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Weaning a kitten too early: what are the consequences?

You should never wean a kitten too early because this exposes the animal to serious consequences that will impact its life as an adult cat. Numerous health problems but also behavioral problems can result from this. To respect the order of things, weaning a kitten should not start before it is at least 1 month old and should be continued for several weeks. Let's take stock of the harmful consequences of early weaning and see how to respect this important step.

Kitten weaning: why should the procedure be respected?

The kitten can start to be weaned at the age of 4 weeks, and this is precisely the moment when he starts to have small teeth. Earlier is really too early and will only have negative effects for the little animal. This is really a fundamental step in his life, so it is strongly recommended not to take it lightly.

Weaning consists of the kitten switching from liquid to solid food. At the very beginning of its life, the young animal can be fed by its mother or by bottle with formula. This does not change the procedure for weaning.

It should be noted that for the nursing cat, this transition period is also important because to stop feeding her kittens little by little allows her to preserve herself. Moreover, as soon as her kittens reach the age of 4 weeks, her production of maternal milk starts to decrease and then gradually dries up. It is thus at 1 month that the preweaning of the young begins.

The weaning of the kitten must be done without haste and must last at least 4 weeks. During this month of capital importance, the period known as vicariance takes place: the food is modified in order to better meet the animal's needs. He drinks less and less milk and starts to taste water but also the kibbles intended for his mother. This is why the mother must receive kibble for kittens, particularly rich in nutrients.

Weaning the kitten too early: the risks

It's during the weaning phase that the kitten builds up. When weaning is done naturally, the animal can easily achieve psychological stability and be less vulnerable in terms of physical health.

Weaning the kitten too early leads to bad behaviors in the adult cat such as:
  • The inability to groom,
  • The inability to cover its droppings,
  • The lack of knowledge of certain limits so that the cat scratches or bites,
  • Lack of socialization with other cats,
  • Difficulties in adapting,
  • Hyperactivity,
  • Aggressiveness,
  • Fear,
  • Hyper-emotivity,
  • An inordinate attachment to his master...
Of course, some kittens that were weaned a little too early or too quickly may not show any behavioral problems. This is especially the case for small cats that are used to living outdoors and those raised with other cats.

It is strictly forbidden to sell or adopt kittens that have not yet reached the age of 8 weeks simply because they should not be weaned too early. Thanks to the article L. 214-8 of the Rural Code, the legislation protects these small pets. Unfortunately, this law is still violated by many breeders and individuals. It is up to everyone to be responsible by not adopting or buying kittens that have been weaned too early and/or have not reached the age of 2 months at least.

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