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NINE Kittens!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi. I have a few questions. For those you don't remember me, I am the one whose cat (Fred) was killed by probably a coyote, a few days later took in a stray (Katie) that showed up on my doorstep, and 3 weeks later she gave birth to NINE kittens.

They're all doing AMAZINGLY well and are 5 1/2 weeks old. They eat wet and solid kitten food, nurse, use the litter box, and play like crazy!

I have some questions:

1. What age is it ok to give them to their new loving homes? I've read so many different things (8-10-12 weeks).

2. I cannot afford to take all of these kittens to a vet to get their shots - is it ok to wait until they are adopted and then the new mommies can take care of that?

3. Does the mom cat get depressed when her babies leave? Do the babies get sad too? Ugh!

Thanks for your help!
Jami

East Stroudsburg, PA
post #2 of 17
thats great that they are all doing so well.
its best to wait untill they are at least 10 weeks old more so 12 weeks would be better.

with the shots if you have homes lined up already see if they will pay for them to start their shots at 8 weeks and when they go to their new homes at 12 weeks they can take them for their second shot?? if not as long as they arnt in contact with other cats who go outside they should be fine to wait untill they go to their new homes.

yes the mum and kitten will be a bit sad when they leave that is why its best to home kittens in pairs and not to take all the kittens at once away from mum. if the mum will be the only cat left in the house when her kittens have gone, could you possibley keep one of the kittens??
and remember mum can be spayed once the kittens have stoped nursing.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamiDNYC View Post
Hi. I have a few questions. For those you don't remember me, I am the one whose cat (Fred) was killed by probably a coyote, a few days later took in a stray (Katie) that showed up on my doorstep, and 3 weeks later she gave birth to NINE kittens.

They're all doing AMAZINGLY well and are 5 1/2 weeks old. They eat wet and solid kitten food, nurse, use the litter box, and play like crazy!

I have some questions:

1. What age is it ok to give them to their new loving homes? I've read so many different things (8-10-12 weeks).

2. I cannot afford to take all of these kittens to a vet to get their shots - is it ok to wait until they are adopted and then the new mommies can take care of that?

3. Does the mom cat get depressed when her babies leave? Do the babies get sad too? Ugh!

Thanks for your help!
Jami

East Stroudsburg, PA
1) Anytime from 8-12 weeks works well. Obviously 12 weeks would be much better, but I know how difficult it can be to keep them running around for that long. I go by their maturity and how much attention they are paying to mom. I've had some real independants that are off on their own, eating on their own, and not paying any attention to mom or nursing anymore. In fact I've had a couple of moms actually swat at her babies cause she had just simply had enough! Judge by the maturity of the kitten. Obviously if it's not paying any attention to mom at all, my opinion is it's ok to let them go a little early.
2) Vetting the kittens the first round should be at 8 weeks, so I agree with what was already said - see if your adoptive parents can pay for the first round of shots. We have an agreement that our adoptive parents must sign at adoption stating that they will bring the kitten to a vet within 10 days of adoption. Some of our kittens go at 12 weeks, others go at 6-7 weeks only because they have no mom and it's a much better environment for them being in a loving caring home where they can get the special attention they need individually. These young ones only go to special adoptive parents.
As a side note - others may disagree with this (and I may get hounded), but in my opinion, if you adopt them out at 10 weeks and have the adoptive parents sign an agreement to bring them to the vet within one week, they will be seen by a vet at 11 weeks latest.
3) as for the mom cat and the kittens getting sad - it really truely depends on the mom cat and what type of personality she has. I've had moms that have looked for their kittens for weeks after they have left (very very sad), but I have also had many moms who - simply stated - after nursing for 8-10 weeks they had just had enough and didn't even realize they had gone. We've had moms swat at their babies, walk over them (not hurting them), and jump up on anything they can get to just to get away, but we've also had moms who freaked out everytime they heard a kitten cry - theirs or not. You should be able to kinda tell what your momma cat is going to do depending on how much she dotes on her kittens now. Does she panic when you pick one up? Look for it if your holding the baby and it's crying? Or does she just wander around and kinda let them do their own thing?
I've got 2 moms now - one of each. One could care less and just wants my attention. She hardly pays any attention to the babies other than her "motherly duties" of cleaning them and nursing them. My other mom, I pick up one of her babies and you can see the nervousness in her eyes and the minute the baby cries, she comes right over to me and picks the baby up out of my hands and brings it back to the bed.
post #4 of 17
Its best to keep them till 10-12 weeks old so they learn important social/mental behavior. I know it will be expensive (re shots and spaying/neutering) so I can understand the reluctance. I would guess majority of people really do not do all that before placing kittens. It would be ideal if you could afford 1st shots, etc.

I would strongly advise to get the names/addresses/phone numbers of those people who adopt the kittens, so you can follow thru with reminders. You might even get them to sign and date a paper saying they will get them spayed/neutered by a certain date - figure it to be done by the time they are 4 months old at the latest.

Good luck in adopting out - hopefully people will adopt in pairs
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of the great information.

We will be keeping one of the kittens ("Beast" - we are convinced it is "Fred") and the mom, Katie. Katie is SO incredibly sweet. She even lets me touch her paws. I can't imagine who would have abandoned her, but I think it happens in this area a lot - people who buy summer or winter homes and then split and leave their pets behind. Grrrr...

Katie lets us pick up the kittens and pretty much do whatever we want, but she usually watches. She still cleans them (rather agressively at times - shocking to see at first), and I think they are all still nursing. Of course, they're only 5 1/2 weeks old.

