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age to introduce kitties to other cats?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi again!
Silvie's babies are two weeks old tomorrow - all doing fairly well. They gain from 10-20grams a day and so far seem to be developing well (eyes starting to open, mewing a little, trying to crawl around a little - sleeping a heck of a lot!!!). Silvie does seem to like to get out from the nest when she can, but she is very protective and never goes far. But she will snooze or sit nearby more than she lays in with them. I have her and babies "locked" in my bedroom - with Silvie having free roam of the walk in closet (where her box is), bedroom area, & ensuite. She occassionally goes out into the rest of the house when I come/go, but usually she stays in my room. My question is, I have 4 other cats. Everyone is totally indoors and they range from 5y/old to about 8 months old (the daddy -- yes he is now desexed and Silvie has her apt made too). None of the other cats have seen or been near the kittens, and they sniff Silvie and daddy-cat kind of harrasses her when she is out with them. At what age is it safe/best to let the others see the kittens? And when can we introduce/socialise everyone? I am sure it is a bit soon yet, but I want to know when it might be OK? Also, when could my children hold the kittens? (They are 9, 13, & 14). I hold the kitties for small cuddles and to weigh them but not too much handling.

Sorry this is a bit long - I really appreciate any input.
Katie and the kids and kitties.
post #2 of 7
I'd introduce the kittens to the older ones when they are beginning to toddle (like 3-4 weeks old. Expect some hissing on both sides, but don't interfer unless its obvious the kittens will be hurt. Probably the older ones will sniff and run away (my alter doesn't like very young kittens - he's afraid of them for a few weeks).

Our kittens are that age too when they meet our lab - takes a few weeks to not be afraid of the lab.

As far as to when the kids can play with them - wait till their eyes are open and show them the proper way to hold/pet the little kittens. Make it VERY clear there is NEVER to be any pulling/fighting over who has a kitten!

My son was raised with kittens so he learned how to pet gently and not pull ears/tails. In fact, if he did he had to apologize to the kitten and give it kisses as its not right to hurt an animal. Funny but he was like 2 yrs old and accidently stepped on a kitten - he got so upset and kept holding the kitten and saying "I'm sorry" over and over
post #3 of 7
I would introduce the kittens to the cats somewhere between 4 and 6 weeks of age. Be aware, though, that Mama might be very cat-aggressive since she is protecting her babies.

As for your children, most 9-year-olds are old enough to be able to handle a kitten safely. Just make sure to supervise since while an average 9-year-old almost certainly won't harm a kitten directly, he also might not be mature enough to, say, make sure to put the kitten back with Mom if his friends knock on the door while he's cuddling the kitten. The same is probably true of 13-14 year olds, though it's harder to generalize about that age since there is a much wider range of maturity levels among young teens.
post #4 of 7
The good socialization period, the great window, is about 3-7 weeks - ie where they should meet children, other grown-ups, other cats, perhaps a friendly dog, perhaps a rabbit or white mouse.

But there are of course practical obstacles too: the anxious mom, if the other cats are friendly, if the children are careful and so on.

But now you know the aim!
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am pleased some people had advice for me - thanks I think I will let the kids hold the kitties in about another week. The kids are very good and gentle, but I will feel better knowing the babies are a little bigger. I let them stroke a kitties head when I weigh them but that's it. I will wait til 4+ weeks for the other cat intro's. They are mixed personalities. The oldest is a fat old gal who has two tiny stuffed toy kittens that she carries around in her mouth and we hear her "calling" for her toy-babies late at night. (we have had her since a few weeks old and she has never had her own litter). Our boys are laid back, but you just never know......desexed or not, they might get aggressive or something. I will keep careful watch. Oh the joys of cat parenthood.............exciting times!!!
I'll try to post more pics soon. My fur balls are soooooo cute (hey - biased mother talking here!). Thanks again - from Katie
post #6 of 7
Seems once the kittens are starting to toddle around, most mothers relax and want to introduce the kittens and show them off. Before then they are pretty possessive because the kits are totally helpless.
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by AussieMum
IThey are mixed personalities. Our boys are laid back, but you just never know......desexed or not, they might get aggressive or something. I will keep careful watch.

You dont need all the cats came near at once. Begin with the most reliable, the most kind. The old female I would guess. You may perhaps do it now if the mother is good friend with her. She may perhaps be a help mother? Happens very often.

And it is more or less a myth males are dangerous to small kittens. Castrated males are very often friendly to the small ones, there are many examples of them being extra moms. Even some fertile males are known to be as extra mom!
Many others are a little clumsy but friendly, being like a wellwishing uncle without experience of children.

It is seldom they are open hostile, what happens - quite usual - they dont know what kittens is and dont know how behave...

The hisses heard are usual them being unsure and a little afraid - it is seldom them hostile and mean.

It shouldnt be any danger if both you and the watchful mother are near and standing by.

Good luck!
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