Age to Start Hand Raising
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 23:54:19 -0500 Subject: Re: FEL-L: Leaping Leopards
>Grin... well, from what I've seen on the nature shows, the Leopard is the best climbing cat around... has Rika started to carry her "prey" with her when she goes "up" ?
Yes, especially my husbands' hat & an old slipper. She hasn't tried it yet with something long between her feet.
>How big will Rika be when mature?
Her parents aren't big. I doubt if she'll hit 100# full grown, but weight can be deceiving. they are heavier than they look.
>Is this your 1st Leopard?
No. We raised her parents from babies & her mother just had another litter. 1female spotted, 1 male black. 120 days between litters must be some kind of record.
From what I've picked up, mostly here and on the old list, a good Leopard is very good, but "most" are not to be trusted when they become mature (will turn on their keeper for "no reason at all" ???)
We've heard the same thing. We are very careful with all our big & smaller, cats. We don't go in with the male anymore. The female, Kira, is a daddy's girl. While she was in labor the other day, he stayed in with her. He was laying on the ground next to her box, she came out & layed on him with her head on his shoulder & went to sleep.
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 12:33:48 EDT Subject: Re: FEL-L: Leaping Leopards
I like to hear good things about Leopards,... that is a neat story about your female. We have a female also, and she is a sweetheart. (I still never take my eyes off her, she loves to pounce me from behind) :-),... I hope she stays just the way she is.
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 13:24:29 EDT Subject: Re: FEL-L: Leaping Leopards
>120 daysbetween litters must be some kind of record.
If a litter dies or is pulled for handraising the female comes right back into heat a few weeks later, so it's not that unusual to have litters born a few months apart - we've had that happen here (for leopards, jaguars, fishing cats, and tigers) but that's usually somewhat accidental. We prefer for the mother to get a break between litters, which means either keeping her separated from the male, or fixed, or put on birth control. Nancy, Feline Conservation Center
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 17:03:16 -0700 Subject: FEL-L: Sociable Cat !!
>The female, Kira, is a daddy's girl. While she was in labor the other day
Now THAT is what I'd call a well-bonded and friendly cat! If she's that friendly, do you even have to "pull" the kittens to get them used to humans?
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 03:24:27 -0500 Subject: Re: FEL-L: Sociable Cat !!
Hmmm. Hadn't even thought about not pulling them. Will have to talk about it. List, Comments? Chris & Donia McDonald
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 09:04:45 -0500 Subject: Re: FEL-L: Sociable Cat !!
Mom may be friendly with you, but if you want the kittens socialized to many people, it's best to be away from mom. She is likely to get defensive of the kittens, which could be uncomfortable for visitors.
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 11:07:50 EDT Subject: Re: FEL-L: Sociable Cat !!
It has been my experience, that IF mom is people friendly and a people cat, then I leave the kitten/cubs with her. They follow moms behavior towards people. I handle the kittens alot and mom in front of the kittens. I am in the same room with them all day too so this helps. Never had a problem doing this and the kittens/cubs were handleable just as if I bottled them myself. Taking into account unique personality traits, some cats are just more shy or are not people friendly no matter what you do, you just have to respect that in them and don't force the issue. This happens with them bottled raised or not.
I think if your cat is a caged cat and is only handled at feeding time then you would have a harder time socializing the kittens if they were with mom. Socialization is desensitation to humans, the best way to do this is through a lot of interaction. I feel that this is more important than bottle raising without much interaction. So if you have a mom that is people friendly and you have the time to spend with the group, it will work fine. If you don't have the time or mom isn't people friendly, you should pull the kittens.
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 12:07:26, -0500 Subject: FEL-L: Sociable Cat !!
I know of a wonderful docile (bombproof!) mother cheetah. I also have met three of her cubs that she raised herself that wanted to kill me at 6 months old, completely wild. Her handraised cubs are a mixed bag, some like her, some not. I don't think it's a matter of the mother teaching them to be nice or mean towards humans; rather a socialization/desensitization tool by handraising them.
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 11:27:14 -0500 Subject: Re: FEL-L: Sociable Cat !!
Last year we tried leaving the cubs on for 4 weeks. Mistake! Never could get them on a bottle. Wound up having to tube them. They both developed diarrhea, & we lost the spotted one. Also, we're havin a heat wave here. We're watching them closely & will pull early if necessary, otherwise 2 weeks max. It's not worth the risk of losing leopards.
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 05:48:34 PDT Subject: Re: FEL-L: Sociable Cat !!
>What kind of cubs have you done this with?
I have raised dozens of litters of cougars and bobcats. I have pulled them at all different ages (from 10 days to 31 days) for hand rearing. There is a definate difference in their level of imprinting depending upon the age at which you pull them.
In my opinion, pulling at 12 to 14 days produces the best results – a kitten who's mother did the hardest part, but young enough that it's eyes haven't fully focused so you can take over. It will IMPRINT on you.
Pulling kittens after their eyes have focused (which is several days to a week or more after they open) results in a kitten that knows it has been stolen. It will try to hold out for it's natural mother's return, and eventually learn to bond to you, but chances are, it will be not as intense a love as if it IMPRINTED on you.
Our first litter of cougar kittens were kept on the mom for 31 days. I was in her house when they were born, I shared all aspects of the birthing process, and in the weeks that followed she shared them freely with us. But they stopped purring for us at about 29 days or so. We decided to bring them in our house for several hours each day to get them more comfortable with us. The first time we did that they were in shock a whole different animal then when they were with their mother. We made the decision to pull them at 31 days.
It was very challenging to get them to take the bottle, but with perserverence and love they did. They bottle fed until they were 13 weeks old.
There was a time that we thought one of the kittens would never surrender his love to us - we were very nervous about his fate. But he did, and today, 10 years later, he is the most trustworthy of the three boys and he truely loves us deeply. In fact I would say our relationship with these three boys is as good as it gets.
These three were reintroduced to their mom at 8 weeks and co-raised by their cougar mother and us. It worked great and allowd them to re-bond and have a more natural childhood.
In subsequent litters, raised for sale as companion animals for other people, I have tended to pull at 14 days.
I would suggest for companion animals, you hand rear them. For manageable, tame, but not intensely in love with you, you can let SOME mom's raise them. But even if mom is a pet, her kittens WILL NOT BE PET QUALITY. But I think they will be manageable in captivity. Your decision will depend upon your goal.
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 11:08:58 EDT Subject: Re: FEL-L: Sociable Cat !!
> What kind of cubs have you done this with?
Cougars, bobcats, lions, ferals, fox and raccoon. But they were not raised to be pet quaility companion animals. The bobs would have been ok for pets though. I have several friends who co raise their servals, caracals, lynx, hybrids, and they are pet quaility.These cats are small enough to live in the house underfoot so there is a great deal of human interaction with the group.
Lynn is right. I was not thinking pet quality especially with the larger cats, but socialized to be able to handle them. So if looking for companion animals, hand rearing is the way to go at least with the bigger guys. Like Lynn said it depends on your goal. Sherry :)
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 09:24:17 -0800 Subject: FEL-L: Pulling age
Establishing a bond takes more than a couple days/weeks of bottle feeding. A bond is reinforced by bottle feeding by the prospective owner, but is not the sole action for establishing the bond. (At least in my experience) It is a daily thing, how you interact with the kitten, how you play with the kitten etc..
Environmental issues come into play as well, if there are other cats/kittens in your house. If there are other animals, children, spouse, all do play a roll in how well the kitten bonds to you.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are several issues at hand about establishing a bond with your new kitten.
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