16 week adoption age questions re socialization

auntarctica

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We are seeking to adopt a full breed kitten and most breeders are telling us that their kittens are adopted at 16 weeks. All of the research I have read says that the socialization period is in that first 16 weeks. I am just wondering how a breeder with several litters can socialize all the kittens. And if these kittens tend to be more aloof and less touch accepting because they are hanging out with a lot of other kittens instead of people, and they are not handled that much. I just don't know how someone could pet and handle that many kittens. Now with coronaviris, this seems even more of a question. This is not criticism, this is genuine asking, I don't know how it's done. I really, really do not want an aloof cat. Thanks.
 

Elphaba09

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How many kittens do they have? Unless they have an obscene amount of kittens per person, socialization of several kittens at once is really not that difficult, especially if the person is dedicated and the kittens have not been previously feral.

I am no breeder by any stretch of the imagination, but I have fostered litters while taking care of my own cats. (At the time, we had eight cats. We have not fostered since we got number nine.) Is it normal for a breeder to have "several" litters of kittens at once?
 

Willowy

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Kittens learn a lot from their mothers and littermates, and shouldn't leave the family before 12 weeks unless it's an emergency. And there are benefits up to 16 weeks too. After that there doesn't seem to be any benefit to leaving them longer. This kitten should be much better adjusted than a kitten who's taken too young.

Plus cats who has close relationships with other cats don't necessarily have a less-close relationship with humans because of that. They aren't parrots.

If the mother cat is friendly and the kittens are reasonably well socialized, everything should be fine. If you're concerned, give the breeder a call/email and ask what their socialization program is like.

What breed?
 
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auntarctica

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How many kittens do they have? Unless they have an obscene amount of kittens per person, socialization of several kittens at once is really not that difficult, especially if the person is dedicated and the kittens have not been previously feral.

I am no breeder by any stretch of the imagination, but I have fostered litters while taking care of my own cats. (At the time, we had eight cats. We have not fostered since we got number nine.) Is it normal for a breeder to have "several" litters of kittens at once?
Thank you. One person, 3 litters of different ages hanging out together now, another litter just born. They are a good breeder by what we have learned. Kittens are kept in a kitten room, like many do. Not sure if they spend time out of it. Doesn't appear so. 2 of the littlest stay hidden, while the more outgoing play with the bigger kittens.
 
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auntarctica

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Kittens learn a lot from their mothers and littermates, and shouldn't leave the family before 12 weeks unless it's an emergency. And there are benefits up to 16 weeks too. After that there doesn't seem to be any benefit to leaving them longer. This kitten should be much better adjusted than a kitten who's taken too young.

Plus cats who has close relationships with other cats don't necessarily have a less-close relationship with humans because of that. They aren't parrots.

If the mother cat is friendly and the kittens are reasonably well socialized, everything should be fine. If you're concerned, give the breeder a call/email and ask what their socialization program is like.

What breed?
Ragdoll
 

Willowy

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Have you been able to visit the kittens? I mean, probably not, under the circumstances, but just wondering. If so, did the kittens come to you for attention? They really should. Every litter I've raised would climb people's legs just to get a little attention, lol.

You can also see if you can find some testimonials/reviews about this breeder.
 
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auntarctica

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Have you been able to visit the kittens? I mean, probably not, under the circumstances, but just wondering. If so, did the kittens come to you for attention? They really should. Every litter I've raised would climb people's legs just to get a little attention, lol.

You can also see if you can find some testimonials/reviews about this breeder.
No visits, never met mothers either. Made deposit just before all of this. :( Kitten will be put in crate and I will pick up. That is the extent of interaction. Makes me super nervous. But, really, most are just asking for a deposit. There's no picking a kitten other than color. Ragdolls are supposed to be super friendly, from what I read.

How do I find reviews of breeders? Their websites aren't going to post negative. Where do I go to find that information? Thanks
 

StefanZ

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The question is legitimate in some cases. Here in Sweden its seldom a problem, as most breeders have perhaps 2 queens, seldom more.
And the cats are family pets.

But if they have more as common in USA, the problem may arise yes.

