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Best age to bring home kitten

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JacRN24

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My fiance and I bought a little sphynx kitten and the breeder said we could take her home anywhere between 8-12 weeks. I grew up with dogs and horses and have little experience with kittens, and he grew up in a family that bred show cats (Siamese) and says whenever I want. Of course I want to take her home the day she turns 8 weeks, but any suggestions or recommendations on whats the best age to bring home a new kitten? There are no other animals in the house, and we are both in the medical field so we work with constantly changing schedules. Any recommendations?? Thanks!!!! :Laugh:
 

Cathie

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Im surprised the breeder is letting her go so young. Most wait until 14-16 weeks, so I would vote for the longer with mom the better. Exp. since no one will be home alot of the time. A friend would be good to, about the same age would be the best. Kittens learn so much from mom in those last weeks.
 

SpartisMommy

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I brought our kittens home at 12 & 14 weeks. I think most breeders wait at least that long I would go for at least 12 if you can. Good luck and happy homecoming to your new baby when the time is right :)
 

muddpuddles01

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It's definitely better to wait longer than 8-12 weeks if you can... I know it's tough, but it really is for the best!
 

JacRN24

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Thanks everyone! Eight weeks does sound awful young, but I have no experience with kittens that age. I had no idea 12-16 weeks was normal to bring home a new baby, so I guess 12 it is, thanks again!
 

Hairless Blessing

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I would not, bring a baby home, until atleast, 14 wks.
But, most breeders that is reputable, wait until 16 wks.
 

havingalook

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12 weeks is the earliest, I much prefer 14-16 weeks. At 8 weeks your baby is still learning everything it needs too, from its mom and siblings (including manners like biting hurts etc) Vaccinations have only just started to and it's immune system isn't strong enough for the big, wide world.

Definitely wait as long as possible (I know it's hard when you want your baby with you) but honestly they are in the kitten stage for a long time, you won't miss any of the kitten fun, she'll just be a more rounded, better socialized kitten when she does come home.
 

magber

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when I did my research to get my little one, I found out it was a rule not to let the kitten go until after 12 weeks. I dont think a good breeder will let you get your kitten before that.
 

NakedNorasMom

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My little miss Nora will be 17 weeks I believe! It's so rough waiting, but I know it will be better for her. She will have all her shots and be well healed from her spay surgery and well socialized. And have a good taste of the real world before she comes home to be spoiled rotten in kitty paradise! No kids so our kitties are our babies! :)

I think the older they are when they leave the less likely you are to have the suckling issues I've heard about too as more likely to be fully weaned.
 

havingalook

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I think the older they are when they leave the less likely you are to have the suckling issues I've heard about too as more likely to be fully weaned.
I wonder sometimes if that's a sphynx thing, I've had babies leave at 5 to 6 months and they've nursed on their leg or on the other pets when they've gone to their new home. I've seen it happen twice, and ironically it was from kittens that were older when they left, so definitely weren't separated from their mom's too early.
I wonder if being allowed to nurse for longer and for comfort, can result in the same reaction as not nursing for long enough? I know we had one boy who used to nurse on himself when he wanted to sleep, it was part of his bedtime routine.
 
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NakedNorasMom

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I wonder sometimes if that's a sphynx thing, I've had babies leave at 5 to 6 months and they've nursed on their leg or on the other pets when they've gone to their new home. I've seen it happen twice, and ironically it was from kittens that were older when they left, so definitely weren't separated from their mom's too early.
I wonder if being allowed to nurse for longer and for comfort, can result in the seem reaction as not nursing for long enough? I know we had one boy who used to nurse on himself when he wanted to sleep, it was part of his bedtime routine.
You may be right, may become a habit! I really should go into animal psychology. Lol fascinating!
 

Zaki`s mom

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No good, responsible breeder who cares about their kittens' well being will let a kitten go at 8 weeks! 12 Weeks should be the minimum age!

They are still so small and fragile at 8 weeks and can get ill so easily because they do not have the immunity yet from vaccinations.
Kittens are not weened at 8 weeks, the process of weening is very important, as it teaches the kitten to learn to deal positively with frustration and denial. As the mother starts refusing to allow the kitten to nurse, she teaches the kitten how to cope with that frustration. Kittens who do not learn these lessons may develop behavioral problems.
It's also common for too young kittens to eat poorly and have litterbox problems. Many kittens aren't consistently using the litterbox at 8 weeks, it can take up to 12 weeks for a kitten to be completely litterbox trained. And diarrhea can accompany the changes in diet and stress that come with a new home. Diarrhea can be life-threatening to a small kitten!

Also, between 9 and 14 weeks, kittens learn important life lessons - lessons that will make them happy, healthy, confident kittens. They learn how to interact with other cats. They learn how to recognize and interpret cat body language.... Improper early socialization is why some cats seem to be afraid of men, or of people with glasses, or other odd quirks...

