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Forums: Purebreds & Breeding > When are kittens ready for their new homes?

20 Nov, 2007 - 9:33 pm
Marianne
(Admin/Moderator)


From: Murrumba Downs
Total posts: 899
Most people who breed cats or people who hang around in cat forums know that kittens are not ready to leave their mum before they are 12 weeks old. But sometimes cats have kittens without their humans planning it. They have no experience with kittens‚ and so they give them away too early.

If you remove a kitten from its mum too early‚ you risk getting a cat who will never function like a normal cat‚ nor as a pet. Many people think it's ok to take a kitten home at 8 weeks because that's what they do with dogs. Wrong. A cat is much too young to leave its mum at 8 weeks.

Here are som important reasons to not take a kitten from its mum too early:

1. It might never learn what's necessary to know about being a cat. This often results in behavioural problems‚ which are difficult or impossible to fix‚ because they cat hasn't fully developed.

2. Experts all agree that the right age for a cat to leave its mum is 12 weeks.

3. Kittens under 12 weeks are still nursing their mum. Removing them from their mum can not only lead to behavioural problems‚ but can also give you a cat that will refuse to use a litter tray‚ and insecurity. They are physically and mentally dependant on their mum.

It's much more likely that you will get a happy‚ lively and secure cat if it's allowed to stay with its mum as long as it needs to.

Lots of kittens are 'accidents'. Everyone makes mistakes‚ but it's important to learn from these mistakes. If you don't want your cat to have kittens‚ spaying/neutering is the only option which is 100% safe. The cat will live a happy life‚ and their humans don't have to worry about any more kittens. Cats don't *need* a sex life like us humans. They mate only because it's instinct.

Spaying/neutering also means your cat will stay closer to home (fewer accidents involving cars)‚ will fight less (fewer injuries)‚ and it will not get any STD's. Yes‚ cats get STD's too!

Read more: http://www.breedlist.com/faq/young.html
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03 Jan, 2008 - 1:00 pm
bean
(Member)


From: Sydney
Total posts: 2
I saw some kittens advertised for sale the other day. They were 4 weeks old‚ and the mothers milk had dried up so the vet advised them to sell the babies since mum could no longer feed them. Fair enough‚ the kittens may be eating cat food(the ad siad they were‚ but isn't 4 weeks a bit young to be fully eating?)‚ but they still need mum to learn how to be a cat! I was shocked and appalled at the mention of the vet advising sale of such young kittens icon
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28 Jan, 2008 - 10:07 pm
Marianne
(Admin/Moderator)


From: Murrumba Downs
Total posts: 899
That's pretty sad. Kittens not only rely on their mum for milk‚ they also need her as a role model on how to be a cat. So even if she can't feed them‚ they should be allowed to stay with her until they are 12 weeks old.

And yes‚ 4 weeks is pretty young‚ a lotta kittens don't even want regular food at that age.
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17 Mar, 2008 - 5:06 pm
Nem
(Member)


From: Gunnedah
Total posts: 16
my sister got Mecha's sister purdy at 6 weeks old‚ she functions like a normal cat.
except she was weened to early and as a result chews the baby bottle teats off to get to formula

I got mecha at 12 weeks and she has issues (she's an agressive little thing‚ she will try and assert her "dominance" over anyone who visits)
both Mecha and Purdy were eating normal cat food and litter trained when Purdy was taken

I guess my sister got lucky and I got unlucky lol
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17 Mar, 2008 - 10:48 pm
Marianne
(Admin/Moderator)


From: Murrumba Downs
Total posts: 899
The mum is also a rolemodel‚ so if she's a grumpy or aggressive kitty‚ chances are the kittens will be too..
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13 Apr, 2011 - 2:19 pm
russian lover
(Moderator)


From:
Total posts: 403
Facts and feelings:

Most Australian breeder's clubs (governing councils, cat associations, etc.) have incorporated in their "Code of Ethics" that kittens must not be removed from their mothers before the age of 10 or 12 weeks. And why would any cat lover want to give them away earlier anyway? Isn't it an immeasurable fun and pleasure for the whole family to see the kittens grow up in your home and learning from their mum, playing with their siblings, making all sorts of friends and discoveries, and developing their very own and different characters? Myself, as a breeder and rescuer, I still find it always hard to part from my kittens even at 12 weeks - but from that age on, it becomes quite obvious that they are ready to "go out into the world and start their own life".

Many people's problem:

I believe that people who advertise baby kittens far too young and for free to give away, are acting out of pure panic. They are afraid that they "won't be able to get rid of them and will have to feed them forever" if they wait any longer. They count on the maternal instinct in the impulse buyer who wants to save and nurture those sweet helpless babies. I fell into this trap myself several times - but I don't collect these babies any longer!

