View Full Version : Is my cat leaving her kittens?

Jul 22, 2004, 08:14 PM
I appologize for bothering you for this concern. A couple of days ago, I adopted a pregnant cat from the shelter (because they usually end up euthenizing them since nobody wants them) and she had 7 kittens yesterday from noon until 6:30. She's been really good about feeding them, but earlier today, she left them alone for about an hour and a half, and I was a bit concerned. At that time, she was really needy with me and my brother and just wanted to cuddle and sit with us. When I put her back in the bathroom, she didn't immediately go back to them. It took her about 30 minutes, when some of my friends came over, at which time she went back to the kittens. Is this normal? I was worried that she may be abandoning them.

When she was away from the kittens, I looked at her nipples and they appeared dry. I was wondering if I should go out and get some formula for the kittens and feed them myself, but she's with them now, so I'm not certain if it is necessary. I'm probably worrying for nothing, but I just don't want any of them to have to die. Do you have any advice?

Thank you,

Mahta Ostadian

Jul 23, 2004, 03:32 AM
I had the same concern about my cat, she had her 4 kittens nearly 5 weeks ago now, mine would lay with hers for hours then go and get some peace and quiet somewhere else, her nipples will get sore nursing all them kittens and it will take a huge toll on her physically, feed your nursing queen as much as she wants, don't limit her foods, mine is still wanting 2 full tins a day when a regular car should only have the one.
Unless you see her constantly away from the kittens I wouldn't worry so much, its highly unlikely she would reject her kittens, cats don't usually do that, the only time she might do it is if there is a defect in one of them, but as I say highly unlikely.
Just keep your eye on her I'm sure they're getting all they need from her. I wouldn't advise undertaking the task of feeding the kittens unless there is no there option, it's a mommoth task, especially with 7.
Let me know how things go OK. :)

Jul 23, 2004, 07:38 AM
:) Thanks for replying. I think you're right. This morning my cat was with all her kittens and they seemed to be resting fine with her. I spoke to somebody at an animal hospital, and they told me just to leave the cat alone, because she might sense that I am nervous and think that there is something wrong. So, I did, and she seems fine. She also recommended that I take the cat and kittens to the vet today if I was worried. Did you do anything like that with your cats?

I have only been feeding my cat dry kitten food, do you recommend something else? Is there a specific time that it's okay to start handling the kittens?

Thanks so much for your help. It's good to know that this is all normal. :)

Jul 23, 2004, 07:53 AM
Well I feed mine regular cat food 2 tins a day twice what she woud normally have, but the vet advised me not to limit her intake as a lot of it goes to the kittens, I also put down dreid food like biscuits too.
As for handling the kittens your always advised not too, but my cat is extremely good natured so I handled the kittens from day 2 and she didn't reject them at all.
It all depends on the nursing cat, if your still worried whether or not she is feeding them, then weigh them, I did this with mine every 3 days , if you want me to email you what weights I got for mine I will be happy to do so.
As for the vets, don't cause yourself unneeded expenses unless you know for sure there is a problem.
Let me know if you want the weights chart I got for mine OK.


Jul 27, 2004, 06:48 AM
Thanks for responding. She is feeding her kittens, I was just an 'overvigilant' owner. If you have time, you can send me the weights, but if not, that's okay, since I don't have a weighing device yet.
One concern I have now is that one of the kittens is smaller than the others (the runt) and I'm not sure if it's getting enough to eat, since it cries more than the others do. I think it should be okay, since it's been 6 days since they've been born, and it's made it so far, but I'm not sure how to tell. I tried feeding it some supplemental formula, but she didn't really like it. I think that I'll just have to watch her, and hope that she ends up okay. Well, once again, thanks for responding ;D mahta

Jul 27, 2004, 06:54 AM
Don't feed the smallest one if you can help it, if you interfere the mother may reject the kitten, I've got one that's A lot larger then the other 3, and the other are quite skinny for kittens but the vet sadi that they're fine and not to intervene, well I've managed to find homes for 3 of mine and I'm keeping one, and I definitely shant be doing the whole kitten thing again lol.
Just keep your eye on them and justr use normal scales from a kitchen and mark down their weights every 3 days or so, you will be able to tell then if your little runt is feeding or not :)

Jul 27, 2004, 12:18 PM
About the runt... see if you can find time to have him nurse alone with mom, just so you can be really sure he's eating. With a litter of seven, it's easy for little guys like that to get pushed out of the way by their bigger siblings. After they're a week old, death is rare, as long as they stay warm and well-fed (ie, with mom). Also, if the mother is away a lot, you might want to consider putting a heating pad on LOW under a few towels in the box with them... never put them directly on it or turn it up. That's just so they stay toasty and alert when their mother's not there to keep them warm... well, as alert as a week-old kitten can be. Just be sure to have it only on one side of the box, so they can crawl to the other side to get away from it if it gets too hot. If when you put it in they're lying spread out a lot, instead of in a clump, they're probably too hot, and you can skip the pad.

Jul 27, 2004, 01:25 PM
Thanks for your reply. It's very helpful and reassuring to a worried mother :D

I've been watching the runt carefully to make sure he's still doing okay, and I think that it's a good suggestion for me to get him alone with the mother. I figured since he's stayed alive for 6 days, then he's probably getting stuff to eat, and I've watched him eat a few times too.

Do you guys think that once she opens her eyes, I can get her some replacer formula to supplement, or will the mother reject her?

Thanks :)

Jul 27, 2004, 03:29 PM
You can give Kitten Milk Replacer at any stage of development. I have never seen a mother reject a kitten because it was fed KMR, and since they've been together this long, I doubt she'll reject any of them. Rejection usually takes place within the first day. I routinely give the runts a little supplemental feeding to keep their strength up. If they get weak, they can't fight the others to nurse, and they get weaker... downward spiral. But you sound like you're doing a great job.

You can buy KMR at pretty much any Pet Store... there's directions on the can on how to mix it up. Sometimes they don't like it as much as the real thing, but if he really needs it, he'll take it. Good luck!

Aug 26, 2004, 08:19 AM
Hi all those cat lovers out there.
My 'babe' gave birth to 3 kittens two and a half weeks ago. I have already posted my question but just thought I'd 'pop by' and introduce myself, as I am a mad cat fan! We already have Harley, and Pablo is the new mum, and yes, we're going to keep all three kittens - so it's a grand total of five now, but what the heck? We love them all. Anyway, as per my question, my fear was not over the babes, they seem to be thriving, but over Pablo. She just seems so much quieter and always walks a few steps then flakes out on her side. But it's all in my posted question. I hope to hear from you & felllow worried (hopefully unnecessarily) 'grandmas' out there!! Bev (UK)

Mar 2, 2007, 05:58 PM
Here's my input.

We took in a feral cat and her four kittens from the garden and had them in a large pen because she was a little aggressive with us (naturally). But, although she was continually nursing the little scamps, we also supplemented their intake with KMR from little bottles to ensure that they all got plenty of food and also to ensure that they would all be properly socialized. Lots of handling and talking to them meant that they turned into the sweetest little kittens.

A year later and the runt (we had a little one too) has become an 11 pound bundle of love. The others are healthy and fine and we are so happy that we took them in. We also have the feral ma & pa living on our patio and getting regular feedings and petting from us! They seem to have forgiven us for getting them fixed so they won't be adding to the wild cat population anymore.