Advice for adopting 8-week-old kitten?

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Felis-Felidae
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Advice for adopting 8-week-old kitten?

Post by Felis-Felidae » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:42 pm

Good day, all. Someone is trying to find homes for a feral cat and kittens they've been feeding because they can't continue looking after them for much longer.

The mother already has a taker, but the kittens aren't going with her. They asked if I want one of the kittens and I don't mind helping out... but they're just past 8 weeks old.

I got every last one of my cats when they were 12 weeks old. I'm a touch wary of adopting ones so much younger, because I'm not sure what to expect or how to prepare for it. :oops:

To those who've taken in both 12-week-old and 8-week-old kittens, I'd like to ask for advice.

What should I expect? Is it more difficult to take in an 8-week-old? If it's just "different", not more difficult, could you please tell me how it's different?

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Re: Advice for adopting 8-week-old kitten?

Post by Sniper1 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:57 pm

Hi as you've taken kittens at twelve weeks before there really is no difference in caring for an 8 week old your kitten will be eating drinking using litter box just keep food to what it's used to and make any changes in diet slowly regular small meals and plenty of cuddles and playtime they're a little more vulnerable at 8 weeks to getting trodden on or stuck behind stuff so especially if you live in a busy household make sure everyone takes extra care and introduce other pets slowly

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Re: Advice for adopting 8-week-old kitten?

Post by Mollycat » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:39 am

I'm old enough to remember when kittens were rehomed at 6 weeks, barely weaned. Less time with mum has disadvantages and advantages, if you give them plenty of time and take the place of mum in teaching them about dangers and good behaviour in the first few weeks, you are likely to have a strongly bonded cat who will listen to you better. It's a great opportunity and a wonderful experience, perhaps not ideal but it's up to you to make it positive and reap the rewards for a lifetime. If they want rid of the kittens at 8 weeks and are determined not to wait another month, then the kitten is likely to be better off with you than with impatient people - that's the way I see it anyway.

Felis-Felidae
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Re: Advice for adopting 8-week-old kitten?

Post by Felis-Felidae » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:00 pm

Sniper1 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:57 pm
Hi as you've taken kittens at twelve weeks before there really is no difference in caring for an 8 week old your kitten will be eating drinking using litter box just keep food to what it's used to and make any changes in diet slowly regular small meals and plenty of cuddles and playtime they're a little more vulnerable at 8 weeks to getting trodden on or stuck behind stuff so especially if you live in a busy household make sure everyone takes extra care and introduce other pets slowly
I see. I realise I may be worrying about nothing :oops: I just want to be sure I do what's best for the kitten and typically prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to dealing with things I've never done before :lol:

I'll remember your notes -- especially the one on them being a little more vulnerable to getting trodden on. Thank you very much for these, Sniper1!

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Re: Advice for adopting 8-week-old kitten?

Post by Felis-Felidae » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:09 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:39 am
I'm old enough to remember when kittens were rehomed at 6 weeks, barely weaned. Less time with mum has disadvantages and advantages, if you give them plenty of time and take the place of mum in teaching them about dangers and good behaviour in the first few weeks, you are likely to have a strongly bonded cat who will listen to you better. It's a great opportunity and a wonderful experience, perhaps not ideal but it's up to you to make it positive and reap the rewards for a lifetime. If they want rid of the kittens at 8 weeks and are determined not to wait another month, then the kitten is likely to be better off with you than with impatient people - that's the way I see it anyway.
Lovely to see you again, Mollycat :lol:

I have to admit what you just said at the start seems terribly daunting to me, though -- the idea of rehoming a 6-week-old kitten. I'd feel as though I were about to shatter it just by picking it up too quickly!

In any case, thank you awfully for those notes about the pros and cons of this situation... as well as that perspective you offered at the end of your post. It's actually made me feel much better about taking the kitten. I have both a shocking amount of patience with animals ("shocking", because I don't have it with people) and the privilege of being able to spend a great deal of time with my cats, so I don't think this should be impossible, then.

