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Old 02-23-2013, 09:47 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Default Singleton kitten and just general cat/kitten/birth advice!

Hello,

I'm not sure if anyone here is a cat breeder or rescuer/foster carer or knowledgeable about all things cats and kittens?

My parent's had recently trapped a stray cat (well, more like a kitten herself really, she seems quite young) who was hanging around their place. Their intentions were to gradually have her get used to them, get her desexed as soon as possible and keep her. They were feeding her and she was coming into the house and hanging out with their desexed male. He doesn't mind her at all, and they are quite interesting to watch. She seems quite attached to him, and he is often telling her off with a soft swat to let her know that it isn't her turn to eat etc. Another reason why I felt she was quite young - he seemed to be treating her as such.

Anyway, fast forward to two days ago - they were hoping she was not already pregnant, but she ended up giving birth to two kittens. The first one was sadly stillborn and very small and the second one is comparatively huge, strong and active, even now! S/he seems very healthy and mum is doing fine as well. She seems to be a great mother and is quite protective of her little one.

I'm not close by to help out at the moment, and I have no knowledge about cats so I thought I'd ask a few questions here and pass on the knowledge.

Is the protectiveness normal? My gut says yes. Mum and dad are still getting to know mum and she has been warming to them very well. She's quite a playful cat.

Is there any special considerations for a singleton kitten? What can we do to make him/her as well adjusted as possible. I'm hoping mamma cat will take care of this for us for the most part? We are obviously willing to do whatever it takes to make this little one as well-adjusted as possible.

At what age can you sex the kitten? Sorry for stupid questions.

At what age do you take them in for vet checks, vaccinations etc? We obviously want to make it as stress free as possible for mum and bub.

At what age can we safely have bubba desexed? How soon can we get mumma cat desexed?

How long should we keep the kitty and mamma cat separate from our own desexed male?

What age is best for rehoming? I've heard 10 weeks, I've heard 12 weeks? Mum and dad are keeping mumma cat, I may keep the kitten but I'm thinking long and hard about it. I would have to check with the landlord etc and consider the future. Part of me says no, no more pets whilst renting, but the other part of me thinks that I have the dogs, I'll always need a pet friendly rental and they are my priority, so maybe I will. I've told mum I'll consider it. They'd be happy to know that the little one found a home with family.

Otherwise, we will find a good home for bubba and he/she will be desexed, microchipped, vaccinated etc before leaving (it will be the same if I take him/her on).

Is there anything else we need to be aware of? Honestly, she seems a natural mother and everything seems well. I was heartbroken when I heard she was in labour, as we were so hopeful that we'd got to her in time. But what's done is done and my main concern is a healthy mum and bub now. Apparently mum was suspicious but didn't want to say anything, and about 2 days prior to her giving birth, mumma was very unsettled.

Any suggestions, recommendations for resources etc would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:49 PM
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Sweet72947 Sweet72947 is offline
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Is the protectiveness normal? My gut says yes. Mum and dad are still getting to know mum and she has been warming to them very well. She's quite a playful cat. Protectiveness over one's young is normal in most if not all species that rear their young. Be patient and gentle and she should come around.

Is there any special considerations for a singleton kitten? What can we do to make him/her as well adjusted as possible. I'm hoping mamma cat will take care of this for us for the most part? We are obviously willing to do whatever it takes to make this little one as well-adjusted as possible.Handle the kitten a lot. Expose it to different sights and sounds. There may be others with different opinions and knowledge, but in my experience it isn't as much of an issue for a kitten to be a singleton as it is for a puppy. I have known many bottle baby kittens reared singly who turned in to normal cats.

At what age can you sex the kitten? Sorry for stupid questions.You should be able to sex it right away if you know how. It can be difficult when parts are teeny.

At what age do you take them in for vet checks, vaccinations etc? We obviously want to make it as stress free as possible for mum and bub.Whenever you want to. Your veterinarian can advise you on what shots can be given at what age.

At what age can we safely have bubba desexed? How soon can we get mumma cat desexed?Kittens have to be a certain weight before they can be put under anesthesia. I don't recall what that weight is, hopefully someone will come along and answer. Momma cat can be fixed when the kitten is weaned.

