Hi Becki, I got your e-mail and if it's OK, I'd like to answer your questions here so that others in the same situation as you can get the info as well.
Basically, if the kittens look healthy, are putting on weight and don't show any signs of illness or parasites (worms, fleas, ringworm, ear-mites etc.), you don't need to take them to a vet just yet. At almost 3 weeks, a vet visit would only be in order if they are ill, as the visit can cause anxiety and upset for them and mom-cat. There's advice on when to take kittens to the vet on the very first page and then throughout the web site as well.
If you go to www.kitten-rescue.com
, there's a section called Sick Kittens. In there, in a section called Parasites, you'll find all the information you need regarding what to look for in kittens if you suspect parasites.
They are in your garage at the moment and you'd like to move mom-cat and the kittens. The best place for them in your house is a kitty-proof bathroom. Have a box with soft bedding in the bottom for the nest as well as the mom-cat's food and water bowl. Elevate the water bowl on a small table or box so the kittens, as they start moving around more, don't fall into the water and drown. Keep the litter-box as far away from the food as you can as cats dislike eating near where they eliminate.
Yes, the kittens will be safe in the bathroom with mom-cat. She will make sure they don't get 'lost' in the room and will bring them back to the nest if they wander too far. You will notice the kittens showing an interest in her litter-box at around 3 1/2 to 4 weeks. This is the time you'll need to add a small litter-box for the kittens. Click here
to find out how. As these kittens have their mom, she will teach them how to use it, you don't need to do anything.
At around 4 weeks, the kittens will start showing an interest in food. As you know, the mom-cat will be eating kitten food as she's still nursing, so it's OK for the kittens to begin to experiment with tasting this food. Put a very small bowl or jar lid of water down for the kittens so they start learning about lapping water.