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Weaning Kittens

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My kittens are almost 6 weeks old and still nursing. I was going to let them go to their new homes next weekend. Will the mom wean them? Can they go to their new homes if still nursing? They are eating dry kitten food and moist food as well, plus using the litter box.

post #2 of 12
From what I have read, it is best to have the kittens stay with mom for as long as possible for optium socialization skills. A 7 week old kitten is too young to leave its mom. 12 weeks is the earliest age a kitten should leave. I realize that quite a few people let kittens leave mom at ages 7-8 weeks of age but the extra few weeks with mom makes for a more well adjusted kitten. My Birman babies didn't leave their mom until they were 16 weeks. That may sound like they are pretty old by then, but I enjoyed many months of "kittenish" antics. These babies knew how to use a scratching post (mom taught them), had excellent litter box habits (mom taught them) and adjusted very well to the new sights and sounds of a different household. They were very confident kitties. I attribute all these things to a loving mom who nutured them and taught them well.
I hope this has been of help and good luck with your kittens.

post #3 of 12
I fully agree. I will not let a kitten go to a new home until 12 weeks. Not just for the fact that they need to learn things from mom, but because their immune systems are not very strong and the should have at least to distemper boosters before going out into the big wide world.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your advice. My delimna is that I now have 8 kittens (2 litters) and they are everywhere! My husband wants them to go to their new homes. One of the moms we got when she was 7-8 weeks old and is doing great. If my husband insists (since they are climbing up every piece of furniture we have, despite the scratching posts and keeping us awake at night, every night) that they go, what do you advise? Remember, they are still nursing a little. Kitten milk?? I love the babies dearly and they are very precious, but I also have a 3 and 4 year old who try to handle them often and don't understand yet that the kittens are running around and the kids need to watch where they walk and pay attention to the kittens so the babies don't get hurt.
post #5 of 12
It is hard to give you advice on this one. As I understand kittens are a handful and I understand a lot (too many) kittens are given to new homes at 8 weeks. I still would advise to wait until at least 10 weeks. If you take them away from mom now, they will just have to adjust to normal food. It will be likely that they will become blanket/wool suckers. If you can, you might want to talk your husband into letting them stay in just one room for the rest of the time. This way you wont have them all over the place and the kids picking them up all the time. Also, if you do adopt them out now, make sure the people know they need their vaccinations asap and that they make sure they are getting the kitten food and not cat food. You can also make sure they get a little wet food.
post #6 of 12
Eight kittens is quite a handful! For everyone's safety and your peace of mind I would set up a "kitten" room --a separate room in your home strictly for the kittens and their mom(s), complete with food bowls, water bowls, litter boxes scratching posts, kitty beds and plenty of kitten proof toys. That way your children aren't tripping over them and the kittens aren't running all over your house. Maybe you can replace the doorway with a screen door so the kittens can still see what's going on. Try to wait until they are at least 12 weeks old before letting them go to their new homes. I understand that may present a hardship but with everyone in one room it may be easier for you.
Good luck and let us know how it is going!

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Since there are 2 moms (and 2 litters) if you recommend me "splitting" or "combining" the litters, how would you recommend treating the moms? They aren't exactly "best friends" and I would love some advice!
post #8 of 12
If the moms get along enough that they dont hurt each other, then putting them together is okay. In the great outdoors in feral communitys moms sometimes share kittens and will nurse each others babies. However, if yours might attack each other, I would just split them up with their own babies. The litter I had in January are 10 weeks old today. They still nurse on occasion and like to be comforted by mom. I keep them in a seperate room so I can control what they can get into at this point. It is MUCH easier on everyone. I sure hope things get a little easier for you. I know what you must be going through with all those curious little ones. One of mine (one that I am keeping) will climb my pant leg!!!
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Okay. My husband said it's fine to keep the kittens longer. I really was worried...a house with 11 cats/kittens is quite a lot! I don't want to combine the litters because the I'm afraid the feral mom (who is doing very well now) might fight with the other mom. They did, however, sit about 4 feet from one another at 2 a.m. (when I was on the couch because the litter was being so obnoxious in my room). That lasted about 5 minutes. Better than nothing!

Just wish I could sleep! Every room I go into to try to sleep the kittens follow me and climb up the bed! Ugh....
post #10 of 12
In a month or so, they can go to their new homes. Hopefully you can find some very nice people to take care of them. I have 11 cats all the time though. I am sure within the next 2 years I will have a bakers dozen. It is all by choice though. When the kittys go to their new homes are you going to get the moms spayed? I dont think I remember if you are keeping the feral mom.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi Sandie. Thanks for all your advice. Yes, I am keeping the feral mom and one of the other kittens from the other litter. When can I have the mom's spayed? They are still nursing. I REALLY need to know this. Thanks bunches!

Also, if it is a nice day, since they still have their mom's immunity, can I take them in the grass outside?
post #12 of 12
Once the kittens are about 10-12 weeks both the moms can be spayed. It will stop them from producing milk and it will probably calm the feral mom a little. They will still be able to take cues from mom, but wont nurse anymore. It's funny..my kittens are 10 weeks this week and mom runs away from them so she doesnt have to nurse. I would try and get the moms in ASAP since they can get pregnant again right away. As far as the kittens go, I really would wait until they have had 2 distempers before they go out. It is being rather safe than sorry. Outside they can pick up fleas and such as well. If you can, try and find a low cost clinic in the area and see about getting them the distemper before they go to new homes. Kittens are cute...but I know they are a handful. Thank god I only have 3 right now!!
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