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8 weeks too young???

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hmmm...

Okay,we grew up always having cats and kittens.And I always grew up thinking they could go at 6 weeks.THEN as I got older,I read/learned that 6 weeks was too young and 8 weeks is ideal.

I just brought my kittens home and they are about 8 weeks.
After joining here and reading some threads,people say 8 weeks is too young...

Now I am really confused!
post #2 of 24
At the shelter we usually separate them at 6 weeks. That's not the ideal time but we don't have the room to keep them. They seem to do fine after 6 weeks. My cat was an orphan and I got her at 4 weeks. The only problem with her is that she plays too rough.
post #3 of 24
The recommended age for kittens with their mom living in an environment where they can stay with her, the ideal age is 12-16 weeks. At 6 weeks they are still nursing, and on to 10 or so weeks they need to still be allowed to snack on mom if they wish. She also has a lot of important things to teach those babies. Socialization, behavior, hunting, litterbox, etc...
post #4 of 24
My Rosie was only 6 weeks old when i got her and she suckled on her blanket for ages, and still does now and again.

Jack was seperated from his semi feral mum at 6 weeks to get him socialised, and he suckles on my sleeve because he's under a year old.

Sophie on the other hand left her mum at 12-13 weeks and she's never suckled, so yes, the longer the better.
post #5 of 24
Ideal age is really 12-16 weeks old - minimum of 10 weeks. During 4-12 weeks is a critical time of learning and they really need to be kept with mom/siblings as long as possible for a healthy kitten emotionally and physically.

Under 10 weeks they exhibit behavior problems (most) and that's where people get frustrated and ask "why does my kitten...?"

If at all possible, please keep the family together till 10-12 weeks. They are still very much kittens, but you can train them some house rules in that time too.

My rexes were never let go before 4 months of age. And I've had many owners be amazed at how well mannered they are when adopted compared to previous kittens they got at 8 weeks old.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
I see.
Well...the kittens are with me now,so what can I do?
post #7 of 24
I got Dahmer at 6 weeks, he was left at the petshop with his siblings but no mother. Kayden...sheesh I don't quite remember if I got Kayden at 8 weeks or 12 weeks. Kayden shows signs of leaving the mother too early while Dahmer shows no signs.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by 709Juggalette View Post
I see.
Well...the kittens are with me now,so what can I do?
Just show them lots of love and affection and make sure they have proper kitten food until their approx 1 year old. It'll help that theres more than one kitten so they can keep each other company

Are they using the litter box ok?. Although Rosie was only 6 weeks she was using it no problem.
post #9 of 24
I disagree with kitten food till a year old. Most kittens are fine on adult foods by 6-7 months old - depends on the body build of the kitten.

As far as what to do, just be aware of the different phases they will go thru and don't expcet them to know all the rules - you'll have to teach them. And because they are young, I advise you to get several litter pans; especially if they are allowed on multiple levels.

It might be wise to put them in a bedroom if you are not around to supervise - 8 week old kittens can get into anything!
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice.

Yes,they are using the litterbox with no problem.

I actually have them in my bedroom for the time being.My bedroom is large tho and they will not be banised there forever,just for the time being...until they get a little more used to their surroundings.And in the day I keep the door open with a baby gate up (they do not try and jump it yet) so they can look out.

I have a foster dog who sniffs at them thru the baby gate as well.
post #11 of 24
My 2 girls are 7 1/2 weeks old and are very good at using the litterbox. I have had them now for 4 days. They need to learn that our legs are not trees but haven't been too much problem.

They only problem I had was that yesterday morning, my hubby found out that they can sqeeze in the little space between the dishwasher and the wall at the baseboard. we had to find something to block that off. Don't want them getting stuck there!
post #12 of 24
Id just give them cuddles and non stop love! It helps that there is more than one, they can learn from each other!! Thank you for saving some kittens!

