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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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friend's cat just had kittens - some questions

My best friend's cat just had four kittens yesterday. I am interested in taking one of them once they are old enough. My first question is - About how old do they need to be before they can be taken from their mother without experiencing any physical or mental difficulties? Also if I am to take a kitten how soon can I bring it to the vet to get shots and to check it for diseases? I have a cat right now but did not get him as a kitten. he is neutered and will be going to the vet soon for a check up and shots. The cat I have now is very lovable and the closest he has been to another cat is rubbing noses through a window screen and the interaction went well (he is an indoor cat). Willis (my cat) did not hiss, swat, claw or bite. In fact he purrs and meows at the other cat. So I am thinking he will probably get along well with a new friend. Another question is should I get a male or female kitten. Any combo work best? Willis is a 4 year old male. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

-Kris Z.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 10:00 AM
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It's best to wait until kittens are 12 weeks old before taking them from their mom. By then they are mentally ready to leave their mother. http://www.breedlist.com/faq/young.html.

Kittens can start getting shots at 6 weeks old. I tend to wait until they are 8 weeks old before starting though. So, as soon as you get him/her you can start shots. Also, just a side note about testing your kitten for diseases, many times kittens will have a false positive test but then test negative when they are older.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 03:37 PM
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In the UK, we usually give initial vaccinations at 9 weeks, and I wouldn't want them any earlier, to be honest. However, he can be checked out by a vet as soon as you bring him home if its earlier than 9 weeks, and treated for worms.

12 weeks is the best age to leave them with mum until, but some people rehome kittens from 8 weeks. I myself rehomed my foster cats kittens when they were 9 weeks old as she was sick to death of them and couldn't bear them any longer, and they wouldn't leave her alone, making her develop a nasty case of mastitis. None of the kittens went alone, though. I had my two youngest from 5 weeks old, but there was no mum in their case

I don't think gender combinations matter as long as both cats are neutered. I have 4 (previously 5) male cats together without problem.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 04:29 PM
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Well, in Sweden the general recommendations (given by the vaccine manufacturers) are that the vaccine should be given at 12 weeks of age another shot 3-4 weeks later. If necessary the vaccine CAN be given at 9 weeks of age, but 12 weeks are the recommandations here.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2005, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies. They have been very helpful. How soon can the mother cat be fixed after it's given birth? I told my friend she should get it done soon and she said she was going to wait until september to do it. This worries me because chances are the cat is going to get out again and she is going to wind up with another litter of kittens.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 03:51 AM
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Mum should be speyed as soon as the kittens are weaned: from 7 weeks or so.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2005, 11:27 AM
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I was always told that you need to wait one week after the kittens have been weaned to have the mother spayed. In the meanwhile you have to be careful that she doesn't get pregnant again!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2005, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information!
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