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Our first two cats were 7 weeks old when we adopted them. Of course that was way too young to leave their mom. Our second pair were 13 and 16 weeks old when we adopted them, they were clearly better siocialised and far more ready to leave their moms. If I were to get a kitten again I would like it to stay with its (tame) mom for 16 weeks to give it the best start possible.

Right now we've got some fosters that were already several months old when we got them and they are just as close to us as the younger kittens that we've fostered. We've also fostered two 1.5 year olds recently, they were still young and very playful and it was clear to their owners what their character was like.

In nature there is a point where the mother cat drives her sons away, most often after 16 weeks, this is a mechanism to prevent inbreeding. If enough food is available the female kittens stay with the mother, often for years. If I was thinking about adopting a mother cat and kitten I would pick a female kitten for that reason. It works best when both cats get spayed, differences in spay status can also mean a different in social status between cats and cause friction.
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