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When a kitten leaves the litter

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry if this thread is misplaced...

In approximately 1 1/2 to 2 weeks, I will be adopting a 6-week-old kitten and I was wondering what I should do to help him adjust to not having his littermates with him all the time? I imagine it will probably be a traumatic experience...

(I am happy to report that the owner of the mother cats usually gets her kitties fixed - this happened to occur before this particular cat could be spayed)
post #2 of 10
6 weeks old is a little young to be taking a little one away from her momma ... 12 weeks is the generally-accepted age. At 12 weeks, you shouldn't have any of the trauma related to separating kittens from their mother and other litter mates. Wait until kitty is older before bringing her home.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmm...interesting. I thought I had read something to that effect, but when I mentioned it to my mom (who is a friend of this person), she responded with: "Well, [person's name] has been around cats since she was a kid and is very experienced, and won't let them go until she feels they are ready", so should I push the issue? I kinda thought 6 weeks was a tad young myself, as puppies (my parents are experienced with those) should stay with mom for 8 weeks and figured kittens were probably similar. Perhaps I should talk to the person with the litter and let her know I've read a few different sites (you're not the first I've read) that has said to wait longer and see what she says? I would hate to act like I know more than she does, but...
post #4 of 10
just ask her if she can keep your particular kitten with the mum until its 10-12 weeks.

i agree that 6 weeks is a little early, most are still feeding from the mother as well as eating solids at that age. they also still need to taught 'kitty manners' such as how not to scratch, bite etc.
post #5 of 10
Sometimes, it is best to act like you know more ... and don't mind being pushy about it. The way I feel about it is that a life hangs in the balance. The kitten's life. And if you can be responsible about it, maybe the person who has so much experience with cats can even learn something from it.

Best of luck,

post #6 of 10
It has been my experience that with kittens, when they are first-born they are viewed as "miraculous, wonderful, endearing.." But as they grow and they start exploring and running up and down the drapes, and climbing legs etc...People are prone to get tired of them and push them out early. "Oh it's okay, they are eating solid foods.." But keeping them with mom till they are 12 weeks old, gives you a more balanced and socialized kitten that knows litter pan manners, and is ready to leave the nest.

Case in point, Massey, who is now living in Canada. Had I released her to Ash earlier than I did (she was 13 weeks old) she would have been crying and miserable during the long ride from Oregon to Canada. She would be upset, missing mom and siblings, but if you look at the threads about her you will see she is perfectly adjusted and the only one who is upset is Mike and I because we miss her so! Her siblings looked for her about 24 hours then they settled down and are now playing happily. although these kittens were orphaned early on, had the momcat been in the picture, I wouldn't have released them any earlier than I did.

Original thread

Massy's new home
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'll talk to her next time I see her. Anybody know of any good articles I can print off and show her (I'm known for over-reacting and over-worrying about things, so an educational article might help). If I put my over-worrying nature aside, she'll probably be open-minded even if she doesn't agree that the cat really "needs" to stay longer. I know she's not one of those "ah they're climbing all over, sooner they're gone the better" types. In fact, if kittens aren't ready by her standards (able to eat dry food, well-mannered with the litterbox, etc., not sure what all her standards are, but those are ones my mom listed), then she won't let them go until they are. I guess 6 weeks is usually when that has occurred in her lifelong experience. So perhaps she just needs to become a little more "up-to-date". I'll talk to her and maybe show her an article and see what she says.
post #8 of 10
Here is an excellent article written by Barbara French, the owner of the Fancier's Breed Referral List (one of the most comprehensive list of breeders on the Internet IMO) and published in Cats Magazine in 2000. Best of luck with this, dear. It really is best for baby not to leave Momma early, as you will read in the article.

post #9 of 10
If you are overloaded with kittens, the sooner you start adopting them out, the more chances of them getting chosen. Once they get over 4-5 months old, they start to lose that cute baby look. So maybe she has just been used to rehoming them as soon as they are eating solids and using the litterbox.

I just raised a foster litter, and the maturity difference between 6 weeks and even 8-9 weeks is remarkable. It is almost like the difference between two and a half year old child and a 6 year old child. At 2-1/2 (six weeks), they can eat solids and be potty trained, but are still very dependant on their Mom. By 6 (ten weeks), a child is more ready for a full day of school away from Mom, and a kitten is more ready to face a new home without Mom.

Go look at the kittens, and meet the lady. Let her know your concerns, and assure her that you are sure you want the kitten. If she is as experienced as you say, I feel sure that she will allow your baby to stay with it's Momma for a few more weeks.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have access to a printer at the moment as I'm at my parents house. If there's enough ink, I'll print off the article. Thanks gayef.

Beckiboo, thanks. I have already seen and picked out my little one, so the cute baby look is engrained in me. LOL! I have a feeling she'll allow him to stay longer, especially with such a good article. My mom knows her better than I do, but she seems easy to talk to. I can't say which way it will go, but for some reason I can't see her "refusing" to keep him longer.

Heh. I'm planning to catalog order some things, one being the litter box. It's cheaper that way than the stores around here. If worse comes to worst, I could conveniently *forget* to order it until the originally planned 6 weeks. Then of course it will take a bit for it to arrive (although how long I'm not sure). Just a sneaky little thought going through my mind.
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