My Eek was a peanut when I got him, I got him on Nov 21st I think, and he was born Oct 27th, and well, he's not so little anymore! I had to bottle feed him for a while, so I Think you'll be fine! Sounds like you're doing a good job!!
post #13 of 24
Kandie was 11 weeks .. for her a bit too long as she was very independant and already a well versed hunter...

Simon I found at five to six weeks .... he was bottled ( I was 12 and thought it was fun ) and a suckler till his dying day

10-12 is a general with 16 being better but less likely for non breeder gotten cats
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I disagree with kitten food till a year old. Most kittens are fine on adult foods by 6-7 months old
Again, i listen to the advice from my vet and it did mine no harm

Sophie decided to stop having kitten food by herself when she was about 10 months old.
post #15 of 24
There are some who feed their cats kitten food all their lives. The ones I personally know get enough exercise and are perfect weights.
post #16 of 24
You guys do what you want, but I've had enough experience in both purebred and mixed cats. I go by the body build of the cat as to when they switch over - not by the advice of a vet And my cats have always been healthy and at the proper weight for their size

I"ve seen too many fat cats who's owners fed them kitten food for a year cause it was on the package or the vet told them. Once they gain that weight its very hard to get them to lose it.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
You guys do what you want, but I've had enough experience in both purebred and mixed cats. I go by the body build of the cat as to when they switch over - not by the advice of a vet And my cats have always been healthy and at the proper weight for their size
If that works for you, then that's fine also
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by 709Juggalette View Post
Hmmm...

Okay,we grew up always having cats and kittens.And I always grew up thinking they could go at 6 weeks.THEN as I got older,I read/learned that 6 weeks was too young and 8 weeks is ideal.

I just brought my kittens home and they are about 8 weeks.
After joining here and reading some threads,people say 8 weeks is too young...

Now I am really confused!
I have books that say 12 weeks is idea. Persi was only 7 weeks when I brought him home and he is a well adjusted cat. I brought Shelby home at 8 weeks and she was ready to leave her "safe" room on the second day and interfaced well with everybody. So, the general rule is not always right, but it is still the general rule that I read.
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well I didn't get much sleep...one of the kitties,little Ratchet hollered and mewed ALL night long.I checked on them a few times and I am thinking he either wanted to be out of the room or with me.The other guy was quiet the whole night,so maybe Ratchet is just going to be a vocal cat!

My foster dog growled at them last night,so I am going to have to take things slow and am going to put her on leash her tonight and see what happens.She only met them through the baby gate and I am not risking anything else.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
You guys do what you want, but I've had enough experience in both purebred and mixed cats. I go by the body build of the cat as to when they switch over - not by the advice of a vet And my cats have always been healthy and at the proper weight for their size

I"ve seen too many fat cats who's owners fed them kitten food for a year cause it was on the package or the vet told them. Once they gain that weight its very hard to get them to lose it.
The vet (unless they are specifically a feline nutritionist) is someone I would prefer not to ask about food advice! Most vets promote the crappy foods they sell in their own clinics and that should tell you something right there! If I hear one more vet tell me Science Diet, Iams and Purina are great foods I will kick them! Anyways, it is important to go by the weight of the cat. If the kitten is gaining like crazy and is a tubby little thing at 7 months old, the OF COURSE quit giving them the more fattening kitten food. That should just be common sense In general I do agree that it isn't necessary to feed kitten food all the way to one year, but all kitties are different!
post #21 of 24
My experience may not be typical, but just to let you know things can work out...