I'm going to see if I can find a vet who would give a discount for nine kittens and a cat. When can I take Katie in? We've never taken her to a vet, so I have no idea if she's had any shots. Everyone seems very, very healthy and happy, thank God!

It's not a problem to keep them until Labor Day weekend (12 weeks) - fortunately Walmart has Iams wet kitten food at 42 cents a can. I can't believe how much we've spent, though, on food! But it's worth it to save these amazing babies.

But maybe I will ask the prospective owners to pay for the shots - not a bad idea, but what a pain in the #$)@* to take nine kittens to the vet! I'm sure it will be a sight to see!
post #6 of 17
Let the kittens nurse another few weeks (about 7-8 weeks old), then schedule mom for a vet visit for shots and spaying. About that age the kittens will be eating pretty good on solid foods and not nursing as much - they may even start on solids around now - you can start weaning them. Mom will be pretty worn out in another week if she's nursing nine kittens
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
OH, they've been eating solid food alright! Since about 3 1/2 weeks! That's why I'm so glad Walmart has Iams kitten canned food for 42 cents! Now I understand why shelters need so much $$/donations.

I'm going through a lot of plastic bags w/all the "activity" in the litter box. My partner was asking me about a diaper genie? Has anyone ever used one? For a cat? It's such a waste, all these plastic bags. If anyone has any suggestions let me know. Thanks!!
post #8 of 17
Don't know, but could you use some smaller paper bags to scoop and then put the bags in a plastic one. We have a small trash can outside that we toss the litter bags in or when picking up dog poop and when its about half full (or when its trash day) we just have the one big plastic bag that is tied.

Do you have two litter pans for them?
post #9 of 17
petsmart has a litter thing to put the presents from the litter box in its awesome!! I have 3 cats and have three of them its called "pet mate litter locker" go to www.petsmart.com and click on litterbox and accessories you can see a picture as well as some reviews on it... a truly awesome product however the refills can get expensive...so my husband and I bought the diaper genie it last longer and blocks smell almost as good...
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Let the kittens nurse another few weeks (about 7-8 weeks old), then schedule mom for a vet visit for shots and spaying.
I took my Mama kitty and her kittens in at 8 weeks for shots and Mama still had a lot of milk in her so they didn't want to give her shots or work with me to schedule a spay. She completely dried up at 11 weeks. I went to a different vet and she got her shots and is scheduled for a spay on Aug 9th. I can't freaking wait for Aug. 9th. I don't know how people CANNOT get their cats spayed. They're sooo obnoxious when they're in heat! Also, being that she's in heat, she will hiss and growl at Vela, the kitten I am keeping, if she gets too close.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
There are two litter boxes...the one for the mom is in another room. It's amazing that she uses that one. Pretty cool! It's been such an amazing experience watching this whole process. Cats are amazing animals...so instinctive.

I'll look into the litter locker. Thanks!

So it's possible for Katie to go into heat while nursing her kittens??
post #12 of 17
yes she can go into heat while she is nursing her kittens
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamiDNYC View Post
I have some questions:

1. What age is it ok to give them to their new loving homes? I've read so many different things (8-10-12 weeks).

2. I cannot afford to take all of these kittens to a vet to get their shots - is it ok to wait until they are adopted and then the new mommies can take care of that?

3. Does the mom cat get depressed when her babies leave? Do the babies get sad too? Ugh!
answer to q 1: i think about 12 weeks is when they should go no younger. but i also recomend letting the kits meeting and getting used to their new familys a couple weeks b4 they go home.

answer to q 2: that depends on the pepl. some u will prob hav 2 take yourself others, the famlys will b more than willing to do it themselves.

answer to q 3: im actually not sure about that.i gess it depends on the cat.(and kits =) if u can afford it, mayb u culd keep the pick of the litter.

i hope im helpful!
-kittylover13
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Its best to keep them till 10-12 weeks old so they learn important social/mental behavior. I know it will be expensive (re shots and spaying/neutering) so I can understand the reluctance. I would guess majority of people really do not do all that before placing kittens. It would be ideal if you could afford 1st shots, etc.

I would strongly advise to get the names/addresses/phone numbers of those people who adopt the kittens, so you can follow thru with reminders. You might even get them to sign and date a paper saying they will get them spayed/neutered by a certain date - figure it to be done by the time they are 4 months old at the latest.

Good luck in adopting out - hopefully people will adopt in pairs
just another note.....i agree with golden kitty about gettin names/addresses/phone numbers of adoptees (i think thats the word) so u wont miss em as bad (the kittens) also the spay and neuter thing
-kittylover13
post #15 of 17
One of the other TCS members just recently found one of her kittens that she adopted out on craigslist!

So get the name/address/phone of those who adopt your kittens and make sure they know (in writing) that if they can't keep the kitten, to contact you first!
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Wow. That's unbelievable (re Craigslist). I will DEFINITELY let everyone know that we will gladly take them back if it doesn't work out. If anyone has any suggestions on finding a vet that would give a "group discount" on shots for 9 kittens, please let me know. I'll start making calls next week (they are 6 weeks old today).
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandi View Post
yes she can go into heat while she is nursing her kittens
yeah, that is what my roommates cat did. and now she is pregnant again. all but George is gone so she doesn't deal with 4 kittens but Daniel is gonna have to do something about her. our manager/roommate (landladies son) says he doesn't want any more kittens. daniel didn't take care of everything as well as he should have and the house smelled till a few weeks after they were gone.
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