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Old 03-05-2010, 06:36 PM
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Age at which kittens should leave Mum

Hi, my first post, know very little about kittens or cats, but am learning fast. A friend of mine ( not an expert cat owner) obtained an adult female cat from our local RSPCA shelter late last year and was told by the RSPCA that she had been spayed, however turns out she hadn't been and first time out she became pregnant, which my friend was not aware of until she became concerned that she was putting weight on, got confirmed by the vet and 2 days later she gave birth to 4 kittens. RSPCA very apologetic when they were told and offered to take he cat and her kittens if my friend couldn't cope with them but she decided to carry on caring for them until they were weaned and they have been fine, The RSPCA have said they will take all the kittens for rehoming . My query is that I have decided to take one of the kittens, I did not know when kittens should leave their mother and neither did my friend really, but the RSPCA have said to her that they will take them at 6 weeks, when my friend queried this as being a bit young, after doing some research on the matter, they said its fine as they like to get them as cute as possible for rehoming! as it happens my friend has found homes for all 4 herself and all the other new owners are taking them at 7 weeks old so she wants me understandably, to take mine, but after reading on here that this is too young I am a bit worried, Do you think the RSPCA are being a bit irresponsible???
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:48 PM
dharma66 dharma66 is offline
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Re: Age at which kittens should leave Mum

I would hesitate to call the RSPCA irresposible, but 6 weeks is too early.
It may be that they feel the kittens would be better with them rather than someone who has no experience. I hope that they would not place the kittens in mew homes at 6 weeks, bu wouldhold on to them for a while.

But as you say, ideally the kittens shouldn't leave mum until at least 8 weeks. If you can convince your friend to hold on two them for an extra weeek or two, they are likely to end up more "well adjusted" than if they leave at 7 weeks.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:05 PM
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Re: Age at which kittens should leave Mum

Sorry, may be irresponsible a bit strong, we are just a bit confused not sure they are too concerned about my friends inexperience they were happy for her to look after her cat and her kittens up until then, is 8 weeks ok, then I am sure my friend will keep them a bit longer she is just going on what the RSPCA said really. May be I will ask her to ask her vet. Some posts on here seem to say 10-12 weeks, its all a bit confusing?
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:11 PM
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Re: Age at which kittens should leave Mum

8 weeks old should be fine, they should be weaned off mum by then and eating solids with no problems, 6 weeks old is too early really, especially if going on their own and not with another kitten as they miss out on important socialising lessons from playing with their litter mates. Make sure she has wormed them too.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:31 AM
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Re: Age at which kittens should leave Mum

i would not put a time on it some kittens can be independent and be eating and drinking well by 8 weeks some are not and still need mum, i would say go by the kittens, anytime before 8 weeks is to early, but after 8 weeks is fine if they are eating drinking well.
if you let them go and thay are not drinking and eating well they will go down hill quickly, so i would go by the kittens, also are you going to separate them from mum before hand?.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:41 AM
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Re: Age at which kittens should leave Mum

I foster moggy mother and kittens (and orphaned kittens) for a shelter (not the RSPCA).

I my experience 6 weeks is way too young, for rehoming definitely!!!! But also it is too young just to be separated from their mother/siblings.

8 weeks I also feel is too young… but sometimes I understand it can’t be avoided.

In my opinion all cats should remain (where possible) with their mother and siblings until they are 12 weeks old.

I would say this is irresponsible on the part of the RSPCA. Maybe they feel the kittens aren’t getting optimal care with your friend as she is inexperienced… but then I would suggest they bring the mother and the kittens to an experienced foster carer and return the mother to your friend when the kittens are 12 weeks old. But to be honest, rearing kittens with their mother isn’t rocket science… if these kittens are gaining the appropriate amount of weight (and there is nothing untoward about your friends home or circumstances) then the best thing for the mother (and the kittens) would be to remain with your friend. The nearer the kittens are to the 12 week mark when they are rehomed, the better.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:32 PM
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Re: Age at which kittens should leave Mum

I'd suggest from around 8/9 weeks and don't take them away all at once as the mum could develop mastitis, she has to be weaned from them as well. It's best to stagger them going.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:03 PM
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Re: Age at which kittens should leave Mum

Thanks everyone, your comments have helped us out, I didn't know about not taking them away all at once, but there again my friend was only going on what the RSPCA said, as they wanted them all at once, so she thought this must be ok. They are doing really well, they are putting on weight developing well, feeding from mum well, my friend is very anxious to get Mum spayed asap, (the RSPCA has said they will pay) so planned to get this done as soon as the kittens were gone as she doesn't want to get caught out again, she said today that her worry about keeping the kittens longer is that Mum will go out before being spayed and get pregnant again, is this likely whilst she still has kittens with her?
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:09 PM
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Re: Age at which kittens should leave Mum

8 weeks is the usual for kittens

I rescued Cotton at 10 weeks which I personally feel is a better age.
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