The important thing to remember is this: it should be the kitten's current and future well-being that drives the decision of age to place, not finances or a simple desire to have a younger kitten for whatever reason. You will have a kitten only for a short time, but the cat may be with you for many years to come.

I know you are excited and it's hard to wait, but it will make a world of difference to the mental, emotional, and physical health to the kitten throughout its entire life. You will have a healthier, happier, and better socialized feline friend..
 

Graddydani

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Everyone has given really good advice!! I know how difficult it is waiting for your kitty to come home but just think of the separation from the kitty's mom and having to deal with the missing elements of their weaning. You'll be grateful for having a well rounded kitty when the time eventually comes.
 

Crinkuls

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:BigSmile:
15/16 weeks before you can get them from a reputable breeder in UK. By then they are socialised, had all necessary jabs/injections, and spayed/neutered and microchipped with a few days after to make sure all is well from the op. I got a lovely CD with lots of pics from birth so feel I havent completely "missed out" on them as tiny kittens.

:Laugh:

 

ohhedgehogs

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My breeder says at LEAST 12 week before it is even discussable. she may be able to come home at 12, maybe 14, and Ele may need until 16. I am very comfortable witw aiting longer
 

stonepreston

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12 weeks is the minimum because of vaccinations. I believe it is rabies that must be done at 12 weeks. But if the kitten is healthy and doing well and you want to take it to the vet yourself im sure 10-11 would be ok too. But if it still still small/not quite ready then definitely wait till 12. Most all breeders wait until 12, 8 is way too early, but 10-11 is ok i guess if your breeder feels comfortable letting it go, but i dont think it would be best.
 

susi794

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14-16 weeks in my opinion. I won't let mine go before that.
 

ElvirasMum

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12-14 weeks at minimum. And with the 12 week olds my breeder prefers the vet to give the all clear.
The vet doesn't give it, the kitt doesn't come home. Period.
Health and safety of your kitt first and foremost!!! :Wink2:
 

JessDale

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We brought our Zeus home at exactly 9 weeks. Most domestic kittens or mixed breed kittens can leave their mothers at around 7 weeks, surprisingly. After taking a course based particularly on animals and organisms and studying behavioral patterns multiple animals, it's actually not healthy for the kittens to stay with their mothers and nurse after 12 weeks of age. It could cause dental issues and also make it harder for the kitten to adjust to a new environment. You can monitor the health of the kitten just as the breeder can. After a little research and tips you should be educated in the subject. In particular, you can focus only on your kitten so any health issues would be more easily picked up on. All in all, I would say to bring your kitten home when you feel ready! The kitten should be fine at 9 weeks of age. I personally feel that waiting until 16 weeks to get your kitten is a little long. I would feel like I was missing out if I didn't bring Zeus home at 9 weeks. I really don't think we would have the bond that we do now if I would have waited much longer. However, we took care of all of the vaccinations from the beginning! Good luck!
 

havingalook

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I have to respectfully disagree with this. If a breeder is sending a kitten home at 9 weeks old without vaccinations, without spay/neuter etc, then it seems to me they are all about the $$$ and getting the kittens out of their home before the expenses start for them. It would be a huge flashing red warning sign to me. Reputable breeders wouldn't dream of doing that.
There is a lot of research that shows kittens are still learning a lot of important life lessons at 9 weeks old, especially emotional and social behaviour. It's not about nursing, it's about all the behavioural/ emotional/ social interaction they need from their mother/ siblings. A 12 week old kitten can bond as closely as a 9 week old, our Sphynx are kittens for a long time, those extra weeks are crucial to having a well balanced cat.


We brought our Zeus home at exactly 9 weeks. Most domestic kittens or mixed breed kittens can leave their mothers at around 7 weeks, surprisingly. After taking a course based particularly on animals and organisms and studying behavioral patterns multiple animals, it's actually not healthy for the kittens to stay with their mothers and nurse after 12 weeks of age. It could cause dental issues and also make it harder for the kitten to adjust to a new environment. You can monitor the health of the kitten just as the breeder can. After a little research and tips you should be educated in the subject. In particular, you can focus only on your kitten so any health issues would be more easily picked up on. All in all, I would say to bring your kitten home when you feel ready! The kitten should be fine at 9 weeks of age. I personally feel that waiting until 16 weeks to get your kitten is a little long. I would feel like I was missing out if I didn't bring Zeus home at 9 weeks. I really don't think we would have the bond that we do now if I would have waited much longer. However, we took care of all of the vaccinations from the beginning! Good luck!
 