Its my hypothesis this is a major reason why BYB sell their kittens so early, although it immediately pinpoints them as BYB.
The main reason is not to spare money - because they can always charge more from the buyer for their costs; but because having many litters these are unsocialized. Many litters and the byb not bothering to put work nor effort socializing them.
Whom would want to pay a full price for an unsocialized kitten? so they take the consequences; and
they sell them as 6-8 weeks, so the new owner may herself socialize them...

(To be entirely fair; there ARE Byb breeders, whom although technically are BYB, they do take care about their cats, and their cats do live a decent life).
 

lutece

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You can talk to the breeder about how they raise and socialize their kittens. It's a reasonable question to ask. Most breeders can also take video of the kittens so you can get a sense of their behavior.

We don't have many cats, and usually don't have more than one litter at a time, but occasionally have had up to 3 litters at once. We always keep each mother with her litter in their own bedroom, and do not mix them in a common "kitten room." After the kittens have all their shots they are introduced to the rest of the household. Kittens don't need constant attention from humans in order to be properly socialized, but you do want to spend some time with with them every day.
 

sivyaleah

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No visits, never met mothers either. Made deposit just before all of this. :( Kitten will be put in crate and I will pick up. That is the extent of interaction. Makes me super nervous. But, really, most are just asking for a deposit. There's no picking a kitten other than color. Ragdolls are supposed to be super friendly, from what I read.

How do I find reviews of breeders? Their websites aren't going to post negative. Where do I go to find that information? Thanks
If it's of any help, when we went to p/u our Maine Coon from the breeder at 16 weeks old, we had not met the kitten before that either. Picked her out from a photo although we had met the breeder several years back and knew her reputation as being solid. But still, it was a leap of faith nonetheless. The kitten, was clearly well socialized upon pickup. Used to being handled, friendly. No problems settling into our home other than being a little bit shy the first few hours which was perfectly normal. Good "cat manners" overall. I know she was raised "underfoot" - the breeder doesn't have too many litters happening at once and allows the kittens to be around the family but certainly I have no idea the amount of time that entails. Regardless, she was a well behaved happy cat and still is at 10 months old (other than the usual nutty teenager type kitten behavior now lol).
 

posiepurrs

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I have never had more than 1 litter at a time so I may not be the best to answer, but I will tell you what my vet suggested to me. She advised me to breed 2 females at the same time to decrease the possibility of having to bottle feed a litter. This may be what the ragdoll breeder believes. I enjoy having kittens around so I selfishly always wanted to spend individual time with each which is why I only did one litter at a time. I stray from the belief held by some breeders too that you shouldn't handle the kittens. It may just be my cats, but they have no problem with my handling of the kittens from the moment they are born.
 

lutece

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I don't know any breeders who think you shouldn't handle young babies! We handle ours every day from birth.
 
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auntarctica

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Thanks all of you who wrote in. I feel way more confident...
 
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auntarctica

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You can talk to the breeder about how they raise and socialize their kittens. It's a reasonable question to ask. Most breeders can also take video of the kittens so you can get a sense of their behavior.

We don't have many cats, and usually don't have more than one litter at a time, but occasionally have had up to 3 litters at once. We always keep each mother with her litter in their own bedroom, and do not mix them in a common "kitten room." After the kittens have all their shots they are introduced to the rest of the household. Kittens don't need constant attention from humans in order to be properly socialized, but you do want to spend some time with with them every day.
What is the issue with the 'kitten room'? I was wondering about that. One breeder I have seen, does do this. No household time, moms and all kittens together as a group. Well at a certain age, they have their own enclosures till 5 weeks.
 