A better solution:

Today, when I see such ads in my local area, I call the advertisers up and tell them that I will take all their kittens off of them once they are 12 weeks old, and I'm willing to give this promise to them in writing, ON THE CONDITION that by then they will save $65 for having their mother cat desexed, so that they won't have the same frightening problem again in another 6 months. Most "kitten give-awayers" had no idea before that such cheap vet deals exist, and they are very happy to utilise this forever solution.

I encourage others to copy this system! Perhaps it could be you?
This post was edited on 13/04/2011 at 2:22 pm
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13 Apr, 2011 - 2:25 pm
Marianne
(Admin/Moderator)


From: Murrumba Downs
Total posts: 899
That's a good idea russian lover, well donesmile

I think a lot of people advertise kittens young because of ignorance, they think kittens are ready to go at 6-8 weeks, because puppies are ready at 6-8 weeks, and they think it must be the same for kittens.

Also, they are usually easier to rehome at 6 weeks, because they are incredibly cute and small, and when they are 12 weeks they looks more like grown up cats. If an ignorant person wants a kitten and are given a choice between a 6 week old and a 12 week old, chances are they pick the 6 week old.
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08 May, 2012 - 10:39 am
ciggggg
(Member)


From: Queanbeyan
Total posts: 24
A better solution:

Today, when I see such ads in my local area, I call the advertisers up and tell them that I will take all their kittens off of them once they are 12 weeks old, and I'm willing to give this promise to them in writing, ON THE CONDITION that by then they will save $65 for having their mother cat desexed, so that they won't have the same frightening problem again in another 6 months. Most "kitten give-awayers" had no idea before that such cheap vet deals exist, and they are very happy to utilise this forever solution.

I encourage others to copy this system! Perhaps it could be you?"[/quote]

Hi Russian Lover. I just read this bit here, I think thats actually a fantastic idea! What do you then do with the kittens? do you get them desexed and vac & wormed and then rehome? I was thinking that maybe I should try that, and do my bit as it were! Could you just explain your process of what and how you do it?

Thanks smile
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08 May, 2012 - 11:19 am
russian lover
(Moderator)


From:
Total posts: 403
Hi Cigggg, the process is that I make photos of each kitten and start advertising them already before they turn 12 weeks old; so I often have homes for them alredy in advance, and the new owners are often willing to prepay at least for their first vaccinations, in the form of a deposit on their kitten. When the kittens are old enough and over 1kg in weight, I bring them - and their mother - to my vet for desexing and microchipping and their often already second vaccination. If you speak to a vet clinic and explain them that you are doing animal welfare/rescue work and will be bringing them lots of cats and kittens, almost every clinic will be willing to substancially lower their prices for you. My two vets charge me a half to one third of their normal prices only, and I recover all these costs from the new kitten owners.

This system works very well, and the people on both sides - the mother's owner and the new kitten owners - are usually very gratefulfor my services. However, be aware that you still will end out of pocket in almost every case. Nobody will reimburse you for all the advertising that you have to do, for travelling costs, and for the food costs while the kittens are in your care, for example, during the recovery times after their surgeries. Also, if they get sick or have an accident while in your care, you will have to pay the vet out of your own pocket. Hence, there is a financial risk involved, and it can turn into a quite expensive hobby. Nevertheless, it will give you a warm feeling in your heart to know that you have done a good deed, and it is also a great way to make new friends with other cat lovers.
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08 May, 2012 - 11:54 am
ciggggg
(Member)


From: Queanbeyan
Total posts: 24
Thanks Russian Lover!!icon

I will have too assess my finances and see what i can do!!

I saw this advertised locally today :

"i have 7 kittens just starting to eat on there own so they will be ready in a few days. "

That would probably be a bad one to start with as its so many, but still.. I feel bad for those kittens going so early..

