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Moving Babies

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Sorry this is long, but lots of questions...

Ruby's kittens were two weeks old yesterday. Yesterday morning when I went to check on them and give Ruby her a.m. wet food, I found that she had moved them all to the floor. I put them all back in their box in the bathtub and left for about 5 minutes to get my poop-scooping supplies. When I went back in, she had already put two on the floor again. The floor is ceramic tile, and she is putting them on a folded towel I have under the litter box to help with tracking, but one or two are always bumped onto the tile. I just went ahead and changed the bedding in the box( even though I'd changed it the day before, thinking maybe that's why she was moving them. She left them in the box for the rest of the day.

This morning, they were on the floor again. I moved them back, but heard little meows a few minutes later, she had moved two of them to the floor, three were still in the box and *gulp* one of them had been dropped between the box and the side of the tub. I just went ahead and removed the box from the bathub completely, and laid a new blankey in the floor of the tub itself.

Ruby seems very eager to not be with her babies, and when I allow her out of the bathroom (usually for 10-15 minutes) she is very vocal and wants lots of attention (which we give her, of course.) I suspect that maybe she is back in heat and that explains the vocalness.

I want her to stop moving the babies. I am terrified that she will move them near the door and I will step on one or something. DH say that she probably is pushing them out of the nest because they need to start walking, eating, using the litter box etc. I think its too early for that.
What do you think?

Finally, at what age do you think I should take them out of the tub, provide them with a litter box and food of their own? My plan, once I figure out if the timing is right, is to put up a baby gate and allow them free reign of the bathroom, and let Ruby come and go from them as she pleases and return her litter and food to its normal spot. Is this okay or does she need food and litter in the kitten room to show them what to do?

I am sorry there are so many questions, but I have never dealt with kittens before finding Ruby. Thank in advance to whomever decides to read this whole thing!
post #2 of 7
Hi, I just wanted to let you know I read your whole thing, but I don't know much about kittens to give you advice. Sorry to not be of help, but I am looking forward to reading the advice of those in the know. Good luck with your kitties
post #3 of 7
I don't necessarily know the "right" answer. However, I have been fostering several litters per year for the last several years. Usually when my kittens are 2 weeks old, I let them out of their box so that they can move a little more. This is the age when they are starting to get ambulatory. Mine stay in the bathroom also. Even at this age they can occasional get lost, but usually by 2 weeks they can always find their way back to mom. I always open the door to my bathroom very slowly and very carefully. If I feel resistance, I wait a few seconds before opening slightly more. I have had a few squeaks from kittens. Usually they move away fast. I have never had any injured or crushed by my bathroom door. Hope this helps some.

I believe mom is probably letting them move to the next stage of their life. It isn't unusual to find a mom at this age away from her kittens for the majority of the time. They usually know when feeding time needs to happen.

2 weeks is still pretty young for eating/litter pan. I usually start putting a shallow litter pan out about 3-4 weeks. I usually start canned food to wean at around 4 weeks.

I am not sure about the baby gate idea since I never let my moms have free reign. They stay in my bathroom until their babies are weaned. Someone else may be able to help with that.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
The baby gate is so Ruby can have free reign, but keep the kittens confined to the bathroom. It works out well for the kittens (they won't get stomped accidentally), for me (I won;t have to search for them everyday), and for my toddlers (they are not allowed in the bathroom or to handle the kitties unless mommy or daddy is there).

Has anyone used a baby gate for this purpose?
post #5 of 7
annasmom---- I don't have much advice but I have heard of some using baby gates for that reason. gives mom a much needed break when she needs it and keeps kittens safe.
post #6 of 7
The problem I had with using a baby gate was that the kittens eventually learned (a lot faster than I had anticipated they would learn) to climb up the gate and then drop down to the other side. Not good at all since they were dropping down onto a hard-wood floor and then screaming their lungs out because they were then in totally uncharted territory. *sigh*

I know I sound like a broken record with this, but this is precisely the reason I alway recommend an extra-large dog crate for kittens. It effectively limits their scope of travel when you need to and when you want them to explore a bit more, you can open the door and let them come out. I keep the door to mine open at all times until I start noticing it is time to introduce to solid foods and the litter box. Then, they stay in there with the door closed until they are all consistantly using the box and eating rather than rolling in the food. At that point, they get free roam of the downstairs of my house with limited times confined in the crate for their safety. (Such as when I am using my stove or oven, putting laundry into the dryer, opening the door to the outside when bringing in groceries or whatnot, cleaning the house, etc.) They are relatively inexpensive and always handy to have around when you have pets -- you never know when you might need to confine a pet for some necessary reason and the crates are perfect for it. They are highly mobile so you can place one just about anywhere and are easily cleaned then folded for storage. I can't recommend a crate highly enough for kittens.

Since your girl seems to want them out of the bathtub for now, I would set up a place on the floor with a thick padding of newspaper underneath to insulate them from the cold flooring and plenty of warm, snuggly bedding material over that for comfort and nesting. Change the bedding at least once per day (more or less often depending on your girl's behavior) and I think you should be fine with that. As Scoomoo pointed out, just be careful when opening the door to the bathroom and step carefully.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
She hasn't moved them since yesterday morning. She seems to be pleased with the blanket in the bathtub set up rather than the blanket in the box in the bathtub set up. It really is alot more space for all to move about. I think I'll just continue to confine them to the bathroom, without the baby gate, and when they become a tad more active, letting them out for supervised playtime. I still am curious as what to do with Ruby. I know she doesn't want to be locked in the bathroom, I can't just let her out to roam freely because I have to close the bathroom door to prevent curious toddlers from accessing the babies and she can't hear them meow. I think I'll just stick with the status quo for now...15 minutes out of the bathroom every hour or so, for Ruby.
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