Are you deciding to adopt a ragdoll furball kitten? When given proper care, these cute little furballs grow up to be intelligent, calm, and caring pets. If you search on the Internet, you may find various ragdoll breeders and even rescue shelters offering ragdoll kittens for sale and adoption.
The ages of these kittens may be shown from as early as 6-8 weeks of age to 12-14 weeks of age. An eager to buy owner may become confused with the variety in ages. This may cause a question to appear in your mind about the right age for bringing the kitten into its new home.
This article gives an in-depth look into the best age for your ragdoll kitten to have a comfortable transition into your home.
What To Do If Your Kitten Is Suffering From Incurable Health Conditions?
If your veterinarian has told you that your kitten suffers from irreversible health conditions, then the viable option left is to give it euthanasia. Making it live longer will only cause it to suffer more. To find cost-effective or free euthanasia services in your locality, you can Google ‘no cost pet euthanasia near me‘ for this painless procedure.
Myths Related To Ragdoll Kitten Adoption
Many owners may consider adopting a ragdoll kitten as early as possible as vital for developing a stronger bond with their pet.
This is not true. Several pet owners worldwide can adopt fully grown stray cats into their homes. It is relatable that a small, cuddly kitten would raise the temptations for bringing it to your home early.
However, that results in breaking an essential bond (between the mother and her kitten) needed for its healthy growth. Taking the kitten away from its mother early may lead it to face unwanted consequences.
Early Life Stages of a Kitten
To understand the prime age for adopting your kitten, an owner must be aware of the early development stages of the kitten.
1. 0-4 Weeks Of Age
The first four weeks of age are crucial, where the furball is entirely dependent on its mother for necessities and food.
During this time, a kitten can’t regulate body temperature on its own and requires its mother’s support for safety, warmth, and hygiene.
2. 4-8 Weeks Of Age
As the kitten crosses four weeks of life, the mother begins to teach basic survival skills. These include eating, hunting, and relieving themselves. With the help of its mother, the kitten begins to learn communication and interaction by trying to imitate the mother’s role.
During this time, human interaction is preferable, especially if the kitten is going to be kept as a pet after it matures. However, this doesn’t mean that the role of the mother ends here.
The mother plays two important roles. Teaching appropriate behavior to its kittens and aiding in the weaning process.
3. 8-12 Weeks Of Age
When the kitten becomes 8 weeks old, the kitten begins to eat solid food, and the mother’s milk begins to dry up. As it grows older, it requires lesser nursing as it reaches the age of 12 weeks.
During this time, the mother’s nursing is mainly a source of comfort for the kitten; thus, taking it away from the mother would be a bad choice.
Why Can’t I Separate A Kitten From Its Mother Before It Becomes 12 Weeks Old?
Separating a ragdoll kitten from its mother before it undergoes the natural weaning process can cause devastating effects on the kitten.
1. Health Complications
Taking away your ragdoll kitten from its mother too early can leave it vulnerable to upper respiratory infections and parasites. A combination of these diseases can cause the cat baby to suffer from a highly fatal medical condition called Fading Kitten Syndrome.
The first four weeks of a kitten’s life are a crucial period for body health and growth. The mother’s milk consists of all the nutrients needed to develop strong bones, good eye health, and fully functional organs.
Weaning off a ragdoll kitten earlier may cause it to face additional health complications later in its life. The kitten may require nutritional supplements and additional veterinary care from a young age.
2. Behavioral Problems
Kittens that are moved away from their mother too soon start to show signs of behavioral issues. The kitten may develop anxiety and show signs of frustration due to separation from its mother at an earlier time.
The mother teaches the basic survival skills and provides comfort to her offspring. Removing the kitten from its mother early may deprive it of learning basic survival skills such as hunting for food, burying waste in the soil, and grooming.
If your ragdoll kitten shows signs of nibling or suckling, it means that it wasn’t weaned at all or it had been done too early. Not weaning naturally can cause the kitten to feel insecure.
3. Struggle in Adapting to the New Environment
A kitten growing up with its mother and siblings forms the foundation of its socialization. Without this, the kitten can develop fearful, aggressive, or nervous behaviors. If it’s deprived of the mother at an early age, the kitten can find it difficult to adjust to its new home.
The kitten may not even know how to interact with other cats. Suppose your kitten couldn’t get to spend sufficient time with its mother. In that case, it requires your dedication as an owner to provide a nurturing environment for its growth both socially and physically.
The bond between a ragdoll kitten and the mother is essential for it to live a long and healthy lifestyle. Kittens that live longer with their mothers become trained in basic life skills such as hunting food, dumping waste and interacting with other cats.
The best age to pick up your kitten from its foster home is around 12 weeks or later. The greater the amount of time your furball spends with its mother growing up, the better the kitten will be able to adapt to its new home.