The kittens and their mother,
the importance of this relationship
the importance of this relationship
Is there anything cuter than shy, playful, clumsy kittens? Their clumsiness and tiny meows make them irresistible to cat lovers yearning to bring one home. Before you rush to add a young kitten to your family, it's important to know that when kittens leave their mothers too soon, negative repercussions can last a lifetime. So when can kittens be adopted without causing developmental problems?
The majority of small mammals need their mother's care and support in their first few weeks, and kittens are no exception. In most shelters, kittens can be adopted from 8 weeks old. Breeders often wait for the kitten to pass the milestone of 10 to 12 weeks. The Jardin Des Animaux kittens are no exception to this last rule.
There are many benefits for a kitten to stay with its four-legged family members for a period of time. Socialization is one of the most important reasons. When kittens stay with their mother and siblings, they learn to play appropriately and communicate well with their peers. What it means is that a cat learns to be a cat that way. For example, mothers and littermates help teach them the difference between a hard bite and a soft bite. If a kitten bites its siblings , they will scream, bite back, or run away. This is a lesson for the biting kitten. He will gradually understand that his behavior is unacceptable by the behavior of his peers. "OK I can't bite that hard or when I do that with my claws it hurts"
Kittens also learn other very important behaviors from their mother, such as burying their droppings, hunting prey, or how to groom themselves. A cat that does not know these principles makes a domestic animal that adopts behaviors that are more unpleasant for its human.
The bulk of a very young kitten's nutrition also comes from its mother for the first 4 weeks of life. Kittens are fully weaned at eight weeks, but for the first two weeks they drink only their mother's milk. This provides essential antibodies to fight infections, especially in the first twenty-four hours of life. When they are three to eight weeks old, they can start eating canned food, moistened dry food, or specialized dry food for their life stage, such as kibble. However, they will still need extra milk from their mother for a week or two, even if they are able to ingest more solid food.
Although a kitten can be completely weaned at eight weeks, there are big advantages to leaving it with its family until it is twelve weeks old. The two months
following weaning is an important socialization period. They continue to learn how to play and interact appropriately with other cats and also people. They also develop the sense of exploration. All of these play and behavior lessons give kittens more confidence and can lead to more stable, balanced, and friendly cats as adults.
The risks of bringing a cat home too early
If you've fallen in love with a kitten less than eight weeks old, it's easy to be tempted to bring her home. But a few weeks of patience will pay off in the long run. The risks of bringing them home too soon can affect the rest of your cat's life.
If you adopt a kitten before the socialization period, it may be more aggressive with other cats and with people. He may not feel safe and may be more nervous or very unsociable.
He could also play much more brutally and inflict serious bites on you because he could misunderstand the limits of play. It is therefore important to prevent these behaviors by using a little patience and adopting your kitten only once. that he is ready. If the damage is already done, you can help curb this behavior by taking inspiration from mother cats. If your kitten shows signs of aggression when playing with you, get up and walk away. Above all, do not hit him or raise your voice . It's not natural for an animal to recognize these signs of anger, so it may result in nervousness in your cat. A nervous cat is much more likely to be aggressive.
Help a kitten who lost its mother before weaning
In a perfect world, all kittens would have as much time as they need with their mother before moving to their new forever home. But unfortunately, sometimes kittens are orphaned or abandoned by their mother when they are very small, even as newborns. That doesn't mean these babies are lost causes, though. They just need extra help to grow.
If you find one of these abandoned kittens, you need to be sure you have the time and resources to devote to it, as it will need more care than usual. The first thing you will need is a veterinarian who can walk you through the process and do an initial assessment of the kitten. Kittens are very vulnerable to disease and infection, and feeding them incorrectly can make them really sick and even push them to death. You
therefore need advice from a connoisseur to give you direction, even on the most basic tasks such as hygiene and daily routine.
A veterinarian or pet care providers will definitely recommend the following steps to take care of your too-young kitten:
- Keep a journal
You'll want to log each meal with the number of milliliters eaten, as well as other important information, such as your kittens weight, when they open their eyes (usually around 2 weeks old), when teething of milk … without forgetting the planning of vaccination and antiparasitic treatments.
You will need to practice giving the bottle. It will be important to sterilize the teats as well as the bottles. There are golden rules to follow. We will do another post on this subject.
- The cleanliness
You will need to help the kittens with their needs, both urine and feces, as they are unable to do so independently until they are three weeks old. To encourage them to relieve themselves, stroke the area between the anus and the vulva or penis with a cotton ball or damp cloth. This will replicate the mother's behavior of licking that part to entice them. Once a week, gently wash them all over with a damp cloth.
- Living space
Keep the kittens warm. Buy them a soft bed and make sure the temperature in the room is 30 degrees Celsius for at least the first week of life. When the kittens are 2 and 3 weeks old, you can lower the temperature to around 26 degrees, then lower it further to around 23 degrees once they are 1 month old.
As your kitten ages, she may display behaviors such as aggression or nervousness. He would have learned to manage his behavior if he had had the help of his mother. You can also consider having a second kitten serve as a companion to the first. A kitten who was luckier at the start of life
could be an important ally in the education of your little survivor.
- The good news
No matter how old your kittens are when you adopt them, their little brains are still quite malleable in terms of socialization experience. So whether you are able to give your kitten as much time with its mother as it needs, or you have to take it in early because it has lost its mother, the odds are always in your favor. .