Questions about weaning/potty training

magiksgirl

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Hi! 


I am by no means an expert, but this is my experience with my first and only litter of 4 kittens. 

On adoption:

I started taking my babies to their forever homes one on Friday and one on Saturday at 10 weeks 


I put the baby in a basket and called on the mom, having her follow me until before I closed the door. I made sure she saw that I was taking the baby on Friday.

On Saturday I took her to get sterilized since I heard shenanigans of her being in heat again. She couldn't see her gray baby off. 

On Sunday afternoon yesterday, I picked her up and took her home, she immediately went to her remaining 2 babies and licked them. She didn't seem to go search for the other 2, though it's still been a couple of days she seems fine. 

What was funny is that my mom reports a baby cat waking her up in the middle of the night and sleeping next to her on the bed, same report as from the family of baby gray. They seem to miss sleeping huddled together.  I mention this since the same might happen with yours if they used to sleep together.

On using the litter box:

I'm not sure how they learned to use the box since momma is a stray that adopted us. So she poops outside and must have taught the babies to scratch the floor and cover it. I do recall them scratching a corned of the room where some cement flooring was coming off and them pooping  When I noticed that, I put the litter boxes down with non-clumping litter and after a couple of days I started seeing poppies and wet spots on it. I let nature take its course and by 8-9 weeks they all went to the box.

On nursing and feeding:

My babies still nursed up until the last moment at 10 weeks, though with less frequency. The runt still seems to want to suckle but since mom returned sterilized I don't know if she can.

I put down nutricious kitten food for momma as soon as I saw that she had kittens.

By week 4-5 I noticed they began trying to eat the tiny kitten food, so I started preparing them a mix of wetted dry food (mixed dry food with small amount of water until it was soft) and some patee or cat food pouches, shook it up and gave it to all at the same time. I noticed the runt didn't care for it until about a week or 2 later than her siblings.

Again, I let nature take it course at its own pace and by week 7 or so, they all ate the mush. At this point I started to give them dry food with a treat of wet food. At 10 weeks they can all eat dry food on its own, but I still mix in some patee as a treat.

I hope this wall of information helps you somehow. I am by no means an expert, but my main recommendation would be to let nature take its time. All the babies are all different, but will get there.

If you have any more questions please let me know. I will see if I can be of any help 
 

Sarthur2

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So, MagiksGirl has a new perspective on things, which you might wish to explore, regarding letting kittens go to their new homes. It is very enlightening. If you tap on her name, you will find her thread, and in that thread, one of the experts, Red Top Rescue, gives advice on how they do it, which involves mama kitty. I urge you to explore that information to find what will work best for you! :)
 
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okimom

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Hello! wow thank you all for your replies and MagiksGirl very good info. I did go to your thread and read the post by Red Top Rescue. I think it's a great idea to take mama cat to the new home with the kitten being adopted and let her see their new homes, I feel like that would be closure for her, maybe, well I am hoping. Better than having the kittens seem to disappear anyway, wouldn't that be quite distressing?

So, kittens are almost at 7 weeks now. We had to rig up another blockade against the door, so we can keep it open and mama cat can get in and out but the babies can't. Anyway, we caught mama cat helping one of them over the blockade so they could "escape" the room. LOL. It was funny.not.funny, you know what I mean. It seems like she will do this no matter what we put there. So we had to keep the door closed today while we are all at work, and it really gets stuffy in there. The room is not super small  but I am wondering if they should be allowed to run around the house, just in the living room area/kitchen (which is open plan type)? When we are there, not there? which is best? They have so much energy. I do have another cat, she is 8 years old, so I am also not sure how she will react to them running around. hmmm. 

My husband, who has less patience than me is thinking they will go to their homes at 8 weeks (he was ready for them to go 2 weeks ago Lol), but with much persuading from me, I managed to keep them for a while longer. 
 

dandila

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I don't know...there is so much stuff in houses that kittens that age can get caught in or fall off of.  Mine at 8 weeks sound like a heard of elephants running through the house when I let them out.  I am using a doggy playpen for mine...its about 4' x 4' but we had to rig up a top for it out of housing material and bungee cords.  We cut a hole in the middle of it so mom can get in but babies can't jump out...yet.
 

Sarthur2

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You might want to let them out to run around your open living & kitchen area when you get home from work while you can supervise them for a few hours. I'm sure the kittens would enjoy that! It's really up to you how much freedom to give them. Just put your breakables away! :)
 

magiksgirl

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I didn't take momma with me to see her babies off because I have a very tight schedule so I wouldn't be able to bring her back home. I rather chose to spend that time settling in the baby with his new family teaching the what he eats, how, when, what he likes to do and play with, and of course his personality and rubbing the belly preferences. But if it's possible for you to take her as well, it seems like a great idea. 


