We are a cage-less cattery, with the exception to "Queening" I.e.: starting the new kittens out in a large cage to learn to crawl out of the nest, learn to walk, eat baby cat food and learn the litter box routine. Full access to the house is not the best for new babies. They could get lost or injured, and it is not sanitary by any stretch of the imagination. The mother is kept with her babies (in a large 30" 50" cage,) and the mother cat is allotted free time outside the cage as she wants. Queens want a safe place to hide with her babies and freedom when the babies are resting. Queens do not want to leave the nest upon immediate birth. It is not uncommon to find the good mom cat to want to stay with her babies 24 hours a day for the first few days (and weeks.) Thereupon, there is likewise a point where she can not wait to get away from them. At DesignPurrs, typically kittens of 6-10 weeks have rotating "moms" and are nursed and groomed by other queens. However upon immediate birth, the new queen leaves the nest only for necessary matters, such as grooming, eating, etc., by her own choice. Upon successful potty training, the kittens move to the cattery floor, and upon successful room training, then they are allowed access to the lounge area to run and play in larger space. The environment starts small, just like the baby. Outside their nest cage, they can see the floor and all the moms who rotate through their ward. I.e.: Upon opening a nest cage, a "mom" typically jumps in and tends to the rearing, then upon opening the nest cage again in a few hours, she departs, and a new mom jumps in of her own accord. We do very little bottle feeding and are fortunate to have queens who take on kitten duties of their own accord. The mommy is free to go in and out of their nest whenever they want after the first few days. Usually by 5-8 weeks they can successfully climb stairs and start using the litter box regularly. All of our babies leave potty trained, and there is no PkD, HCM, FIV, FIP FILV, parasites or fungus in our cattery.
We do not like to let our kittens go until about 16 weeks (four months) of age. By this time, they are able to stop nursing and have successfully transitioned from mommy's milk to kitten food and can go potty in the box, and they have a complete understanding of their surroundings. Kittens are very much babies at this 16 week age. We ask our kitten parents to be patient and responsible to take the kitten home at the appropriate age please. Please see our policies page to better understand how we operate and handle placement of our babies.