Kittens nursing on mother.

New Study Says We Should Wait to Wean Kittens

A new ‘Scientific Reports’ study finds that waiting until 12 or 13 weeks to wean kittens and take them away from their mothers means less aggression and shyness.

Jackie Brown  |  May 14th 2018

A study published in late 2017 in the online journal Scientific Reports says later is better for transitioning kittens to solid food and separating them from their mother and littermates.

Researchers analyzed questionnaire results from more than 5,700 cat owners in Finland and found that cats weaned prior to 8 weeks of age were significantly more likely to display aggression toward human strangers than cats weaned between 12 and 13 weeks of age.

Young cat eating from a bowl.

Waiting to wean cats until after 14 weeks is actually ideal. Photography ©belchonock | Getty Images.

Cats weaned after 14 weeks were the least likely to show signs of aggression and were also less likely to exhibit shyness when introduced to new objects.

Thumbnail: Photography ©Aksenovko | Getty Images.

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you

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