When does the queen's milk supply dry up after weaning?

Tabby she-cat feeding her kitten
Mother cat nursing her kitten. Sylvain Cordier/Getty Images

Question: When does the queen's milk supply dry up after weaning?

Answer: The rest of the story: Thank you for your help! We rescued a pregnant Mother cat not too long ago. She had her litter and last week (the cats were 8 weeks old) we gave them to good homes. My question is this: how long does it take the Queen to dry up her milk supply? She is still engorged and it has been 6 days. It looks uncomfortable. Thank you again for your reply.

Breeders generally keep their kittens with the queen until at least 12 weeks of age, for several reasons:

  1. Kittens will generally continue to nurse occasionally up to that time, to supplement the canned and dry food that they will begin to eat at around six to eight weeks. Sometimes kittens weaned too early will develop lifelong habits of sucking and chewing (something we've experienced with our Jaspurr after rescuing him and his sibling, Joey, at 6.5 weeks.)
  2. Kittens learnsocial skills from the mother cat - how to get along with each other, as well as how to interact with humans. Generally speaking (except for kittens born to a feral mother), kittens who have remained with the mother cat longer will make more sociable pets.

Having said that, if your mother cat's teats are engorged after six days, she should be seen by your veterinarian. Congestion of the mammary glands can result in mastitis, which is an extremely dangerous condition if left untreated.

You did a wonderful service for this cat in rescuing her, and I know you won't want to risk her health, now that her kittens have found good homes.

Do get her to a vet right away, and be sure to let me know how she's doing.