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How old before you separate them from Mom?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
We have a farell cat in the neighborhood that my husband has taken a liking to. On Easter Sunday (6 wks old today) she had a litter of 5 kittens. (Yes, in hindsight I should of trapped her and had her spayed.) The kittens have done well, they are growing, playing and enjoy human contact. The problem that we are having is that Mom keeps moving the kittens further and further away. We want to find good homes for the kittens and are afraid that they are going to get lost. We've moved the kittens into the garage and locked mom out. They were fed canned cat food and tuna yesterday and I'm picking up dry kitten food today. I have three questions;

1) Is it too early to take them away from Mom?

2) Other than kitten food should we be also be feeding them kitten formula? They lap up water well and I doubt they would need to be bottle fed.

3) Are there any other problems for the kittens or Mom that I should be anticipating?

Thank you
post #2 of 14
Iaways thought that it should be 8 weeks i don't think there is a set rule. i know that rehoming takes place at a weight rather than an age at the shelter i volunteer at.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailormercury
We have a farell cat in the neighborhood that my husband has taken a liking to. On Easter Sunday (6 wks old today) she had a litter of 5 kittens. (Yes, in hindsight I should of trapped her and had her spayed.) The kittens have done well, they are growing, playing and enjoy human contact. The problem that we are having is that Mom keeps moving the kittens further and further away. We want to find good homes for the kittens and are afraid that they are going to get lost. We've moved the kittens into the garage and locked mom out. They were fed canned cat food and tuna yesterday and I'm picking up dry kitten food today. I have three questions;

1) Is it too early to take them away from Mom?

2) Other than kitten food should we be also be feeding them kitten formula? They lap up water well and I doubt they would need to be bottle fed.

3) Are there any other problems for the kittens or Mom that I should be anticipating?

Thank you
Welcome for caring for this family....ideally, it is best to keep mom and kittens together until mom stops feeding the family. If possible, trap mom and have her spayed and then return her to her kittens in a large dog crate...that way she gets a few more weeks with them. If that isn't possible, then I would still use the kittens to trap mom so that she can be spayed, otherwise she will get pregnant again.

2. If they are eating wet kitten food and drinking water...unless they aren't growing, they should be fine. But make sure you work on socializing them and additionally, introducing them to a litterbox will be key.

3. Mom needs to be spayed. Kittens will need their first shots soon so I would take them into the vet for a check up.

Katie
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
They are a pound to 1 1/4 pounds right now (I stuck them on the kitchen food scale yesterday). At what weight does your shelter rehome kittens? Thanks
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailormercury
They are a pound to 1 1/4 pounds right now (I stuck them on the kitchen food scale yesterday). At what weight does your shelter rehome kittens? Thanks
Our rescue waits until the kittens are at least 2 lbs so that they can be spayed/neutered before they are placed (typically around 10-12 weeks of age).

Katie
post #6 of 14
I am unsure, but if I were you, I would try to keep the little family together for some time yet. I believe ten weeks is a favorite number for many breeders?

If they are eating well, they probably do not need kitten formula, but it could not hurt!
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyglot
I am unsure, but if I were you, I would try to keep the little family together for some time yet. I believe ten weeks is a favorite number for many breeders?

If they are eating well, they probably do not need kitten formula, but it could not hurt!
Polyglot..that is correct for breeders...however those are domesticated cats that are in loving homes. This is a feral mom cat (outdoor only) and as such...sometimes it is difficult to trap her and keep her indoors. To learn more about feral cats..you can go here:

http://www.alleycat.org/

Katie
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
We've been keeping the kittens in our garage for the last three weeks, the side door was open so mom could go in and out as she pleased. There has been a litter pan set up for the last two weeks and the kittens are using it well. We have one that likes to sleep in the litter pan I'm hopeful that he will figure out that it's a yucky place soon.

Mom is a farel cat but she lets my husband hold her and pet her. Since the kittens have been born she likes to lay in my lap when I'm sitting on the back deck but she gets mad if I try to pet her. When she moved her kittens on Friday night it was cold and raining since then we've kept her shut out of the garage.

I'm thinking the best solution so that they still get time with Mom and they don't get moved would be to shut Mom in the garage with the kittens for a few hours at a time and then let her out to do her thing.

My SIL did take one kitten home yesterday. She has one cat (a male siamese) who has already started to care for the kitten (cleaning, playing and sleeping).

I've never been around cats in my life (I'm highly allergic). Let me know if you think letting mom in and out of the garage is a good idea.

Thanks
post #9 of 14
I heard 10 weeks is optimal...I plan to keep them with mom tell she gives the que... There is alot mom can still teach them...Maybe you can TNR mom or keep her with the kits in the garage for awile...
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailormercury
They are a pound to 1 1/4 pounds right now (I stuck them on the kitchen food scale yesterday). At what weight does your shelter rehome kittens? Thanks
The shelter I work at rehomes when they reach 900g I don't know what that is in Lbs sorry.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailormercury
We've been keeping the kittens in our garage for the last three weeks, the side door was open so mom could go in and out as she pleased. There has been a litter pan set up for the last two weeks and the kittens are using it well. We have one that likes to sleep in the litter pan I'm hopeful that he will figure out that it's a yucky place soon.

Mom is a farel cat but she lets my husband hold her and pet her. Since the kittens have been born she likes to lay in my lap when I'm sitting on the back deck but she gets mad if I try to pet her. When she moved her kittens on Friday night it was cold and raining since then we've kept her shut out of the garage.

I'm thinking the best solution so that they still get time with Mom and they don't get moved would be to shut Mom in the garage with the kittens for a few hours at a time and then let her out to do her thing.

My SIL did take one kitten home yesterday. She has one cat (a male siamese) who has already started to care for the kitten (cleaning, playing and sleeping).

I've never been around cats in my life (I'm highly allergic). Let me know if you think letting mom in and out of the garage is a good idea.

Thanks
It sounds as if you may have a scared stray on your hands:

Although they are commonly confused, stray cats and
true ferals have different behavior patterns. A stray cat
may be seen at any hour, will likely approach a human
even if cautiously, is often vocal, and will eat food if you
put it down. A feral, on the other hand, generally will only
be seen from dusk until dawn, will not approach humans,
is silent, and will not eat food you have put down in
your presence.

What I would do is take mom to the vet to be spayed..it really is time and if you need a low cost spay clinic, simply click the link below:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

and find your state.

It will be crucial to get her spayed so she doesn't become pregnant again. Even if you cannot place her into a home...she can live outdoors and no longer have any litters.

Katie
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
whoops.. my wireless went down.. i didn't think the message posted
post #13 of 14
Mine does this also during storms so no worry I think we all have dont it
post #14 of 14
kittens usually become ready around 6 weeks unless you think they might be slightly to little then 8 weeks is fine also try making up some canned goats milk from walmart or ingles and see if they like it with their food. if you want to start them out make some mushy oatmeal with canned goats milk and keep adding more and more catfood everyday till its just catfood
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