At what age do you begin handling kittens?

Caroline Stephens

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I have heard many different opinions on this, and was wondering what you all do and why.

Personally, I handle from day one as my bengal Trinity permits. She has a litter of four right now (born on the 21st), and I handle them briefly for weighing and gentle touching while they nurse.

I am somewhat new to breeding, and want to be sure that I don’t accidentally do something harmful. As long as the mother isn’t stressed and I have my hands washed and sanitized, this is safe, yes?
 

Sarthur2

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Yes, what you are doing is safe. Minimal handling is best the first 3 weeks as kittens cannot maintain their own body temperature and must stay warm during this time. Eyes are not open for up to two weeks; ears are down, etc. I especially recommend that young children not handle tiny kittens. Weighing and changing bedding are the two main reasons to handle kittens this young.

Once they reach 3 weeks and begin to explore outside the nest, increased handling helps them to acclimate to humans. They get really playful around 6 weeks!
 

StefanZ

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You are doing right and thinking right.

Just one remark. Good you keep good hygiene, but you dont need to overdo the sterilisation. Mommas mouth isnt sterile.
DO have clean hands, sure, but you dont need to sterilize them. Unless you are doing something peculiar.

For example, parallelly you are also taking care of orphans found outside having these in a separate quarantine room... Or you are a doctor doing autopsies...
 
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