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new litter questions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We got a young cat (6 mos old) for our daughter for xmas. Turned out the cat was pregnant. She gave birth to 6 healthy kittens on 2/7/08.

Question 1: When are they weened to where we need to start feeding them ourselves?

Question 2: They are now climbing out of their cube and prancing around the living room. Is this ok or do they still need to be confined? Every now and then mama cat carries one of them back to the cube they were born in.

Question 3: When to start litter training?

Thanks for any other tips you can give us as we are new cat people. Looking forward to your responses.

post #2 of 10
You can start giving them some kitten food around 4 weeks, but by 6 weeks they should be eating pretty well.

Litter training is going to involve keeping them in a small place, such as a bathroom, with a low-sided litter box (a cake pan is what I've used, before), until they get used to using it. They will probably still have the occasional accident, but try to clean that up right away so they don't get in a bad habit.
post #3 of 10
I am glad they are ok. 6 Months is Young for a Cat to have Kittens. Start weaning them around 4-6 Weeks and Litter Box Training at the same time. They will learn to use the pan fast. Thye will copy the Mom. I would not let them run all over yet. Thye are al ittle young for that. Are they in the bathroom? I let mine out in there at that age.
post #4 of 10
Welcome to TCS!

Question 1: I start introducing food to my foster kittens at 4-5 weeks of age. I start with some KMR and when they're lapping that up I add some canned kitten food to it. I slowly add more canned food and less KMR so that they're eating just canned by 6 weeks old. I then start introducing dry food at about 7 weeks old. Be sure and keep the kittens with momma until they are 10-12 weeks old.

Question 2: I have my kittens set up in a "puppy play pen" that someone gave me. It's a large area, but I still take them out and let them walk around a couple times a day outside of their pen. I keep them confined until they're climbing out on their own and there's no point in trying to keep them confined anymore, LOL.

Question 3: I start introducing a litter box at 3-4 weeks old. I put it in their play pen with them and when they start moving around and exploring they'll go and check it out. At first they'll just play in it, and probably try to eat it... so make sure that you have only non-clumping litter in the box. Their momma uses the box too, so they learn pretty quickly by watching her and are usually reliably using the box by 6-7 weeks old.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
No they are actually in the living room. Mama had a spot where she liked to lay back in the corner by the heater so I made her a cube to get in and she took right to it. What is the concern of letting them run around? Safety? Soiling the carpet? I just dont want to interfere with the mothering from mama cat.
post #6 of 10
They can get hurt in a big room. Is there alot of stuff in the Room they can get into.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
They can get hurt in a big room. Is there alot of stuff in the Room they can get into.

Nah, if they get too far away (12 feet) mama snatches em up by the scruff and hauls em back to the crib.

They are in a 2'x2' cube with a 8" hole in the middle. I didnt figure they would be climbing out so soon but there is no keeping a couple of them in there any more.

Im not too concerned with them getting hurt, we have the small places they can get into blocked off.
post #8 of 10
That is ok then. Just make sure you watch them. They will start to get hyper when they get older.
post #9 of 10
The mother should have high quality kitten food available to her free feeding ever since you found out she was prego, and she will eventually show the babies how to eat it. They will eat the dry food and nurse off and on until they are older and momma pushes them away. I never have bothered with KMR and wet food and all that, they will take right to the dry and if not they will nurse a little longer. Same with the litterbox, momma will show them how to use it when it's time and they will learn fast. Don't forget when the kittens hit 5-6 weeks they can get their first vaccines. Then they get another at 9 weeks and another at 12 weeks and then they can be spayed/neutered and adopted out or kept if you want to. Please get momma cat spayed when the babies do asap. She can get pregnant again if she got out and once her male babies hit 4-5 months if you have them, they can also get her pregnant too! Good luck!
post #10 of 10
As long as mom has plenty of milk, you don't have to start introducing them to sloppy wet canned kitten food till about 5-6 weeks old. If you push too soon, they will not be interested in it. Pedigree or mixed, I never tried to get kittens to eat solids before 5 weeks old - you only frustrate yourself worrying about them not eating.

I put a litter pan (shallow cake pan) in the room or cage from about 3-4 weeks old. They will play in it more, but if they are with mom and see her using the litter box, they will follow too.

Please plan on keeping mom and siblings all together till they are at least 10-12 weeks old. During those first 10 weeks they learn a lot about kitten behaviors, cat stuff, how to control themselves and "fight". This is important to their social and mental behaviors and you will have a much better well adjusted kitten to go to their new homes.
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