Fostering Question

For all your feline miscellany - any interesting stories, news or subjects that do not fit in the other sections.
Post Reply
Kitkat9301
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:08 pm

Fostering Question

Post by Kitkat9301 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:16 pm

Hi I am new here. My name is Kathy and I am a longtime cat owner. My kitty passed a few months back so I decided to foster. I have a momma and 2 kittens who are now around 8 weeks of age.

The kittens are close to being fully weaned, but not 100% yet. They will be going back for adoption once they are. And the momma cat I think I will be keeping. A couple of questions.

I've been trying to separate momma from the kittens the last week or so to get them used to being apart - 2-4 -6 hours a day. Do you think I can separate them all night? The kittens are in my small bedroom and pretty much have the run of it. Places to sleep, food, and toys but I am wondering if they can be without momma the entire night.

Second, I am worried about separation anxiety once the kittens go back for adoption. It's a great local shelter and mom will be going back to the shelter who has their own vet to be spayed and chipped and vaccinated before I take her home permanently. Will she suffer any separation anxiety>

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3636
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: West Yorks

Re: Fostering Question

Post by Lilith » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:20 am

Hi there and welcome.

In my experience I don't think you need to worry too much. Mother cats generally start deciding to leave the kittens for longer periods once the kittens reach weaning age, even though the kittens might still want to feed. I've seen one mother cat lazily shove a kitten off the teat with a hind leg. My Emily (avatar cat) as a feral, brought me five kittens, 4 weeks old, and moved in; they had the back bedroom with a gate across for Em to come and go, and as they grew older she'd leave them of her own accord to come and sleep with me (there was no question of her leaving lol.)

I've known one mother cat (a Siamese) cry when her last kitten went, but luckily the grieving didn't last long, perhaps an hour or two. Usually the kittens are considered of an age to leave their mother at 10/12 weeks and by then her hormones are revving up to prepare for another litter!

As a child I remember being at a friend's house where a mother cat was roaming about, crying incessantly, her belly lumpy with milk ... they had had her whole litter of very young kittens destroyed. This is dreadful. That cat must have been in agony, physically and mentally, searching for those kittens. In that case the separation was brutal. But as a rule, in normal circumstances, a mother cat brings up her kittens, weans them, teaches them to hunt etc, her milk decreases, and then instinct and hormones prepare her to let them go. It is of course nice to keep a kitten and the mother, especially if neutered, appreciates this companion, but it's by no means necessary. Your girl's going to have a loving home with you and her new life will be quite fulfilling enough.

As the kittens get older I think you will see her coming to you more - especially for a bit of peace! Every evening Emily used to go off by herself, somewhere where the horde couldn't reach her, and dump them on the dog and I lol.

Hope this helps, and hope other people will be along with more advice. All the best with them. :)

User avatar
fjm
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 602
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:11 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: North West England

Re: Fostering Question

Post by fjm » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:39 am

I agree - just make sure the mother cat can get away from the kittens (and back to them) and let her sort it out. She will gradually leave them for longer and longer, and discourage suckling as Lilith says - those teeth and claws are sharp! My Siamese always heaved a huge sigh of relief when the last kitten went, but she was not a very maternal creature - I remember her leaving a litter of 5-day old kittens in my bed when I was 13, and disappearing through the bedroom window for a night's hunting. Do be aware that the mother can come into season very soon after giving birth - anything from a week to a couple of months - so it is safest to keep her in until she has been spayed if you can.

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: Fostering Question

Post by Mollycat » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:36 pm

Would it be an option for you to hold on to the kittens until they have permanent homes? It seems an unnecessary trauma for them to go into shelter then be adopted when they could be better socialised with you and their mum and much better prepared for a new home.

User avatar
Mayday21
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:44 am
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: Australia

Re: Fostering Question

Post by Mayday21 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:09 am

Hi there I agree with Mollycat about seeing if you could foster until adoption happens & perhaps a dual adoption would be lovely. Vivian

Post Reply