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Old 04-07-2005, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How soon can kittens be adopted

Could someone post a website I can go
read up on how soon to adopt out kittens and take
them from their mothers?

I know someone who is going to let kittens go at
7 weeks.. I thought 12 weeks so I need to read up
and give this information to them.
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Old 04-07-2005, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A lot of people give cats away (or even "breeders" sell them!) at 8 weeks... some 10, and even some at 6 weeks!! I hate seeing this! Especially with puppies, just because in all honesty they're not worth having at 6 weeks... they're still quite helpless and more work than they should be... plus they need mom!

12 weeks is really the best. It helps with socialization and learning valuable lessons (like how to properly cover their messes in the litter box!) before they leave.

I'm too lazy to find websites, but I'm sure plenty of other people can
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Old 04-08-2005, 12:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't have any websites to recommend.

At the shelter we usually let them go @ 8 weeks. It would be great to keep them until 12 weeks, but we really need to get them homes so we can take in new cats or kittens. I know there are always going to be exceptions and someone is going to tell you a bad experience they have had, but 8 weeks has always seemed to work out at the shelter.

I am getting a kitten from my boyfriend and I am going to let her stay w/ the mom for at least 12 weeks- maybe longer. Most breeders that I have talked to seem to keep the kittens till about 12 weeks too.
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Old 04-08-2005, 06:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree. I think breeders and cats in homes should stay until 12 weeks, but shelters are a different matter. In the UK, most kittens (and puppies) leave mum from 8 weeks onwards. I think this is ok as long as they are not going to be left alone a lot.

I let my kittens go at 8 weeks. Isis was fed up with them and sore, and they wouldn't leave her alone. I cannot imagine what leaving them another 4 weeks would have done to her!

As far as puppies go, the most important socialisation period is 6-14 weeks. Unless that litter was with an extremely great breeder with an intense socialisation program, I'd want my pup before 12 weeks.
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Old 04-08-2005, 04:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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From what I've read, 12 weeks is ideal although when I took my 2 litters to the shelter I really thought they looked kind of big, at 12 weeks. They were already starting to look like teenagers rather than the small, fluffy, cute stage they are at 8 weeks. I just think they have a better chance of being adopted at a younger age.
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Old 04-08-2005, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm a believer in 12 weeks too. The rescue organization I volunteer with won't adopt out before 12 weeks ( http://www.meowfoundation.com/about/faq.html#kitten )
Seems to me that if you tell potential adopters that they have to wait until 12 weeks to make sure the kittens have the best chance at a healthy life people should think that is a good thing, and if they are not willing to wait then maybe they wouldn't be the best home? After all they will be with the cat (hopefully!) for many years so it should be worth an extra couple weeks to give a little extra assurance that those years will be as happy and healthy as possible! There is a very big developmental difference between a 7 week old kitten and a 12 week old kitten.
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yup, at least 12 weeks. My vet said they could leave at 8 weeks and I adopted 2 out at that age, but once I saw the feline social skills and maturity the 2 remaining learned from momma cat in the period from 8 to 12 weeks, I'm a firm believer in at least 12 weeks now.

The people who get the kittens will thank you. They are much less likely to get a cat with behavior issues.
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