When we want to adopt a kitten, it is common to see requests to entrust very young cats. But at what age can taking a kitten without it being harmful to the cat?
Kittens should not be moved to a new home until they are at least eight weeks old. The mother-kitten relationship is vital for the development of a kitten; and it is partly thanks to the mother that the puppies become healthy and well-adapted adults. Although kittens start eating solid for 4-5 weeks, they still depend on the mother for food and warmth until they are around eight weeks old and that is why you need to know at what age to take a kitten. Their mom will also continue to help them bathe – not only by stimulating their movements through licking but also showing them how to do it themselves. Kittens also learn from their littermates – growing up around their brothers and sisters develops their social skills. Without them they can grow fearful, mischievous or even aggressive.
Weaning times of puppies
Mothers generally begin to wean their puppies from their milk at one month of age. This does not mean that this is the ideal time to bring them to the new home, at what age to take a kitten is certainly not this. The next month of life is still full of essentials for a growing kitten, even if he doesn’t consume his mother’s milk all the time.
The weaning process usually continues for about another month, until the puppies are fully weaned between 8 and 10 weeks of age. In this period, kittens occasionally continue to feed through the mother, but also begin to eat liquid kitten food.
Liquid kitten food should gradually become denser until it is canned cat food moistened with water, or kitten kibbles moistened. During the 4-6 week weaning period, the kitten will consume less and less milk from the mother. Getting a kitten used to eating dry food can take some time, so the cat should not be forced or rushed.
What happens if the cat mother is not around?
If the cat mother did not survive the birth, or is not healthy enough to take care of the puppies, or was hit by a car, or if a litter of kittens was abandoned in a shelter, kittens can still receive the necessary nutrition they need, and lead healthy lives with the help of humans. Some shelters can use a trusted nursing cat to feed the puppies and socialize them, or feed them with the use of the bottle with the formula for replacing milk for kittens.
Bottle-fed kittens do not receive the same care from humans as they would from a cat. Cats teach their puppies important skills that we cannot imitate as humans. The cats fed with the bottle are a great commitment in terms of time, so if we are thinking of adopting a young kitten who has to be fed in this way, and who does not have a mother cat, let’s get ready to feed and clean them often.
To remove a cat from the mother too early
At what age, taking a kitten then becomes a subject also linked to the mother / child bond between cats. If a kitten is picked up by his mother and sent to a new home too early, in fact, there may be some serious consequences for your physical and mental health.
The first weeks of a kitten’s life are essential for his health and the development of his body. Colostrum and nutrients in breast milk are responsible for strong bone development, eye health and complete organ development, therefore if a kitten is weaned too early, we could increase the risk of the kitty developing more health problems later on. A kitten removed from its mother too early may need nutritional supplementation and other veterinary care early in life.
In addition to health concerns, behavioral problems can arise in puppies that have been removed from their mothers too early in life. Moms teach basic lessons from their puppies that they will use for life, and release calming pheromones. Puppies who left their mothers too early may have difficulty grooming themselves, not knowing how to bury their litter in the litter box, playing too aggressively, not knowing how to look for food, or having other behavioral problems.
A kitten that is removed from the mother too early may also have difficulty adapting to her new home and new owners. Growing up with a mother and littermates is an essential part of socializing cats. Without proper socialization at a young age, the kitten can become fearful, mischievous or even aggressive.
Moreover, may not know how to communicate properly with other cats. We will therefore have to spend a significant amount of time working with a kitten who has not spent adequate time with her mother and her littermates. This will help him adapt to his new home and learn appropriate behaviors.
At what age should I get a kitten? Ideally, puppies should move to their new home around 12 weeks of age. Although some kittens can go to a new home sooner, the longer they wait up to 12 or 13 weeks, the better the kitten will be. Our cat’s chances of being healthy, well socialized and properly developed have greatly increased allowing him to spend more time with his mother and littermates.