When Is It Safe to Touching Newborn Kittens? Everything You Need to Know – Fumi Pets


Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Fumipets

When Is It Safe to Touch Newborn Kittens?


Welcoming a litter of newborn kittens into the world is an enchanting experience, but the delicate nature of these tiny creatures raises important questions about when it is safe to handle them. Filled with curiosity and eagerness to bond with these adorable furballs, caretakers often wonder about the appropriate time to touch and interact with newborn kittens.

In this guide, we’ll explore the factors that influence the safety of handling newborn kittens and provide answers to common questions to ensure a nurturing environment for these precious additions to the feline family.

Newborn Kittens

The sweet, innocent “mews” of newborn kittens capture your heart. You’ll be tempted to pick them up as soon as they’re born, but avoid the temptation. Petting kittens too soon may be harmful to their health and cause your mother cat to get irritated.

Dangers Of Touching

According to Animal Planet, mama cat licks her kittens to leave her unique smell on them. When you touch a newborn kitten, it develops a distinct scent from its mother. Humans stroking their young don’t bother some cats, while others get upset.

Mama cats may be alarmed by the new smell and feel compelled to relocate her kittens to a secure place. Don’t be concerned if you return to the nesting box after a few hours and discover that the whole family has vanished. Your lovely queen was just attempting to safeguard her little ones by relocating them to a secure place.

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When It’s Safe

According to the ASPCA, you should avoid handling newborn kittens during their first week of life, no matter how painful it may seem. Because socialising kittens with people is an essential aspect of their early development, begin handling your new fluffy babies gently as soon as they are two weeks old.

Make sure Mama Cat has a chance to smell your hand before you take them up. Pet her head and show her love to reassure her that you are not a danger to her. Gently pick up a kitten, one at a time, if she purrs, licks your hand, or otherwise accepts your stroking.

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Importance Of Warmth

Take care to keep your fuzzy buddies warm when it’s time to pick them up. Infant kittens are prone to hypothermia, or a drop in body temperature. Dr. Virginia Clemans, a veterinarian in Salt Lake City, Utah, says that newborn kittens take up most of their energy reserves to keep warm early in their lives. Cold felines have trouble digesting their food and are less inclined to suckle, which may lead to malnutrition.

If you pick up one of the little fluff balls, you can keep him warm by wrapping him in a small baby blanket and keeping him away from draughts. Avoid hypothermia by touching him for brief amounts of time and returning him to his warm littermates.

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Take Precautions

Newborn kittens’ immune systems are still developing. To avoid transmitting germs, wash your hands well before touching the kittens, and keep other animals away from the little felines. Picking up and petting newborn kittens may be risky. Baby kittens, like newborn humans, are very vulnerable. When you handle them aggressively or drop them, you risk damaging your bones or critical organs. Be gentle, and if you have little children, keep an eye on them as they touch the kittens.

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Questions & Answers:


When can I start touching newborn kittens?

It’s crucial to exercise patience when it comes to handling newborn kittens. Wait until they are at least two weeks old, as their immune systems are still developing, and they are more vulnerable to infections during the initial days of life.


How can I tell if the mother cat is comfortable with me touching her kittens?

Observe the mother cat’s behavior. If she shows signs of distress, such as hissing, growling, or moving her kittens away from you, it’s best to give her space. On the other hand, if she appears calm and allows you to be near the kittens, you can cautiously begin gentle interactions.


Why is it important to wash hands before handling newborn kittens?

Newborn kittens have fragile immune systems, and any bacteria or germs on your hands can pose a risk to their health. Washing your hands thoroughly helps minimize the potential transfer of harmful substances and ensures a safe environment for the kittens.


Can children safely touch newborn kittens?

While the idea of involving children in the joy of caring for kittens is heartwarming, it’s essential to supervise interactions closely. Teach children to be gentle and calm around the kittens, emphasizing the importance of their delicate nature and the need for a quiet environment.


Are there specific signs that indicate when it’s unsafe to touch newborn kittens?

Yes, there are several signs that suggest it’s best to avoid handling newborn kittens. These include a mother cat exhibiting aggressive behavior, kittens appearing weak or sickly, or any signs of discharge from the eyes or nose. If you notice any of these indicators, consult with a veterinarian before attempting any interactions.



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