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the debate

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I have been raising some orphans that belonged to a friend's cat (she left them in her garage and took off) and they are doing great! Right now they are on KMR nice pooing (well for them). Of course kittens grow up fast so I was thinking about weaning them (5 weeks fully)...but I'm not sure how to. KMR has the cereal but some people say mixing kitten milk with dry kibble...and I was thinking of even introducing them to raw. While I would like to raw feed them...I'm more concerned about them finding a good home.

Has anyone tried KMR 2nd step? Was it an easier transition than using kibble with kitten milk?

My other debate is having them altered. We have a huge problem with kittens in our area. I honestly think six months is a little unreasonable to keep a kitten. I was reading on behaviour and decided to make them adoptable at 12 weeks instead of 8 (which is what most people do here). So I was thinking of having this litter (one of three I have) done at 12 weeks at SPCA. Good idea?

Another thing is vaccinations. I am a firm believer of only vaccinating for things if they are absolutely needed by law (even for myself). I was thinking of letting adopters decide if thats what they want done. I was thinking of asking that and maybe going half on having vaccinations done if they want those prior to going home. Does this also sound fine?
post #2 of 7
Bless your heart for taking in these kittens!! Orphaned kittens are quite the handful - I've done 2 litters and what a job!!!

With the 2 litters that I did, the ones that were harder to wean were the ones that were younger when orphaned. They got really attached to me with a bottle, and were stubborn little ones. Transitioning their KMR first to a shallow kitten bowl will teach them to lap, and relate food to a bowl. From there I mixed wet food with KMR and eventually worked out the KMR. I never tried KMR Next Step so I can't comment on that.

Shelters across the country regularly neuter when a kitten weighs 2 pounds, which is usually about 8 weeks old. This practice has been in place for over 25 years, and while a lot of old school vets have issues with it, every shelter vet does it regularly. There are no known problems with early speuters. Going thru the SPCA for their young neuters is a great idea. You can go earlier than 12 weeks.

For vaccinations? My personal belief is to fully vaccinate kittens to help them build up immunities to the bad diseases. Distemper can kill them fast, and FeLV is nearly impossible for a kitten to fight against on their own. I never, ever vaccinate for FIV or FIP. FIP is a waste of money, and FIV vaccinations cause a false positive for the disease later in life. I would talk to the SPCA vet for their opinion on this also. Rabies isn't done until they are a few months old so you wouldn't have to worry about that.
post #3 of 7
I second getting their first series of vaccs done, if you have raised then, that means they have gone without whatever antibodies their mother would have passed to them by nursing.
So they especially need at least their first series.
I also never vacc for FIV or FIP
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
yeah good idea...I don't think mama cat was vaccinated either. I am trying to earn funds to have her two cats spayed (one had a miscarriage at 8 months). Wish me luck!

My only problem is getting the actual makers of the vaccinations. I hear there is research being done because of some cancer?
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sober_drunkenes View Post
yeah good idea...I don't think mama cat was vaccinated either. I am trying to earn funds to have her two cats spayed (one had a miscarriage at 8 months). Wish me luck!

My only problem is getting the actual makers of the vaccinations. I hear there is research being done because of some cancer?
The old feline rabies vaccine rarely causes a cancerour tumor at the injection site in a very very small number of cases like 2-3 out of 10,000 cats, I don't know the real figure... They had just introduced a new one with out the carrier agent that supposedly causes the tumor.

Not a real good reason to go without, considering rabies is 100percent fatal to cats and humans.

Maybe someone can chime in with better facts.
post #6 of 7
From the standpoint of having seen dozens of un-vaccinated cats die from distemper in the shelter, I highly recommend at bare minimum the first series of kitten shots. With each vaccination, there is increased risk of developing cancer at the injection site. However, IMO, that risk is minimal when you are considering only doing the initial shots (and leaving it up to the adopters if they wish to vaccinate again). Due to the fact that I foster - and I have had distemper kittens in my home - I keep all my pets UTD on shots. I increase the chance of cancer from the vaccines....but I'm not willing to risk their health knowing I could come into contact with distemper at any time.

The shelter's vet will fix kittens at 8 weeks/2 lbs. For normal people, though, he prefers they wait until 4-5 months, if not 6 months. It is much easier if you alter them prior to adoption, as that way you are 100% sure they aren't out there reproducing.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I don't think people can get rabies vaccinations till six months (i mean getting the kitten vaccinated).

So what about the "vaccinations" through the dropper...where you put drops in the eyes and/or nose? Do those have a high cancer rate too? I believe a vet around here does those if asked for.
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