4 Indications That Your Kitten Was Taken Away From Its Mother Too Soon!

When a tiny kitten just suddenly shows up on your doorstep, your instinct may be to scoop up the little critter and help it. But how can you tell if your new baby was taken away from its mother too soon?

Holistic veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan fully recommends that newborn kittens stay with their moms until they are at least 8 weeks old. “But 10 is even better,” she went on to add. By this age, kittens are gradually and naturally weaned by their mothers; their eyesight and hearing have fully matured and they will have learned just how to play and groom themselves appropriately.


Here’s is how to tell if your new kitten was taken from its mother too early.

1. Prone to illnesses. Newborn kittens get a full 100 percent of their nutrients from their mother’s milk. When they are approximately 8 weeks old, their mother will wean them from her milk naturally, but if they’re taken away too soon they may have a difficult time getting the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. According to Hannah Shaw, aka the Kitten Lady, orphaned kittens, or those that are weaned way too soon, need to be bottle-fed with a formula designed especially for kittens. Still, even with this formula, kittens that are very young may not get all of the antibodies they would have gotten from their mother’s milk, making them prone to stunted growth and illness.

2. Some aggression. Newborn kittens don’t just get nutrients from their moms, they also get lessons in behavior from both their moms and their other littermates. Kittens that are taken away from their families too soon simply don’t learn how to play without getting too rough. Morgan recently said about one of her kittens that had been taken from its mother too soon. “He just doesn’t know how to interact with others, is shy and fearful, and quick to bite or scratch when his space is invaded.”

3. Bit of fear. Kittens pick up social cues and also learn how to respond to humans and other species from their mothers. And so, kittens that were taken away from their mothers too soon may become timid, shy, and even fearful of other animals … including humans.

4. Some difficulty adjusting.Kittens also get from their moms, lessons in how to be a good cat. Kittens that are taken away from their mothers a bit too soon may have difficulty learning how to do basic things such as groom themselves and use the litter box. “Some kittens that are weaned early will become ‘blanket nursers’ or will suckle on strange objects,” stated Morgan.

The very best way to know for sure if your kitten was weaned too early is to get her checked out by your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to give you a good estimate of your kitten’s age and give you advice and resources on caring for your new kitten and making absolutely certain that she gets the best start in life.