How Soon Can Kittens Leave Their Mother?

When looking to adopt a kitten, it’s common to see very young cats for sale or for adoption. But while it may be commonplace, placing a kitten in a new home at too young of an age can be detrimental to the cat.

In addition to health concerns, behavioral issues can arise in kittens who were removed from their mothers too early in life. Mother cats teach their kittens‘ lifelong lessons and give off calming pheromones. Kittens who left their mothers too soon may have trouble grooming themselves, not know how to bury their waste in the litter box , play too rough, not know how to hunt for food, or have other behavioral problems.

Is it OK to give kittens away at 6 weeks old?

Wait until the kittens are 8 weeks old before giving them away. … In general, try to wait until the kittens are weaned, about 8 weeks. Even if you’re hand-raising the kittens (no mother is around), you should still wait 8 weeks before giving them away.

What happens if you take a kitten away from its mother too early?

A kitten that is removed from its mother too soon may also have trouble adjusting to its new home and you. Growing up with a mother and littermates is an essential part of cat socialization. Without proper socialization at a young age, the kitten may grow up to be fearful, skittish, or even aggressive.

Can kittens be taken from mother at 5 weeks?

If you are able to commit, the kittens should be taken away from their mom when they’re able to eat on their own (about 4-5 weeks old). … The kittens should be fixed and adopted out around 8-10 weeks of age.

Can you take a kitten at 7 weeks?

Seven-week-old kittens are at that wonderful age where they are almost at the age of being able to leave their mothers ! They are really growing into an awesome kitten. They should be weening onto wet food and requiring a bottle fed from time to time.

Growing kittens need more calories per pound than normal adult cats. When lactating, breeding cats may also need up to four times more calories than usual, to provide for their fast-growing young. Talk to your veterinarian about finding a special diet to meet these high-energy needs.

Their mother would have licked them — you can mimic her behavior by stroking their rears with warm, damp cotton batting. Feed them a cat milk substitute or moist kitten food in a shallow dish.

The mother may continue to suckle and clean her kittens until they are six to seven weeks, but by then, you will be providing them with 80% to 90% of their food requirements. From about three to four weeks of age, kittens become more interested in their environment, including their mother‘s solid food. Your kitten should grow rapidly on a balanced, high-energy diet, and at about six months, it should reach almost 75% of its adult weight.

Give growing kittens several meals a day, or leave dry food down for them all the time. After she starts feeding her kittens, her food requirements will increase so she can provide adequate amounts of good-quality milk.

Just like you would with any other pet, you want your new kitten to enjoy as much time as possible with its mother. If youre getting your new kitten from a breeder, hence needing to separate them at a very early stage, it is important that you consider how the action affects him both now and in the long run.

While you may want your kitten to stay as long as is needed with the mother, the conditions on ground may leave you with no option. Below, Ill outline some major reasons you should not separate a kitten from its mother and siblings prematurely.

This is also rich in nutrients that provide the young kittens with some level of immunity to fight off and reduce the risk of infections. Kittens allowed to fully socialize at this stage are usually friendlier and more secure when finally taken to their new homes. Mother cats naturally set their kittens straight by teaching them lasting lessons.

Felines taken too early from their moms may also find it difficult to adjust to their new homes resulting in extreme timidity or shyness. Mother kittens can suffer from mastitis an infection of the breast due to milk accumulation. Do this by offering small portions of wet food prepared in pieces of tuna (or any other fish) or meat.

Games and fun stimulating activities are also important at this stage to improve their mental health and physical fitness. Another thing you want to do is schedule an appointment with your vet for a thorough health check and to update your kittens immunizations . Kittens removed early from their mother and bottle-fed have to be fed and cleaned often ,and this as expected, is a huge time commitment.

Separating kittens from their trusted mother cat definitely is not always the easiest experience. After all, the bond between the mother and kittens is a strong one, not to mention the deep connection between litter mates. In general, kittens should remain with comforting, sweet mommy until at least weaning age.

The organization Cats International recommends keeping kittens with their fellow litter mates and mothers until about 8 weeks in age. Kittens make observations based on how their litter mates react — a valuable tool for the future.

The ASPCA notes that queen cats typically begin grooming their wee ones straight out of the womb.

Timeline for Weaning Kittens

Mother cats will typically start to wean their kittens off their milk at one month of age. This does not mean that this is the time that the kittens can go home, though. The next month of life is still full of essentials for a growing kitten, even if it isn’t consuming its mother‘s milk all of the time.The weaning process usually continues for about another month until the kittens are fully weaned between eight and 10 weeks of age. During this time, the kittens will still occasionally nurse on their mother but they will also start to eat liquid kitten food. The liquid kitten food should gradually get thicker until it is a watered-down canned kitten food or a moistened kitten kibble. Over the four to six week weaning period, the kitten will consume less and less milk from its mother. Getting a kitten used to eating dry food can take some time, so it should not be forced or rushed.

How Soon Should Kittens Leave Their Mothers?

