How Long Do Kittens Need To Stay With Their Mother Before They Can Be Adopted Out?

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71 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Most kittens will be able to leave their mother and adopted out to new kittens at the age of between eight and ten weeks. For the first three to four weeks of their lives, the kittens must never be taken away from their mother. During this period the kittens will rely solely on the milk from their mother for nutrition, and until they are completely weaned from the milk, they can never be a healthy growing cat. Once they are weaned, however, they will start being able to eat cat food and relying solely on that for their nutrition. They soon lose any requirements to drink milk of any form - though many people like to let their cats drink milk in later life.

If you remove kittens from their mothers before they are completely weaned, then you can cause the kitten health problems. Some experts say that once they are weaned then this is the perfect time to take them away from their mothers, but there is of course no harm in letting the kitten stay with its mother for a little longer and learning important life skills by socializing.

Other experts would say that even though a kitten might be fully weaned, then it's actually best to leave the kitten with its mum for 12 weeks. It's up to you to decide which is best, but you will of course be looked upon as a more responsible breeder if you allow the kittens much longer to spent time with their mother.

So be responsible and make sure that you think the kitten has spent enough time with its mother. If it's never going to see its mother again then make sure that the kitten can learn enough valuable lessons from its mum.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Not before 12 weeks. Kittens have a crucial socialisation period between 6 and 12 weeks and they are still learning habits from their mother and social skills litter mates. As for the suggestion that the kitten will bond to it's mother more than you if you leave it for 12 weeks - it is simply not true. Kittens who leave their mothers early can experience a myriad of behavioural problems including an unhealthy focus on one member of the household, sucking on things such as blankets and people, biting, and scratching. Kittens are also still receiving vital nutrients and immunity from their mother. Much better to get a kitten that is a bit older but has had a strong start to life than a young kitten and have end up with problems
Steven DeJong Profile
Steven DeJong answered
8 weeks., or till they start eating solid foods
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Assuming they are healthy, and eating well, 8 weeks is the youngest suggested. They need to be eating wet food and drinking on their own, walking well (not spraddled out) and mom will show signs of weaning them, because their needle teeth hurt! You'll see teeth when the babies weee-owww at you crying to be put back with mom.

Breeders often wait till 12 weeks for the kittens to be more well developed, and have started their shots, or even been early-spayed. This prevents unlicensed purebreds and accidental kittens.

Early spay/neuter is really the only way to prevent more unplanned pregnancies. Even with a voucher, shelters find compliance to spay a pet is not good, so some are doing it too.

A number of holistic vets and many breeders are feeding raw diet to their animals to improve overall health. This is still controversial, as with humans arguing over natural diet versus processed. It (raw commercial diet) does improve coat and energy, and reduce stinky litterbox. A tablespoon of raw meat a few times a week puts gloss on the coat.

Suggest you read up on it and get both sides of the debate. I mention this because good diet means good kittens, and helps the mom, too. Cats don't bring corncobs to the doorstep, after all!

You may want to take the babies to a shelter, as "free" kittens end up in laboratories, or treated as disposable pets very often. It's worth the cost of the surrender fee to protect them. Good luck!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I read that kittens had to stay with there moms for 3 months thats 12 weeks
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
They have to be between 6 and 8 weeks. If they stay with their mom longer they may get seperation issues I have read.
Krista Profile
Krista answered
Kittens should be at the VERY least 6 weeks old, but it is better to let them stay with their mother for a lot longer. Cat breeders often do not let their kittens leave until 12 weeks to make sure they have developed physically, emotionally, socially, etc. Breeders, however, vaccinate their kittens before letting them go to their new homes, and without these vaccinations, they could experience some serious complications. So the choice is really up to you. My cat has 5 kittens and they will not be leaving until they are at least 8 weeks, probably longer.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Thanks. I also needed to know the answer. I am caring for stray cats who just had kittens and want to take away the kittens so this chain of cats won't go on forever. I will wait about  8 to 12 weeks before I take them away. Thanks again. :D
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Erm id say between 6 to 8 weeks, well it depends how the mother acts towards them. Whenever they start using the litter box( well sometimes be4) and eat solid food then start being independent really.
Hope this helps even though I'm pratically saying the same as everyone else. But heyy =]
Steph Profile
Steph answered
I believe 8-10 weeks, they usually have to be able to eat solid food or at least soft food, and drink on there own. Good luck!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
When they don't need their mother's milk anymore, and are eating solid food on their own.  also, the mom should have taught them to use a little box, if indoor cats.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Usually it roughly about 8 weeks but the mother will push them away when she feels they are ready or she can't feed them milk any more..
Kimberly Profile
Kimberly answered
Usually eight weeks is fine. Sometimes breeders will keep them longer, but this should be an appropriate amount of time.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Well, the right answer is 12 weeks, not 8 or under, that is much to young it is true they won't physically need there mother at that age, but mentally they will need her, and taken away at 8 weeks and earlier could result in problems.
dasia hood Profile
dasia hood answered
You can start to sell the kittens when they can eat solid foods. If they are still drinking milk from the mom then you can not take them but when they eat solid foods then you can sell them.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Hey I love kittens I have so many  and 2 were just born and I'm keeping ONE I'm so happy and they can be giving away in about 6-8 weeks or also maby when they start to eat hard food
jessica lawrence Profile
Well usually around six to eight weeks it usually depends on how fast the kittens develop but mostly when their eyes and ear are open and they are walking around good eating mushy cat food in a can you can usually give them away believe me in own 3 of them.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The kittens can leave their mother at 6 weeks old, but just to make sure that they know what they need to learn, let them stay with their mother until 8 weeks old. They will need to learn to eat solid foods before you send them off to their new homes.

