Stray kittens : best time to move them from mommy? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Stray kittens : best time to move them from mommy?

To sum it up, there are three 5 week kittens near me.
I've been feeding their mom, and treating the kittens for an eye infection.
I'm planning on moving the kittens into my yard in this tent and feeding them and taking care of them (I have 4 cats in my house right now, so I can't keep them indoors.) and September 15th they all have an appointment to get spayed and neutered (including the mother)

My question is : should I move them? Or should I keep them there?
They will most likely not move, but I need to start working on socializing them.
Would the mother move?
She comes around every day to eat, but I think it's because she needs to feed her kittens.

So, should I keep the kittens with their mother until next week, and move them?
Or should I keep them with the mother until they are older?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 01:09 AM
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My thoughts are let the kittens stay with Mama cat, at five weeks they are very dependant on Mama! And a lot less chance of Mom moving them before you get them to the vets! At least right now you know where they are! I'm so glad you are going to be taking them into the vet!
(8 weeks is the earliest that kittens should be taken away from mama)
Since your appt. Isn't until the 15th of Sep. I would still recommend leaving them with mom....
My thougts only!
Lets see if anyone else has suggestions!

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone else have any suggestions?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 12:42 PM
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I agree with 7cats2dogs! I would keep them with the mama for now.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 01:01 PM
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If there's little risk of the mother cat moving the kittens, and you know where they are and are monitoring their condition, than I would also be inclined to leave them be, as it sounds like it would be difficult for you to care for the kittens yourself at this point. That said, the longer that feral kittens spend with mom, the more difficult they are to socialize.

If it were me, I would probably trap mom and the kittens, create a safe quiet place for them in a covered dog crate in an isolation room, and hope that the mother cat would continue to nurse and care for her kittens. The problem with doing this though is that you a) have to have the space to isolate the cats, and b) take over for mom if she stops caring for the kittens. The benefits are that mom can be spayed right away, mom and kittens are in a safe environment, and you can begin socializing them immediately.

Whatever you chose to do, thank you for caring so much about these little lives!

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Ramona & Choco-cat (and foster kitty, Poe).



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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 01:56 PM
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We had ferals in our WI yard and they were VERY feral. The mother had several litters and for some reason, a litter of 5 were moved very close to our house. When she saw us even near the area, she moved them. Thankfully, she did not move them far.
We waited till they were eating some of the canned food we were giving the mother and we guestimated their age to be about 5 weeks.
The longer we waited, the harder it was.
We managed to hand catch 2 of the males and new the remaining 3 would be nearly impossible so we used the have-a-hart trap. Got 2 males within 24 hours.
The female was so tiny we were nervous ...and being the last, we thought she would never get caught. I told DH to put a shiny tinsley thing tied into the cage and when momma cat was sleeping, I was sure she would stroll in. DH did not believe me but did as I asked. Viola...we got her. I was sure that if we waited even another week, they would be gone. Plus, it turns out the little girl (bandita) would never have survived--she was so full of worms, poor little thing, she had no room to even eat.

If 5 weeks is too early, I feel badly we did it that soon, but they are 8 now and healthy and happy and that is a much better life, IMHO.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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The kittens can eat wet food, we tried a few days ago. You just need to teach them.
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