JessDale

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I have to respectfully disagree with this. If a breeder is sending a kitten home at 9 weeks old without vaccinations, without spay/neuter etc, then it seems to me they are all about the $$$ and getting the kittens out of their home before the expenses start for them. It would be a huge flashing red warning sign to me. Reputable breeders wouldn't dream of doing that.
There is a lot of research that shows kittens are still learning a lot of important life lessons at 9 weeks old, especially emotional and social behaviour. It's not about nursing, it's about all the behavioural/ emotional/ social interaction they need from their mother/ siblings. A 12 week old kitten can bond as closely as a 9 week old, our Sphynx are kittens for a long time, those extra weeks are crucial to having a well balanced cat.
Actually, it wasnt about the "$$$" being that our breeders deducted the cost of vaccinations due to the fact that I opted to take care of the vaccinations myself. Let's think about it here, what type of social/emotional skills is the kitten going to learn from its mother. As much as I love my bald baby I realize he is an animal and relies mostly on his instinctive behaviour that he would have with or without his mother. I guess it's just the educational field that I am in which makes me think of things off a scientific level. Our Zeus brother was actually adopted by a friend of ours at a much later age (16 weeks) and the kitten hasn't adjusted properly to his home and is quite lethargic but has nothing wrog health wise. If I could go back in time nd leve Zeus with his breeder for a longer period of time I STILL wouldn't. I strongly believe that him being with us at such a young age has made him the "well-balanced" cat that he is, so I still say IF YOU WANT TO BRIG YOUR KITTEN HOME A LITTLE EARLY THAN 12 weeks then go for it. We've had A wonderful experience with our little Zeus and I wouldn't trade it or anything. :)
 

havingalook

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Actually, it wasnt about the "$$$" being that our breeders deducted the cost of vaccinations due to the fact that I opted to take care of the vaccinations myself. Let's think about it here, what type of social/emotional skills is the kitten going to learn from its mother. As much as I love my bald baby I realize he is an animal and relies mostly on his instinctive behaviri that he would have with or without his mother. I guess it's just the educational field that I am in which makes me think of things off a scientific level. Our Zeus brother was actually adopted by a friend of ours at a much later age (16 weeks) and the kitten hasn't adjusted properly to his home and is quite lethargic but has nothing wrog health wise. If I could go back in time nd leve Zeus with his breeder for a longer period of time I STILL wouldn't. I strongly believe that him being with us at such a young age has made him the "well-balanced" cat that he is, so I still say IF YOU WANT TO BRIG YOUR KITTEN HOME A LITTLE EARLY THAN 12 weeks then go for it. We've had A wonderful experience with our little Zeus and I wouldn't trade it or anything. :)
We are going to have to agree to disagree, I think.
Did the breeder deduct the cost of neuter too? What skills are they going to learn? Not to bite or play rough, other cats body language etc, crucial skills that yes you may be able to teach them to some extent but it's not the same..
I'm glad you were lucky that you're baby is well adjusted, but a REPUTABLE breeder wouldn't let their kittens leave at 9 weeks old and would make sure they had their vaccinations and a wellness check by the vet before they leave. A 9 week old kitten does not have the immunity to deal with all the virus' and germs, especially a un-vaccinated kitten. And i'm saying that as a breeder for ever, and a Sphynx breeder for 7 years. Again, we'll have to agree to disagree, but I would not touch a breeder like that with a barge pole, and educating new buyers I would tell them that is a big red flag and a breeder to avoid.
 

Zaki`s mom

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Totally 100% have to disagree with this. It certainly is not in the best interest to take a kitten away from their mother at such a young age and I know from experience and also from reading loads of "HELP" threads on another forum from people who got their kittens to young and are now having medical and/or behavioral problems with them.



We brought our Zeus home at exactly 9 weeks. Most domestic kittens or mixed breed kittens can leave their mothers at around 7 weeks, surprisingly. After taking a course based particularly on animals and organisms and studying behavioral patterns multiple animals, it's actually not healthy for the kittens to stay with their mothers and nurse after 12 weeks of age. It could cause dental issues and also make it harder for the kitten to adjust to a new environment. You can monitor the health of the kitten just as the breeder can. After a little research and tips you should be educated in the subject. In particular, you can focus only on your kitten so any health issues would be more easily picked up on. All in all, I would say to bring your kitten home when you feel ready! The kitten should be fine at 9 weeks of age. I personally feel that waiting until 16 weeks to get your kitten is a little long. I would feel like I was missing out if I didn't bring Zeus home at 9 weeks. I really don't think we would have the bond that we do now if I would have waited much longer. However, we took care of all of the vaccinations from the beginning! Good luck!

Agree with everything you said, "havingalook"
And like I also said before, no reputable breeder who has their kittens' best interest at heart let them go so young. It's just asking for trouble!
I also used to breed for some years (Siamese), kittens was fully vaccinated and sterilised before leaving and never never had any problem for a kitten adjusting to their new home. I have had many complements on how quickly kittens have settled in...


