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Before separating a kitten from its mother, we must consider some details that are of utmost importance for the correct physical and psychological development of the feline. Prompt separation can lead to behavioral problems and even serious nutritional deficiencies.
Although there is no exact date, a kitten is usually separated from its mother around 8 to 12 weeks of age, an age that may vary depending on the specific case.
In this AnimalWised article we will explain why it is so important to respect this time, we will help you identify the appropriate moment and we will explain how to carry it out. Keep reading and discover when can kittens be separated from their mother:You may also be interested in: At what age can puppies be separated from their mother?
Why should we not separate a kitten prematurely?
To really understand why it is not good to separate a kitten from its mother promptly, it is essential to review some basic aspects of growing a feline:
Breastfeeding, essential for proper development
Right after the birth of the litter, during the first two or three days, the mother will suckle them with the first milk she produces, colostrum. It is essential that any puppy receives it since, in addition to nourishing them abundantly, colostrum provides immunoglobulins, immune defenses that they will protect you from any infection.
After this time, the cat will feed them with lactation milk, a source rich in nutrients and that will also offer them some immunity to minimize the risk of infections. In addition, it also provides them with hormones, enzymes and other substances essential for their growth.
Every kitten should be fed with the milk produced by its mother, except in very specific cases, such as rejection, death or an illness of the mother that prevents her from caring for them, only in these cases should we feed a kitten puppy, consulting always with the vet.
The importance of kitten socialization
From the second week of life and up to approximately two months, the kitten is mature enough to start exploring its environment and starting its first social relationships. The kitten is in the middle of "sensitive period of socialization ".
During this stage, the cat learn to relate with members of his species, dogs, human beings, with the environment and, ultimately, with any external stimulus that will be frequent in his adult life. A well socialized cat will be sociable, friendly and will feel safe in its future environment, will be able to interact with all kinds of living beings and will not develop future behavior problems, such as aggressiveness, excessive shyness or others.
Tips to separate the cat from its mother
From 4 weeks, and progressively, we must encourage our kitten to start weaning. For this we will offer you small portions of soft and smooth food, such as wet food that is prepared in the form of pieces of meat or fish as well as pate. You can find cans for puppies in the market.
During this stage they still depend on their mother, and it will not be until 8 weeks of age when they will begin to eat regularly with this type of food.
When the cat reaches two months of life, we will begin to offer him various daily rations of food, combining wet food and dry food. To ensure that they can ingest it, we can soak the feed in unsalted fish broth, which will provide them with flavor, extra nutrition and allow them to eat it without difficulty..
Finally, around 12 weeks, the mother can continue to breastfeed the cubs, but it is the appropriate time for them to start eating on their own, completely weakening them. At this time we will be sure that our cat will not suffer from any nutritional deficiency.
Right now and for ensure good adaptation to their future home, it would be advisable to teach kittens to use the litter box, as well as to teach them to use the scratching post. Everything they can learn, including games and various activities, will be positive for their mental stimulation and future adequacy..
The separation of the kitten and its mother
Although they are weaned, we cannot radically separate the kittens from their mother as they could suffer mastitis, an infection of the breasts due to the accumulation of milk. We must carry out the progressively separation, that is, separating the kittens one by one from her.
In principle, if we have waited until 12 weeks of age, the mother will instinctively know that her puppies are independent and that they can survive, so it will be strange if she suffers an episode of sadness. However, if we separate them early, we can face a severe depression of the cat, which will desperately search the home for the puppies. In these cases, it will be highly recommended to wash the cat's "nest ", as well as all utensils, blankets and cushions that may harbor its smell..