How Old Should Kittens Be to Leave Their Mother?

Kittens need time to learn how to socialize and play.
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As with any animal, it is best to allow a new baby kitten to have some time with his mother before introducing him to a new home. That way your new furry friend will adapt better and have time to learn some valuable life lessons first.

How Old?

The earliest that a kitten should leave it’s mother is 4 weeks. Eight weeks is the average age for weaning from the mother and introduction of solid foods. If you plan on bringing home a new furry little friend, 8 to 12 weeks would be an ideal age.

Why Wait?

A kitty needs time to learn from his mother, as well as playing and socializing with his brothers and sisters. If he is taken too early, he will miss out on this valuable learning stage. He may also feel insecure about his surroundings and may not adapt well.

New Kitten Tips

Keep in mind that your new kitten is coming into new surroundings so be patient, gentle and kind. Let him explore and don’t be surprised if he hides for a while when he first arrives. Make sure he has a warm place to live and sleep, as temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit can be a health threat for a new kitty. Visit your vet for a health check and to update your kitty’s immunizations.

Prepping Your Home

If you are bringing home a new furry member of the family, there are few things you should do. First, kitten-proof your home because they get into everything -- high and low! This means raising plants and dangly objects way above their heads and stashing away things a kitty might find amusing to play with. You will also want to put chemicals and cleaners out of reach to avoid accidental ingestion. Have your pet supplies, such as food and water dishes, name tag, cat carrier, kitty litter box, scooper, food and scratching post ready for his arrival.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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