On roaming:

I did let the babies roam around all through the first floor of the house. Since Momma cat, as I mentioned, is a stray-ish cat, she goes outside for poopies, so I left the window open during the day and closed it during the cold nights. We certainly closed the door to the basement, personal rooms and to the outside.


Momma taught them where to and where not to go and play. I have to say, I'm lucky that she's been a very caring mom to the babies and teaching them well the ins and outs of being neighborhood cats. 


I believe it's important for babies to roam around and explore so they learn to hide, climb and run around without slamming their cute little faces into things.... which happened every once in a while 
. I made sure there were no things that could fall, but in the kitchen, halls and living room it was already set. They did take over the couches and chairs though 
 since they seem to enjoy being high up.

My family as well didn't want the babies to stay so long, but I convinced them to keep them a little longer until 10 weeks 
 
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okimom

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 thank you all so much again for answering my questions, it is much appreciated!! I think we'll let them run around a bit tonight, see how it goes!
 

magiksgirl

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Please do tell  us about how it goes 


And if possible please share some more pictures of your babies! There's never too many kitten/cat pictures 
 
 

robbie watson

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I think all of the posts above are just great. I do have a couple of things that may help, though.

One, I got my Max at 4 weeks old but he had no momma cat.  I fed him some soft food (what he would eat of it), waited about ten minutes, then showed him the litter box. I took his front paws in my hands and showed him how to scratch and dig. He was absolutely litter trained in one day!

Also, ferrel cats, or felines in general, eat soft meat, moisture in, such as birds, etc. Dry food has zero moisture in it. None at all. Although cats or kittens don't really drink that often, they do need to drink, so do please

keep a bowl of fresh water for them 24/7. And try to make sure it isn't in the sun where it could get hot.  The pate is actually better for them, as it contains the moisture they so badly need.

Momma cat is a good teacher, and I would not separate her from them.  She will do her own weaning process when it is time for them to stop suckling. And she can actually teach them how to get laps of water, (which I

couldn't do, so Max drinks really funny, but he drinks.  Momma doesn't have to go with them to their new home, unless that is your choice. She will stop looking in one or two days.

If you hold them and touch them all over their small bodies, it will teach them that being touched is natural. That's called Socializing, I think. lol But I now can clip Max claws at home with claw clippers and he doesn't growl or hiss. I have done this since I got him. To him, it is just something that happens every couple of weeks. He's 3 years old now and soooo smart! Makes up his own games to play and ropes me into playing with him.  He sleeps in my bed too. Sounds like you got started on the right foot and good luck with everything!  And the photos are just grand!
 
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okimom

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Thanks Robbie good tips :)
Well we've had one out of the room to roam around supervised, then another the next day now we've got all three running around and mama cat is chasing them around like crazy, her tail even got really puffed up! The kittens are doing that crazy crab hop jump thing with their hooked tails and chasing each other. I think they are enjoying their free time. We kept the door open all day so they could come and go and that's the first time Ive seen mama cat actually sleep away from them and soundly, like she used to before she had them. They'e eating a mixture of wet and dry food now and I always have fresh water for them. They are doing great!
Thanks to you all for the great advice I don't know what I would have done without it!
 
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okimom

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Update: All 3 kittens are loving their new freedom. We do keep them in the room when we are at work though.
They are 8 weeks now. I so wish I could let them go to their new homes THIS weekend, I am getting sooo attached to them. I can't wait to get home and see them every day. Mama cat is going for her shots this weekend, then we have to wait a week and then get her spayed (is that normal?).

photo update:

 

dandila

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Yes...I'm keeping my mother cat so I took her to my normal vet for vaccinations prior to making an appointment for her spay.  My vet says she wants her milk dried up because of some danger during the surgery.  Something with the milk gland.  Your kittens are adorable.  Mine are all black just like Mom.
 

Sarthur2

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Yes, they usually have shots first. It's required in my county. I know it's difficult getting so attached, but you are definitely doing the right thing for the kittens by keeping them longer. And you do have good homes lined up, which makes it easier when the time comes. They are sooo cute! :)
 

magiksgirl

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They got so big! Doesn't time just fly by? 


It's very normal for you to get attached to the babies.

I adopted 2 / 4 out and I still wonder how they're doing. Luckily I gave them to people who have been very lovely and reply all the time. They even send me pics and videos through Facebook! 


Know that you are doing the right thing giving them loving homes and families are getting a treasured pet. 
 
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okimom

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thanks Guys, you are all so awesome!! I had one of the new families come meet the kittens last night, it went really well. I am comfortable that they will take good care of them (I basically interviewed them lol!!) Asked them about getting them spayed and neutered, etc. Sent them photos of their favorite food and toys lol.

