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Mom won't let kittens wean

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I took in an 8 month old momma cat and her 2 male kittens when the kittens were 3 1/2 weeks old. The boys are now 7 weeks old and Luna (the mother) is determined to keep the boys needing her. I am trying to introduce the boys to solid food but she keeps feeding them almost constantly and they are just not interested in eating the food. I have never had kittens do this or a mother so intent on keeping her boys close. Any suggestions? I have been shutting the boys in a room for several hours a day without her, with access to food and water but the are just not interested. I have homes all lined up for all 3 of them but they need to start being self sufficient and Luna's milk needs to start drying up so I can get her spayed before she goes to her new home. Any Ideas or suggestions would be great.
post #2 of 33
my kittens get indroduced to solids about 5 or 6 weeks but still nurse until at least 8 weeks, my cat still lets her kittens nurse at 10 and 12 weeks some times but after that I generally keep them seperate so they don't nurse, I keep my kittens untill 12 weeks any ways, so I let them wean when they are ready, for the most part.
post #3 of 33
Go ahead and spay her. It will cut the milk production off.
post #4 of 33
I think they will wean themselves in time. I have had kittens start solids at various ages. My last litter had one kitten, who I partially bottle fed because he seemed to be falling behind his siblings. They were all on solids, and he still needed the bottle! But he finally started the solid foods.

Are you using canned kitten food, so it is nice and smelly? Or shut them separate for longer...if two hours isn't enough, separate them for four hours. And don't just leave the food with them, but bring it in, nice and smelly, near the end of their time away from Mom. Offer a little on your fingertips, or on the end of a spoon. Soon enough they will be eating!

I would wait until at least 8 weeks before you spay the Mom, and hopefully a little longer so they will be starting to wean. The adoptive homes can wait...let them know the kittens will be better pets if they stay with their Mom until about 10 weeks. And the Momma will heal easier if she isn't so actively nursing the boys!
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
We have discussed spaying her, but I would like a more gradual weaning for her and the kittens. We don't have an opening for a spay for a week, and if that is what I have to do I will do it, but I would like the kittens to start supplementing the milk with some solid food.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
I am using all sorts of different canned foods , and I brought home a can of A/D on Saturday. They were without her for about 7 hours yesterday (we got tied up at the in-laws longer than I expected yesterday), and she was frantic when I rejoined them (though they werent' to upset). The adoptive home have been told that the kittens must be weaned and using the litterbox before I will let them go so waiting is not a problem there. Luna is just so thin from nursing them and being in the gangly teenager stage of her kittenhood that she looks like a scarecrow. When I picked her up a little over 3 weeks ago she was eating Special kitty adult food (wal-mart's brand) and the people were trying to give away the kittens without her (and her seperately), so thing are already better for her.
post #7 of 33
The Hills A/D is what we use to wean our kittens and also to give our Momma's during the long nursing phase. It is very palatable for the kittens and Momma, and it seems to help keep the weight on.
I also let our kittens nurse until they are ready to quit. It is a lot less after 8-9 weeks old, but Momma still calls them over to nurse for a couple of weeks longer.
When we have kept a kitten, he nursed until he was 5 months old. He was a year old, when his Momma had her second litter, and before she delivered, she would drag this huge 14 lb boy in her nest to nurse on her. When she began delivering we had to remove him from the room.
post #8 of 33
Spaying her wont cut the milk production off. The kittens need to be seperated from the mother, for good.
post #9 of 33
What a good Momma she is! Well, if those kittens aren't eating after 7 hours on their own, I guess they just don't want to wean!

My current foster Mom looks real thin, too. I am hopeful that she will build up her weight after the kittens move on.

Maybe you can supplement the Mom with KMR, and even mix that in the kitten's food to encourage them to eat it?

