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Rehoming at 8 weeks? Making myself unpopular...

31 replies

YoureAllABunchOfBastards · 04/12/2013 21:32

Two colleagues have recently decided to get kittens. One has already got hers, the other is getting his in a week. Both kittens are 8 weeks (separate litters). I happened to say that I thought that might be a bit young - oh dear, didn't go down well. I thought 12 weeks was the recommended age?

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 04/12/2013 21:37

It is but they are cuter & smaller at 8 weeks Sad

I wouldn't take a kitten under 12wks but a lot of rescues re-home at 8 but they need to make room for new arrivals.

cozietoesie · 04/12/2013 21:42

10 weeks at least I would have thought but most pedigree breed societies (who are in a position to lay down guidelines) insist on 12 weeks plus - say 13 or 14 weeks.

You could well make yourself unpopular however - even though you were right. People just want to get new homes for kits as soon as - and others like to take on young kits because they're so 'cute'. They don't always want to listen, particularly when the deed is done.

timtam23 · 04/12/2013 21:53

I do think that is too young, I took in a stray recently who was estimated to be 7 weeks old and he seemed so tiny. He was undoubtedly supercute (pics on my profile!) but by 10-12 weeks old he had much more confidence and character, and if it had been possible for him to stay with his mum he would have learnt a lot more from her about "being a cat" by that age! My neighbour's daughter recently got 2 8-week-old kittens (from a litter so I saw no need to rush them away from mum) and I had to bite my tongue as I was about to say she should have waited a few more weeks

Fluffycloudland77 · 04/12/2013 21:56

How is Dudley? Does the older cat like him now?

YoureAllABunchOfBastards · 04/12/2013 22:00

First colleague was trying to make the kitten sleep downstairs. I did point out that training cats is a metaphor for a reason...

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 04/12/2013 22:09

Their first cat by any chance?

cozietoesie · 04/12/2013 22:13

The semi-sad thing is that most of these kittens survive and become loving cats. I wouldn't wish ill to any of them but it does result in a goodly number of people who will hold forth on 'I got my kitten at X weeks and he was just fine' without always realizing how much better off it would have been for a few weeks longer with its Mum.

timtam23 · 04/12/2013 22:44

Fluffy thanks for asking, Dudley is 5 months old & just brilliant now - and the old blind cat has got something of a new lease of life with a kitten to play with, he & Duds go outside together & Duds seems to know he is blind & looks after him in the big wide world Smile

cozietoesie · 04/12/2013 22:46

Awwww. I would have been glad if they'd only reached an accommodation. Becoming chums is even better. It was meant to be.


Lonecatwithkitten · 04/12/2013 23:12

Actually 8 weeks is fine they are fully weaned in their socialisation period a great time to go.
The only reason pedigree cats don't go till 12 weeks is because the GCFC insist that kittens are fully vaccinated before they go to their new homes and the earliest age to achieve this is 12 weeks.

Lonecatwithkitten · 04/12/2013 23:18

I just checked the oracle of cat care - International cat care (previously FAB) recommends kittens go to new homes at 8 weeks. All their advice is produced by a panel of worlds top cat vets and cat behaviourists.
The only reason they state that pedigree cats go later is vaccinations, but that if you are buying an older kitten you should check that the breeder has worked very hard to ensure good socialisation.

cozietoesie · 04/12/2013 23:34

I think that for once we'll have to disagree on this one, Lone. I think it's certainly possible to adopt at that age if the kitten is happy and healthy but I also think that extra time with Mum and any litter mates is enormously useful for future development.

I wouldn't take a kitten at that age myself unless there were good reasons for getting it out of its early environment.

cozietoesie · 04/12/2013 23:45

I also, from interest, checked the \link{\icc site and relevant recommendations}. I don't think that they are quite a resounding '8 weeks is the best time'. It's more of a '8 weeks if needs be....'

Lonecatwithkitten · 04/12/2013 23:47

I would suggest reading the international cat care leaflet on this cozie it is very interesting and has been produced with carefully consideration. Combined with their bringing up a litter of kittens leaflet it makes very good reading.
Research has shown that the window of needing to be with the mother cat closes at 7 weeks. The socialisation that goes on whilst they are with the mother between 2 and 7 weeks is the most important bit to them growing up to be well socialised cat.

cozietoesie · 04/12/2013 23:50

I will do, Lone. It's just that I've experienced so many kits at that critical age and at 8 weeks they're socialized and weaned but not quite so 'ready' to start on their new lives.

Lonecatwithkitten · 04/12/2013 23:59

I see so many cats and have to admit the largest group of difficult cats are pedigree cats that didn't leave their breeder until they were 13 weeks old and actually were poorly socialised. Large numbers of bengals fall into this category and my own British short hair - the world's most horrid cat falls into this category.
I feel far more harm can occur by remaining too long in their breeding home without good socialisation than through re homing at 8 weeks.
Nearly every moggie kitten I see at 9 weeks has been in its new home for at least a week.
Perhaps the physical scars inflicted by poorly socialised pedigree cats colour my opinion. As a really nasty moggie is much, much rarer than a really nasty pedigree.

cozietoesie · 05/12/2013 00:12

There certainly are a good number of Siamese pedigree breeders who pretty much leave the cats to it and don't do their duty by the kits in terms of socialization. (That's the only pedigree breed I can talk about - I have no experience eg of Bengals and BSH.)

It's almost as if some breeders are themselves overcome by how 'pretty' their kittens are and don't think beyond that kitten stage to the mature cat and their responsibility to lay a good foundation for that long life.

I know that I've actually walked on by a breeder's home before now. Difficult one - you want to give a kit a good stable happy life for a long time but sometimes you just don't want to give that particular breeder any justification in their practices by taking one of their kits.

Fluffycloudland77 · 05/12/2013 11:27

I like them to stay until mums ready to kick them out so she won't miss them.

I'm a bit soppy though.

Maybe I should change my views after reading lones post.

issey6cats · 05/12/2013 12:45

my two ferals are going to their new home tonight and they are 8-9 weeks old, but the reason is A i have got them sociable and B their new mom and dad have 3 days off work this weekend to spend all day bonding with them, they havent been with their mom since we rescued them at 5-6 weeks so mom cant teach them any more but they have had my big cats to learn from and i am confident that they will grow up to be very cute very lovely cats

cozietoesie · 05/12/2013 12:53

Do you still get pangs, issey, or are you too experienced a foster now?

issey6cats · 07/12/2013 20:16

cozie got to admit these two were hard to let go as they were so pretty and the girl one was coming on my lap for cuddles

cozietoesie · 07/12/2013 20:24

Ach - you've given them a real good start She'll be looking for cuddles from her new Mom now, as a result of your socialization. Smile

lljkk · 07/12/2013 20:29

But kittens can be well socialised and still be with mum, can't they? Seems obviously wrong to imply it's one or the other (I guess that's how it works if you only care about breeding them for money).

issey6cats · 07/12/2013 20:36

lljkk i think what people are saying about breeders is they tend not to give the kittens much in the way of human interaction like someone with moggy kittens would, ie playing with them, picking them up cuddling them im not a breeder so dont know but i think a lot of breeders keep their nursing queens and litters in seperate rooms to the rest of the house,

lljkk · 08/12/2013 08:12

yeah, but that's just what is wrong with the pedigree industry, isn't it?
We have boring black moggies of unclear origins. We chose them because they were friendly kittens. Far superior trait to a pedigree on paper or breed name.

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