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Old 07-02-2010, 06:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Handling new born kittens - what are the rules?

Can someone tell me what the 'rules' are in regards to handling newborn kittens? I know you're not supposed to up for a few weeks, but what is the recommended time? And what if you need to intervene (kitten was crawling out of the drawer that Jackson has moved them to, so I put it back inside, and rearranged the bedding so thing couldn't happen again). I don't want to do anything detrimental to them or Jackson. She wasn't cross with me for touching the escaping kitten.

Obviously I don't want her to reject them, so can someone please advise?

Thanks
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling new born kittens - what are the rules?

It is perfect acceptable to move newborn kittens. Ive moved newborns up to the mother to nurse esp the runts. Once they are about 3 weeks Id make it a regular practise to handle them, to get the kittens use to humans and be adoptable.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling new born kittens - what are the rules?

This is my opinion ...if you're unsure, it's best to ask a vet/vet-tech

If the mother is taking care of them, I would say the only handling you should do is after 2 or 3 weeks old (less fragile). Of course, you should be gentle since they're still pretty frail. Just hold them in your lap, or lay down and have them on your chest, and gently pet them.

If you're taking care of orphaned kittens, obviously you'll need to handle them to bottle feed and wipe their under-tail area for elimination.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling new born kittens - what are the rules?

I've been fostering a litter and was there at their birth...came home from work to see the mom giving birth in the LITTERBOX, so I called my vet to make sure, and she said YES definitely move them. So I touched newborn kittens with no ill effects.

I was told to leave them alone for a few DAYS, but it was ok to pick them up after that. As long as you don't do it too much, and you're very gentle. They get scared and tend to cry if you just dangle them in the air- they do better held to your chest so that they can feel your heartbeat. It helps if the mom is already comfortable with you, but this was a semi-feral foster cat that we picked up a few days before she gave birth, and she was still totally okay with us touching them.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling new born kittens - what are the rules?

With absolutely no experience or knowledge on the matter, the only thing I would suggest is to be sure to give the mother plenty of petting, too.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling new born kittens - what are the rules?

Well, I don't have ALOT of experience in raising litters of kittens but we have had a few litters here over the years until the cats were spayed....with each litter I have picked up each and every kitten the day it was born and made sure everything appeared normal. Made sure each one was latching on and eating. After that I would feel their bellies daily but I didn't pick them up unless I needed to. After they were a bit older, I would handle them more to keep them tame and use to humans.

However, my mother kitties were completely fine with me handling and touching the kittens.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling new born kittens - what are the rules?

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately ~ depending how you look at it ~ my TNR group has had lots of experience handling new born kittens and raising kittens! To keep a kitten safe is important. So you will be handling them. How much handling depends on the mother. Is she feral, semi feral, socialized etc? New borns are so tiny they can fit in the cup of your hand! Its precious. I hope everything is going well with the new mom and kittens you have.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling new born kittens - what are the rules?

I have fostered many litters I hold them two or three times a day from birth talk to them love them kiss them.

I have held litters that the mother only knew me for a few days the earlier you hold them the more social they are.


So I would say hold them now you need to weigh them everyday anyway to make sure they are gaining weight to change bedding every two days.


I would say hold them now.
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