Q: How old does a kitten have to be before you can hold and touch it?

May 4, 2010 | By Marie H. | 5 answers | Expired: 2096 days ago

Marie H.

I have 6 new kittens (3 from one cat, and 3 from another) and i was just wondering when i could touch them.

Readers' Answers (5)

May 04, 2010

as long as the mamas trust you, as soon as you want. try to keep the touching to a minimum the first week and make sure you wash your hands first until they've reach that one month mark. it's good for them to get use to being touched shortly after their eyes open, and don't stop rubbing those bellies. otherwise they grow up not liking it, which can mean bites and scratches to unsuspecting adopters.

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May 05, 2010

It is really good to get the kittens used to human touch as early as possible. I find that a good way to get some daily human contact for them, is to weigh them daily starting the day they are born. I have a postage scale that I use to make sure that they are gaining weight everyday. That is usually about the only time that I pick them up for about the first 1-2 weeks after they are born. Otherwise I will give them a few gentle pets while they are in their nesting box. Of course, I have been lucky to have nice mama cats who have had no problem with me touching their kittens.
As soon as they are old enough, in the 2-3 week old range, I take them out of their nesting box a few times a day so that we can touch them a lot, talk to them(they will get to know your voice), and give them a bigger space to practice walking. I also limit their contact with children until the kittens are a few weeks old. Sometimes kids are not gentle enough, and can make mama cat anxious. When my niece comes over, who is now 6, she always gets a briefing before seeing the kittens to be calm and quiet in the kitten room and to go in and just sit on the floor, so that no kittens end up getting trampled and mama cat isn't worried about a small noisy human stomping around the room:)
And I always make sure that I, or anyone else coming in contact with the kittens, washes their hands or uses hand sanitizer first. I have a bottle of hand sanitizer in the room with the kittens and use it on my way in, and again on my way out so I can protect my own cats too.

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Nancy C.

May 04, 2010

Jillians' advice is really good. You have to have the trust of the mothers first. If that's not a problem you really should not handle the kittens too much in the first two weeks. I know this can be tough because they are so darn endearing. A little touching is ok but make sure you keep your hands clean to avoid giving anything to them. Its is good to touch and interract with them after their eyes are opened so that the kittens become socialized in a positive way about people.

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