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Kitty Questions

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a lady i work for at schools has 20+ barn cats. She had a few dropped off a few years ago that weren't spayed/neutered and she didn't spay/neuter them either and things have gotten slightly out of control. So far this spring she's had 3 litters born, totaling 9 kittens. I would like to bring one home with me and i think i have it narrowed down to one or two kittens. I really can only choose from one litter because it's the only one that will be old enough (i think) to leave. I have a few questions thought.

1) this lady doesn't vaccinate or worm or do any sort of vetting with her cats, that i know of. Many of her cats are pretty wild so i'm sure they don't get anything done with them. Is there anything i can do to help ensure the kitten i choose is healthy? Anything to look for?

2) how old should kittens be when they're weaned? I think the oldest litter is close to 2 weeks. Their eyes are open and they're moving around a lot. Momma cat goes on "adventures" with them. Moves them from one end of the barn to the other. Assuming that they're currently 2-2.5 weeks, will they be old enough to leave on May 10th?

thanks!

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a lady i work for at schools has 20+ barn cats. She had a few dropped off a few years ago that weren't spayed/neutered and she didn't spay/neuter them either and things have gotten slightly out of control. So far this spring she's had 3 litters born, totaling 9 kittens. I would like to bring one home with me and i think i have it narrowed down to one or two kittens. I really can only choose from one litter because it's the only one that will be old enough (i think) to leave. I have a few questions thought.

1) this lady doesn't vaccinate or worm or do any sort of vetting with her cats, that i know of. Many of her cats are pretty wild so i'm sure they don't get anything done with them. Is there anything i can do to help ensure the kitten i choose is healthy? Anything to look for?

2) how old should kittens be when they're weaned? I think the oldest litter is close to 2 weeks. Their eyes are open and they're moving around a lot. Momma cat goes on "adventures" with them. Moves them from one end of the barn to the other. Assuming that they're currently 2-2.5 weeks, will they be old enough to leave on May 10th?

thanks!

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Make sure their eyes are clear and clean...no goop or runny stuff.

As soon as you get your kitty, sooner the better and you can bottle feed with goat milk or kitten milk replacer, have it tested by a vet for feline leukemia.

Start vaccinations at 6 weeks.

Spay and neuter as soon as your vet will allow, usually around 6 months seems to be the norm.

Good luck.

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Make sure their eyes are clear and clean...no goop or runny stuff.

As soon as you get your kitty, sooner the better and you can bottle feed with goat milk or kitten milk replacer, have it tested by a vet for feline leukemia.

Start vaccinations at 6 weeks.

Spay and neuter as soon as your vet will allow, usually around 6 months seems to be the norm.

Good luck.

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i would let the kittens be atleast 6 weeks before you take them home. yes, you can bottle feed, but....it's alot of work and....you might as well let mommma do it. plus they learn alot of cat behaviors from mom during that age. They've found that puppies do better overall (less behavior issues) if you leave them til they are 8 weeks old with mom before taking them home.

look for a kitten that's bright and alert, no goopy eyes, no squinting, shiny bright coat, and no sneezing or coughing. Do you have other cats at home? I would quarantine it for atleast 2 weeks if you do. and wash your hands between playing with it and your cats at home. Take it to your vet preferably immediately after you get it to get it tested for FeLV/FIV and dewormed. ideally vaccinate at 6 weeks, 9 weeks and 12 weeks. you can spay/neuter whenever...anywhere up to 8 months or so. most do it at 6 months but you can do it earlier. most cats are easy to litter box train. if you are going to let it outside, keep it inside at first til it gets to know you and that this is now home so it doesn't try to run off and find mom. also, i would talk to your vet about flea control and heartworm preventative. even indoor cats can get heartworms and in georgia it's BAD cause of the mosquitos' pretty much year round. but it'll sorta depend on your area whether you do it year round or not. but your vet can help you with that.

good luck! kittens are a blast!

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i would let the kittens be atleast 6 weeks before you take them home. yes, you can bottle feed, but....it's alot of work and....you might as well let mommma do it. plus they learn alot of cat behaviors from mom during that age. They've found that puppies do better overall (less behavior issues) if you leave them til they are 8 weeks old with mom before taking them home.

look for a kitten that's bright and alert, no goopy eyes, no squinting, shiny bright coat, and no sneezing or coughing. Do you have other cats at home? I would quarantine it for atleast 2 weeks if you do. and wash your hands between playing with it and your cats at home. Take it to your vet preferably immediately after you get it to get it tested for FeLV/FIV and dewormed. ideally vaccinate at 6 weeks, 9 weeks and 12 weeks. you can spay/neuter whenever...anywhere up to 8 months or so. most do it at 6 months but you can do it earlier. most cats are easy to litter box train. if you are going to let it outside, keep it inside at first til it gets to know you and that this is now home so it doesn't try to run off and find mom. also, i would talk to your vet about flea control and heartworm preventative. even indoor cats can get heartworms and in georgia it's BAD cause of the mosquitos' pretty much year round. but it'll sorta depend on your area whether you do it year round or not. but your vet can help you with that.

good luck! kittens are a blast!

