Originally Posted by JamiDNYC
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!
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.