I have to respectfully disagree with this. If a breeder is sending a kitten home at 9 weeks old without vaccinations, without spay/neuter etc, then it seems to me they are all about the $$$ and getting the kittens out of their home before the expenses start for them. It would be a huge flashing red warning sign to me. Reputable breeders wouldn't dream of doing that.
There is a lot of research that shows kittens are still learning a lot of important life lessons at 9 weeks old, especially emotional and social behaviour. It's not about nursing, it's about all the behavioural/ emotional/ social interaction they need from their mother/ siblings. A 12 week old kitten can bond as closely as a 9 week old, our Sphynx are kittens for a long time, those extra weeks are crucial to having a well balanced cat.
We are going to have to agree to disagree, I think.
Did the breeder deduct the cost of neuter too? What skills are they going to learn? Not to bite or play rough, other cats body language etc, crucial skills that yes you may be able to teach them to some extent but it's not the same..
I'm glad you were lucky that you're baby is well adjusted, but a REPUTABLE breeder wouldn't let their kittens leave at 9 weeks old and would make sure they had their vaccinations and a wellness check by the vet before they leave. A 9 week old kitten does not have the immunity to deal with all the virus' and germs, especially a un-vaccinated kitten. And i'm saying that as a breeder for ever, and a Sphynx breeder for 7 years. Again, we'll have to agree to disagree, but I would not touch a breeder like that with a barge pole, and educating new buyers I would tell them that is a big red flag and a breeder to avoid.
 

Sphynx Happy

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Actually, it wasnt about the "$$$" being that our breeders deducted the cost of vaccinations due to the fact that I opted to take care of the vaccinations myself. Let's think about it here, what type of social/emotional skills is the kitten going to learn from its mother. As much as I love my bald baby I realize he is an animal and relies mostly on his instinctive behaviour that he would have with or without his mother. I guess it's just the educational field that I am in which makes me think of things off a scientific level. Our Zeus brother was actually adopted by a friend of ours at a much later age (16 weeks) and the kitten hasn't adjusted properly to his home and is quite lethargic but has nothing wrog health wise. If I could go back in time nd leve Zeus with his breeder for a longer period of time I STILL wouldn't. I strongly believe that him being with us at such a young age has made him the "well-balanced" cat that he is, so I still say IF YOU WANT TO BRIG YOUR KITTEN HOME A LITTLE EARLY THAN 12 weeks then go for it. We've had A wonderful experience with our little Zeus and I wouldn't trade it or anything. :)
I disagree with this. It is common practice with reputable breeders to wait until the kitten is 12 weeks old minimum before they go to their forever homes. Like what's been stated already there are many benefits to a kitten staying until at least 12 weeks. If you bring a kitten home earlier then that your risking having a lot of issues with the kitten as it matures.

I see a lot of disreputable cat breeders giving the kittens away BEFORE 12 weeks old because then they can keep money in their pocket. You said they deducted the amount for vaccinations but what about everything else? Vaccinations aren't the only expense with keeping kittens until 12 weeks old.

I don't know all the details of Zues's brother but might I suggest that a breeder giving away kittens at too early an age might also be doing other things wrong? And there may be other things going on that was why Zues's brother had issues? I don't know. It's purely speculation at this point considering we don't know all the facts. My point is that I would not trust the judgement of a breeder who gives out a kitten before 12 weeks old considering that has NO benefit for the kitten.

JacRN24 I would not suggest you get your kitten before 12 weeks of age.
 

stonepreston

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im just gonna go ahead and say this. domestic cats are usually taken from their moms at 6 weeks. i really dont think it makes a different how special the cat is. This whole 12 week business i dont really think is that important. You guys can say its "crucial" and whatever but i disagree. If its true then the world is full of messed up cats because almost every cat in every household was NOT kept with its mom until 12 weeks. And the world isnt full of messed up retarded cats. If you take the precautions of spaying/neutering and vaccinations on your own time then go ahead. Thats really what is important. Hes gonna have to leave his mom at some point. And what else does he have to learn. The cat has been with the other cats, he knows how to act. Another week or 2 with them isnt going to help anything. I would like to see everyones diploma from their states vet school who claims that taking them earlier is harming them. and all the research you guys have done. yeah, thats what i thought. Jess speaks from experience, and im sure propenents of the 12 week rule speak from experience as well, but i think that problems with cats that are taken before 12 weeks were going to be problems regardless of whether or not he stayed a week or 2 longer. If you wait until 12, 14, or 16 weeks the cat is already pretty much mature, he will most likely have more trouble adapting than if he had started young. Thats my 2 cents. you guys can flame me all you want but i have to agree with jess. I think its a bunch of crap that everyone reads and that everyone believes just because they saw it on a website.
 
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