Hope that helped :)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I just found a baby kitten in my boyfriend's aunts garage-- he was very weak & couldn't really meow loudly or stand without falling over. I'm guessing he was the runt or the mother wasn't able to move him like she did with the other kittens for some reason. So, I took him-- got him formula & bottles at the local pet shop & he's been great. He's moving around pretty quick, has no problem meowing (he wakes me up out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night to be fed, from his bottle). He's turning 4 weeks old this week. I've only had him for 1 week, but already see a huge difference in him, health & activity wise. As long as you have the time & patience, you can nurse the baby yourself. Kingsley is doing great!..
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
Typically, mother's nurse their babies for about six weeks. After that she will teach them to eat and drink water. You may have to show them where the litter box is, just take them to it several times a day until they get the idea.
Sunny Johansson Profile
Sunny Johansson answered
Kittens still have much to learn from their mother by 6 weeks. They will be happier if they stay with mom until they are 10 - 12 weeks old.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Kittens from 6 weeks can leave their mother.
BUT I'd never advise them to be away that early,
8-12 weeks is a more stable age.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Usually 8 weeks old is ok for them to leave their mother but the longer the better. I would recommend 12 weeks to give them time to learn everything they need to know.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think about 6-10 weeks would be okay. Some breeders may keep them a bit longer though
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Six weeks is the time at which they stop nursing (spelling ?) but they still need time to be liter box trained and give them a little teen to get use to eating solid food. Anywhere from eight weeks to 10 weeks is a good time period. But, I would recommend not going past 10 weeks. After that that may get to attached to there mothers.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Normally it is 6 to 8 weeks after the kitten is born. But there are some times that the kitten can be given away at the age of 2 weeks. Most people wait tell after 6 months so the baby will learn from its mother how to survive. Others will want to train the baby by them selves. It really depends on what you want to do. Other times it depends on the cat food. You may have to wait tell the kitten is eating wet cat food. Others may choose to get kitten milk from a store and nurse the kitten them selves. Once again it depends on the person. Good luck with your new kittens!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Never let kittens leave their mother under 12 weeks of age! Don't listen to anyone else, if they leave any younger than 12 weeks, they won't be healthy, won't use their litter box and won't be sociable.  They need the 12 weeks to develop these skills and to stay healthy.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The kitten needs to be 12 weeks, 3 months. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!! If they are not that old they have not fully developed and can become ill, they will not have the proper nutrients and vitamins available to them to keep thier systems at tip-top shape. They need to be on solid food before they are even concidered to be ready to leave the mother
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

Ours had 5 kittens. They are roughly 8 weeks now and we started re-homing them. They all use the litter pan, have been eating solid food for weeks now and run and play like crazy.

Pam Jones Profile
Pam Jones answered
Yeah, usually about six weeks...or when they can eat cat food and lap up milk from a bowl.
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
Kittens are usually ready to leave their mother a 6 weeks old and they should be starting to eat solids. Starting to use the litter box, and playing between sleeping and eating. Hope this helps, good luck.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Six week old, just make sure they are eating solid food and drinking water good before you let them go to  their new homes
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I am waiting to get two kittens from my neighbor and they are about 4 weeks old if anyone has a good answer for how long I have to wait then please let me know
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My cat is going to be having kittens and I wanted to know the same thing. They need to stay with mothers for at LEAST six weeks. The best time to wait to find them new homes is eight weeks.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
About 6 to 8 weeks
thanked the writer.
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
6 to 8 weeks is far too young. Most vets or breeders recommend 12 weeks as the best age.Remember being taken away from mum is very traumatic for a young kitten so it is also best to rehome them in pairs where possible.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A kitten can leave their mother at 6 weeks. But make sure they are eating and drinking good before they go to new homes.I have found that some kittens will not eat wet cat food, I tried dry and they started eating solid food.
sherry rulla Profile
sherry rulla answered
With all due respect......\"A mother leaves her kittens in like 2 weeks\" has either extremely little knowledge of mama cats, or this is a typographical error. Anyone who parts the kittens from their mom at this age really doesn\'t need a pet.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Kittens can b given away anytym after 6 wks old jus ensure the hme they are going to is safe as I have a neice who is nearly 2 and I found it very difficult to keep her frm grabbing at them!

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