Separating a New Kitten From The Mother
Adopting a new kitten can be a very exciting time. And for many people – the smaller the kitten is, the better. As our new kitten grows up, we often think – If only they could stay this small forever.
There is conflicting information about when it is safe to take your new kitten from her mother. Some experts say 6 weeks, some say 8 weeks and others say as old as 12 weeks. The reality is – it’s really dependent on the specific kitten. While the feline may be able to survive without her mother as early as 6 weeks, it is probably a good idea to wait a bit longer.
Before taking your new kitten from her mother, here are some things to consider:
A mother cat will help your new kitten learn to socialize. Spending time with the mother cat and sibling kitties will help your new kitten, especially if your kitten will be living with other felines. Much of the socializing education happens between week 6 and 8.
The mother cat’s milk is nutritional for your new kitten. A mother cat’s milk contains antibodies that will help your new kitten fight disease and build her immune system.
Kittens need to be weaned from their mother’s milk. This process usually starts around week 4. The weaning process usually ends about week 12, at which time your new kitten can live solely on cat food. The weaning process should not be rushed. If your new kitten is removed from her mother too soon, she may develop “wool sucking.” “Wool sucking” is a condition where cats suck and chew on various things, such as fabric.
The mother cat will teach your new kitten to use the litter pan. Every cat is different with this, but it is imperative that your feline is fully trained to use the litter pan before being taken from the mother cat.
Taking the kitten away from its mother too early can be dangerous. If you are unsure about the right time to take your new kitten from her mother, talk to your vet. The needs of each specific kitten are different.