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Remove from mother or not

Discussion in 'Cat Breeding' started by AndyBud, Nov 28, 2020.


  1. AndyBud

    AndyBud PetForums Newbie

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    My queen has 7 week old kittens. She is semi-feral, and for the last few weeks has been rearing them in a heated out-building that has a cat flap that we cleared for her. The kittens are now used to us, don't run when we approach, in fact run to us when there is food about. The mother tolerates our presence, but will usually run out of the room when we approach or enter.

    However, the kittens are both active and out of the nest and going outside - she is very nervous and has taken to moving them to the unheated basement at night. While I am happy there are at least under shelter. There are a couple of Toms around - could these be causing the worry?

    So - now the kittens are both eating solids, we could bring them indoors. However, these cats will stay with us once grown up, and I have been reading that between 5 and 20 weeks it's the crucial period for their integration in the group their mother has been socialising in - she only recently adopted us and presented us with kittens.

    So - would it be prudent to bring the kittens inside and remove completely from mother, do the same but give the mother a chance to visit - she does come in the house to eat or leave them where they are?
     
  2. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Not clued up on cats and hopefully, someone who is will soon respond.

    Having said that, if you intend to keep these kittens, then allowing them to integrate into the feral world of their Mother wouldn't seem wise to me.

    I would bring them indoors.
     
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    It would be a great idea too to try now to catch mum to get her neutered, especially if their are Tom cats around.

    If you can put the kittens somewhere mum would follow and be confined so you can catch her?
     
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  4. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    Mum needs to be trapped and spayed asap, if not already pregnant again she will be very soon.

    The kittens also need to be neutered in a months time especially if they are continuing to be allowed outside.

    A rescue experienced in stray cats should be able to advise on removing mum and socialising kittens.
     
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  5. AndyBud

    AndyBud PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies. The mother is scheduled for spaying and eye removal in January. We don't want the cycle repeated - there have been two litters this year, and we now have 3 kittens - one six month old female (also due to be spayed) and the two 7 week old boys. We started feeding her when she appeared with the first kitten and at about the same time she must have got pregnant again.

    The mum is semi wild - so I am not sure keeping her locked in is a good idea. They have a 10m2 room at the moment that's heated, floor lined with cardboard, big box bed with heated mat on 50% of it and cat tree and other amusements for the kittens. However, something is bothering the mother and at dusk she moves the kittens into the basement and spends the night on guard. I am worried it is stressing her and also we are worried about the threat she is perceiving from a neighbourhood tom (not presumed to be the father of the two little male kittens). He visits to eat their food - and while I have seen him and the mother cat on friendly terms before, it seems she is a bit spooked by him at the moment.

    We are torn between separating the kittens now to ensure their safety - we will be keeping them so we will let them out again when they are 5-6 months - or leaving them with the mother and big sister and taking the chances nothing will happen to them - that way they will be fully integrated in the group and properly educated by mother. There are also large birds of prey in the area, so that is also a concern.

    Am I worrying too much about the dangers - the little one have the other two as constant companions when outside, or should I bring them indoors but hamper their development?
     
  6. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    I can see you have a very difficult decision. If you plan to keep the kittens, it's crucial, in my opinion that they aren't separated from the group.

    I too would worry however about them surviving many challenges as kittens, left outside.

    I wonder if on this occasion it would be better to remove the kittens from their mother, bring them indoors permanently until they're well socialised, then let them go to new homes and have their mother spayed.

    Taking them away temporarily only to put them back later does not seem like a good option to me but neither would I fancy their chances left outside.
     
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    She is highly likely to be pregnant again before that. Can't you move it up? Get her in for her surgery and bring the kittens in while she's at the vet.
     
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  8. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    This is a difficult one. Kittens continue to learn from their mother for several more weeks but in this particular case, the risk of the kittens being taken out into the wide world and adding to the feral population is very real.

    I'm slightly confused however, are you actually intending to take these on as household pets, or keep them as semi feral cats that you just feed??
    If the former, when I was faced with a very similar situation a few years ago I did take the kitten home and she was completely seperated from her mother.
    If however you intend them to continue a semi feral life, then it would be better to leave them with their mum so that they become part of the current feral group.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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