How long should we keep the kitty and mamma cat separate from our own desexed male?I'd keep them separate until the kitten is weaned, momma is desexed, and you've made sure that neither have any communicable diseases.

What age is best for rehoming? I've heard 10 weeks, I've heard 12 weeks?General consensus, from what I've seen, is eight to twelve weeks, same as for puppies.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:57 PM
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Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Quote:
Kittens have to be a certain weight before they can be put under anesthesia.
Two pounds is generally what we go by. It CAN be done earlier, but it's much safer after 2 pounds.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:04 AM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Thanks for your help. That answers so many of my questions. I'm glad to hear that there doesn't seem to be a lot of issues surrounding singleton kittens... I was only going by what I know about dogs. Kitty will be socialised as much as we can regardless. Mamma cat definitely isn't feral, only a stray with probably limited human contact. She's a bit flighty, but spent a lot of time hanging around before mum and dad decided to take the next step. We don't usually go out and get cats, our cats find us. Our current male was a lost stray that my sister found. His owners were never found. My cat growing up was from a litter from a stray cat that came to stay to give birth and unfortunately left us and never returned. We are hoping that this cat chooses to stick around, but she will definitely be desexed anyway because there are just too many cats and kittens around that are pts.

I'd like for mum to be with bub for as long as possible for the social aspect, but I'll see how it goes and get a heap of advice from vets and others.

We have a tentative plan now- vet check and desex mum as soon as kitty is weaned, possibly vet check for kitty at the same time. So I guess taking mum and desexing her isn't too stressful for either mum or kitty in terms of their relationship? Unfortunately, she is still unsure of people except for mum/dad so it will be stressful on mum, but it's a necessary evil IMO.

In the meantime, mum and dad can call their vet and get advice as to when to vet check, vaccinate, what communicable diseases to check for in case this all should be done earlier.

With my limited knowledge I just tend to feel that the less upheaval the better at this early stage? Well, unless they are in definite need of vet attention of course. I'll see if mum/dad can sex the kitten. I think they are just a little bit unwilling to disturb mum while the kitty is only days old, but they will get back into handling kitty and mum soon.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:59 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Just a quick update on the girls (kitty is a girl). I'm back at home this weekend, leaving again tonight for uni practical and back again for Easter, so I've finally met mum and bub.

Shirley (that's what mum and dad have called mama cat) is just beautiful and warmed to me straight away. You know how a lot of cats rub against you, usually head first? Well, she backs into you and loves back scratches, behind the ear scratches and melts when you stroke her whole body. She's playing with me now too, but I have the feeling that she's not used to interacting a great deal with people (she was a stray, unknown history). She will startle with quick movements, but recovers well.

I haven't picked her up yet because I think that may be pushing the friendship at this stage and plus she may be sensitive while nursing? She is just gorgeous though. I'm quite besotted with her... She is also quite a chatty cat.

Kitty (who I have named Sarah) is four weeks old, two days old now is really active. She is into everything, climbing over stuff, trying to climb up the bed, chasing things, giving her mum a hard time. I'm was surprised to see so much from a 4 week old. She is really quite full on! She will play with my fingers with her paws and mouth and will chase them down. I'm spending a lot of time with her play and cuddling, but also a lot of time with mum and a lot of time just watching because I find their interactions so fascinating. I was too young to remember the litter of kittens we had when I was a child.

Shirley is the best mother ever. But the kitten is going to be very hard on her I think, as she grows. Basically we will be spending a lot of time with the kitten, especially seeing that she is a singleton. Part of me wants to just stay here and become a full-time kitten raiser for the next 8 weeks lol. Impossible I know, but I'm just completely besotted with the pair of them. But I guess I'll have heaps of time to bond with Sarah when she finally comes home. I've made it quite obvious that I'm pretty much in love with Shirley as well, but mum and dad are as well.

Grace, who has always loved baby animals of any description - puppies, birds, guinea pigs etc, has discovered there is a kitten in the spare room. There are glass french doors so she can look in and she will literally spend hours watching the baby. Shirley does not seem concerned with Grace now at all.
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