While you probably don’t want to bring an older cat home if you are looking for a long-term pet, you also do not want to bring home a kitten too early as this can do more harm than good to the cat.
At around the fourth week, feline mothers will naturally begin to wean their kittens. Even at that stage it is still too early to bring home the kitten. This is because the weaning process can take another 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, even though liquid formulas may have been introduced, the young kittens will still latch onto their mother occasionally.

Why the Wait Is Necessary

As mentioned earlier, felines just like other pets, learn the essentials better early on in their life. And this they learn from playing and socializing with their mother and siblings. When separated too early, kittens miss out on this highly important learning stage. Plus, kittens may become insecure about their new surroundings and adapt poorly. Below, I’ll outline some major reasons you should not separate a kitten from its mother and siblings prematurely.

Breastfeeding

For proper growth and overall development, breastfeeding is essential. During the first few days, the feline more secretes colostrum, the first milk. Your kitten has to take this because aside from being abundant in beneficial nutrients, colostrum contains immunoglobulin; immune defenses that help to protect the young kittens from infections and diseases.Lactation milk is next. This is also rich in nutrients that provide the young kittens with some level of immunity to fight off and reduce the risk of infections. The milk also contains enzymes, hormones, and other substances necessary for the kitten’s growth.

Socialization

Kittens usually are mature enough to explore their environment from the second to eighth week of their life. At this stage, they also begin their first social relationships where they learn to interact with other cats, pets, and humans.Kittens allowed to fully socialize at this stage are usually friendlier and more secure when finally taken to their new homes. They are also less likely to develop behavioral issues such as aggressiveness, excessive shyness, or several other undesirable behaviors.

Depression in Mother Cats

When kittens are left to be with their mother until they are mature enough to leave, mother cats know instinctively that their kittens will be safe without her. This means she is less likely to become sad or depressed subsequently. If, on the other hand, the kittens are separated too soon, she could suffer from severe depression and search desperately for her kittens in and around the house. If kittens have to leave earlier than recommended, cat experts recommend that the kitten’s space and all it contains such as the blanket, cushions, and utensils are washed to remove their smell to quicken the mother cat’s recovery.

Health Issues in the Mother Cat

Even after a cat mother weans off the kittens, she cannot be separated from them straight away. Mother kittens can suffer from mastitis – an infection of the breast due to milk accumulation. Therefore, separation has to be carried out separately. This means that the kittens are removed one by one from their mothers.

Separating a Cat From Its Mother

As said earlier, feline moms naturally begin to wean their kittens off at around the fourth week. At this stage, you too can start playing your role to encourage the feline to wean. Do this by offering small portions of wet food prepared in pieces of tuna (or any other fish) or meat. Now, don’t force them to eat up the foods as most would naturally feed more on it from their eighth week.After the 8th week, you may offer these meals more regularly and also combining wet food with dry ones.At around the 12th week, the kittens should begin eating on their own even though the mother still breastfeeds them. At this point, you’re certain that even if they’re finally weaned off, they will not suffer deficiencies in nutrition. This is also the best time to teach kittens how to use a scratching post and also litter-train them.Games and fun stimulating activities are also important at this stage to improve their mental health and physical fitness.

Before Your New Kitten Arrives

Kittens are naturally shy animals, and in an unfamiliar environment, it could be amplified. Be patient with your kitten when it arrives. Be gentle, kind, and let it explore all it wants. While it would need a warm area to sleep, you should also note that extremely hot areas can be a health threat even for a young cat.Another thing you want to do is schedule an appointment with your vet for a thorough health check and to update your kitten’s immunizations.

Preparing Your Home for the New Kitten

Before you bring your new kitten home, you have to put certain things in order. The first is kitten-proofing your home. Cats will get to every and anything if not kept away from it. This may mean placing plants and objects above its reach and hiding away things that could attract it.You should also put away chemicals and other potentially toxic materials from within the reach of the kitten.Get one or two cat litter boxes, some food bowls, drinking bowls, and toys. Also get a good quality food, scratching post, and name tag ready before the kitten’s arrival.

Weaning

It is very important for kittens to remain with mom until weaning is completed. The mother is the sole nutritional source for kittens until they’re about 4 weeks of age, although weaning often continues until the cuties are between 8 and 10 weeks, according to the ASPCA. Kittens rely on their mother‘s milk for proper growth and development. In many cases, kittens begin eating strictly solid foods at around 8 weeks, and then may be ready to leave their mothers for good.

Weeks

The organization Cats International recommends keeping kittens with their fellow litter mates and mothers until about 8 weeks in age. In general, it is safe to allow kittens to separate from the mother cat at this specific age, but usually no younger than that.

Social Development

Social development has a hand in why kittens shouldn’t be taken away from their mothers and litters at too young of an age. One of the most characteristic pastimes of kittens is rough play, essentially a type of aggressive play that involves a lot of pouncing, scratching, leaping, chasing and even biting. When kittens play tough, they learn “on the job” about how to use restraint during playtime. This helps kittens learn how not to bite or scratch painfully, for example. Kittens make observations based on how their litter mates react — a valuable tool for the future. In fact, some kittens that are taken away from their mothers and litters too quickly have behavioral issues as adult cats.