Separating a kitten from its mother can be a slow process. It varies from kitten to kitten, so knowing when to separate them often comes down to the individual kitten's behavior and age.Continue Reading
Conflicting information exists about how long to wait before beginning the process of separating a kitten from its mother. A good rule of thumb is to wait around 8 weeks after birth, because kittens at this point are still very adoptable but resilient enough to survive without their mother.
Normally, it's the mother's job to socialize the newborn kittens. This phase normally takes place around the 6 week mark. If the kittens have not been socialized properly, begin by touching them, petting them, grabbing them and picking them up often.
If in regular contact with the kittens and mother, wean them off their mother's milk slowly between 4 and 12 weeks old. Occasionally offer them solid food on the side and increase the frequency with which you do this.
It's best to wait until the mother strays away from her kittens. In the case of a feral feline, wait until she leaves to find food. If the mother does not leave the kittens, wait until she is distracted and take them.