Introducing male to nursing female...when? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2007, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Introducing male to nursing female...when?

Hey everyone,
I searched for this topic with no avail. With kitten season starting a little early this year due to the warm temps in the northeast, I was convinced to take in and foster a nursing mother with 3 kittens. For now, I have them in a spare room. I do have a resident cat, male, neutered, a little over a year old. Not aggressive at all. I have introduced him to other cats before, and he bonded almost immediately. He's a total mush. Anyway, the question is: when can I introduce him to the mom/kittens? Is there ever a point that the mom will be accepting of his presence and not defensive? They are now 4 weeks old. I will post pics when I get a chance. Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2007, 11:59 PM
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Do not introduce them until the kittens exhibit more independent behavior! I'm talking like....over 8 weeks old and weaned from Mamma.

I brought in a pregnant female who was friendly with ALL my resident housecats (8 or 9 at that time) but when she kittened, she turned into a she-devil towards the other cats so I kept them seperated!
As a matter of fact, I never let her or her kittens mix with the other housecats until after her babies were taken to the adoption place. We wound up keeping her (Shadow) because she did not do well at the adoption weekend.

Several weeks before the adoption weekend, I had a calico manx bring her two kittens to my house. The babies were wild, and about 9-10 weeks old, the mother (CalicoBob) was people-friendly and she and Shadow got along well. Shadow had just had her kittens taken for adoption so they were gone, and after a few hisses, she and CalicoBob got along famously and both 'took care' of CalicoBob's two kittens.
CB's kittens tamed quickly and when all four went to the adoption weekend, everyone was adopted but Shadow, who hid behind the litter box the whole weekend. When I came for her on Sunday afternoon and spoke to her, she ran to the front of the cage and pushed her paws out towards me, meowing. The care-giver/volunteer was amazed and said that was the most movement she'd seen out of Shadow all weekend.
Kenny and I decided to keep Shadow since she was so traumatized by the adoption cages...she is a lovely kitty.

Anyhow, mother instinct will cause this nursing mother to try to attack your male cat to protect her babies. I'd wait until the babies are much older before introductions...and if you do introduce, do it carefully and as controlled as possible! Mamma may get wild all over him and he won't know why...
Heidi



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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 09:50 AM
Sol
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Let the mother decide when it's time. Let the mother see the male without having the kittens in the same room and see how she react. If it's a positive reaction you can put a net in the door to the nursery. That way you can see how the mother reacts when the male can smell and see the kittens. If she's OK by having him watching them all on distance you can try to let him meet the kittens along with their mother.

I've had no problems introducing my other cats to kittens and their mother. I usually try when the kittens are 3-4 weeks old.

If the mother is very protective you'll have to wait with the introduction until the kittens are 7-8 weeks old, maybe longer.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. Heidi, he looks like the cat in your sig. His name is moo moo.. he's looks like a big furry cow. Anyway, I will heed your advice. I have a lot of Q's still, as I have never done this before. Mom is not feral, she is a housecat whose irresponsible owner never spayed her and wanted to dump her at a shelter because she's moving tomorrow. Should I try to interact with them, or just leave her and her babies be? I imagine that she is afraid in her new surroundings, so i confined her to a covered cage/box setup until she feels comfortable. Should I wait a while before attempting to touch her and the babies? Also, what should I feed her? dry or wet kitten food? What about litter, I heard that clumping is a no-no. Should I do clay or natural? Sorry for all the Q's. I've read a lot of the forum topics... you guys really know your stuff!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 01:10 PM
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I may not be the best one for answering your questions...

I use clumping litter. Period. They deal with it just fine. I think any 'danger' would be if the kittens got into the litter too young and nose-dived and got a mouthful...but all the kittens I've fostered did just fine with the clumping litter.

I feed dry Iams and I like Eukanuba Kitten for the little ones and Mamma. I also feed a can of wet food, daily. I'd sit with Mamma when you bring in the wet food, talk to her, maybe pet her if she doens't seem nervous.
As long as she has a safe place for herself and her babies (I always kept kittens in my bathroom, I didn't want them under my bed, pottying in inaccessable areas...) she should adjust fine. If she doesn't sem upset, I'd go ahead and handle her and the babies.
Heidi



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