Cheers for that advice! I will look into it, talk to my vet, and get started!
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08 May, 2012 - 1:34 pm
Honey
(Member)


From:
Total posts: 80
If your finances wont stretch that far you could locate a local no kill shelter and provide what financial assistance and help you can.
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08 May, 2012 - 2:06 pm
Josie
(Member)


From:
Total posts: 30
cigggg - note that you also want to gt a Maine Coon show neuter and breed - would either consider rescue or breeding, not both - keeping rescue kitties seperate from your other cats is a big strain, but is really something you need to do for the health concerns of your own breeding cats - just ask Russian lover about all the issues she faced this year when she had disease run through her cattery, which killed several kittens - when people are paying you to buy a healthy purebred cat, they expect it to at least come to them healthy, and a lot of rescue cats will not be.
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08 May, 2012 - 2:35 pm
ciggggg
(Member)


From: Queanbeyan
Total posts: 24
Hey Josie, your right, ofcourse. I didnt really think that one through too far did I haha. My main priority right now is my little Penny, and my future Coon baby and his future show career. Sometimes I just read things and instantly want to do it, like russian lovers idea. Its a very noble thing that Russian Lover does! I guess I just jumped at the idea of helping kittens . icon . I guess its also a bit of the Pedigree guilt, "why buy a pedigree when so many homeless kittens are out there needing homes", as a couple of my friends have aggressively pointed out when I told them my plans for a Coonie.

Breeding for me is a long term goal, many many years down the track, so this is something I do need to keep in mind too.

I think, as some other people on different forums suggested, As i'm not breeding right now (nor will I for many years) Maybe I should apply to foster through the RSPCA first. That may also be good experience for future breeding. I have desicions and priorities to make.. thats the one thing thats for sure lol icon
This post was edited on 08/05/2012 at 2:36 pm
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08 May, 2012 - 2:42 pm
russian lover
(Moderator)


From:
Total posts: 403
That's absolutely true, and a serious concern. In my case, I had to wind up my entire Birman cattery because of a cat flu virus. I had all breeding cats desexed and am 'selling' them off now for as little as $300 or even less (including all vet services done or updated and with free delivery to their new homes as far as 400km away), while I paid more than $1,000 for some of them myself and they hadn't even produced kittens yet. A huge loss!

Further, I needed to get expensive laboratory checks done on all my Russians (about $300 each) to find out whether the virus has spread to them, too, or whether they carry any other viruses. Luckily they don't - thanks to having been strictly separated, especially from all rescue cats. The worst about this tragedy, however, is that now I have to keep my Russians and have them raise their kittens outdoors in cages and can't allow them into the house, as long as I have even one of the Birmans left - and those need to be inside to heal from their surgeries and to get used to be 100% indoor cats. They can be rehomed to "one-cat & strictly indoors only" homes, so they can't spread the virus further, which makes rehoming even more difficult than in any moggie rescue cat ...and throughout this time, I very much miss having our growing new Russian babies around me day and night.

If I could start all over again, I would and will still help cats and kittens in need - but I would and will most definitely keep every rescue cat in a cage very, very far away from any of my precious purebred breeding cats to protect them from disease. So, ciggg, please observe Josie's warning!
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08 May, 2012 - 2:49 pm
ciggggg
(Member)


From: Queanbeyan
Total posts: 24
russian lover said:
"That's absolutely true, and a serious concern. In my case, I had to wind up my entire Birman cattery because of a cat flu virus. I had all breeding cats desexed and am 'selling' them off now for as little as $300 or even less (including all vet services done or updated and with free delivery to their new homes as far as 400km away), while I paid more than $1,000 for some of them myself and they hadn't even produced kittens yet. A huge loss!

Further, I needed to get expensive laboratory checks done on all my Russians (about $300 each) to find out whether the virus has spread to them, too, or whether they carry any other viruses. Luckily they don't - thanks to having been strictly separated, especially from all rescue cats. The worst about this tragedy, however, is that now I have to keep my Russians and have them raise their kittens outdoors in cages and can't allow them into the house, as long as I have even one of the Birmans left - and those need to be inside to heal from their surgeries and to get used to be 100% indoor cats. They can be rehomed to "one-cat & strictly indoors only" homes, so they can't spread the virus further, which makes rehoming even more difficult than in any moggie rescue cat ...and throughout this time, I very much miss having our growing new Russian babies around me day and night.

If I could start all over again, I would and will still help cats and kittens in need - but I would and will most definitely keep every rescue cat in a cage very, very far away from any of my precious purebred breeding cats to protect them from disease. So, ciggg, please observe Josie's warning!"


Hey Russian Lover smile

That is a very sad story, I feel very sorry for you and your babies sad I couldnt even begin to imagine how hard that must be, emotionally and financially!. I will definately keep that in the back of my head at all times! I know unfortunately this is something that breeders may have to deal with at various times, yet another learning curve for me in preparation for becoming a breeder one day! As I have no plans to become a breeder within the next 5-10 years I think fostering still through the RSPCA might be a good idea, but I am assuming even then, I will need to keep them separate from my pet/show kitties too! which would be hard. I'm just going through a phase of feeling guilt and wanting to do whatever I can for our feline friends. I shouldnt let passion cloud my judgement.
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