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Q: How Old Should A Kitten Be Before Removed From it's Mother?

May 17, 2008 | By kara r. | 7 answers | Expired: 2152 days ago

How Old Should A Kitten Be Before Removed From it's Mother?

My sister believes it four weeks until the kitten is weened but i've read that that is the time when the kitten is most susceptible to learning and i fear waiting after that and it wont be trainable.

I guess not to mention i'm really impatient and want my kitten now...

Readers' Answers (7)
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SuzzieQ
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May 22, 2008

6 weeks minuim, better yet 8. the 7th and 8th week is useally when they learn to play nice and not to bite, claw and scratch

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Christine
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May 19, 2008

I definately agree with Silver Dragon's response... and that time would be the definate minimum. It's very important that kittens be able to stay with their mother and siblings to develop confidence in themselves and feel secure when they DO end up leaving the only life they've ever known. Cats bond at any age (I just got one from the humane society, she is 3, and over the past few months she has bonded wonderfully with us and we have trained her things too), and they are very smart and can be trained at any age as well. The old adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is false!! Good luck on your kitten!

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Silver Dragon Pets N.
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May 18, 2008

No kitten should ever leave his or her mother until at least eight weeks old. That is at the very least. Responsible cat breeders would never consider letting their kittens leave until 12-16 weeks old. The longer they stay with their mom and litter-mates, the better. Social and emotional development are strongly linked to time spent with mom.

As for not being able to train a cat, nothing could be farther from the truth! Cats bond at any age. An adult cat is every bit as trainable as a kitten. As long as these kittens are not feral and are getting human interaction now, they will be fine with staying with their mother for longer.

I believe that every state in the US has a law regarding the age a puppy can be removed from it's parents, some states require 6 and some states require 8 weeks. I believe many states include kittens into this requirement. The USDA does not allow any puppy or kitten to be transported or sold under 8-weeks old, though I believe that requirement may only be for USDA licensed breeders.

Lastly, kittens separated from their mothers too soon often suffer from serious issues as a result. I've had rescue kitties that sucked on blankets and hair, even as adults. I've had kittens come in that didn't even know how to clean themselves because they were taken from their mother's too soon. You would be doing your kitten a great injustice by taking him/her away from mom right now. Please wait.

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Carly T.
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May 18, 2008

You can probably seperate the kittens from their mothers when they are between 12 and 14 weeks.

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sharon d.
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May 18, 2008

I think that the average time is around 6-7 weeks for a kitten to wean from its mother,but that doesn't actually mean separating from its siblings and parent.
I think ideally separating should be done later,at least 12 weeks old or more.
The reason for this is the fact that if kittens are taken away from siblings and mother too soon,they often don't have their social skills totally developed yet.
This is the time where they learn behaviors,how to play and get along without going to far,they learn rank,and who's in charge,etc.
I have really found this to be true when I've dealt with the single feral kittens .My daughter has a kitten that was raised on a baby bottle because the parent couldn't care for him.He was alone,no siblings,no parent,and I think that it made a huge impact on why he lacked so many social skills,with people and other animals,and why he's not very outgoing or friendly.

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Percysmom
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May 17, 2008

I've gotten two kittens from two different breeders. Both were very responsible and cared for their cats alot. Neither,would release their kittens until they were around 15 weeks of age. I've read and been told by the breeders as well, that the mother is the one who teaches the kittens some very important basic manners that help them to be better pets. Keeping a kitten with the mother longer has more than nutritional purposes. It is important for the emotional and mental growth of the kitten. Of course the kittens should also be handled daily by the human currently caring for the mother and litter. If the mother is ferral taking the kittens away sooner is better to keep them from going wild as well. My cats are extremely people oriented! Staying with their mother did not change that.

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Jill R.
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May 17, 2008

You can start introducing soften kitten food when they start getting teeth. They will still nurse, but won't be such a burden on momma when there's some soften kitten food around. A great book for you would be KITTENS for DUMMIES by Dusty Rainbolt, she addresses this issue very well, amongst other things.

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