GoldyCat

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The kitten room is mostly for safety of the kittens when they're first born. I know one breeder who keeps her kittens and mom in a separate kitten room initially but she spends several hours a day with them. When the kittens are a few weeks old she starts gradually introducing them to the other cats in the house. By the time they're ready to go to their furever homes they're well integrated.
 

lutece

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What is the issue with the 'kitten room'? I was wondering about that. One breeder I have seen, does do this. No household time, moms and all kittens together as a group. Well at a certain age, they have their own enclosures till 5 weeks.
It's safest for the kittens if they are kept separate from other cats and kittens in the house, until they are old enough for their immune systems to develop, around 12-16 weeks of age. Mixing kittens of different ages from different litters is a significant risk factor for kittens coming down with illnesses such as FIP. Most cattery outbreaks of FIP that I have heard of from other breeders happened when litters were mixed together, particularly when different age kittens were mixed together. Keeping litters separate until 12-16 weeks is also what Dr Niels Pedersen recommends (he is probably the most prominent expert on FIP).
 
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lutece

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I know she was raised "underfoot" - the breeder doesn't have too many litters happening at once and allows the kittens to be around the family but certainly I have no idea the amount of time that entails.
"Underfoot" always sounds good to buyers, but in practice, it can have plusses and minuses depending on the details of how the kittens are raised. It's prudent not to combine different age kittens, or mix adult cats and kittens, until the kittens are 12-16 weeks old. If a breeder has several cats, and young kittens are allowed "underfoot" in the household with other kittens and adult cats (other than their mother), it does increase the risk of illness.

Some of the breeders who advertise that kittens are raised "underfoot" are casual backyard breeders who don't separate different populations of cats and kittens at all. Backyard breeders can often manage to raise several healthy litters even with careless cattery management... but then illness might strike the whole cattery and become a huge nightmare for everyone.

Other times when people say "underfoot" they mean "no cages or enclosures," but the kittens and moms still get their own rooms when kittens are young. The kittens are "underfoot" in the bedroom where they are raised, but don't necessarily get the run of the house until they are old enough. This is how we raise our kittens, although I don't use the word "underfoot" because I think it can be misleading.
 

Threecatstwodogs

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How many kittens do they have? Unless they have an obscene amount of kittens per person, socialization of several kittens at once is really not that difficult, especially if the person is dedicated and the kittens have not been previously feral.

I am no breeder by any stretch of the imagination, but I have fostered litters while taking care of my own cats. (At the time, we had eight cats. We have not fostered since we got number nine.) Is it normal for a breeder to have "several" litters of kittens at once?
I was wondering the same, skip to my current issue which I just posted. This person seems to have continuous litters every couple weeks with multiple litters being advertised at a time. Some with only a few kittens each.. which brings me to my question of ethics.
 

Sa'ida Maryam

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Hi, I joined because this thread relates to what I discovered while searching for a good breeder. Oh Boy, I found a heap of different breeding practices. Firstly, any legit cattery should have a name that can be searched on TICA website.
Once that is found, search the complaintsboard on the web and BBB. I found 6 unresolved issues from buyers who did business with a cattery. I found some complaints were true and some were not. The point is investigate with diligence .
I contacted /read other breeder’s website and ask them about my concerns. Most love the breed they sell and are happy to answer question when you ask question without accusing or insulting anyone.

When you want an elite pure breed,you want a contract guarantee from the seller that replacement can accur in case Kitten has serious behavior ,illness.
I would put a halt on kittens advertised on gokitty,online ,news ads, etc. when expecting a well-bred kitten. Shocking : they sale them for the same price as reputable breeders.

My breeder of choice ,was listed on TICA as agreeing to the association’s CODE OF ETHICS.
and I did not see any policies about number of litter.

Where are so many kittens coming from, hope it’s not in-line breeding. But it would explain the large number of kittens at different ages.
United Kingdom, England has a whole strategy for breeder use cross breed or line breed methods.

Even with elaborate websites, photos of kitten in their home, breeders have co- owner who they mentor.
These co owners have little experience, resources, or knowledge but they are trying to learn to breed cats and they may make a lot of mistakes
Ask whether the person you are talking to is a co-owner and the name ,e-mail, phone # address of their mentor. For ex. Bob and Pat Cat brought breeding rights from reputable breeder /mentor Miss Big. Their communication broke down and they live in different states. Miss Big Is not truly aware of what kitten care is going on in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Cat.
Do you see how this could results in mistakes, short cut in kitten care,
 
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