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hmmm...6 weeks...i'm not sure if i can swing that. what sort of harm would be caused if take earlier, say 4ish weeks? When i got back home i'll be about 2.5 hours away from where i am not and where the kittens are. I understand keeping them with momma for socialization and stuff like that. I do have a cat at home so i'll have to work on finding a way to seperate the two for a while.

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hmmm...6 weeks...i'm not sure if i can swing that. what sort of harm would be caused if take earlier, say 4ish weeks? When i got back home i'll be about 2.5 hours away from where i am not and where the kittens are. I understand keeping them with momma for socialization and stuff like that. I do have a cat at home so i'll have to work on finding a way to seperate the two for a while.

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If you take the kitten now, you will have to bottle feed it KMR (kitten milk replacer) every 4-6 hours, daily. Even through the night when you want to sleep. You will have to do this until it is about 8 weeks old.

Do you have the time to do this every day?

It is not good to make the kitten wait more than 6 hours to be fed. (like if you go to school or sleep 8 hours at night because you want to, even though the kitten needs to be fed)

You may also have to help the kitten go to the bathroom every time you feed it by stimulating its private parts with a warm, damp washcloth.

At around 4-5 weeks, you can introduce canned food, but many kittens don't start eating canned food until they are around 5-6 weeks old, so you could be bottle feeding the kitten longer than you planned.

I have bottle raised several orphaned litters and they did well, but I don't work and had all the time in the world to take care of them properly. I didn't get much sleep, but I had healthy kittens for the adoption center.

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If you take the kitten now, you will have to bottle feed it KMR (kitten milk replacer) every 4-6 hours, daily. Even through the night when you want to sleep. You will have to do this until it is about 8 weeks old.

Do you have the time to do this every day?

It is not good to make the kitten wait more than 6 hours to be fed. (like if you go to school or sleep 8 hours at night because you want to, even though the kitten needs to be fed)

You may also have to help the kitten go to the bathroom every time you feed it by stimulating its private parts with a warm, damp washcloth.

At around 4-5 weeks, you can introduce canned food, but many kittens don't start eating canned food until they are around 5-6 weeks old, so you could be bottle feeding the kitten longer than you planned.

I have bottle raised several orphaned litters and they did well, but I don't work and had all the time in the world to take care of them properly. I didn't get much sleep, but I had healthy kittens for the adoption center.

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i have no desire to take the kitten now. I'm to busy with school, it's the last week before finals so everything is coming due at the same time and next week is finals week. I know i don't have the time to devot to raising a kitten for the next two weeks. I'm also realize that if the kitten isn't old enough to be taken from momma when i leave to go home (the 10th) then it's not going to happen. I would love to take a lot of the cats out of her barn and find good loving home for them and i was hoping that by taking one kitten i would at least be able to give one cat a good home. At the same time, i don't want to risk the kittens development (both physically and socially) by taking it away to early.

I've actually bottle raised a few kittens before, but none in the past few years. I know what all is involved, the bottle feeding every few hours (it's amazing how light you learn to sleep), and rubbing the tummy and such to get it to go to the bathroom. I never remember how old the kittens are when we (my mom and I) start introducing real kitty food. It just seems like we naturally move on to that point without a whole lot of "well, the kitten is X weeks old so we have to introduce canned food today" plus, we never really know how old those kittens are.

Like i said, if I can get the kitten without putting it in risk, i'd love to. If i can't, then I can't.

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i have no desire to take the kitten now. I'm to busy with school, it's the last week before finals so everything is coming due at the same time and next week is finals week. I know i don't have the time to devot to raising a kitten for the next two weeks. I'm also realize that if the kitten isn't old enough to be taken from momma when i leave to go home (the 10th) then it's not going to happen. I would love to take a lot of the cats out of her barn and find good loving home for them and i was hoping that by taking one kitten i would at least be able to give one cat a good home. At the same time, i don't want to risk the kittens development (both physically and socially) by taking it away to early.

