When Can Kittens Be Given Away?

When Can Kittens Be Given Away?

Planet Feline is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Share This With Your Favorite Cat Lover!

Kittens are actually more fragile than they appear, and problems can arise before you know it. Just like any other babies, they need to stay warm and eat every couple of hours around the clock. 

So if you are unable to commit, make sure that they are old enough to be taken away from their mom. The most common indicator is to check whether they’re able to eat on their own. 

It is important to be aware that giving kittens away is not as simple as dropping items off somewhere, which is why you should stick with us throughout the very end of this article in order to help you decide whether you should give your kittens away yet or not. You will also learn the proper adoption process, and its effects on both the kittens and mother cat. 

How Soon Can Kittens Leave Their Mother?

For the sake of the kittens’ health, the ideal age that kittens can be rehomed would be around 12 weeks. If the kittens are taken too early, they will miss out on the nutrients from their mother’s milk as well as the critical training that their mother will give in order for them to survive. Never rehome a kitten that is less than 8 weeks old.

Kittens should not be taken away from their mother until they are at least able to eat on their own, and when they no longer need their mother’s milk. At this point, the kittens are ready to explore the world, but make sure to give them the proper provisions at all times. 

Do Mother Cats Get Sad When Their Kittens Leave?

Mother cats do get upset when their kittens leave. She may meow while waiting for a response or she may wander around the entire house searching for them. On the other hand, kittens often miss their mom and siblings and often show signs of separation anxiety after being taken into a new home or environment. 

Although typically a mother cat knows instinctively when it is time to let her kittens venture off on their own journey, it is important to make sure that the rehoming process will only take place when they are old enough to eat on their own. 

Do Kittens Miss Their Siblings?

Kittens normally miss their mother and siblings for the first couple of days after separation so before you decide to give your kittens away for adoption, make sure that the potential adopter can provide the kitten with a cozy place to sleep. Equally important is that they show gentle gestures of affection towards the kitten. 

To help alleviate this problem, you should let them explore their new surroundings and let them feel safe in order to slowly adapt to their new home. 

When Do Kittens Stop Nursing From Their Mother?

In general, the weaning process usually ends when kittens reach the age of 8 to 10 weeks. Moreover, bottle-raised kittens tend to begin weaning about three weeks sooner compared to nursing kittens.

One indicator that will help you determine if a kitten is ready for the weaning process is when it bites the nipple often and forcefully, and is able to lick milk from fingers. As they grow, the mother will begin to give her kittens the essential training they need in order to survive. 

For example, you may see the kittens begin to rough-house with the mother cat. This is a completely normal behavior and is also fun to watch, in my opinion. Just think of it as the momma cat training her kittens for the world without her. 

What Happens If I Give a Kitten Away Too Soon?

When a kitten is orphaned or is separated too early from its mother, it may exhibit inappropriate suckling behaviors later in life, such as sucking on pillows, blankets or its arms. It can also be prone to various illnesses, since most of the nutrients kittens get came from their mother’s milk. 

They must be given time to develop before being separated from their mother and littermates in order to ensure that they will maintain a full and healthy life, without being deprived of any nutrients and valuable learning. 

Final Thoughts

It is a huge decision to give away your pet. However, if you’re really unable to keep your kittens, you have to find the right home for them. You can either contact your local animal shelters or rescue groups who can refer you to organizations that are willing to adopt them. 

Another option that you can do is to do a little bit of research around your area, and look for a shelter that you can trust and give them a call, then you can tell them about the adoption.

After you have finally adopted out the kittens in the litter, it is important that you get the momma cat spayed as soon as possible. If you’re not sure whether or not it is safe enough to get your cat spayed, contact your veterinarian and they will be able to assist you.