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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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When to let out kitten

We adopted a 4 week old (5 week now) feral kitten on Thursday. We have a large house - 2 1/2 floors- and two young kids. The kitten stays in our bathroom and we make frequent visits to stay with him. We bring him downstairs to the living room about once or twice a day and for no more than half an hour at a time.
My question is when can we start to let him roam the house?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 11:50 AM
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You can probably start any time, but a house is HUGE for a tiny kitten, so I would limit it to a few rooms a week until you know he understands the lay of the land, so to speak. If your house is very large (1500sf+) I would definitely put a few litter boxes here and there until he is about 6 mos or you are just inviting accidents!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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There is currently no real way to block off rooms. The livingroom, dining room and kitchen are all open spaces.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 12:32 PM
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You're on your own then. Just watch him! 5 weeks is WAY too soon to be away from momma. You will need to be that to him - his protector from youngsters, dangers and open doors and windows for at least 2-3 or more months.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 12:36 PM
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You can start with letting him 'roam' the open space as long as he's under supervision, and steadily increase the amount of time he's free.

In the long run, I think having a large home is a big plus once the cat has grownup.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well we lasted half an hour this evening with the kids. My 3 year old is in love and while gentle, does not leave him alone . So at the end of the half an hour, he was biting me when I went to pick him up to move him out of an area. As soon as I brought him back to the bathroom, he was fine and purring again.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 02:56 PM
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Yeah, he was overwhelmed...
As he doesn't have mom to help him learn how to behave aka develop good kitteh manners, have you considered getting him a buddy? I ask because as Marcia noted 5 weeks is very young to be away from mom. Another kitten will help him be better socialised as they learn how to play etc 'politely' from each other.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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I would love to get him a buddy, but my husband said that one is enough unless we were to find another one who needed a home.
Hmmm....
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellaciao View Post
unless we were to find another one who needed a home.
Then congratulations! Millions of cats are put to sleep in America every year, so there's no shortage of cats that need a home. Here's one of many similar statistics: 56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized. More cats are euthanized than dogs because they are more likely to enter a shelter without any owner identification.

As far as letting the cat out of the room goes... you mention he's feral. I don't know what that means to you, but to me that means he is not socialized (terrified of people) and will need a lot of time adjusting to people and the inside of a home.

Until he appears fully comfortable in the room, or a spare bedroom if you have it, I would not take him out and instead spend lots of time in there with him. You want him used to the noises of the house and not so timid that the first thing he does is go off and hide somewhere else in the home (he won't become socialized if he's hiding and the first few weeks of a kittens life are extremely important in socialization). Feral kittens may need to spend weeks in a single room, and in fact when a kitten is that young it can be for the best if you are not monitoring so that they don't get caught short somewhere else in the house or hurt himself, especially with a toddler in the house.


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Along with the dogs
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bellaciao View Post
I would love to get him a buddy, but my husband said that one is enough unless we were to find another one who needed a home.
Hmmm....
Maybe an older kitten who's socialized or a playful adult who's good with kittens would make a good companion that could "show him the ropes" of how to be a housecat.


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