That is great that the homes are willing to wait. Soon enough, those kittens will be grown up and eating solids. I'd say let Luna baby them for a while longer if she wants to!
post #10 of 33
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
Spaying her wont cut the milk production off. The kittens need to be seperated from the mother, for good.
Not now, she said they are only 7 weeks old. They should be with the mother until 10-12 weeks. Please don't cut them off completely yet, they are way too young.
post #11 of 33
For my kittens they are with their mother until ten weeks old and then they're just take completely away. I didn't read they were only seven weeks old, definitly wait till eight weeks.
post #12 of 33
I think 10 weeks or 12 is good. That way they have a really good start. Also they want there mommy
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
I usually go for about 9 weeks and send them off with a second round of vaccines (by 9 weeks my cats are usually so pissed off that there are extra cats in the house that they won't sleep with me anymore). I am not looking to completely cut them off till then, but all of my previous foster kittens are at least trying new foods by this point, and they aren't interested at all. I will try KMR with them, and I am also puting small tastes of the canned food in their mouth's when I feed it to them and then they clean themselves like they just had a big meal, it is very cute.
post #14 of 33
I have six weeks old and they are almost fully weaned. Sarah their Mom does not tolerate nursing for more than one minute. They are all eating dry Royal Canin Baby Cat food. I did not really do anything to wean them. I just left out food and litter and Mom taught them everything.
I dont see what is wrong with letting kittens go at ten weeks. All of my kittens have been fine at that age. They are over three lbs when I let them go. Sarah does not tolerate nursing at all after they are 8 weeks old except from my 8 month old male who is not ever her child. He is actually her future hubby.
post #15 of 33
She lets the male nurse from her. WOW.. That must hurt.
post #16 of 33
I think that moms are different, and it probably depends on the kittens too. Maybe these particular kittens and the mom are a little needier of each other than usual because of a rough start. I let some kittens go at 10 weeks and some at 12 - 14 weeks, because I had 7 to find homes for. LOL. But the one we kept nursed for almost 5 months. I guess it's just what the mom lets them do...
post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 
I think Luna would let them nurse for the rest of her life if given the chance, she is so proud of them. All 3 of them have very outgoing personality's, when we picked them up Luna was pring in the car asleep in my daughter lap on the ride from her old home to ours (and it was definately a happy puur, because she head buts too when she is happy).
post #18 of 33
Aw, that's so sweet. Uh oh, you're in my area. You are at risk for kitten napping.
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Yeah I got these guys off craigslist because they were trying to give the kittens away without their mother, so I offered to foster them until they were old enough to go to homes.
post #20 of 33
Originally Posted by Petnurse2265
Yeah I got these guys off craigslist because they were trying to give the kittens away without their mother, so I offered to foster them until they were old enough to go to homes.
OMG!! That makes me so mad. I'm glad you found her though!
post #21 of 33
are they watching Luna eat? Apparently kittens learn to eat solid food from their mum - maybe if they can see her eating the solid food they will want to try some of it themselves...

my kittens were trying everything at 3 and a half weeks, including my male cats dry food (which we soon moved!) and litter pellets! i think they are a greedy bunch - they take after their momma
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
When she is eating I put them at the dish too, so they can watch. I did have one interested in my new puppy's food this morning, not enough to try it but certainly enough to keep the puppy away from it.
post #23 of 33
I think 7 weeks is still too young to worry. Look at it this way: there's no way they'll still be nursing exclusively when they're 6 months old! Let them take their time.

I do agree that spaying Mom will probably facilitate the process, though, if for no other reason than because her tummy will be sore and she won't have as much patience for rough-and-tumble 2-month-olds kicking at her!

I would strongly advise against a/d as a primary diet for either a mother cat or kittens, though. It is much too low in protein - if you read the label, it actually says so. It's fine for cats who are sick or who won't eat anything else, but otherwise they need a kitten or all life stages formula.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
I've only used 1 can, I was just hoping to getting process started with it.
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well Luna has gone into heat, so she is getting spayed in the morning (A cat in heat really confuses Sturgis, so I need to take care of it right away). The kittens will be 8 weeks old on Tuesday so they are more than capable of eating solid food, so now it's time to get on it.

Sturgis had a retained testicle when he was a baby, so 1 bloodtest (to check for testosterone), 1 ultrasound, and 3 surgery's later we finally got it out of there. Sturgis was 1 1/2 years old when we finally removed it and had started to spray, though it did stop once he was neutered. Every once in awhile though if he is with a cat in heat he will start up again, and since my stupid house does not have anywhere to keep them separated I try to limit his contact with cats in heat (which is hard sometimes because I do fostering).
post #26 of 33
Good fast reaction. I know what it's like having neutered males spraying around females in heat.
post #27 of 33
Is this her first heat since birth.
post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
As far as I know yes, I have had them for 4 weeks today. Luckily she is very quiet about it, I only noticed because she was very interested in showing Sturgis he back end, and he was looking at me with that confused look on his face.
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
The spay went well (considerings she was in heat and full of milk), and when I came home at lunch one of the boys was eating solid food. I think they are realizing they don't need her as much as she seems to need them. Luckily the new owner who is taking her is also adopting a kittens from another litter as a companion for her (she loves other cats), so the hope is that she will see the new kitten as a companion and not veiw it as one of her babies. I think she would be devastated to be an only cat. Thanks for all the help and info everyone, Luna and the boys Heckle (his new name will be Pepper) and Jeckle appreciate it.
post #30 of 33
poor thing. Now it is time to recuperate. Give lots of love I am glad it went ok.
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