Best Age To Adopt a Kitten

Adopting a kitten as you know, is a very big responsibility and while many people take time and care to best research all that is needed in kitten care, some just jump right in! As you are reading this, lets assume you are doing the research! Now, the last thing I want to do is keep you from your beloved intended kitten, and of course you don’t always get to pick when a kitten comes into your life, but if you have the chance, here is a bit of good information to consider!

 How old should kittens be before they go to a new home?

While many people give kittens away to new homes at 6 weeks, consider waiting till 8 weeks if the kitten is with other cats now and specially if still with it’s mother. While it is true, some kittens start weaning as early as 4 weeks, some keep nursing till 12 weeks!

The very important weeks though for kittens and making them amazing family pets is the 6 to 8 weeks range because this is when many experts consider the vital time for kittens, kitten socialization or also called, kitten manners!

Around this time kittens will be little balls of fierce energy and they will play fight, with one another, with Mom, and without those other cats, possibly your tender toes as well! It is a vital time in a kittens life to learn how to control their claws and teeth and they learn best by having other kittens and cats teach them when they have gone too far. Too often when humans try to teach them, we end up giving them more behavior issues! It is best to let Mom teach her little ones how to behave like a good cat should!

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(Eeyore on Hold Pending Adoption by Cassandra J around July 28)

Another issue is litter box training! While cats have an instinct to cover their poop, this too can best be learned by watching Mama cat do it. Many kittens start this training at 4 weeks, but some can take up to 12 or longer to really get it down. I think being with Mama cats help cut this time from everything I have been reading.

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For us, we had a kitty litter robot, one of the big round ones that spins. I have to say, this is not great for kittens! We moved that out of the kitten nursery room, and put in a small pan for them. We found quickly that a Mama cat and 5 kittens makes it hard to keep up with. Have a scooper and small trash can with plastic bag in it and lid near the box! Finally, we just got a large cat box with traditional lid for Mama and any kittens that want to try it. I am spying on them to track what kittens are really mastering this important skill!

6 Week Old Kitten Grey Stripes

(Flash on Hold pending adoption by Brooklyn L around July 28) 

6 week old kitten fluffy tabby

Food! At 6 weeks most people start kittens on solid cat food. I think it would be rather hard on them though to switch so quickly from mom milk to solids, and a new family at the same time. For us, we offer kitten dry food at all times and then wet food 2x a day to Mom and kittens. They love the wet food. There are some great reasons to give cats wet food too and you should really look into why if you are considering getting a kitten!

6 week old female tabby tiger face

(Tiger Lily is On Hold Pending adoption by Jean K after 8/8)

6 week old short hair tabby

In closing, it is my opinion given the evidence, that kittens should get new homes sometimes after 8 weeks! They should have kitty manners by then, use the litter box consistently, eat solid food, and be ready for new homes. The Best age to adopt a kitten is after 8 weeks to avoid only kitten syndrome I think too! I can’t though tell you there is ever truly a bad time to adopt a kitten if you have the knowledge and will to help them thrive. For me though, we are keeping these kittens till at least 8 weeks and making sure each new home knows as much as they can about their chosen ball of fluff so the kittens can have the best homes possible.

This is a cute video of our toddler and the kittens during their supervised play time together. Goodness these kittens are going to be great with kids!

 

 

 

Check back to see how the kittens are growing and playing and for care tips and supply lists for new Kitten Homes! 

This is how we ended up with unexpected Kittens and you can see cute photos of them when tiny:

Hello Grief Kitty

and

The Kittens Are Here!

 

And this is their mother as a little fierce kitten in a cute video:

Recycle Baby Toys As Kitten Toys!

 

 

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