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When is it okay to let kittens go outside?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We just adopted two 7wk old kittens two days ago from someone out of town who's cat gave birth. They are doing really well, very cuddly, using the box, etc. The owner told us that the mother had them outside a fair bit with her, and we would like them to spend a good chunk of their day outdoors as well.

What we would like to know is when will they be able to go out without getting lost? Do we need to do something to 'wean' them to teh outdoors around our place?

Thank you.
post #2 of 15
DO NOT THEM OUTSIDE UNTIL THEY HAVE HAD THEIR VACINATIONS!!!

They are very young kittens and should remain indoors until they are protected from infections and diseases. Ideally you would get the first vax at 10 weeks then the second at least 3 weeks after. Also get them neutered/spayed, that way they will not stray too far, and will not come home with a litter of their own!!

When the time comes, let them out for a little at a time, and stay with them to begin with. They need to get used to their territory before they try anything else, especially since you havn't had them long.

How come you got them so young? Usually kittens shouldn't leave until they are about 10 weeks and ready for the first vax
post #3 of 15
I would leave them in. The average life-span of out-door cats is only 2 1/2 years. You could find yourself with lots of vet bills too. Cats get into fights, hit by cars, get fleas, worms, skin conditions......there are many things that can happen to outdoor cats.

In or out....please get you kitties spayed/neutered before they are 6 months old.

Good luck and congratulations on your new kitties!!!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadieandziggy View Post
How come you got them so young? Usually kittens shouldn't leave until they are about 10 weeks and ready for the first vax
They were offered in the newspaper, and we were told it was a good time for them to be separated from the mother. They are fully weaned onto kitty food, as well as litter box trained. They were born July 11 we were told. Maybe in retrospect it was slightly too early, but hopefully they'll be fine.
post #5 of 15
They don't need to ever go out. It's best for them. There is so much danger out there! Now if it's already an outdoor cat, not a big deal...but it's young enough now to adapt to an all-indoor life.

If you do decide to make them indoor/outdoor cat, PLEASE make sure all vacines are up to date and that they are spayed/neut. Kittens don't get their rabies shots until they're 3 lbs., some shelters do the surgery at 3 lbs. as well.

I hope you decide to keep the little ones inside!
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hdizzy View Post
They don't need to ever go out. It's best for them. There is so much danger out there! Now if it's already an outdoor cat, not a big deal...but it's young enough now to adapt to an all-indoor life.



I hope you decide to keep the little ones inside!


I completely agree!!! I can't tell you how many cats I saw my next door neighbor go through growing up because they were indoor/outdoor cats. How would you feel if one day they don't come home? It's a terrible feeling, I saw many tears!!!!
post #7 of 15
Another vote for indoor cats! Of course indoor cats need neutering, too; and one must play with them often to keep them entertained... but all in all, the indoor life is much happier for cat and owner alike. After all, we humans have adjusted to living in houses--why not domestic cats?

Lots of people giving away kittens in the newspaper will try to give them away too young--they are "cute" when they're too young, and some people are just ignorant. Most kittens living on their own too young don't have really bad effects, though sometimes there are behavior problems like not properly knowing how to wash themselves (and such)... Yours have an advantage because you have two of them, so they will at least have each other to learn things like interaction between cats, how to play safely (without the claws), how to get along with another cat...
post #8 of 15
The last post reminded me...2 kittens ARE always better than 1! They'll keep each other occupied and tire each other out. So if you want them to go outside to stay out of your way, they'll already be staying out of your way some because they have each other!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, the two kittens are brothers and are very good together. They have both been socialized extensively, and are very affectionate. They also tolerate our brittany spaniel very well, even though the dog is quite nervous of them. I truly appreciate all the advice has given, but we have decided that they are going to be indoor/outdoor cats. We will call the vet monday to see about shots and spaying.

Thanks everybody.
post #10 of 15
Would it be possible to build an enclosure for them outside? That would be the best of both worlds.
post #11 of 15
They will need their 1st distemper shot @ 8-10 weeks, then exactly 3-4 weeks later the booster. One week after that they are UTD on the distmper. Rabies cannot be done until 12 weeks. As you have decided on indoor/outdoor, make sure they are vaccianted for FeLV(feline leukemia). I believe that shot is one shot, then a booster some weeks later? Make sure to test for FeLV prior to vaccinating. And make sure both are fixed.

Just be cautious....if you live near a busy road they could get hit & killed. Be watchful for anything that could be a predator. They are very young & small, thus look very edible right now.
post #12 of 15
Just to add that if you're in the UK they don't need to be vaccinated against rabies unless you're travelling abroad with them, so don't get them vaccinated against that unneccesarily
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
They will need their 1st distemper shot @ 8-10 weeks, then exactly 3-4 weeks later the booster. One week after that they are UTD on the distmper. Rabies cannot be done until 12 weeks. As you have decided on indoor/outdoor, make sure they are vaccianted for FeLV(feline leukemia). I believe that shot is one shot, then a booster some weeks later? Make sure to test for FeLV prior to vaccinating. And make sure both are fixed.

Just be cautious....if you live near a busy road they could get hit & killed. Be watchful for anything that could be a predator. They are very young & small, thus look very edible right now.
i completly agree with this, i have no problems with cats being indoor/outdoors as long as there not just stuck outside untill your ready for them to come in, all mine are indoor/outdoor except for one who dosnt like to go out, once there spayed/neutered and all shots are done, normally i start letting them out around 10 months to a year old. mine come in and out most of the day, normally stay outside for 10 mins then want back in and this goes on and on through out the day.
post #14 of 15
Yes, you really do have to get a cat flap or something, so they can come in when they want to, unless there's somebody home all the time to let them in if they ask? My neighbor's poor Baby Girl would be out for days at a time, no food and no water, mewing to be let back in, with nobody hearing her... Well, she's my Baby Girl now Neighbor let me have her, and she's better off for it, I think. If you let your cats out, make sure they have water out there--summers can get hot--and shelter. Food's OK indoors, just as long as they're mostly indoors. If they're mostly outdoors, you might have to feed them out there too, though I don't recommend it--they could change their "base of operations" to be even more standoffish, if you didn't keep them coming back to you for food.
post #15 of 15
I would advocate them to be totally indoor cats, but if you must have them outside - do NOT let them go out without supervision. So either train them to a leash/harness and stay with them; or build the kittens a cat enclosure where they can sit outside for a few hours but be protected.

IMO you have too many dangers outside, not to mentioned worrying about fleas, etc.
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