I've actually bottle raised a few kittens before, but none in the past few years. I know what all is involved, the bottle feeding every few hours (it's amazing how light you learn to sleep), and rubbing the tummy and such to get it to go to the bathroom. I never remember how old the kittens are when we (my mom and I) start introducing real kitty food. It just seems like we naturally move on to that point without a whole lot of "well, the kitten is X weeks old so we have to introduce canned food today" plus, we never really know how old those kittens are.

Like i said, if I can get the kitten without putting it in risk, i'd love to. If i can't, then I can't.

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In addition to what's already been suggested, my recommendation first and foremost is to look at all of the other cats. If they have runny eyes, nasal discharge or sneezing excessively, you may honestly be best to pass on one of the kittens. Upper respiratory disease such as calicivirus & herpesviruses run rampant in situations like this and you may very well end up with a chronically ill animal for life even if it looks ok now.

I own one currently that has the upper respiratory "crud"....knew it when I adopted her and its not something I'll do again. Her nasal turbinates are gone, she has chronic nasal discharge and will never be "normal". We're starting some rather pricey meds as a last ditch effort to keep her the best she can.

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In addition to what's already been suggested, my recommendation first and foremost is to look at all of the other cats. If they have runny eyes, nasal discharge or sneezing excessively, you may honestly be best to pass on one of the kittens. Upper respiratory disease such as calicivirus & herpesviruses run rampant in situations like this and you may very well end up with a chronically ill animal for life even if it looks ok now.

I own one currently that has the upper respiratory "crud"....knew it when I adopted her and its not something I'll do again. Her nasal turbinates are gone, she has chronic nasal discharge and will never be "normal". We're starting some rather pricey meds as a last ditch effort to keep her the best she can.

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Why not wait until you get home and adopt one from the pound?

[Question]

I wouldn't encourage this 'cat lady' by taking one of her kittens. I'd get one that's just as cute, the proper age, and screened a little better, (though adopted kittens should still see the vet right away for shots and a checkup). I'd feel much better supporting a place that helps strays rather than perpetuates a problem. If it was me, I would also approach the barn owner about her lack of care and spaying/neutering. Shoot, lots of places have reduced prices for such animals. Some rescues will even spay and neuter for free! If she says she can't catch them, there are places that will loan out cages, (animal control, for one). No excuse for a free-breeding, wild cat population.

If this wild kitten tested positive for FeLV, herpes, or upper resiratory, your other kitty would be at risk. Even if he's up-to-date on vaccines, I think he could still get some upper respiratory illnesses, (and herpes?). Here's another dilemma, what would you do if the kitten tested positive for FeLV? I rescued a stray last year and took it straight to the vet's. I was prepared to put the kitten down if she tested positive. She turned out negative, but what would you do? One of those things to ask yourself.

Good luck with your new family member, whatever lucky kitten it might be. [smiley Wavey]

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Why not wait until you get home and adopt one from the pound?

[Question]

I wouldn't encourage this 'cat lady' by taking one of her kittens. I'd get one that's just as cute, the proper age, and screened a little better, (though adopted kittens should still see the vet right away for shots and a checkup). I'd feel much better supporting a place that helps strays rather than perpetuates a problem. If it was me, I would also approach the barn owner about her lack of care and spaying/neutering. Shoot, lots of places have reduced prices for such animals. Some rescues will even spay and neuter for free! If she says she can't catch them, there are places that will loan out cages, (animal control, for one). No excuse for a free-breeding, wild cat population.

If this wild kitten tested positive for FeLV, herpes, or upper resiratory, your other kitty would be at risk. Even if he's up-to-date on vaccines, I think he could still get some upper respiratory illnesses, (and herpes?). Here's another dilemma, what would you do if the kitten tested positive for FeLV? I rescued a stray last year and took it straight to the vet's. I was prepared to put the kitten down if she tested positive. She turned out negative, but what would you do? One of those things to ask yourself.

Good luck with your new family member, whatever lucky kitten it might be. [smiley Wavey]

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i was just gonna hop back on and recommend suggesting to the woman the rescue groups that will help her trap and neuter/spay all her cats. [smile]

sounds like you are making the right decision by not taking a kitten. don't want to risk your cat. and...there are tons of kittens at the pounds that also need homes.

hopefully the barn kitties will eventually get caught up and cared for.

[smile] it's hard once they start getting out of control though. that's why it's so important to do it from the get go! but you know that [smile]

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i was just gonna hop back on and recommend suggesting to the woman the rescue groups that will help her trap and neuter/spay all her cats. [smile]

sounds like you are making the right decision by not taking a kitten. don't want to risk your cat. and...there are tons of kittens at the pounds that also need homes.

hopefully the barn kitties will eventually get caught up and cared for.

[smile] it's hard once they start getting out of control though. that's why it's so important to do it from the get go! but you know that [smile]

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