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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
There is currently no real way to block off rooms. The livingroom, dining room and kitchen are all open spaces.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #11
An older kitten or a cat who is socialized is almost impossible to 'find' in this area. I might try asking a friend of mine who will be moving nearby soon that has an older kitten if we can borrow her cat for a few weeks or something, but we will see.
I went up to sit with him today and he was very bitey. After telling him no, yelping and blowing in his face didn't work, I scruffed him and hissed. Biting stopped, he played only with his toys and finally settled down in my lap and went to sleep purring (has not happened for about 2-3 days now). So I think that I will go back to the once or twice downstairs when only my husband or I are at home for a few days at least.
 
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