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What age should kittens be allowed out and about?

(15 Posts)
RobinEggs Tue 07-Aug-18 20:56:12

I’m obviously completely clueless on cats! But what looked (to me) like a tiny little kitten has been coming into my garden for the last few days. It’s still clumsy and tripping over its paws and mewing like I’d imagine a baby to do rather than a proper meow.

The first time I saw it I picked it up and knocked on all the nearby neighbours as I assumed it had escaped. No one knew whose it was and then when I put it back down on the ground it scampered off under the gate. I haven’t been feeding it or anything, and it certainly doesn’t seem to be malnourished. It has a collar on so it’s obviously someone’s pet.

I don’t know whether little kittens are supposed to be out on their own? Am I just being a busybody and worrying about it secretly hoping it’s been abandoned and I get to keep it? There are a lot of fairly territorial bigger cats around here, would they hurt a little kitten wandering about on its own?

OP’s posts: |
catlady34 Tue 07-Aug-18 20:57:48

What does the collar say?

RobinEggs Tue 07-Aug-18 21:00:15

There was no name or number, it was just a little pink collar with a bell. Although are there sometimes little pouches or something tucked in that I may not have spotted?

OP’s posts: |
Vinorosso74 Tue 07-Aug-18 21:04:47

At the very least not until they have had vaccines and been neutered which would be 4 months but I think I would wait until at least 6 months to let them off alone.
Might be worth a trip to a vet to get it scanned for a microchip (but take collar off before taking it to vets).
Have you any photos?

viccat Tue 07-Aug-18 21:05:13

They are only clumsy for about 8-9 weeks so that sounds like a tiny kitten indeed! They should only go out after neutering - so about 4-6 months, and ideally not unsupervised for a while.

If you see the kitten again, I would definitely recommend taking it to your local vet's and explaining the situation, and they can try to look for an owner.

AnnaMagnani Tue 07-Aug-18 21:12:14

I kept mine in 6 months, some people do let out earlier but they can be pretty stupid before then, getting lost, getting stuck and generally unable to find their way home or out of trouble.

So I think you are right to worry and I'd probably get it checked for a microchip at a vets.

RobinEggs Tue 07-Aug-18 21:13:12

I didn’t get any photos unfortunately. I’ll take some tomorrow if it shows up again though.

From this picture I found I’d guess it’s 6-8 weeks - I don’t normally notice cats out and about tbh and I was surprised at how little it was. Maybe it’s climbimg out of a window or something and owner doesn’t realise? It can’t be coming from too far away though. There’s a lot of black backed gulls round here who are still very territorial, they’d make very short work of it if they spotted it sad

If I take it to the vets to get I scanned would I have to pay for that? Or is it something they do for free?

OP’s posts: |
Vinorosso74 Tue 07-Aug-18 21:39:56

Vets will scan for free. If cat is only 6-8 weeks it shouldn't even be away from it's mum.

RobinEggs Tue 07-Aug-18 21:48:54

Thanks for advice - glad to see it’s not normal to see a tiny kitten wandering about. If it turns up again I’ll take it to the vets, are they normally chipped at that age? I have visions of getting there to be told it’s about 5 and just a small breed grinblush

OP’s posts: |
Lynne1Cat Tue 07-Aug-18 21:51:43

Kittens shouldn't leave their mother until 12 weeks of age (although many do).

Once they have had their jabs and been spayed/neutered, they're fine to be out..although identichipping is a good idea. The kitten you describe sounds far too young for those things.

I've had several cats, over 38 years.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 07-Aug-18 22:05:28

I'd check you can get two fingers under the collar. If it's lost with a collar on it'll strangle it.

You can attach a note to the collar, wrap it around and Sellotape it on, with your number on saying is this your cat?.

I'd ring if my cat came in with an note on it.

RobinEggs Wed 08-Aug-18 20:26:54

I’ve just seen on my local Spotted website that a little dead kitten by the side of the road about 100m from my house sadsadsad. Poor little thing, I’m feeling so awful for not having taken it to the vet to be scanned when I first saw it. No ones claiming it to be theirs.

OP’s posts: |
GreenTeaPleaseSir Wed 08-Aug-18 20:32:55

It could have escaped and got lost sad

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 08-Aug-18 20:33:33

Oh dear. Poor wee thing.

You'll have to adopt a kitten from a rescue, you obviously like cats.

Vinorosso74 Wed 08-Aug-18 20:38:21

Oh no sad

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