Ok so another question! I have 3 kittens. 2 are being kept together, the grey and white one (yay), the other one, Theodore (aarghhh I named him!!!) is going to a single guy but he has a kitten already, so I am happy about that and he will have a playmate.  My question is, should I have them all go to their new families at the same time or is it ok to have the 2 go first, then maybe a week later have the black one leave? Just wondering.

Thanks again :-)
 

magiksgirl

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I turned in my first one on a Friday to a lovely young man that already had a couple of cats (so I knew he wasn't going to be alone). The guy says that Binxie likes to sleep with him and wakes up with him. 


My boyfriend decided to take his kitten as well and he did so on Saturday. I stayed over for the transition and to introduce the baby to my mother and sister-in law (since they all live together), when I woke up and went downstairs I found out that baby had jumped on my boyfriend sleeping on the couch and decided to sleep there. 


We took the 3rd one on Monday, but I hadn't realized that I wasn't ready to give him up. I already knew that they had 2 small children (4 to 10) so I was a bit wary on that since kids here aren't always the most "cat conscious" and know how to handle a cat, much less independent and annoyable Grinnie! On the way I learned that the family had already had cats before, but I didn't know this nor what had happened to them. I started to feel more uneasy
I had wrapped him up in a blanket and on the way, baby started purring and kneading, rubbing against me a licking me. I felt like he was trying to convince me to not leave him! 
 I felt even more unsure. When we finally got there, I saw that they lived in the bottom floor on an apartment building complex next to a very busy street. I felt even more uneasy! I couldn't leave my baby there, or maybe, not yet.  I asked my boyfriend to take us back home and apologize to the family. The anxious feeling had been building up, so my boyfriend understood and we took him back home with me. 
 I'm not sure if I did the right thing and  I do feel I need to find him a home, but I didn't feel that where he was going was right for him. If I had left him there, maybe I would have regretted it always.

I've been keeping the Monday baby, the princess and momma. 


I'm sure all will be fine if taken at the same time or separately, they'll adjust in a couple of days since they are still babies, I just made sure that momma saw I was taking them so she wouldn't look for them. Since I'm sure you picked great families for them, the concern would be when you  feel comfortable or have to give them to their new families. 

Maybe if you give them all the same time, you'll find the house shockingly quiet without all of them playing around. I know I did and I was only one less a day. 

Make sure it feels right to you to give them up and do weigh out your circumstances.

I hope my loooooong story somehow helps you know you are not alone in your feelings 
 
 
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okimom

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that was very helpful, thank you Magiksgirl . It's so funny you talking about your gut feeling, cos I too had a feeling about the guy that was supposed to come and get Theo, the dark kitten. So I messaged him and said you know if you cannot adopt him it's ok I want you to know that it's important we think about the kitten and what is best for him..and he replied back saying thank you for asking me because I feel bad I cannot any longer take him.....he felt bad but I am glad I asked, otherwise he would have got the kitten to keep his promise, but didn't really want the kitten.  Anyway, we decided to keep Theo...... 
 yaay. 

Ok so the other 2 kittens are in the new home already. New owner came to pick them up from our place, I made SURE that mama saw that they were leaving :-( must've been sad for her.

My question is,  does THEO need another kitten to play with or is he ok just playing with mama (who we found out from the vet is 2 yrs old).  He has the whole run of the house now and doing really good!  Daisy, the mama cat is a bit noisy, in heat I think, and also looking for her babies I think? She is being spayed tomorrow though, yaay!!! Everything is going really  great. Theo is such a good eater, although he doesn't like kitten food much and always wants to eat mama's food!!
 

Sarthur2

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Yay! You kept Theo! :) I could tell you had a sweet spot for him!

Daisy should settle down after her spay and she and Theo should be fine together. Does she play with him at all?

It's great that you touched base with that guy and gave him an opt-out on Theo, and that he was honest about it. It must have been a relief to him and no uncomfortable feelings leftover.

Sounds like all is well in your household! Let us know how Daisy is doing after her spay! :)
 
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magiksgirl

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Congratz on keeping little Theo! 


I don't have experience in keeping a baby and an adult cat, sorry 
 but I'm sure they'll be fine! Momma will most likely teach him the ropes of the house so that might be of great help to you (unless momma is not the most exemplary kitty 
)

And it's great you trusted your gut! One thing I'm not sure I remembered to mention, was that I told the new families, that if they are ever in a position or just don't want to continue caring for my grandkitten, I will gladly take him back, though if they do return him I'll ask about his habits and health in case the reason is medical expenses so I can provide him with the care he will need 


If possible I'm sure everyone would love more pictures! 
 And do continue to ask if you have any more questions or concerns 
 
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