or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care › How old should a kitten be before taken away from Mum?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How old should a kitten be before taken away from Mum?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, I have been looking for a kitten to add to our home. I have a two year old boy so I would like a younger cat to kind of 'fit in'. Thing is, I have seen some adds in our area and I am not sure that they are right. Some are only 5 weeks old, I am sure that that must be way too young? I have seen another that is 9 weeks old. Too be honest, I am not sure of the right age but I do not want to have a kitty that has been taken away from mum too soon. Could anyone advise me on an age for a kitten that I should be looking at. I got my cat Al from a rescue place and he was about 5 months. Thanks
post #2 of 8
Here in the Netherlands it is illegal to seperate kittens from their mothers before they are seven weeks old, breeders are obligated to keep their kittens for 13 weeks (and minimum weight of 1 kilogram) and cat behaviourists often advise 16 weeks because that is the most natural state of things.

It depends on the situation the kitten is in of course, a wild kitten in a rescue situation might benefit more from going on to a new home earlier because there it could get more socialization than on the street, or a kitten without mom has nothing to lose anymore, but in an ideal situation a kitten will continue learning from mom as long as it stays with her and try as we might, a kitten can never learn all things it needs to know the same way from us as it would fron a real cat mom.

If the mom is still present and the kitten is in a safe environment, it is not only socially better for the kitten to remain there for longer, but also physically. A kitten needs time to develop its immunesystem. Kittens that are 7 weeks of age do not have a fully developed immunesystem, are not completely vaccinated yet and still benefit from antibodies in the mother's milk. To take away mom is to take away that protection too.
If you adopt a kitten from a family you can always ask them to vaccinate the kitten there if you pay for it.

I am sure a lot of people will chime in to say that with just a little love the teeny tiny kittens will be OK too, and that they adopted tiny kittens and they are all fine. It would be nice if that was always the case (or if more people were better at realizing that their cat does actually have some behavioural issues, they often go unrecognized). Ernesto and Mimosa were born on a farm and came to live with us when they were 7 weeks old, it wasnt until we got two purebred kittens that were placed at 3 and 4 months old that we realized Ernesto and Mimosa acted differently and had some problems.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimosa View Post
I am sure a lot of people will chime in to say that with just a little love the teeny tiny kittens will be OK too, and that they adopted tiny kittens and they are all fine. It would be nice if that was always the case (or if more people were better at realizing that their cat does actually have some behavioural issues, they often go unrecognized). Ernesto and Mimosa were born on a farm and came to live with us when they were 7 weeks old, it wasnt until we got two purebred kittens that were placed at 3 and 4 months old that we realized Ernesto and Mimosa acted differently and had some problems.
Persi was the first cat in my life that was not a shelter cat. He is a CFA registered cat with champion parents. Nonetheless, for some reason the breeder sold me Persi when he was only 7 weeks old. I did not know any better. Soon after that I found and joined TCS where I learned a lot of things, including what age to bring kittens home. Your comment makes me wonder what Persi might be like had I waited until 12 weeks to take delivery on him.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. The kitten that I had found is only 9 weeks old, bless his little heart. She has sold the rest. I wonder if I could buy him but keep him there with his mum until he was of the age to leave. I think I will ask her that, Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated
post #5 of 8
The ideal age would be a minimum of 10-12 weeks. And 12-16 weeks is even better. If the kitten is allowed to stay with mom/siblings for the first 3 months, they will wind up better socialized and mentally ready to leave.

Under that age, they can exhibit bad habits such as not knowing how to really play, playing too rough, separation anxiety. Even if they are eating solid foods and using a litter pan at 8 weeks old, doesn't mean they are mentally ready to leave home. Many kittens will still nurse at 8-10 weeks old if mom is allowing it.

With pedigree cats, most breeders will let them go at 3-4 months old and the kittens are well adjusted by that time.
post #6 of 8
12 weeks is best!

They need to learn from their mommy, still. Take them away too early and they turn into "terror" cats.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommysMeows View Post
12 weeks is best!

They need to learn from their mommy, still. Take them away too early and they turn into "terror" cats.
I just showed your comment to Persi.
post #8 of 8
lol...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care › How old should a kitten be before taken away from Mum?