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Integrating kittens to family

(7 Posts)
Ghirly Wed 15-May-13 04:51:24

Hi all, I'm really desperate for some advice.

I got my female cat from a friend of a friend when she was a few months old, was told she was neutered.
Fast forward to recently and my cat had 4 kittens - obviously NOT been neutered.

Anyway, I'm over that now and just looking for advice about the kittens.

They're 3 weeks and 3 days old. When they were about a week old the mum took them all and hid them under my 22yr old DDs bed, where they've stayed since.

I was told that its time to integrate them into the family, I have two kids under 7 etc, so I made them up an area downstairs, got the mums stuff all sorted and brought the kittens down. Within about a minute and a half the mum took a kitten and ran back upstairs and put the kitten back under the bed, I put the rest for back for her.

Question is, how do I get the kittens to join the family whilst mum cat us being so protective??
To weigh them I have to wait until the mum is feeding then close the door behind me. If any of them squeak mum is running back and trying to get into the room.
Kittens enjoy being handled but mum doesn't like it at all.

Help! (Sorry it's long! )

cozietoesie Wed 15-May-13 07:16:50

It wasn't that long. smile

Mum has been real protective and I can understand why she's taken them off to a quiet place if you have two under 7s. A lot of cats move kits to out of the way locations.

Just over 3 weeks is still real young though so I wouldn't worry unduly about integrating them if you can square it with your DD. You said they're happy to be handled and presumably your DD is still using the room and they're being exposed to her day to day movements and noises and also those of anyone else coming into the room - and the general house noise from outside the room, muted though it may be.

Mum will be starting to become fed up with them soonish so I wouldn't force the issue right now. (She's already made her feelings clear at this point by moving them back up there.) You could go into DD's room by yourself and read books or whatever so that they become used to you in a quiet way as well as DD. Other than that, I would, myself, just let it ride for a short while. The kits will become more adventurous and you'll find soon enough that they're all over the house as Mum backs off a bit.

(In fact you'll likely soon long for the days when they were safely mured upstairs.)

Is Mum booked in for her snip as soon as it's OK?

Ghirly Wed 15-May-13 09:03:28

Thank you so much for your very quick reply. You have totally put my mind at ease as I was panicking thinking the mum cat will never let her kittens go!!
She is already now leaving my DDs bedroom for periods of time and sitting with us all downstairs. (She is especially clingy to me these days which is weird, but lovely. Maybe she realises I'm also a hormonal female! Haha)

Plus a couple of the kittens in particular at also venturing out from under the bed so what you've said definitely matches their behaviour, thank you!

Funnily enough I'm taking my other cat to the vet today for a check up (I think he may have a sore eye) so I'm speaking to them about neutering my mother cat when the time is right.

When the kittens go to their new homes (at 10 weeks old) will the mum be negatively affected? I'm worried it will really upset her.

cozietoesie Wed 15-May-13 09:12:47

At that age, content to see the back of them more like! I remember when I went to get Twoago (story elsewhere on the board this morning) Mum bounced into the room, paid absolutely no attention to the 12 week old kittens everywhere and headed straight for us. You could just see the look on her face saying 'Oh Joy! People!'


PS - she may look for the last one in a desultory fashion but by that time she really won't be too worried. In the wild, they might be having to make their own way in life as early as 12 weeks and certainly by that time, the bonds are loosening. 12 weeks is a good time to rehome them.

cozietoesie Wed 15-May-13 09:17:28

PPS - 10 weeks is OK though. They should just about be trained and socialized by then.

(Don't let DD see this bit.)

Remember that they stand a very strong chance of having fleas and worms so you'll need to seek the vet's advice on that. As they've lived under DD's bed for so long, I'd assume the worst and buy some indoor carpet type flea treatment from the vet when you're up there. Bit of a PITA but there you go.

Ghirly Thu 16-May-13 10:42:20

Thanks again for all the information.
Do all newborn kittens have a high chance of having fleas and worms? I didn't know that. Why is that?
How will I know if they do?? Will I need to treat all of DDs room with flea powder or just the area the kittens were lying?

Sorry for being sooooo clueless.......... blush

cozietoesie Thu 16-May-13 12:25:46

A pretty high chance, yes. They get them from Mum and they can be quite dangerous to small bodies. You might have been lucky but best to check with the vet. She'll likely assume they have worms in any case. (Fleas/flea dirt you should be able to see.)

If needed:

I'd get a spray (Indorex from the vet is what I use) and not powder. You'll have to forgive but I just have a (probably) unreasonable dislike of powders from many many moons ago and First Cat. Maybe they're still around and much improved. Make sure to leave windows open while you're doing it.

Hoover the whole room (especially crevices and edges) beforehand like a Stepford Wife and hot wash the bedding etc. Your main point of attack will be the place where the kits were lying but for myself, I'd do the whole room/parts near the bed depending on how much you have left in the can.

Best of luck - and remember to ask the vet about treatment for Mum as well. As she's lactating, take their professional advice on that.

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