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What is Mom Teaching Them?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was wondering the benefit of the kittens staying until 12 weeks. (I feel terrible, I think several years ago I took a 6-week-old kitten.)

Anyway, our family will be leaving on a planned-since-September trip to England and the kittens will only be about 11 weeks old. I'm assuming that it will be ok to re-home the kittens then. But it would be nice to be able to explain to people who think they should be getting their kittens NOW...what Mom is teaching them.

Thanks! - Kim
post #2 of 11
11 Weeks should be fine so long as they are all 1) eating solid foods on their own 2) using the litter box consistantly 3) have received at least the first two kittens vaccinations for Rhinotraceitis, Calici and Panleukopenia and 4) are either spayed or neutered OR you have a very solid contract with your adopters to have that done no later than 4 to 6 months old.

Towards the end of their term with Mom, she teaches them social skills, how to hunt, how to be stealthy, how to protect themselves ... lots of stuff. But for inside kitties how don't have to do such things, it really isn't something you need to worry about so much. At 11 weeks, your babies are probably just fine.

Best of luck,

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much Gaye, I knew you'd know. I notice she's imparted a few of her habits to them already. (They eat on a towel, little pigs, and she's taught them how to cover up their food dishes up with the towel!)

Do humans help socialize them as well? I try and interact in not only playful ways, but in calming ways by stroking and holding them.
post #4 of 11
I don't know what specifically kittens learn on week 11. If it was me, I would rehome them before the vacation, if they are 10-11 weeks old. I do like keeping babies with their siblings and Momma beyond 6-8 weeks. I think the socialization they learn from siblings and Momma is invaluable.

But better to have them in their new homes then to be at your house alone, with just a cat sitter. (IMHO)

So did you name them David, Danielle, Dodi, Donna, Derrick, and Donny?
post #5 of 11
Humans absolutley help socialize them. It is very important to stroke them, and talk to them and hold them and love them. That is how they will learn to trust and be comfortable with humans. I rescued a cat a couple of months ago that was kept in a cage for the 1st year of her life for breeding purposes, and she had no socialization with humans, so she is very very scared!!! She is comming around but very slowly. She is sweet and purrrrs when you talk to her but she is just very shy and scared to let anyone touch her.I know she will come around because the 1st couple of weeks she hid all day and came out at night, now she is around me alot. So Yes definately socialize your kittens with humans.
post #6 of 11
i got Maverick at 6weeks old (we were told she was 8 weeks), and had her kitten since birth. the kitten knows not to bite or scratch when playing because Maverick has taught him that. She taught him the 'house rules' and he is very bold and confident. much more so then poor Mav was at 6 weeks.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
You know, for some reason, Mom took one of the kittens to task a couple of days ago. I have no idea what he did, but she ran over and grabbed him by the neck and sort of shook him and kicked him a little. I was like, "Go, Mom!"
post #8 of 11
Our rescue will keep kittens with mom until they are at least 8 weeks of age..after that...both mom and kittens are spayed/neutered and placed up for adoption.

post #9 of 11
I know that Oriental breeds of cats tend to mature and wean slower, and aren't ready to leave before 12 or 14 weeks. Seperating them from mom before that can lead to problem kitties who "nurse" on things like wool blankets and people (sometimes reffered to as "wool sucking"), and can be quite destructive. For most other breeds though, I've heard at least 8 weeks before seperation with mom.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow, that's interesting. I know that Siamese/Orientals were more "prone" to the blanket-sucking, so that makes more sense now. I'll keep the sweet babies as long as I can - not likely to ever have kittens in the house again!
post #11 of 11
I'm glad they have someone who cares so much about their welfare. I bet they'd be okay at 11 weeks, unless you knew that they had some type of Oriental in them. They're serious cuties!
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