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Is it all right to remove three week old kittens from mom?

1805 Views 21 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Ioana
I am referring to the few kitty litters ( I have found 4 originally but after a while the mommas moved them and I can find only two) accross this property. I guess they are all around 3 weeks old since they walk around without wobbling too much. There is a litter very close to the house and I can see they are even following their mom to the food bowl (which is half a meter more or less away) trying to lap.
The ones that are futher away cannot do that because they are either in a trunk of a tree or a very tight enclosure but I saw them moving some as well.
When I found Frosty he was probably the same age weighing less than 11 oz. I gave him KMR formula according to the doctor's suggestions and he did great. The difference would be that Frosty was dewormed while with all these kitties I cannot afford the process.
My intentions are to keep them in a large cage and feed them with the medicine dropper the KMR and then gradually switch to dry food until they will be old enough to be adopted.
I don't want to risk and not be able to find them any more because they will copy their mom's behaviour and run away from me or won't make it on their own.
So - is it too early to go ahead and remove them? Or they still get vital nutrition from their mom's milk I can't provide and I should delay?
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Thank you Lilly and Jeanie for your input.
That is exactly what I was trying to do - socialize with them and now the momma cat (of one of the litters) moved them again. I am so disappointed I cannot find them anymore. I should have kept them last night.
You are right - they did hiss at me and *bit* me but after a few strokes and loving words they were enjoying my company. And they are sooo cute. I hope I can find them - keep your fingers crossed - and then I will keep them :wink: .
That is a cute story, Jeanie
I know they are little toughies - One of the motley colored kitten stood me up yesterday with his hair sticking up - just as you were describing your kitty was doing. Plus he was on his tippy toes and kind of pulling back - so little and so strong :D
I have made several attempts to catch them today - no luck. I have waited too long and now I regret it. I only had in mind to do what is best for them. I will keep on trying.
it has been a long day and we have caught seven; it was so hard to leave two momma cats heartbroken with one kitten each- that I couldn't catch (maybe for the better - I dislike for them to be losing all of their babies at once).
I have to feed all of them 7-8 times a day. I have got the KMR formula and a feeding bottle. I am sure I will have some questions..right now I need some sleep.
If there are any tips you can think of please jot them down for me ...I have lots on my mind and I don't want to risk the kitties well-being by forgetting something.
They are all in the garage in the same cage -> quiete roomy; they have water + a litter box. There are newspapers on the ground and they are actually laying on two comfortable blankets. I haven't seen any stools yet but they have done no 1. They are around 3-4 weeks old. I will be weighing them every day if there is anything else I need to keep in mind please let me know :wink:
Yes, Lilly - thank you - they do use the restroom pretty good
I may take them to the vet this week to be dewormed
Is ground dry food mixed with canned ok in the cage overnight so they get to lap a little or is it too early?
I agree as well and I hope everybody out there in my position will do their best to try and leave the kittens with their mother for the longest possible.
But just as Lilly has mentioned it is very difficult to do so because the mother has moved the kittens each time I was trying to do just that..and it was very hard to find them again. Each momma cat from both litters has one kitten left that I couldn't catch. I know of two more litters whose mom's haven't moved the babies. One of them trusts me pretty much and the other one is used to hanging close to our house. So I left them together since they haven't moved them and I could handle them. But these other ones I have caught, fit in a completely different category.
When I have found the last babies the momma has moved them near a very busy road..and I remember from last year finding dead kitties that didn't make it.
And Lilly is right - I will be keeping them here safe until they will be independent and not give them away until then. I am feeding them every 4 hours and playing with them.
I will be looking up homes for them carefully so I will need suggestions on how it would be better to do that. Last year I have found 4 great homes for Zoe's babies ...but there are so many kittens this time around.
I will have the parents take them to the vet, spay and neuter at 6 months of age, not declaw them and definetely keep them inside if they live in a busy, unsecure area.
I was thinking to take them to the vet and have them dewormed and let the new parents pay for it (when they would arrive - and if that is all right with the vet)
Would it be a good idea to have them sign a form? ...I hope I don't sound out of line; I only want the best for the kittes and stop the over population

I understand exactly what you were emphasizing on Jeanie and I have really tried. But it didn't work and I didn't want to risk having these kitties getting either hurt or breeding over and over. I admire your efforts as well - you are always giving us great advice you are absolutely right - again :wink:. I wouldn't advise anybody to try and capture them unless they have some spare time, finances to spare ...and lots of energy. If you don't they probably have better chances with their mom. Out of a litter of four there are usually 2 that survive (from what I could see in this area)
And Lilly - I appreciate your support - I kow you probably have a lot of experience and it is easy for you to understand.
I will be calling Catnip and other societies yet again-- hopefully it is time for *us* to be on their list and we can spay and neuter all of the adult cats.
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Kittens should only be removed at 8 weeks at least from their mothers but preferably 10-12 weeks is the ideal time :D
I understand that very well but you have to understand that this is a different situation. There are 4 litters of feral kittens in the vecinity of our house. Two of the momma cats stayed close enough so I didn't remove their babies from them. The other two were very wild and the kitties were getting that way as well. As much as I tried to socialize with them ..they would move them all the time + and the kittens would hiss at me and run away - therefore very hard to catch the more time passed
And even with the other two that live close by - I don't have much luck with taming them - it is also because I don't have much time - I have to feed all seven babies every four hours. I am a little disappointed that instead of advice I get mainly critics after having explained that I am only trying to help these kitties to survive. It is very tough and very expensive. ..but they are doing great so far and we have even a vet appointment on wednesday when I will have them dewormed + physical exam.
I am a little worried because one of them trew up this afternoon happened before (with two different ones-and they got back better soon. It is just that I know how quickly their health can deteriorate. I am feeding them about a tablespoon of KMR every four hours; since they can lap (some of them) they have fresh dry food and canned food + water available at all times. This baby ate like a piggy earlier - might this be the problem? Are there any quick remedies I can try ..I will take him in to the vet if anything serious might occur..
ps they have gained weight since we got them on Sunday..some more than the others but they are all passed 13 1/2 oz up to over 15 oz(they weighed 11- 12 oz to begin with)..oh and I took the upset tummy baby in my lap ..he is kneading while sleeping I hope this is a good sign he will eat at his 12 o'clock meal
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I didn't say that anybody has been unkind to me - But when I asked specific questions once I have already decided to remove them and explain that it would be impossible to catch them if I waited longer than this I didn't get any answers - but the answer that I already said I knew.
You are right, Jeanie - it is an extremely diffcult task - but if I had let them with their moms they would have had so much less chances of survival. I am heart broken each time I have to burry kitties and it happened a few times before. And I know you understand me.
I don't mean to be unkind either ..I had a little bit of time and came to the forum and see if something helpful had come up in my thread . Maybe I should have specified in the title of my post it has to do with feral cats and it might have made a difference.
Feral cats can be tamed but they all have different personalities and some are more aggressive or shier than the others. In both cases it makes it so much more diffcicult. I have worked at the same level with a group of 4 cats. Two have warmed up to me to the point where I can pick them up for a short while - the other two -one is very shy and the other aggressive.

I hope you will speak your mind each time , Jeanie is your point of view and I value it . As well as I know you undersand the circomstances here made me act this way - as in removing the kitties.
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