I TNR and socialize (if possible) feral cats. Years ago, a vet friend told me that the ideal age to "tame" a feral cat was 5 weeks, as week by week they get more feral, as taught by their mother.
A couple of years ago, a VERY feral cat had 4 kittens on my property. We greatly enjoyed seeing the 4 little mites, whom she had (wisely) stashed in a barrel filled with grass clipping to the top, once their eyes were open. They were tiny, but safe from lots of predators. Though I was determined not to increase my indoor cat population, we could not resist peering at them and occasionally running a finger over their itsy bodies.
Mama cat did not like that & moved her babies into the garden foliage, but they tended to totter out into the grass to say hello. So Mama cat decided to get them well away from the evil giant humans, and stashed them under my car in the driveway, next to the street! I could not let them become kitten pancakes, so I snatched them all up. At that time they were 5-6 weeks old and so small they walked right through the bars of the crate in which I keep post-spay TNR cats. (We wrapped it with chicken wire to contain them. Otherwise we would never have found them in the house.)
Yes, we had to bottle-feed them for a few weeks, but they slept in a heap together, which I think helped their feelings of security. I set up a 4'x4' play area for them with toys, dry food & water and let them play there together for 2 or 3 periods a day.
As they grew larger, I kept them in 2 crates, mixing & matching. They still played together as a group. During this time they got vet care and all shots.
I found homes for 3 of them at around 3 months of age, two to the same house and one to a house with a very ladylike adult cat (who was horrified at the rambunctious kitten who loved to bounce all over her. He had to have crate time-outs, but now they are inseperable.) I kept the "leftover" kitten, who dashed out of the crate with glee and never looked back.
What were they like, after being seperated from Mama cat at 5 weeks?

1. ALL used a litter box from day 1
2. They played like little predators, junping on each other and play-fighting.
3. They were all petted and handled several times a day by 2-3 people. All became affectionate and friendly with people. They went to live with people with whom I am still in touch, and I still hear how sweet & laid-back they are.
4. My little "leftover" is the most outgoing of all my cats. Although there are territorial disputes among the related subsets of cats, every cat loves & tolerates her. (No adult cats had contact with the kittens growing up, but they prowled about the crates, so they were very used to their smell.)

I think it is more traumatic for single infant cats to be seperated from their mother, but this litter always had each other, a safe & stable atmosphere and lots of human contact & affection from Day 1 inside, so they have grown into exceptionally well-adjusted (indoor) cats.

So if you have two or more kittens and they have each other to snuggle with, they should do OK.
(Incidentally, none of them suckle. My little one kneads, as do my eldest. Most of the other cats, tamed from feral older, no not knead.)
post #22 of 24
I got my cat Miya when she was 6 weeks old, She is now 8 weeks old and things have been fine.
We picked her up from a pet store and all her brothers and sisters had all ready been sold.
She was able to use the litter tray instantly as she had been trained at the pet store. We feed her Royal Cannon baby cat food and she eats that fine.
She is just very playful as she is at that age.
I play with her all the time as I am a University Student studying computer graphics and have to do a lot of self study at home.
Had no issue with suckling or acting strangly.
I am not saying that getting 6 week old cats is fine just that I have not had an issue.
The first pet store that we looked at had extreamly young kittens. If my cat Miya was 6 weeks when we got her then these where at least 2 - 3 weeks. The whole litter was huddled together and all had there eyes closed.
Not good
post #23 of 24
Problem is that 6-8 week old kittens are STILL nursing, whether or not they are nibbling on solid foods. Even up to 3 months old can they nurse. Its better to keep mom/siblings together for as long as possible.

As far as kittens in a pet shop younger then 6 weeks - that's INHUMANE and dangereous as they cant even get shots till 6-8 weeks old!
post #24 of 24
Eek has turned into a suckler, and I hate to say it but, I LOVE IT!! My Glitch use to do that, and I loved it then too! So sweet!

I cant say much about the kitten chow thing because BooBoo has pretty much been on it his whole life except for right after Tissy died and I switched to Hills Science diet CD because he got a UTI (which is what killed Tissy) so then we got Glitch and Kitten died, so we got Kitten chow that the vet said would be UTI friendly for BooBoo, Nutro Natural Choice kitten chow, and BooBoo has actually lost a pound on it and is much more playful! He only weighs 13lbs now! Then we got Moocha, he died, then Glitch died, so back to Hills we went, and he wouldn't eat it, then we got Eek and then HoBoJax so back to kitten chow we go!! He loves it though, they all do!
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