Again, thank you, because I feel more optimistic now :)

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Re: Advice for adopting 8-week-old kitten?

Post by Mollycat » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:12 pm

Felis-Felidae wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:09 pm
Lovely to see you again, Mollycat :lol:

I have to admit what you just said at the start seems terribly daunting to me, though -- the idea of rehoming a 6-week-old kitten. I'd feel as though I were about to shatter it just by picking it up too quickly!

In any case, thank you awfully for those notes about the pros and cons of this situation... as well as that perspective you offered at the end of your post. It's actually made me feel much better about taking the kitten. I have both a shocking amount of patience with animals ("shocking", because I don't have it with people) and the privilege of being able to spend a great deal of time with my cats, so I don't think this should be impossible, then.

Again, thank you, because I feel more optimistic now :)
You too, how is the injection lump now?

You're bringing this kitten into a multi-cat home aren't you? I don't think you have anything to worry about as long as the residents are kind and support you in its education. At 8 weeks your kitten is still wired for learning and will be for some months more, but also for respecting authority which is a much shorter window of time, just a few short weeks. It's a special time, make the most of it.

Apparently the optimal time for taming feral kittens is 5 to 8 weeks so I think that supports my observations about bonding and humans replacing mother in social education. You have to remember, kittens progressively become more independent of their mother and by 8 weeks the physical dependency is over. The remaining time is for learning hunting, social and survival skills - although the stalking, pouncing and catching of small things is instinctive, most cats have to learn how to deliver the crucial killer bite, and they also benefit from teaching when it comes to patience and stalking too. Without us humans, mother cats would chase their litter away when they are around 9 to 10 months old, I believe, and can properly look after themselves. Difficult to know exactly as domestic ferals often stick around in colonies and that's not quite the cat's natural life.

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Re: Advice for adopting 8-week-old kitten?

Post by Felis-Felidae » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:36 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:12 pm
You too, how is the injection lump now?

You're bringing this kitten into a multi-cat home aren't you? I don't think you have anything to worry about as long as the residents are kind and support you in its education. At 8 weeks your kitten is still wired for learning and will be for some months more, but also for respecting authority which is a much shorter window of time, just a few short weeks. It's a special time, make the most of it.

Apparently the optimal time for taming feral kittens is 5 to 8 weeks so I think that supports my observations about bonding and humans replacing mother in social education. You have to remember, kittens progressively become more independent of their mother and by 8 weeks the physical dependency is over. The remaining time is for learning hunting, social and survival skills - although the stalking, pouncing and catching of small things is instinctive, most cats have to learn how to deliver the crucial killer bite, and they also benefit from teaching when it comes to patience and stalking too. Without us humans, mother cats would chase their litter away when they are around 9 to 10 months old, I believe, and can properly look after themselves. Difficult to know exactly as domestic ferals often stick around in colonies and that's not quite the cat's natural life.
Less of a concern for now, thank you very much for asking. The oncologist's opinion is that the "lump" is more likely muscular inflammation or scarring, especially as it has not changed over 4mos. It's also even too small for conclusive imaging. We're testing DMSO on it next, but the main thing is that it's being monitored.

And yes, there are other cats already in residence. There are age gaps between them, though, so I do have experience introducing older cats to younger ones. Never had a problem with it -- may that last! ;)

Again, that's a lot of useful information you've just handed me! I'll be certain to keep it in mind. It actually reminds me of my experience raising one of my cats. She would get distressed when the cat before her climbed something, even crying and running to me. I realised she needed to be taught how to climb some things, which I did by demonstrating how to do it myself -- I had to "cat climb" everything from dressers to bookshelves.

It worked marvellously, as she was good at emulation and I'm twiggy enough that it would practically take breakaway furniture for me to put anything in danger... but I hope that if I have to do that again for this coming kitten, none of my friends with YouTube accounts happen to visit.

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