not go outside, then you can let them around the kittens - I've done that and no problems.

At 4 weeks, mom will not be too upset with other cats investigating, but keep an eye on everyone. Maybe pick out the most friendly or laid back other adult cat to start checking out the kittens.

They will hiss! And the adults just might run from the kittens! My older cats didn't bother too much with kittens till they were older cause 4 week old kittens don't act like cats and they got confused.
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