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mom won't wean babies?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
we had thought she was but now it seems that she isn't. she has 6 seven week old kittens. they are eating solid food (wet and dry) and finally getting the hang of the litter box.. but i don't want to give them away (we're only keeping two) if she is still feeding. if she's outside (she's an indoor-outdoor girl) outside they eat kitten food and don't think twice about it - but mom is inside they will over power her until she lays down so they can eat. and she won't stop them - or try to stop them. if she's standing they'll come under her and eat - they are big enough now she can't escape them on the furniture either b/c they can climb up on it (they've even been on the penthouse of the cat condo!)

any ideas why?
post #2 of 17
Kittens don't stop drinking milk just because they've started on solids. That's why you need to keep them until 12 weeks old before rehoming.

Also, mum needs to stay indoors at all times until she is spayed or she will become pregnant again (if she hasn't already), that would not be good for her at all.
post #3 of 17
My Momma weaned three at 8 weeks and one at 10 weeks. I think it depends on the kitties.
post #4 of 17
Kittens aren't supposed to be completely weaned before 8 weeks anyway, and some just take a little longer than others. On the other hand, if she's trying to wean them and they're just being that persistent, giving her some place she can go to that they can't will help her wean them.

Also, I noticed you're letting her outdoors...in that case, may I strongly recommend getting her fixed? Cats can get pregnant while they're still nursing a previous litter, and I've even heard of cats nursing two of their own litters at once. Getting her spayed also tends to dry up the milk because the ovaries, which are removed, are major hormone sources and disrupting her hormones can stop the milk. This will help with weaning because they won't be able to get milk from her, although they might continue the nursing behaviour for a while because to them it's also a form of cuddling.

Also, feeding isn't the only reason to keep a kitten around its mom. Even if it's fully weaned at 8 weeks, mama cat will keep raising it and teaching it how to be a cat, so the usual recommendation is to keep them together until 12 weeks if possible.

...and I see a few of us posted at about the same time.
post #5 of 17
The breeding female Siamese my mother had was a great mother.
Should would introduce them to food at around 4 weeks, but she never started weaning until 10 weeks and they were doing more chewing on her than sucking.
When allowed to raise kittens, most females will not wean until around 10 weeks.
In the mean time, she will prepare them for life as a cat, teaching them proper manners, how to use the litterbox correctly (how to hunt if feral) and how to get humans to do anything for them.
In the end, then wind up better equipped to deal with whatever comes along and are less likely to develope behavioral issues later in life.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
The breeding female Siamese my mother had was a great mother.
Should would introduce them to food at around 4 weeks, but she never started weaning until 10 weeks and they were doing more chewing on her than sucking.
When allowed to raise kittens, most females will not wean until around 10 weeks.
In the mean time, she will prepare them for life as a cat, teaching them proper manners, how to use the litterbox correctly (how to hunt if feral) and how to get humans to do anything for them.
In the end, then wind up better equipped to deal with whatever comes along and are less likely to develope behavioral issues later in life.
Totally agree.
This is my 1sy go around with moms/newborns. My babies are 10 weeks old. The one litter of 4 still tries to nurse, but mom swats at them or cleans them instead to deter them. But she's also in a bad mood due to going into heat already (she goes in on the 28th for spay!!) The other litter (of 7)-3 are totally weaned, 1 already moved out with her new family. the 2 runts still nurse a lot, and the 1 big male baby tries to nurse, but gets bored with it pretty quickly. All of the babies have a healthy appetite for dry/wet/prepared food.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
we have un-fixed males indoors so her getting pregnant again is possible even if she stays inside. we let her outside mainly because she asks to go. she was an indoor/outdoor girl until she got pregnant. we'd rather her go outside for a little bit than to claw the door/walls trying to get out. neither of us has had kittens before so we thought they were ready to be given away - i guess we have a few more weeks with a house full of cats :-)
post #8 of 17
It is far better to keep her in a bedroom than let her outside to get pregnant again, just keep her shut away from your unneutered boy and get them both fixed soon as you can.

You are risking her health by letting her out to mate with the neighbourhood tom, and also by getting pregnant again right after having a litter.
post #9 of 17
Cats can have STDs too...if you're not going to get her fixed right away, even if she does mate, better that it be with one of your own cats (as long as he's healthy) rather than whatever's wandering around.
post #10 of 17
Molly nursed Spunky till he was almost a year. The vet wouldn't spay her until she stopped.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyforinfo View Post
Molly nursed Spunky till he was almost a year. The vet wouldn't spay her until she stopped.
wow. On both counts.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nursedoggett View Post
wow. On both counts.
Yeah, I would think that having the mama cat's male offspring of fertile age in the household would be an excellent reason to spay. Not just accidental kittens, genetically screwed up accidental kittens.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
this is her first litter and she doesn't have any siblings here - hopefully i'll find work soon and we can get her and all the boys fixed.
post #14 of 17
Do you have an low income clinics? Do you have a no kill shelter you could give the kittens to?

Please please keep momma inside--don't let her get pregnant. I know how badly she wants to be outside but don't give in.

I listened to my stray momma yowl for 6 weeks in her enclosure outside while she was in heat (day and night she yowled)--but I didn't give in to her, and she was spayed this week finally.

Leslie
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bennett View Post
this is her first litter and she doesn't have any siblings here - hopefully i'll find work soon and we can get her and all the boys fixed.
Please understand, I'm not bashing you--in fact my two cats aren't yet spayed either because I haven't had money and time at the same time since they've been old enough. They also haven't made any kittens in the three years I've had them, because I keep them isolated from intact males. (They were, until recently, around our dearly departed neutered male, Chilsa, who didn't know he was fixed therefore tried his best to make kittens with them, but I didn't care about that, because, no kittens.)

Think about it--if you're having trouble being able to afford to get her spayed, how would you be able to get several more litters of kittens fixed? Please keep her from getting pregnant again by keeping her away from males until at least she can get fixed! And, if money is a concern, you don't have to get them all fixed at once--you can do them one at a time, starting with her. (People think they should start with the males because they're cheaper, but really, it's more important to get the females done because the female is more important to cat reproduction. In 2-3 months, 1 male and 10 females will make 10 litters, but 1 female and 10 males will make 1 litter.)
post #16 of 17
I'm having the same issue. Loudmouth has a new litter of 7 one week old kittens, but the last 4 from her last litter of 7 are now 17 to 18 weeks old, and STILL nursing. I've gotten to the point where I loosely wrap an ace bandage around her belly when she's out around the older litter. She doesn't mind it too much, and it keeps the older ones from attacking her.
post #17 of 17
There is no way to force a cat to wean her kittens, but she'll do it when their claws get sharp enough!
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